Monday, September 28, 2009

Ants are Vengeful Creatures

Southern California is home to an army the size of which makes the national debt look like pocket change. Deep below the sandy surface, in a warren of tunnels modern human engineering could never accomplish, this army plots against us. Like a mighty terrorist faction they rise from their subterranean compound in the dark of night to wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting masses.
Their hierarchy is simple, the queen rules. Everyone else lives so that she may live. Male generals command the army of female soldiers whose blind allegiance knows no bounds. No weapon of mass destruction has yet to be manufactured that will conquer this invading hoard.
Who are these sinister, havoc wreaking hoards? Ants. Gazillions of ants. You chuckle, unsuspecting human. The ants are coming to get you. How do I know this? I have seen their army. They are on the march in my neighborhood, more specifically, my house.
We’ve known they were plotting beneath our home for years. We’ve had many skirmishes with them. Just yesterday they launched a sneak attack on our living room while we slept. In retaliation my husband took up arms against them. Wielding a spray bottle filled with toxins he slaughtered hundreds of thousands of tiny six legged soldiers around the perimeter of our yard. With a self satisfied smirk he declared himself the winner of the battle. I was hopeful that we had seen the last of them for a while, but alas it was not to be.
Ants are vengeful creatures. They plotted. They called up the reserves. Under cover of darkness they mounted a counter offensive straight into our kitchen. With unerring accuracy they marched from the depths of hell, across our lawn to the foundation of our home. In a brazen attack, assured that their victims slept, they marched along the foundation to the back door and stormed the house.
Like a living river the army filed through the door and straight to the bowl of dog food on the kitchen floor. There they set up a sophisticated supply line designed to carry off as much plunder as their little bodies could carry.
In the light of day their perfidy was discovered. I once again resorted to chemical warfare in my rage against the invading army. I killed unmercifully, pulling the trigger on my container of lethal chemicals over and over. No six legged creature was exempt from my wrath. I killed the little buggers inside my castle and followed their supply line, slaughtering as I went. I sprayed. I stomped. I killed.
Am I ashamed? Do I feel remorse? No, and no. The skirmish lasted nearly an hour before I valiantly declared myself the winner. Millions died. My rage gave me super human strength against such formidable odds. I am human. I am an American. It is my right to keep and bear arms.
I chugged orange juice in celebration of my victory. I placed my weapons back on the shelf in the garage where I can reach them at a moment’s notice. I have dealt the invaders a mighty blow, but they will be back. Right now they are procreating at a dizzying rate, fueled by the food they looted from my larder while I slept the sleep of the innocent.
I must rest. I must check my weapons and replenish as necessary. I can feel the rumble of their mighty fighting machine as it rumbles beneath my feet. I will not sleep until they are defeated.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I had the pleasure of spending the previous weekend with about one hundred people who I share a minimum of one thing in common with. It seems we all graduated from the same high school on the same day almost 35 years ago. This get together was dubbed the AOWWBOSY, or The Anniversary of the Week We Began Our Senior Year. I have had a lot of fun times since I last saw or spoke with most of these folks, but I can't remember anything that has been more satisfying.

No, I don't mean that my ego or self esteem was boosted by the current status of anyone there. I mean that after all these years, none of that matters any longer. I vaguely remember attending our tenth reunion and my overwhelming memory of that event is getting home and wondering why I went in the first place. Just a decade out of high school and we were all still posturing. I have more of this than you. I went to this school. I have this kind of car. I live in this neighborhood, city, state...

After 34+ years we've finally grown out of that kind of thinking. The result was a wonderful weekend getting to know each other again, laughing over stories told and retold, dredging up memories long since buried and finding that others share those same memories. We laughed until tears flowed and smiled until our cheeks hurt. We took enough photos to keep Kodak in business for another decade had film still been in use. We talked until our vocal chords shut down in protest. Plates of food grew cold as we jumped up to greet another familiar face and forgot about our need for food.

Days after returning home I still find a silly grin on my face from time to time as I recall moments spent with people who played dolls and shared a skate key with me back when. Some were friends acquired in high school and our memories were more grown up. Football games, Prom, cruising, risks taken, classes skipped. Some were friends recently made. Thanks to Facebook I have met many of my fellow graduates who I never had the pleasure of knowing in school. Of the over 500 graduates that year it was impossible to know them all, so many of us never met. My life is enriched for knowing these wonderful people now and it was a blessing to meet many of them in person.

We have lost some of our classmates to tragedy and illness and we shared fond memories of them, proving that their memory will live on within us. I hope they heard our words and read the sorrow in our hearts at their passing.

Many thanks to the fabulous friends who coordinated the weekend events. Without them it would not have been possible. The weekend exceeded all my expectations and I look forward to seeing all of my friends again next spring when we will celebrate the actual 35th anniversary of our high school graduation.

To Plano High School, Class of 1975- You are the best! We are the best! I am so proud of all of us. We have overcome, persevered and succeeded! The Wildcat spirit is alive and well.