Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jonathon Jones

This morning, while styling my daughter’s hair, we noticed an ant on the wall.
My girl is terribly afraid of insects, and as expected, she did her usual “Ew! Moooom! Kill it! Kill it now!” (I’m a pansy when it comes to killing any creature, and am known far and wide as Spider Woman because I allow house spiders to roam freely about my home -- I only kill when coerced by high-pitched shrieks and intolerable whining), and I did my usual lollygagging in the hopes the ant might run off to a safe girl-free place before I would be forced to crush it. But this particular insect was different.

He looked exactly like this:

And as the shadow of death (wadded-up toilet paper) eclipsed his tiny body, he suddenly stood upright, cued an invisible band with a barely audible “a-one and a-two,” then did a little dance, a desperate jig that immediately charmed my daughter into silence. We looked at one another, she and I, our mouths open in disbelief, then turned back to the ant, who had finished his dance with an impressive triple pirouette, then abruptly rolled himself up into a ball. I moved in closer, my face only inches away from the bizarre ball of antness, and whispered “Dude. Dude?” The ant unfurled himself and looked right into my eyes. Neither of us said a word, just stared intently at each other, his weeny thorax trembling with exhaustion, and perhaps, fear. After what seemed minutes, the ant finally spoke: “I am Jonathon Jones.”

That was it. Just “I am Jonathon Jones.” Then he disappeared beneath the baseboard.

The experience so moved me, I wept.

The moral of this story is a simple one: Don’t kill another living creature except in cases of self-defense (serial killer, charging bear, angry hornet) or obvious threat to home and health (termites, cockroaches, rabid bats), or when coerced by high-pitched shrieks and intolerable whining, (preserving one’s mental health is of the utmost importance), because despite our differences, we all dance to the same tune.


At 11:09 AM, Blogger Alice said...

Ok, now I feel like a complete bitch because we had the preparings of an ant invasion and used the ant killing stuff to block their entry.

In my defence though, we were talking the calm before the storm here. Only 20 or so ants, but last year we let it go unchecked for a few weeks and ended up wil billions of the bastards swarming all over the house. And my mother is TERRIFIED of them.

But I did feel guilty. Same as I feel guilty if I inadvertantly step on a snail or squash a bug by accident.

The only one I don't feel guilty about, insect wise, is wasps because unlike ants and almost every other insect on earth they literally ARE mean and spiteful.

Seriously. They are.

I'll probably post about my pathological fear of wasps one day. Right now though, apparently I'm a troll 'ho'. I've had my first nasty comment, and was thrilled (see WE HAVE LIFT OFF... post) and then...Well, pride comes before a fall, eh? I found out he was cheating on me and trolling REJECT THE KOOLAID's Blog too. Or cheating on her. Either way, he is cheating troll scum and he used me and I feel upset and disillusioned and I ended up devoting TWO posts to taking the piss out of him rather than the one I'd initially intended.

But still, plus side is as far as I can tell they're funny. ;-)

Good luck keeping J. Jones safe from little murderous hands.

It's not going to be easy. Trust me.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Alice said...

That should be 'with'.

Banjo Boy is back.

The bastard.

Or it could be a typo.


But I'm going with Banjo Boy as the culprit because then it's his fault and not mine.


So it's Banjo Boy.


The bastard.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger David Niall Wilson said...

An Insect named Jonathon Jones
Would be dead, if he'd not had the stones
To stand up on his feet
And dance hard to the beat
Standing out from his Ant Army Clones

tiny dancer whirls
antennae whirling madly
He's Jonathon Jones

At 12:56 PM, Blogger David Niall Wilson said...

tiny dancer spins
antennae whirling madly
He's Jonathon Jones

Couldn't just let it sit there knowing I'd re-used the same word....IN A HAIKU!

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Granny said...

I don't kill if I can avoid it. We have a lot of black widows though, sometimes in the house, so we have to be careful.

Covered up with daddy long legs. I sweep the webs down from time to time and make them start over.

Alice isn't the only one being attacked. So am I but she hasn't gotten around to leaving anything on my blog.

She wrote most of a post about me on her own.

I've arrived. I'm a koolaid granny!!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Lori, you are the funniest, sexiest and most brilliant woman in the universe. You know that?

You are.

I will not kill spiders. I put a glass over them, slide a postcard along the wall under their feet, then carry them out and put them in the bushes. My wife and child do not understand me... which is why I'm constantly here at your blog.


At 11:30 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I swear I had a cockroach do the same jig once....we always assume other species are barely sentient.

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous aphid said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months but never had anything to say until now: I thought me and my parents were the only ones who didn't kill ants! Glad we're not alone. I'm not 100% sure insects are sentient (self-aware, that is, except possibly for the Portia spider) but that doesn't mean their lives are worth any less than our own. They even have the basis of a personality, each one varying slightly in her responses to things. Plus, they're kind of adorable in an odd way -- especially if you've ever seen one clean her little feelers. They have commenced their yearly summer invasion of our house but we still capture as many as we can in glasses or plastic containers and shake them out of a doorway rather than killing them. P.S. Your blog is awesome and I look forward to reading your next post!

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Alice, my husband did the same thing (poison), because our home was invaded by HUNDREDS of tiny, tiny ants -- wouldn't want our kids eating anty cereal, don'tchya know. I just find it difficult -- wrong -- to kill a lone insect (or mole, rabbit, mouse, whatever) that's minding its own business, going about its little life...And yes, wasps are horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE!

Oh, and Banjo Boy said to tell you "Go suck rocks." ;-)

David, LOVE that. Adorable!

Ann, I love daddy long legs. I heard that they don't have mouths, and have always felt sorry for them because of that. Sweet little things.

Jas, I'm grinning ear to ear right now -- THANK YOU! We're kindred spirits, honey, which is why you're one of my favorites. Now when are we gonna meet up and get good and drunk? I mean, um, talk about life's mysteries and literature and stuff...;-)

Stephanie, humans are so damned egocentric, most can't possibly imagine another life form (even amongst their own species) having a soul, having feelings, having *worth*. Stupid humans.

Aphid, welcome! So glad you de-lurked, and thanks so much for the kind comments. Always good to know another superior being is on my wavelength. ;-)

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anne said...

That's why it pays to have lots of spiders in yer house, and to NEVER kill them. Spiders keep all the other lil icky beasties at bay (or they devour them) and they do it in a pure, natural way, as nature intended.
All hail the glorious spider!!

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Next time I'm in Rockchester I'll knock on your door first! Just promise me that if you're ever in the Sacramento area you look me up!


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said... the way, you blew me away with your tongue comment on my mayo post! You just keep surprising me!

At 8:19 PM, Blogger J. Stephen Reid said...

You have such a unique talent for capturing those neat little heartbreaking domestic things.

This reminds me of the Hamster Whisperer, which is still my very favorite thing you've ever posted. I still get misty when I see hamsters at the local pet store.

So you're responsible for another one of my weird quirks.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

That was great! Submit it someplace, Lori.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger e-blackadder said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger e-blackadder said...

Lori - On topic, my house got invaded one summer by, seriously, THOUSANDS of frigging ants. We evaced, and then I went back in with 8 bug bombs, going through the house like a SWAT guy chucking tear-gas grenades.

Vacuumed up the corpses with a smile, and never lost a moment of sleep.

PS: Daddy long legs are cute until you have a couple of dozen in your bathroom. Ugh.

Off topic - ta for the comment again, and you would LOVE Brian. He's a blast. Get yourself down to Horrorfind in Baltimore this August, I'll introduce you. :)

11:43 PM

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Alice said...

"Oh, and Banjo Boy said to tell you "Go suck rocks." ;-)"

- How did he know I was into that?


Seriously, though, I know what you mean. I try to be very careful not to hurt the eariwigs that nest in the corners of the rabbit hutch every time I clean it out for that reason. They aren't hurting my animals or swarming all over their food, they're just minding their own business and rearing their young.

Plus, baby eariwigs are cute.

I wouldn't have killed just one ant, no. I didn't kill the one I found scurrying over our kitchen surface. It was when we found the 20-30 more on the floor, found that they were coming in and out of a tiny crack at the bottom of the back doorframe and knew that there were probably fifty billion more heading towards it that we had to take action.

I don't condone the killing of things needlessly. Even wasps. I tend to get out of wherever the wasp is and get someone else to deal with it (brave, as always). If at all possible the thing is let out.

Then again, I eat meat.

Swings and roundabouts, eh?

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Alexis said...

Awesome. Just awesome. Jonathon Jones. Thanks x I don't kill anything - but I don't touch spiders. That's Mike's job.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Yes, Anne, ALL HAIL! Well, unless they're larger than my fist and hairy.

Jas, I promise. And glad you liked my obscene mayo comment. It ain't no lie, btw. ;-)

Joshie, you're my hunny, aren'tcha? C'mere and give me a hug, little hamster boy.

Ellen, THANK YOU! Wonder if there's an Ant Lovers International magazine somewhere out there...? ;-)

Blackadder, I would love to attend HorrorFind. Isn't too far way, actually. We'll see...Oh, and if you've read my latest post, I completely understand if you retract your kind offer. ;-)

Alice, I approve of killing both earwigs and wasps. They do not dance.

Alexis, thanks, hon! Now gimme the dish on Perez Hilton! Quick!


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