Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Ants that Broke the Last Straw

I don’t think I complain too much.  
Okay, I like getting birthday presents that I don’t have to wind, decipher or someone has to explain what it is and why I need it.  Really.

I also think I’m pretty tolerant, patient and try not to flip out, even over semi-major things.

I try not to panic when I set things on fire, since I have multiple extinguishers in each room, and I try not to go ballistic when someone else destroys my Forsythia bush with the lawnmower, even though there are orange flags marking the bush.

Since I studied Biology, I don’t scare easily when I see a snake or a rat, but I do have qualms about mice in my bedroom, uninvited.  I actually like insects, and I’m pretty calm in the garden when I see the mega-spiders writing zigzags in their webs.  
But when I walk into a web, I tend to panic a little; you can’t blame me for that.

However, I draw the line with ants in my coffee pot! 

I only wanted one cup of coffee yesterday morning, just one.  I don’t think that was an unreasonable request.  

The glass carafe was clean; the filter had French Vanilla Dunkin Donuts coffee in it.  Two minutes of drip time, and I would savor the rich caffeinated elixir to jumpstart the day. 

Imagine the shock after pouring in the cold water to see an army of tiny black ants swarm out of the reservoir and scurry over the side, onto the counter top.  
I grabbed a paper towel, wet it and began smashing them as fast as I possibly could.  I grabbed paper towel two, then three, four, five and six.  
When would the lava flow end? 

Grabbing up the machine, I dumped out the water, and with the sprayer, sprayed water into the reservoir.  More ants came out.  
I finally saw the queen ant and knew.  
My coffee pot was their nest, with hundreds of them.

The only thing, short of donating the machine to the thrift store and having the ant problem become their problem, was to eradicate the vermin with boiling water.  
I filled the reservoir with boiling water and the floodgates opened with emerging black ants.   
Boiling water, more boiling water.

After spending one hour scouring the system and satisfied that there were no more ants, I put away the coffee pot, no longer needing the coffee jolt, my adrenaline still pumping.

Boiling water is a great sanitizer too.

Today, I got ready for a great cup of coffee.  Put in the coffee, washed out the carafe and poured in the water.  
Ants.  Ants again!  
How could they have survived?  
Unless there was some secret trail to my kitchen and into the coffee pot.

And, I wanted some coffee!  

You’ve heard of people wanting chocolate and committing horrendous crimes without it?   That could have been me.

I purged the pot again, and again.  
If boiling water wouldn’t do it, vinegar will.  


So while that’s working, I think it’s time for some instant coffee.   


May all your coffee pots be ant-less.  I'd love to hear from you, so email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com, or send me a comment below.

Have a great day.

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