A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on my patio, minding my own business when a little brown ant drops off the patio table and lands on my forearm. Within less than a second, it bit into my arm like a kid eating a corny-dog. And it hurt! In fact, it made a great red whelp puff up on my arm.
Since I’m getting on in years, I’m trying to embrace the kinder, gentler me. And in that spirit, I gingerly lifted that tiny creature up between my thumb and forefinger, looked it in the eye, and crushed the life out of it. Then, I flicked it off into the flower bed like that same corny-dog eating kid would do with a bugger.
Now, if you know me, you know I tend to cogitate about stuff, and, not having anything pressing to do right then, I got to thinking about what in that ant’s past could have made it so hostile to me. It didn’t know me from Adam, and to my knowledge, my ancestors never persecuted its ancestors, yet that ant’s very first reaction upon meeting me was to sink its nasty little chompers into my flesh. That ain’t right.
So, still not having anything overly important on my schedule, I started thinking even more, and I began to wonder what would happen if we could figure out a way to communicate with ants. Could we social engineer them like we’re trying to do with every single human being on the planet? Could we convince them that they are not ugly? Because I know “ugly”, and ants are one of the ugliest creatures in the universe. They have arms growing out of their faces for Pete’s sake!
What about the fact that ants are universally anorexic? Have you ever seen an ant with a normal waistline? Maybe we should body-shame them into being chubby like the rest of us? (All of us except my friend, Shon. If Shon’s wife keeps him on that ant diet, he’s going to have to trade in his belt for a shoestring. I’m keeping an eye on his face just in case those adverse side effects pop up.)
And, that body-building crap ants go through — always lifting heavy weights and hiking for miles in a never-ending column. They’re like those amped-up, macho, steroid junkies at the gym, prancing around in their wife-beater t-shirts with hairy armpits dripping their nasty sweat all over the place while they grunt to lift some barbell that would slip free and crush their neck if life were fair.
Don’t even get me started about what bigots ants are. Have you ever seen what happens when a column of red ants meets a column of black ants? It makes a typical Friday night in Chicago look like a Hare Krishna love-fest. Ants do not even try to get along with each other; they just kill and eat any ants that don’t look like themselves. They even gang up and kill pacifist grasshoppers — the little green kind; not the David Caradine kind. Caradine would King Fu the snot out of those little monsters.
And talk about sexism. In every ant colony, there’s this one hotty that gets to be the “queen”, and all the guy-ants get to lay around all day and take turns doing the nasty with her in her luxurious ant bed. That’s it. That’s all the male ants are expected to do — like some junior high boy’s dream. (Yeah, I left that adjective out on purpose.)
Guess who that leaves to march in those infinitely long columns and haul giant sugar crystals back to the ant brothel to keep the orgy going and feed the little ants? Yep, the she-ants. If you think human feminists have a chip on their shoulder, imagine attending a group-therapy session with a bunch of she-ants. They’d be worse than the coloring-book ladies that plague my local bakery, but that’s whole other rant.
But those she-ants are too busy to complain. In fact, they are the epitome of workaholics. They don’t just work an eight-hour day, or even a twelve-hour day. They work around the clock. You think they ever heard the phrase “work-life balance”? Some college professor really needs to deconstruct their Protestant Work Ethic before it spreads to humans.
Seems like those she-ants would eventually get offended and claw out Queeny’s eyes and take some little ant rolling-pins to the males in their colony and demand some equal rights. Maybe they could even score some tiny ant makeup to help with their hideously ugly faces.
So, I’m thinking the next time some wokester starts whining about how difficult and hurtful life is in this ridiculously bountiful country, I’m gonna bite the Hell out of them like an angry she-ant would and tell them to go to the back of the endless column until they can carry ten times their own weight without complaining.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to get back to work before my she-human catches me slacking off.
The Illusion of Asymetric Insight: The conviction that we know others better than they know us and that we may have insights about them that they lack (but not vice versa), leads us to talk when we would do well to listen, and to be less patient than we ought to when others express the conviction that they are the ones who are being misunderstood or judged unfairly. — Henry Cloud
“Life is more fun if you play games.” ― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
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— Greg McKeown
Do one thing right instead of doing many things half-assed. That’s the basic message of “Essentialism” but it goes much further, like pointing out that when we fail to say “no” to doing the good things other people ask us to do, rather than choosing to spend our time doing what is essential, we are no longer running our own lives. Someone else is.
The Tipping Point
— Malcolm Gladwell
So I got started rereading some of Malcolm Gladwell’s books a couple weeks ago and this may be his second-best book, right behind “Outliers”. If you haven’t read either of them in several years, I highly recommend going back and reading them again.
A meeting of great minds who think alike