The Ants Are Marching ONE BY ONE Harrah, Harrah!
As you well know, Grumpy spends a lot of time in his garden during the summer. There are plenty of chores to get done in a good week, including trimming the jungle that it has become.
You also know that Ole Grumpy is prone to “Jimbo Moments”, many of which have been documented here. These pratfalls and slapstick events have kept Grumpy one step away from the emergency award and even closer to constant ridicule.
So, as it happens, Grumpy was out in the garden trimming the other day. He was adding to the pile in his yard known as “Compost Mountain”. Everything was going well until he had to slip between several shrubs in order to pull weeds around the little pond adjacent to the deck. And, slip he surely did.
His rumpled old shoes, with the undone laces dangling, caught on a root causing a tumble that could only be broken by grabbing a small fence nearby. A shelf on that fence held a small pot with some lovely vine hanging beneath it. As the top of the fence bent, a slingshot effect was created which in turn sent that pot catapulting high over Grumpys head. Soil flew up into the air to rain down upon the gardener, covering him in a sooty blanket; a blanket that Grumpy noticed was now beginning to move – this way and that.
Without his glasses Grumpy is less visually acute than Mr. Magoo. Indeed, those moving dots that covered Grumpy’s arms, legs, face and under the shirt torso appeared to be frenzied fleas, all of whom were scrambling for cover in Grumpy’s warm spots and nether regions.
Grumpy was about to scream like a little girl but held that back, knowing that the cops who live in adjacent houses carry handguns and are trained to drop perpetrators and rabid racoons in one shot.
Instead, Grumpy began to sweep his hands over his body, attempting to fling this infestation every which way but loose. The more he swept, the more pests appeared. It seemed as if the little beggars were procreating on the spot, not unlike fruit flies in your kitchen.
Then the “picky” feelings began. You know the ones you get when you find a bug in your bedroom or turn over something in your yard to find a gazillion earwigs scrambling for safety. Suddenly you imagine these creepy crawlers – crawling all over you, even under and within your clothes!
Grumpy threw off his hat and began swatting his almost hairless head. He stamped his feet and shook his body this way and that. He had developed the heebie-jeebies as well as the boogie-woogie flu. He even blew air from his mouth, sending more of the creeping crawling dots airborne.
Grumpy considered jumping in the pond like you see someone do in the movies. You know, when they are attacked by bees. But that would only drown the pests on his feet because pond at Grumpy Villa is only ankle deep. Also, splashing might cause some water to spray on his face, leading, no doubt, to a case of the notorious Beaver Fever.
Instead, Grumpy took a deep breath and calmed himself. He had one strategy left, knowing well that he usually selects the most logical one last. If this didn’t work he would run in the house, strip buck naked and jump in the shower and thereby fumigate, extricate and illuminate this infestation. And, in the privacy of his own home he could legitimately SCREAM LIKE A LITTLE GIRL.
He quickly removed his reading glasses from his pocket and plunked them on his face. First, he would identify these moving specks for what they were and then he’d make his final decision.
Streak or stand and stay for the fight?
Once Grumpy’s eyes came into focus he noticed that the moving dots were not fleas but actually tiny black ants. He thought of these poor babies being flung from their nursery by a giant, and imagined their terror. Calming himself, he used his impeccable visual acuity to pick the remaining stragglers from his person, one by one.
“HARRAH! HARRAH!” Grumpy hollered, pondering, of course, “if the little one stopped to suck his thumb?”
The chuckles and guffaws Grumpy emitted echoed through the garden like the call of those Godforsaken Cardinals that wake him up every morning.
CAW! CAW! CAW! CAW!
Really, the old guy must have looked and sounded like a lunatic Beatle Juice impersonator carousing out there with chipmunks that day.
He’s thinking of posting a sign on the gate that reads, “BEWARE OF THE KNOB!” Is it any wonder that Grumpy’s neighbors stay clear of his yard?