UnNews:Giving you the lowdown on ants
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5 March 2014
When the home office said "Johnny, what about the ants" I near shit my pants that someone remembered. So if ants aren't your thing, sit way in the back row, near the exits, and let the people who want to know about these things get down here a bit closer to the screen.
Ants can lift 100 times or maybe 600 times their own body weight. I know this because I used to lean stuff on them. I'd catch one of them crossing the sidewalk and lean a toothpick across its back, to see if it could carry it. More times than not the ant would grab the toothpick and run to the grass. Never failed to amaze me. They drew the line at staplers though, I learned that the hard way.
When ants dance, they shake the ground. That's an old African myth which is mostly true because if all the ants in the world jumped up and down at the exact same moment, they'd cause earthquakes on six of the seven named continents. You could win a bet down at the park knowing that one, because most people forget, counter-intuitively, about Antarctica.
So do you want to know the main reason I know so much about ants? It's I keep ants as captives. They call these green opaque soulless concentration camps 'Ant Farms', a name that makes you think the ants are just clapping it up in there, lining up two-by-two to stare up at the airholes to see when the next food drop is taking place. What Ant Farms do is force the ants to sublimate their innter-natural instinct and DNA-run central building-skills, which dictate that their tunnels "Shall lead out of everywhere in all directions". Instead, in an ant farm, the three dozen of so ants who can fit into the prison at one time are forced by Mother Nature to dig tunnels between two massive walls of plastic. These smooth uncannily unantily walls are spaced so close together that the ants bump into one of them each time they pass each other. It's a living hell. Kids are so careless with Ant Farms that much of the time the ants, who usually live underground in the cool and dark ant-feet packed dirt, fry in the sun and have to fend for themselves by either pushing the weaker ant in front of them - thus frantically shading themselves with their struggling co-workers - or, if they're one of the smarter ones, they go aboveground and hide behind the green barn.
Give you a penny for each ant you can pick up without breaking one of its legs.
So now you know more about ants than is good for you. This is Johnny, your UnNews reporter in Topeka, Kansas, and maybe next time I'll report to you about the stuff in my room.
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|