On any typical day, which is pretty much every day, my girlfriend and I have one last quotidian conversation before departing into sweet slumber. In recent weeks, I have recognized one common element recurring in a few conversations: she’d suddenly interrupt, and I’d hear her either shriek or the phone would muffle any distinguishable sounds. Then she’d return and say there was a bug nearby, and she had to kill it or get one of her relatives to do the dirty work.
I brush it off. “Girls,” I think. “Why can’t they get over the fear of bugs?”
So I was over her house this past weekend and, before our departure for Sunday morning service, I wanted to have a lovely meal of crunchy cereal and cold milk. I asked her where the cereal is kept, she pointed the way, and I scrounged about for the proper selection. I hit the jackpot: Post’s Selects Great Grains cereal. I’m a big fan of Post’s Selects line, especially the blueberry one, grainy one, and the banana nut one. All very good choices.
I dip the box over and pour out my cereal. Before I pour the milk, I notice a baby ant crawling out of the bowl. Thinking nothing of it, I brush it away. I pour in the milk, sit down at the table and begin chowing down.
A few minutes later my girlfriend walks in and sits at the table with me. We strike a conversation, when, after peering into my cereal, I notice another little ant crawling away, desiccated and unaffected by the milk. “Odd,” I think to myself. “That’s the second ant in my bowl.” I’m not afraid of bugs too much, so I brush that one away too. But then sense hits me, telling me I should look into my bowl again to see if I spot any more of the tiny critters. I look, and, what I had thought where minuscule crumbs of the great grains were far from dried wheat–they were shriveled and dead baby ants, drowned by my milk and camouflaged by the similarly-colored cereal, which is probably the reason I didn’t even notice the population of ants residing in my bowl before consuming them.
I immediately stop the conversation, and my girlfriend asks, “What?” I don’t say anything, lest ants fall from my full mouth and she becomes appalled with disgust and grows faint. I walk calmly over to the garbage, empty my mouth, return to the table and eplicate, with as much equanimity as I can conjure, the scenario that had just taken place.
As suspected, she grows sick, grabs the box of cereal from which I ate, and pulls out the bag: the rim is filled with swarms of baby ants. I guess I didn’t catch that before because I hadn’t taken the bag out of the box.
I go to the bathroom and rinse my mouth thoroughly with water and mouthwash. After a few minutes, I actually laugh at the situation. I mean, it’s actually kind of humorous! Maybe I was just being silly and wanted to make the situation as light as possible, but I wasn’t really grossed out or anything. She felt pretty embarrassed and apologetic, but it was no fault of hers or anyone else’s; my girlfriend’s family had a minor issue at hand, and everyone has had their share of unwelcome visitors. I’ve had my share of bug infestations, and they were always a quick fix to get rid of.
But now I have to credible excuse to not eat bugs. After all, I felt a strange sense of boosted power and energy after that bowl of cereal. (Just kidding.)