Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Fire Ant Speaks...

I received an interesting email from a Fire Ant, pictured below, concerning my criticisms earlier this week, both of the fire ant that bit my knee (in an unprovoked attack) and of fire ants in general.

Here is the text of the message, reproduced in full. Any typographical or factual errors are the fire ant's, not mine.

*** Dear Unction

It saddens me to be sat here at my desk in my anthill, tapping the keys of my IBM Thinkpad, it saddens me so much that I am crying like a baby. While fire ants are perhaps new to YOU, and your first meeting with my comrades did not go well, Extreme Unction holds a special place in the heart of all fire ants, being both a source of happy thoughts on dark days (like the time a man poured boiling water on 10,000 of us) and of educational merit (I don't have tonsils, but after reading about tonsils, I was 1) greatly informed by your comments, and 2) greatly relieved NOT to have tonsils.

So, it is against this background of fond regard that I now find myself saddened and angry. Yes, angry. Because in your hurtful comments about fire ants in general, and in your abusive and downright murderous treatment of one of our kind, you have ripped away the veil and revealed yourself as a goddamn Fire Ant Hater! And while we still struggle for the same rights as that of other US citizens, your behavior sets our cause back on its tiny ass. You pander to every stereotype of the vicious fire ant, that, without the slightest provocation, latches on to your person and clamps its jaws upon a fleshy bit. Did you ever stop and think about your own behaviour? That maybe you are not so innocent in this. You say yourself that you were Walking. Hmmm, could your walking have perhaps included treading on and killing a few fire ants? Perhaps you didn't notice, perhaps you don't care, perhaps you don't think it's important to LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Well, in your arrogance, hear this! It matters a lot to TINY ANTS on the floor where you are going to place your huge killer feet next. It is literally a matter of LIFE OR DEATH!

Without knowing the full facts of your case, I cannot say what motivated a fellow fire ant to clamp to your knee. I certainly don't think your summary execution was justified. Do you go around killing everything smaller than yourself? It seems a queer way to live.

Personally, I am not a killer, I just take the odd sip of blood from larger creatures. Be honest, it's not like you can't afford to spare a few drops. Why be so mean? And there's nothing vicious about myself or my many thousands of fire ant friends, we just want to live. For instance, if I am supposed to be so vicious, then why would I have spent so much of my short life studying Eastern philosophies and pondering the dazzling mystery of creation. I have written a number of meditative and sometimes illuminating essays, on everything, from Sufi mysticism to Celtic tree-worship. Does this sound like the preoccupations of a cold-blooded killer? (although I have to concede that my blood is indeed cold).

I am trying to force the idea into your closed mind that fire ants are more diverse in their interests than you may realise, that biting humans is but a small part of our daily routine, perhaps less than 50% on any given day.

I doubt you'll print this message, it interferes with your demonisation of the Fire Ant, but I shall sleep more soundly in my ant hill tonight knowing that I fought nobly to protect both my own reputation and that of my species.

yours sincerely

Vincent Palatini, Fire Ant


Blogger L said...

another important fact to know about Fire Ants: in flood situations they will pile into a fire ant ball that floats aimlessly around until it reaches dry land and can sting people...

9:11 AM  
Blogger shami said...

i dont like fire ants either... where you been, you haven't been posting for a while... i have this blog bookmarked, right under gmail!

5:11 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...


i've been trapped indoors, that's why i haven't posted as much, as endless posts about books i've read or the view from the balcony were starting to bore me silly

now i'm in alabama for a few weeks, things should be better


9:02 AM  

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