Ants, anyone?

Last week, as I was trying to extract myself from a “donations” call, I noticed a lot of ant activity around the phone. Juice? Cookie? Cheese? Not an errant leftover, it turned out; the ants were busy going in and out of the phone itself! Naturally, as soon as the nest was disturbed, the activity multiplied, with frenetic zigzagging, and a huge effort to evacuate the egg stash.

Let me help. Unplugged the phone, took it outside, and began tapping and shaking it. Mass exodus. Back to nature, mateys. When all ants were gone, I could still hear the sand-like swish of eggs inside. They cascaded from the opened battery drawer. Teaspoons-ful, it seemed. Tried to unscrew the bottom, but encountered resistance, and I didn’t want to break the phone. Tap, shake, tap, tap. Eventually, no more sand noise-all gone.

Had a good laugh-ANTS IN THE ANTS-ERING MACHINE.

I forgot about the Queen.

Yesterday, my husband came home to extreme Ant City. I shook the phone. Many more eggs inside than before, and he’d already shaken a bunch out.

Decision time: Do we go in? Fueled by curiosity and the courage of two, we took the phone apart. Okay, he took the phone apart, and I took pictures.

Ant City, indeed. Lots of egg transport and running hither and yon.

Where was the queen? Not on the top layer of circuitry. Go deeper. Located and disposed of her, air-sprayed the boards, and was going to put it back together. Wait! There, under a protective rubber sheathing-more eggs, and their valiant protectors. Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Finally, egg-free, and with all loose & missing parts returned to the right place, the phone can be reassembled. This my heroic husband undertakes with the patience learned from his Heath-kit-assembly and dental-school-training days, not to mention that nifty little headlamp I got him for Christmas.

But will it work?

YESS!

Epilogue:

1. Who will write the sci-fi short story about the ants that were incubated in the phone machine (assuming there are survivors)?

2. What are theses ants doing around my laptop?