Ants In My Pants



Outside my home, life is passing by. There are students on bikes with heavy backpacks filled with books. There are buses filled with pedestrians and cars filed with five-day-work-week commuters. Trucks, vans, government vehicles are all making their way through the intersection of life, that sits just outside my door. Inside my home, there are ants. Billions of ants that cannot be defeated no matter how hard I try. There are ants in the cupboard board, ants in the stove, ants in the bathtub, ants in the couch, ants in the bed and ants in my pants.

I have always been adamantly averse to killing any living thing. I preached to others the virtues of sparing a life- even if it was only a moth, mosquito, fly or spider. I have often heard myself compared to the Jains, who are members of an ancient Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence for all forms of living beings in this world. Whether you want to call it your karma or your luck I believed that if you took another living creatures life it would eventually reflect back upon your life in a negative way. Besides, I felt better when I let a fly, spider, mosquito or moth go free. I had the power to take its life but instead I made a more noble choice to let it be. Somehow this made me feel like I would be rewarded by the Gods who would appreciate me for all the lives that I had saved. Instead, what I have received for my virtuous acts is a home infested with little black ants.

I have been killing ants with the fervor of a Nazi. I have become convinced that all ants must die because they are polluting the sanctity of my home.  Not only is it unhygienic to live in a home with billions of black ants but it is also one of the most frustrating annoyances to constantly find then running across your arms and legs, through your hair and sometimes into your eyes and mouth. I find ants in my food and between my toes. They have made their way into my books, into my pillows and onto my toothbrushes- they are polluting my entire life, so I had no choice but to induce a full-blown fight.

I spend hours a day waging war against these annoying creatures. The ones that I can see with my naked eye are only a half of the entire gang that is infesting my home. They lodge in the ceiling and underneath the house- but it is my hope that by killing all the ants that I can see I will send a loud message to the other ants that are below ground and in the roof of my house that I am not fucking around.  I have spent over a hundred dollars on non-toxic ant spray, which I use excessively. I spray it like a hose, all through out the day, wherever I see ants congregating together. I whack them with brooms, flood them out with water, wipe them up with wet rags and have even thrown burning paper on a few. I like to watch them suffer, and when I am done with what can only be compared to waging genocide- I like to walk around and look at the piles and piles of dead ants. I know that this is a war that cannot be won- but at least I can do my part to get some sweet revenge.


This morning I had a job interview. I put on one of my favorite suits and made sure that I looked just right. I shaved, put gel in my hair (something I never do) and I must say that when I looked in the mirror I did not look like a man that was living with billions of ants. I looked affluent, in an educated kind of way. I looked like I had a bank account filled with money and expensive food in my tummy. Instead I was going to a low level interview as a copy editor for a company that I had never heard of. I probably did not need to get as dressed up as I was, but since my bank account is empty- I was desperate to make a good impression. I met with a group of corporate looking people who call themselves “the board.” They put me in a single chair in front of their elongated table, behind which they all sat staring at me. They asked me a series of ridiculous questions like “why do I feel like I am the best candidate for the job?” and “what about my editing abilities makes me an effective copy editor?” I certainly did not reveal to them that I am dyslexic and have a terrible time spelling correctly but I did talk at length about my love for reading and my years of experience working as a writer and a high school English teacher.

Everything was going well until what felt like small, brief pinching sensations in my crouch began making me feel very uncomfortable. I had been noticing all morning that I was itching myself more than normal but I just assumed that was because of the starched suit I was wearing. I crossed and uncrossed my legs trying to nullify the slight pain that was starting to make its way down my legs. While I tried to maintain my composure and talk about why I thought I was the best candidate for the job- the pinching sensation intensified. It felt like I was being bitten in the strangest way. The sensation proceeded to very slowly move all the way down to the bottom of my legs and when I looked down at my shoes I could not believe what I saw, ants! My heart raced, I twitched, scratched and began to sweat. I cannot imagine what “the board” must of thought of me- but I tried to appear as confident as I could. I am hoping that they assumed that it was nervousness that caused me to twist and turn in such strange ways.

When the interview had ended, I shook all their hands and walked as quickly as I could to the bathroom, where I proceeded to take off my pants, shirt, socks, tie and shoes. I stripped down into my underwear in a bathroom stall and with tissues I wiped off the dozens of ants that were on my pants, legs, and socks and inside my shoes. I cursed the little creatures to hell before I squashed them and I even shed a few tears out of frustration rather than sorrow. “Why me?” I muttered to myself, but abstained from saying it out loud. When the bathroom was vacant I went out to use the sink and ran soapy water all over my legs, feet and chest. After what felt like hours of sanitation– I got dressed and returned home. In my car I still felt itchy all over my legs, which I prayed not to be more ants. I looked down on the floor of my car and found dozens of ants there to.

It was at this point that I decided I had lost. I threw my hands up in the air and declared “surrender” out loud. The war could not be won. The more ants that I killed the more that they multiplied. Karma had fucked me and there was nothing that could be done. I had to drive home resigned to the fact that there were ants crawling all over my legs and there was nothing I could do about it. The sensation drove me mad but all I could do was drive and breathe. For months I have been trying to avoid calling an extermination company into my home but I have decided that it is the only thing that can be done to bring my wife and I some relief. When I arrived home I took off my suit and stripped down into the nude. I noticed dozens of ants crawling around on my legs and between my toes, on the bedroom floor and when I got into the shower there were more. Under the hot water I washed away whatever sins and ants were left upon my burning body. I rinsed myself down with patchouli soap and watched the ants helplessly get funneled down the drain. The phone rang and I did not care. I heard the message on my answering machine, which was turned up much to loud. “Hello, this is Wendy from the board whom you just interviewed with. Someone found socks and a tie in our bathroom and I am almost certain that they belong to you. If these are indeed yours could you please contact me as soon as possible, I will hold them for you just in case. Thank you.”


  1. You’ve done it. You have written the best little story ever.

    I have been laughing my head off all over the place.

    Randall you are absolutely amazing and I am crazy for this story.

    I didn’t even know that I could laugh anymore.

    Love Renee xoxo

  2. Thanks Rene! I happen to agree with you- feeling like this may be one of my better pieces of writing yet. I have been waiting to receive some feedback from readers about this, and since you may be my one loyal reader, your comment has confirmed my feeling. As you know my insecurities are great and a bit of confirmation and support goes a long way with me. Thanks.

    To hear your laughter through your words brought a smile to my face and a feeling of fulfillment to my heart. Now if I can only figure out a dam way to get rid of these demonic ants.

    I hope you are well, or as well- today is a beautiful day.

  3. To be honest Renee, the other day I deleted my blog. I thought that I would spend my time working on a novel or a book of short stories rather than doing the blog. I felt like there was little interest from others in regards to this blog (I am lucky if I get a comment a week)- so I said what the hell, and pushed delete.

    Well, the blog did not go away. It is still here, and after receiving a comment like the one you just left me I am reminded of why I write this blog. One comment like yours is worth everything. I am so happy that the blog did not go away- because your comment not only made my day but inspired me to continue on with this crazy blog:) strange turn of events. Thank you Renee. I hope you are well and I send you a big bunch of love. Stay tuned.

  4. This is hilarious – please don’t delete your blog – best story I’ve read for a while. It has twists and turns through out – love how you won’t kill anything and than you are madly destroying ants (isn’t that the way) and the best bit is the bit at the end (how embarrassment – as Effie would say).

  5. Randall, if you delete this blog I will fly over to SF and make your life a living hell. You are a fantastic story-teller and your insecurity about your writing is annoying. You have natural style, you’re very funny, amazingly original, great characters, very modern themes and ideas. Write a novel, write a newspaper column, that would be a job for you, write everything, but don’t delete this blog or stopping popping stuff in it or you will break my stoney cold heart.

  6. Nice to see people sneaking around on my solitary island!! Don’t often get visitors here and wish I had something to offer you (tea or a beer) but you have caught me empty handed. I will just say- thank you for your kind words and please come back again. I promise not to sink my island again any time soon (although Paul you tempt me- because now I see that if I do delete this blog than I could get you to come to SF and meet you in the flesh. Might be a worth while sacrifice for me to make 🙂

    And yes, I agree the insecurity is annoying and as I get older I no longer want to blame my father for this so I just try and write it away.

  7. what about ants in my boyfriend’s head? he was really freaked out so he asked me to research about it when i found your blog. he bathe this morning to get rid of the ants (red little creatures) in his head/hair. but after i hugged him and brushed his head, there were still ants dropping off!

  8. Hah! Realize this is an old post but hey. Here I’m looking to find out if a crap ton of ant bites can be lethal due to a similar story. Mines because I recycle. Dismorning I stepped into my kitchen to grab a bowl of cereal – pretty regular routine – sit down and turn on the television. About two bites in I’m itching and am on fire. I look down and am covered in ants. Like you – I had to strip naked to get them off and just spent the last two hours waging a war. I go back into my kitchen and turn on the light and there are thousands of ants all over the nice white floor.

    Sprayed them down with bleach water and followed the trail. In front of my water heater closet is my box for cans before they get bagged up and taken back. Not like they sit there for a while they go away once a week and hadn’t seen a single ant before today. But there are tons and tons of them all over the floor from my recycling box to my trash can. No open food containers or anything for them to find but they had spread a far distance in a very short time. Manage to move back the washer and pop open the water heater closet door and a whole colony is just chilling there eggs and all. They got sprayed down too but can’t quite get them out. Just filled a small plastic bag with ants from kitchen and I’m still pulling the damn things off me.

    Luckily they weren’t fire ants. But I must have gotten bit at least a thousand times cause I’ve had to strip down three times while clearing the kitchen to get ’em off me. Taro works pretty well to wipe out the colonies and I’ll be setting some down today. Hope by now your war on ants has been victorious.

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