Ants In My Pants

Group of ants meeting isolated on white

Jean and I moved half-way across the country to San Antonio Texas while we were still newlyweds.  When we got to Texas, there were many new things we needed to learn.

We didn’t have much furniture:  A bed, a table and two bean-bag chairs.  One time there was an elderly gentleman that visited us from a church we had attended.  After he asked if he could come into our small apartment to talk, I offered him a bean-bag chair to sit on.  Oh, how embarrassing, especially when he had to roll onto the floor before he could get up out of the chair!

I also had a computer, of course.  Since I didn’t have a desk or chairs for our table, I just put it on the floor where I would spend hours every day laying in front of it.

Soon I noticed welts appearing on the parts of my skin which came into contact with the carpet.  The undersides of my arms, the tops of my toes, and the part of my belly which wasn’t covered by my shirt was having a reaction to something in the carpet.

When I reported this to the apartment complex management, they assured me that they had the carpet cleaned and they had only used a mild soap while doing so.  No one else had ever complained of having a reaction to the carpet before.

When I returned to the apartment, I took another look at the carpet and realized that if I looked closely, it was moving!  It turns out that fire ants (a new phenomenon for us, too) came into our apartment seeking moisture, which was found in our newly-cleaned carpets.  Eventually the carpet dried, and the fire ant problem subsided.

Shortly after this, I had found a job working for an electrical contractor.  This wasn’t a glamorous job, I spent most of my time digging ditches for the more tenured electricians and I would often return home in the evenings with my clothes drentched in sweat.

Early one Saturday morning we were awakened by our doorbell.  Our neighbor had received a delivery for us the day before and she wanted me to come to her apartment to get the 9 packages from her.  (Incidentally, the packages contained another computer.  Thanks Virginia!)

In my haste to answer the door, I quickly put on the clothes I had by the bed, which were my sweaty work clothes from the day before.

Shortly after I entered our neighbors apartment, I realized my mistake.  The moisture in my work clothes had attracted fire ants, and now they were beginning to bite every imaginable part of my body.  Jean usually picks up the story here and says that all she remembers is my yelling ‘thank-you’ at our neighbor, slamming the door and screaming through the apartment as I stripped off my clothes!

I wish I could say that all that was hurt was my pride, but obviously this wasn’t true.

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