Friday 3 June 2011

Stranger than People: Ants!

It's pretty disappointing, isn't it? That there isn't a race of super-intelligent ants in charge of Mars. It was a regular feature of my childhood that there should be insects on Mars; from Quatermass and the Pit to a Dennis Wheatley story the name of which momentarily escapes me. Mars and insects go together like 'bee' and 'hive.' I dimly recall a 'reluctant reader' type boys book in my classroom when I was about 8 of a mission to Mars that encountered giant ants that was very similar to this illustration from the legendary Stranger than People annual. It ended with the following sentence (if I recall correctly) - "By the time you are a grown up Man will almost certaily have landed on Mars and we will know if it is capable of supporting life..." Yup, all very disappointing. One of my aims in life is to live sufficiently long to be interviewed as one of the last remaining people who recall watching an Apollo landing...I hoping this will be when I'm in a care home watching a Mars landing on the communal TV.

Anyways, super-intelligent ants are in charge of my dining room...well, they live underneath it and last month they built a beach under my radiator by carrying sand out from under the house grain by grain. I feel guilty about the ant poison. It sure is making them work slowly. Sigh. But if I don't do it; come swarming time, there'll thousands of the little devils running and flying around my house.

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