End Times

The apocalypse has come on many tiny feet.

I was reading in the Ottawa Citizen today that Texas is experiencing an insect invasion. Apparently, flea-sized ants have been turning up in swarms across several counties, destroying everything in their sight. Well, alright, not everything, but I found it rather disturbing to read that these ants are formidable enough to take down small grouse and brazenly bite humans, particularly given their diminutive size. More worrisome is that the reddish-brown scourge has a predeliction for munching electronics; that’s right, the little bastards are after your Ipod.

They’ve already ruined pumps at a sewage facility, and are apparently causing general terror and panic at NASA down the road.

You think I jest, yet I do not.

The ants are said to have originated from a cargo ship and have since infiltrated various communities across the state, moving en masse in haphazard and seemingly random patterns. They number in the billions, and have taken well to the climate, adapting themselves to their new environment. The problem is that nobody knows how to stop them, since they don’t appear to follow a particularly predictable pattern, and since they have mulitple queens. In fact, the little bastards seem to be exceptionally well adapted to making life miserable for people.

This raises many questions. For instance, if the ants are said to have originated from elsewhere, travelling by cargo ship, one has to wonder what kind of technologically depleted, sewage un-processed realm they hail from. I mean, if they can ruin pumps and chomp circuits, their native land must be pretty bleak and Mennonite-ish. How did the ship actually make it in one piece? Was it a sail-powered scow, or is there something about the circuitry on a modern ship that confounds their little ant brains? Or are they simply intelligent enough to realize that shutting down their method of transportation to satisfy their gastronomic desires is counter-productive?
Billions of ants with the ability to reason to that degree present a frightening prospect.

And has anyone considered that this may be a deliberate act of terror? Surely, having landed in the capital of paranoia and self-absorbed fear of persecution, a biological stampede of miniscule wrecking machines would have to be regarded as suspiciously premeditated. Electronics-eating ants would have to be a far more insidious and effective means to cripple a technologically dependant nation like the US than a sophisticated and costly EMP. Osama might have been plotting this all along, watching the insects scurry around in the sand beneath his feet in whatever cave he’s holed up in. Recruiting the six-legged little beasties into his Jihad might have been the next step of his master plan. After all, nobody would be looking aboard a boat for something as tiny as a flea-sized ant, what with all those huge WMDs or unwashed Muslims to be vigilant about.

It’s actually quite ingenious, and quite appalling. The thought that the majesty of the human species could be potentially brought to its knees by something the size of a pin-head is at once comedic and embarassing.

Who would have thought that the world would end not with a bang, but a tiny “munch”?

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