January 1st, 2017
The rattle and crack of Russian-grade fireworks in the backyard wakes me up.
It takes me a minute to realize the kids are traveling with their mother, and that the detonations are in my neighbor’s yard, not mine.
Ahhh. Good. Not my problem.
I put a pillow over my head.
But it is my problem, because the new neighbors are West Coasters still acclimatizing to the dictates of Central Standard Time. The detonations continue.
At 2 AM when wake up yet again, I realize that it isn’t just about New Year’s. This is payback. Both to the HOA, and the pavement ants that the HOA has refused to deal with. I say a few hurrahs and stack another pillow on my head. Can’t think of a better use for fireworks.
To understand this attitude, you have to understand pavement ants. They don’t bite, but they’re into everything: crawling across the kitchen counter, drinking from the toilet bowl upstairs, and tripping through my leg hairs while I write this post.
According to the Pest Control guy, our townhomes are parked right on top of a “super colony,” a quarter-mile, underground ant complex complete with multi-lane traffic signals and 8 different queens, who all argue about whose day it is to wear the pANTs. (Juvenile, I know.)
The Pest Control guy says I’ll need some ANThrax to kill them, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, even in Texas. Termidore is a close second-choice, but Termidore costs more than Anthrax, says the HOA, so they’re not going to spring for it, and their level of engagement only declines from there:
ME: Please? There are, like, a billion ants inside my house.
HOA: “It’s a town home, not an apartment, sucker. Everything inside is your responsibility.”
ME: “Um… but the ants are coming in from the outside.”
HOA: “That’s what you think.”
ME: “No! I’m serious! Here are three videos of them peeking through the windows before they work the latches. It’s really creepy.”
HOA: “Mr. Hewett, please stop trying to give us evidence. We’ve already hired expensive attorneys to help us avoid this responsibility.”
Now you understand why my neighbors have resorted to ant-bombing under the cover of New Year’s.
But this isn’t over.