Friday, February 10, 2006

A Hundred "Tiny" Challenges

There are ants in my helmet. Little tiny ones. And there are a lot of them.

Last night I wanted a picture for this blog. Something cheerful. I wanted to post a short, happy note. I wanted a picture of a smile. I spied the back of my helmet. Ah, the smiling Cheetah. I get the picture I want. I put the helmet on the carpet next to the fireplace. The blog entry is done and posted. All in the house go to sleep. Except the ants.

In the morning I am putting on gear. Pick up the helmet and put it on the kitchen table. My wife makes a disgusted noise. I look where she is pointing. There are small ants all over the table. Being ever noble I pick up my helmet. One must have priorities, after all. Kitchen table versus helmet. You are a rider. You decide. I kill 15 or 20 ants. In a slaughter this great one loses count. Having done my husbandly duty I pause for her adoration. It does not come. I look her way and see her gaze go to my helmet. It is still in my hand. I swear I can feel her gaze on my skin. There is a tingling sensation. I look down at my hand. There are more ants. Those on the table have come from my helmet. The helmet gets shaken outside. On the way back in the insanity of a routine and boring commute catches up with me. It must have been hanging in the doorway.

We look over by the fireplace. We do not see ants anywhere else. Why are they only in my helmet? My wife feels bad that I have ants in my helmet. She tries to say something kind. Katie suggests it is because ants crave sweet things. After all, I AM her "sugar". I wonder what she would have said otherwise. What if these were flies, instead? Best not go there, I think. She also says I am stubborn. I am about to prove it.

Yes, I have other helmets. I also crave a challenge. This is one I have not contemplated before. Do I have the concentration to cope with this? Can I focus on the ride with ants in my helmet? What idiot would even consider this? I blame it on the insanity of a boring commute. What does Gary say in his interview? "Routine is my enemy", I believe. I smile and put the helmet on my head. I wish I had a picture of Katie's face. There are no words to describe it. You will have to imagine it for yourself.

I am now riding with ants in my helmet. Think what you will. I kid you not. It is God's truth. Every little itch becomes an ant. I see one crawling inside my visor. A quick flip of the visor deals with it. What must the ant think? Crawling on something clear. "What is this strange thing? It looks like I should fall through. But it feels solid to my feet. All six of them". To suddenly be airborne at 75 mph? "Is that a car? Oh, look! Another clear thing. Just much bigger". The last thing to go through its ant mind as it hits the windshield is its rear end. Sorry, life sucks.

I feel itching other places. Further down my body. Real or imagined? I can't explore this right now. I am happy to say that I passed my own test. My concentration ability has been proven. I repeat the ride on the way home. I am not sure that there are still ants. When I get home I put the helmet back on the carpet. I watch patiently. There are pressing things to do but this must be done first. The experiment must see conclusion. I see four ants crawl out. A little dazed and unsteady on their tiny feet. I imagine them going to their little ant homes. "Honey, you will never believe what happened to me today"!

The ants have proven socially handy. I rigorously scratch my head. "Dandruff?" "No, ants". The co-worker draws away. Which is what I wanted. At lunch I have this terrrible urge to scratch. In a private place. I must give in. Finally I discreetly try to scratch. The waitress is a saucy little thing. I have known her a long time. She has been ribbing me. Now she asks me if I have "cooties". I tell her close, but not quite. This is the new thing. We are now trying ants. Would she like some of her own to try? She is a little more subdued the rest of lunch. I tip her well. I draw an ant on the bill.

It has been a successful experiment. It is a true story. It is a warning of what danger there is in boredom. I spray my helmet and let it air. I have to go shower, now.


Gary Charpentier said...

Oh, fer cryin' out loud!

I'm busting my guts over here!

That was cool. And what makes it even better is that it must be true.

That is something I have never had to deal with, but I was right there with you, and would have handled it the same way.

This Sunday, when I go visit Mom for breakfast, I am going to ask her if I ever had a twin she didn't tell me about.

Great stuff, Dan.

Write well,

Mad said...

That's the funniest thing I've read in ages!

I've shared my lid with insects (don't try wasps, it's not a good experience) but never deliberately

You're a nutter!

irondad said...

Sadly, it IS true. I think this "hardcore" thing has gone to my head.


Steve Williams said...

Funny stuff Dan.

Better ants than ticks though. Whenever I find a tick on me my whole body goes into hypersensitivity mode.... hate those things.

After you finish with the ants, you could order LadyBugs for a break in the routine. *grin*