marcel barang

Living among corpses (2)

In English on 22/07/2010 at 7:38 pm


Last night, I forgot the greatest plight of all: ants.

They come in their hundreds in the house, through any crack or chink; patrol the kitchen, the bathrooms even. Right now, they are inspecting some bacon I’ve set to defrost.

They come in all sizes and species; black, brown, beige, grey, puce or red; disciplined, hardworking and highly specialised: some disdain breadcrumbs others heave and salt away; meat leftovers in the bin draw the biggest calibres; some dismember and take away dying cockroaches, a gruesome sight.

The most annoying are minuscule black ants that drop from the roof in the porch while I have breakfast and read the papers in my rocking chair. They don’t bite but run all over you at full speed. Those that bite are red farmers-gladiators that come from the plot of earth up front to feed on crumbs and my toes.

Thai folks may be right after all: this afternoon, I found yet another baby snake just making it to the top of the stairs leading from the mezzanine office to the mid-level bathroom. Slightly longer than yesterday’s and probably of a different species, judging from its green wrapping (but the light was dim). It crawled under the door of the adjacent, disused bedroom. I cornered it in there and sprayed it with a liberal dose of Chaindrite1® that got me retching, and left it there after filling in the gap under the door.

Two hours later, I went back up: snake gone. I’m sure of it: I’ve just cleaned the room from ceiling to carpet, with the air-con on in case it lurked inside it – collected half a pound of dust in the process and my snot is still black.

Never mind, lah: in a day or two, the ants will tell me where the valiant creature is.

But then, as the French say, jamais deux sans trois?


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