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Thursday, October 11, 2012

House of the Giants

“We badly need a serial about our four running characters being reduced in size.”
--David Whitaker, Script Editor for Doctor Who

"Hey, how about scouting
out another house, okay?"
In the 1964 three-part serial “Planet of Giants,” the doors of the Tardis mysteriously open during dematerialization.  Pressure blows out the monitor, so the Doctor and his companions cannot see outside.  When they do venture outdoors, they find giant earthworms, ants, flies, and bees.  (“Shh!  Watch out for the cat!”)  The Doctor soon realizes they have been reduced to roughly an inch in height.  He muses, “I wonder if mankind could exist in a world with insects this size.” 

Insects don’t usually bother me too much.  As a gardener, I know they have a positive role in agriculture.  I even allow some, such as Daddy Long Legs spiders, into my house.  As long as they don’t bother me too much, I figure I’ll let them eat any other insects they find.  But I draw the line when it comes to having ants in my house.  (Or, for that matter, in my pants). 

This summer, the ants haven’t been much of a problem.  A few times we’ve noticed a scout here or there, and they’ve only made two forays into our kitchen, both time scrounging among some dirty dishes left on our counter.  But last weekend, they embarked upon a full-scale invasion.  Suddenly, they were everywhere: in most of the rooms, and even crawling over the desk and chair in my office. 

"Hey, make way for me, please!
I want some of that yummy Terro!"
My wife launched a swift counterattack.  Armed with her bottle of Terro, she placed drops of it at the sites of greatest activity.  The ants scurried to the liquid; I’ve never seen them move so fast.  They must have drunk their fill, for I only saw a couple scouts in the bathroom yesterday, and have yet to see one today. 

I’m all for peaceful coexistence, but when threatened with invasion, I’m all for taking up arms.  I doubt that humanity could share a world with insects the same size (or larger) than us.  I can’t even tolerate ants a few millimeters-long as houseguests. 

Dragon Dave

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