My friends and I, we were discussing ants.
Minou had once discovered an ant nest in her VCR.
I had ant nests in my bedroom wall and bathtub.
The Goonfather had found a nest inside his toilet cistern lid. (I’m still trying to figure that one out.)
He couldn’t see the ant nest because it was hiding inside the lid, so he put the entire lid in his bathtub and tried to flush the nest out using his shower spray.
When he did that, ants starting swimming out in droves. And then, suddenly, a pizza of ants popped out of the lid.
Yes, you read right. It was an ant pizza. The Goonfather described it as an army of ants interlocked with each other, hanging onto each other for dear life, forming the shape of a pizza.
The discussion then moved on to the destruction of ants. The Goonfather recommended something called ant powder, which you can buy at traditional Chinese medicine shops.
Worker ants would take these poison granules back and poison the entire colony.
I wanted to know how an entire colony of, say, a million ants, could be poisoned with a few granules.
“The queen ant will die because she gets all the food first,” said the Goonfather.
“But,” I persisted, “After the queen is dead, there are still a million more ants.”
Unker Kell had the answer: “Once the queen is dead, all the other ants will automatically die of grief.”
There followed a discussion on how important queen ants were for the survival of colonies, bearing in mind that none of us are really ant experts.
Thinking aloud, I said, “I would be interested in buying one of those ant farm kits to witness how an ant colony works.”
It turned out that the Goonfather had bought such a thing before, at Toys ‘R Us.
He didn’t have much success with it because his ant acquisition missions kept failing. He often accidentally killed the ants he captured before he could put them into the farm.
You would understand if I explained that he tried capturing ants using bbq tongs.
Once, he tried putting one black ant and one red ant into the farm, because that was what he managed to find in his garden.
It resulted in both of them fighting to the death.
Then, a thought sprang into my mind.
“But how do you make an ant colony without a queen ant? And how are you going to kidnap a queen ant if she’s hiding in some hidden nest all the time?”
Without pausing for thought, the Goonfather said, “The ants in your farm will elect a queen lah!”