I heard a multimillionaire business tycoon say, “I credit the ant farm I got when I was eight years old with teaching me the value of responsibility and hard work.” Wow. You have to admire an 8-year-old with an eye toward a career in agriculture. All I had in mind at eight was whether or not Santa might bring me a Baby Alive doll, which wet and dirtied its diapers like a real baby. If I’d foreseen the thousands of dirty diapers in my future, I’d have opted for the ant farm.
It’s never too late to rectify that omission. It’s been six months since I got into ant farming. It’s no easy task. Everybody thinks that ants are clever and industrious, but I couldn’t teach even one of them to drive the tiny tractor. After months of extensive training, aided by the burial of a stale donut, I was able to get a few of them to dig a post hole but other than that, they were pretty much useless.
I put the carpenter ants to work repairing the barn roof. Not only were they unable to complete the job, but they also ate the handles off of all my tools. I imported some soldier ants, which I’d assumed would be industrious and disciplined, but they staged a military coup and attempted to turn my ant farm into a socialistic dictatorship. The fire ants turned out to be arsonists and burned down the henhouse.
I had no idea the paperwork and regulations involved in ant farming. PETI (People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects) was on my back night and day because I didn’t give the ants enough picnic breaks. I was badgered by the EPA, OSHA, NIOSH, and OSHKOSH (the overalls people) because I had ordered the ants’ little uniforms from a sweatshop in Honduras.
My ant foreman filed for Workmans’ Compensation and Unemployment after he lost a leg in a tragic accident with the tiny combine. What’s the big deal? He had five more legs.
Do you know what really “bugs” me? When I used to watch ants with their frenetic scurrying and gathering, I was impressed by their ambition and organizational skills. Hah! It was just a front, a farce, an illusion. The majority of their colony probably was inside the anthill lounging in tiny recliners, smoking cigars, playing gin rummy, and telling insect jokes like, “Did you hear about the pig farmer who, when asked why he didn’t shoo the many flies in his barn, replied, ‘Nah, shoe leather’s too expensive. We just let ’em go barefoot. Haha. Pass me another piece of that stale donut, will ya, Herb?'”
All in all, I’d say that my ant farm project was one headache after another. Perhaps my future success lies in another entrepreneurial direction. I’ve always had an interest in show business. I’ve got it! A flea circus! I’d better get started right away sewing those tiny sequinned tights. Does anybody know where I can find fleas that can do a two-and-a-half with a twist in the pike position into a thimble?