July 23rd, 2004

duke-muscle

TGIF. Seriously.

I bought a bag of chex mix and brought it back to my desk just now. As I walked into my cube, I pulled the bag open. Apparently I don't know my own strength today. The bag tore apart and chex mix exploded all over my cubicle.

I took a kleenex and started picking up the larger pieces and putting them into the kleenex. I internally debated the validity of the "five-second rule", and wondered if I could extend it to 15 or 20 seconds or so. I had a lot of chex mix to pick up.

To be "safe", I started picking up my favorite pieces (the non-pretzels) first, so they would qualify. I'm eating them anyway. If I die tonight, you can blame my cleaning people for not vacuuming enough.

After I picked up all of the large pieces and laid them aside, I carefully tried to pick up all of the tiny pieces and crumbs, so I could throw them away. Somebody once confessed anonymously in my journal that they occasionally empty the paper punch onto the floor, to make sure that the cleaning people vacuum the area. I am wondering if I should do the same tonight.

I have a fear of ants. Well, not a fear of ants exactly, but I have a fear of leaving food somewhere and attracting ants. I have never seen an ant in this building, but that doesn't mean they won't come if too much chex mix and other such crumbs are left on the floor.

This fear extends from my college days, when my mom sent me a wonderful care package one Easter weekend; it was filled with homemade cookies and hershey kisses. I ate a couple of cookies, then it was time to go to class. I set the package down next to my desk, grabbed my books, and off I went.

I returned several hours later with a friend of mine. The package was swarming with little tiny ants. I was horrified; I was literally sick to my stomach to see something that had filled me with such joy just hours ago now ravaged and ruined. My friend, I don't remember who, was nice enough to mostly take care of the problem for me. I was too distraught to want to touch it.

We used my dust-buster to vacuum up most of the ants, and we rescued a few of the hershey kisses that we still fully-wrapped in foil. Everything else, the box, cookies, and contents of the dust-buster, we tossed in the hallway garbage, away from my room.

Since then, I have been careful about never leaving food or crumbs on the floor. I still have a horror of turning my head for just a moment and finding the floor teaming with ants again when I look back -- especially here in the office, where the carpeting is exactly the same kind as I had in that dorm room.

(In other news: My nose is doing better. At an unrelated doctor appt yesterday, I was pitied as I perched on the examination table sniffing and sneezing away. She gave me a bag of Zyrtec samples. I tried one this morning, and now I am significantly less stuffy than I was this morning. I hope it keeps working!)