September 19, 2006

A 3Mfestation

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:17 pm by Ian

It appears that, in the absense of their normal diet (houses), termites are drawn to Post-It notes. At least, the ones in my office are.

We have termites in our office. Most of the time they are nicely inconspicuous, staying at home and gradually weakening the building by turning the various wooden bits into sawdust, but every six months or so, they get the Urge to Roam™ and we find them wandering around our offices. And within a few days, the building maintanence guys come around and spray some serious chemicals on them, and they go back to the slow but important task of making more sawdust (also, more termites).

Last year, Mike and I spent about an hour one afternoon watching an epic battle between a half-dozen termites and a group of ants. It was awesome, in that morbid Discovery Channel way, to see how the two hive minds worked against each other. Not very well, in the case of the termites. While the ants were busy running formations and sending primitive communiques, the termites just bumbled around. The only hint of intelligence displayed was the justifiable actions taken when one of them bumbled into some ants, at which point the ants held a hasty ad hoc meeting, elected officers, and dispatched an agent to report back to the hive, while the termite conveyed the following emotion via erratic body language: “Oh Shit!” It continued in this way until the ants called in a coordinated pincer attack with air support.

So far today, three lone termites have been wandering around my office. I saw them up on the ceiling or over on the wall. Every one of them has found its way onto the pad of Post-Its I keep on my desk. Granted, Post-Its are probably more tasty than the average circuit board I have lying around my office, but this still represents an incredibly poor choice of destination. Because all I have to do is fold the top Post-It over on itself, crushing the termite, and dispose of it in the trash. No fuss, no muss.

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2 Comments »

  1. Dad said,

    Reminds me of the old story about the mail order “Sure Fire Cockroach Killer”, guaranteed to work if you follow directions. Order it and you get a block of wood labeled A and a mallet labeled B. Instructions “Place cocroach on block A, hit with mallet B.”

    Your termite killer has only 1 part. But it does involve folding.

  2. jon said,

    ant/termite war sounds sweet.


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