Last Thursday found me sitting in the Cadillac Bar...with 20 of my favorite colleagues. Most after-hours parties with co-workers are dull, talk-about-work affairs. But this eclectic group breaks all the norms. Nick Boetticher turned to me and chilled me with his macabre tale about ANTS.
On Nick's 8th birthday, his parents gave him an Ant Farm. Imagine the joy a youngster would feel, caring for his ants and watching the colony grow. Providing them with water and sugar, observing as they built paths and chambers, worked and played together, hundreds of ants constructing their small town. A boy might grow to love his industrious ants.
Ant Farms, it turns out, are sold with worker ants only. It is illegal to sell queen ants. The lifespan of a worker ant is measured in months. When you buy an ant farm, there can be no Queen to lay eggs, there can be no replacement of fallen workers. The ant farm is doomed.
Nick's Ant Farm was no exception. One by one, the ants fells dead. The survivors constructed a burial chamber in the deepest recesses, and one by one they dragged their fallen comrades into the burial chamber. Day by day, the corpse pile grew. Finally, inevitably, only one ant remained. Alone he dragged the last body into the burial chamber. And then he turned and carefully sealed the entrance behind him, aware of and accepting his terrible fate...
Imagine the impressionable 8 year old's horror and grief, learning the cold hard facts of life.
We are all doomed.
Nick welcomes email on the topic of ants.