Tuesday, September 4, 2007

sangria stories

It all started with some friends calling us up and inviting us over for a Labor Day picnic. Indoor picnic, that is (although the burgers were grilled outside, with short speedy bursts of attention from the cook). When I asked what we could bring, they suggested a summery cocktail, preferably by the bucket; I think we were all having visions of sitting around in the darkened house, throwing back drinks and watching the kiddo build and fly rockets.

And indeed, that was how it turned out. I wanted to make sure that we could drink lots without passing out and choking in a pool of our own sweat, so I made a wimpy but strongly-flavored sangria.

First stop: Stater Brothers, for some fruit to chop into the elixir of wine, brandy, juice, and club soda. (BTW, sangria is a perfect application for those sugared-up Australian wines like Yellow Tail.)

Where I actually saw a drug deal, as Goddess of Pomona has been muttering about for yonks. (Where is GoP, anyway? She hasn't posted in nearly a month.) A guy was lounging on the grass strip at the edge of the parking lot; a car pulled up; they had a brief conversation; the guy pulled a small packet out of his duffel bag; he got some bills; the car drove off. It was just like they do it at the lowrises in The Wire.

Once I had fruit, I had to chop fruit -- and there my troubles began. Moreover, I had warning: As I was setting the fruit up on the counter, I spotted -- and killed -- one lone ant. Won't you join me in a chorus of "Dumbass, don't you know anything about ants?"

Apparently I don't. After making the sangria, I was feeling pressed for time, and I left the sticky equipment on the counter for cleanup later. Oh yes, you holier-than-thou, clean-up-as-you-go little angels, just keep on smirking.

Upon my return to the kitchen hours later, there was a two-inch wide column of ants marching in from the window and scaling Mt. Peel-And-Chop. Out with the Windex. Thanks to the magic of ammonia (and yes, I know it's an environmental nightmare, but even the Buddhist nun I know kills ants, with regret), thousands of ants were dead in the space of 30 seconds. It was a regular ant Thermopylae!

The more perspicuous among the readership may wonder why Thermopylae. After all, Leonidas eventually lost, and Xerxes went on his merry way. But we all know that's what's going to happen in the long run: I may be able to able to stop them for now at Thermopylae the window, but they'll overrun us in the end.


DR said...

So I won't say I-told-you-so, because after our recurring performances as the gravy train last summer, I'm pretty sure we're barred for life from saying anything to anybody about ants. Ever.

But. Last summer I bought a small bottle of terro -- it's the same stuff that's in the ant traps you can buy at the supermarket, but you just put a bit in an itty-bitty tinfoil bowl near the supply train. It (plus Windex, plus dish soap) kept things under reasonable control last year, for the most part. But this year I've re-applied the home grown ant traps every time I see more than a single 'un, and we have yet to see them marching in en masse.

Crossing my fingers that I haven't just jinxed the whole damn thing.

Andrea said...

During a recent invasion I went for the Windex and grabbed the Oxyclean by mistake. Boy, am I glad I did because nothing else I have tried has really worked as well as that Oxyclean. Although my father swears by Simple Green. Anyhow both are a bit eco-friendly. Hope this helps. Good luck.