The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

October/November Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best Very Short Humor!

Ant Farmer


Jeff Young

Was God in a bad mood the day He created fire ants? I picture God being awaken from a nap by some telemarketer, being in a cranky mood, and then sitting down and designing little bugs with big stingers. This weekend I was sorting mulch around the base of a tree and something caught my eye. I lifted my hands to look at them, and for a second I wondered why they looked blurry. Then I realized I was covered to the wrists with fire ants. After much flailing about with wild shaking of the hands, I found one more sole survivor ant between my ring– and pinky– finger. This little fella wanted his own individual biting experience.

As much as it hurts to have having itchy little bumps on my hands right now from the mulch incident, it definitely doesn't compare with the time I sat on an ant bed as a kid. That made for a rough day for this boy – That is a sensitive place for a thousand ant bites. The funny part about this story, and you can try this sometime on your own, is if you tell it in person, no matter who it is, they peek down at your business end when you get to that part of the story, make a face, and go "yeesh".

There is a field lab at the University of Texas, a nature reserve of sorts, where they study new and interesting ways to torture fire ants. There are these little bugs called phorid flies that look like harmless gnats, but attack fire ants. They do fly–bys on the ant conga lines until they find one they like, then they latch onto its head and bury an egg in its skull. The ant stops, has a seizure, then sometime over the next week has an Alien–esque emergence of more phorid flies. We watched the attack on an ant in slow–motion and everybody in the room cheered and did high–fives. Apparently, other kids have sat in ants too.

A couple years ago, the truck I used to have was running a little hot, so I went out on my lunch break to check the radiator fluid. While I was checking fluids and whatnot under the hood, a whole mound of ants stealthfully climbed up my legs. They waited until they got up to my thighs, then one of them shouted GET HIM! and they all bit down at the exact same time. But I didn't hear the shout because ants have little bitty mouths and they speak in Ant.

There is something in the human brain, that when faced with sudden pain, can make you do some wild things. Five minutes earlier I'd have never imagined any circumstance that would compel me to pull off my pants in the parking lot where I work and run around screaming.

©Jeff Young

I am a 29–year old goofball, married almost 3 years with our first baby on the way. I'm a resident of Keller, Texas, which is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, at the north end of Texas. I have manic interests of all kinds — I dabble in abstract art, wood crafting, computer work, gardening, and I'm an avid chef. I published my comic strip Buffman for years at the Daily Texan at the University of Texas in Austin while I was earning a biology/ pre–med degree. Now I work as a quality engineer. I've always had a reputation as a storyteller among friends and family. About a year ago I started writing short humor essays (in the general style/ feel of Dave Barry, who I used to read religiously growing up). My stories spin into eccentric tangents and wild exaggerations of actual events, which I feel give them unique pacing and express my own silliness. Recently, I've become published in the two big local papers in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

You can read more of Jeff's writing at his blogsite:  Click HERE.

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©Margie Culbertson

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