Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eating Ants

I was reading a NamelessNuggets blog about her mother's accidental ant eating today and almost laughed myself airless. It is a disgusting discovery. I remember the gut wrench well.

When I was a fruit raiding kid, it wasn't just the peach tree that initially attracted me. Another neighbor had a sweet cherry tree. That tree was off limits during the daytime, but at night, when no one could see, lots of us kids liberated a few cherries.

The purloined cherries were sweet and delicious until the night I thought I felt something wriggle as I took a bite.

I checked it out under the closest streetlight and discovered, worse than a worm, half a worm.

Gross out!!!

But, of course, there are always kids of (how shall I put this?) alternate proclivities. One such was the famous and beloved Uncle Binky.

When I was in the first half of grade school, my best friend had a three years younger brother, a "little kid". Uncle Binky was a solidly built and dignified little boy. He could have worn spats without looking out of character. Such was his presence, that none of the older kids teased or harrassed him. He was also legendary for his devouring prowess.

When the hunger hit him, Uncle Binky would scout out a good sized ant hill. Not any old ant hill would do, it had to be one of the hills little red ants build in the cracks in the sidewalk.

Uncle Binky would find a slender twig, squat down by the hill and begin pushing grains of sand down the entry hole. As anyone who's dropped stuff down an ant hill entry hole knows, the ants do not like this and immediately begin swarming out of the hole to find the vandal and repair the damage.

The ants would rush out and Uncle Binky would carefully and deliberated push more grains into the hole. When the hill was crawling with frantic, antena waving ants, Uncle Binky would scoop up the whole hill, ants, sand and all, and pop it into his mouth.

He would chew a few times before swallowing, then sit back with a beatific smile on his face that would do justice to any statue of Budah.

Uncle Binky was one ant eating mensch of a kid.

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