Friday, December 6, 2019

Ants in the Coffee Corner

I have found a new use for Listerine, ladies and gentlemen: ant killer. Let's just say that they would rather live with bad breath than be doused in antiseptic mouthwash. (Do ants have teeth? I wonder.)

In a California hotel, one evening, I discovered a small congregation of ants milling about my inferior but all-too-necessary in-room coffee maker. I don't care what kind of coffee maker it is or the level of quality said maker makes but don't - and I mean DON'T - mess with my coffee. Ants, vermin, pests, voodoo, or crossed eyes anywhere near my ability to make a warm, dark caffeinated beverage - even if it must be in a cardboard cup - are wholly unacceptable.

My intention was to get my coffee set up the night before so, in the morning, all I had to do was press the start button, hop back in bed, and wait for the small plastic machine to burble and sigh its last of good intentions over a pre-packaged pod of ground (presumably) coffee. Instead, I had ants to contend with. I wiped the area with a wash rag but they kept coming in from somewhere. They had no interest in any other part of the room, that I could see. Only the plate-sized, laminated shelf that served as a coffee station.

What other weapon did I have? What stronger weapon did I have?

I always travel with a miniature Listerine. (Yes, I have teeth and I probably have bad breath considering that I drink coffee, not to mention beer.) However, my travel container had started to leak and I knew that I would throw it away at the end of my stay in California. It was time to get a new one, so why not use what was left of the old one on my current problem?

It worked like a champ. It killed the ants and marvelously deodorized the coffee corner. It was probably a good thing the coffee shelf was not real wood as the Listerine might have taken its finish off but I was quite comfortable that it was the cleanest it had ever been. Drowning in Listerine was probably not the nicest way to go, antwise, but it got the job done. I got my coffee maker all set up amidst the burning fumes of concentrated antiseptic.

And slept unperturbed.

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