Sunday, October 15, 2006

Man Writes Strongly Worded Letter About Danger of Infestation

Jeffrey Parson, 34, an unmarried and out-of-work political science graduate, has drafted a stinging letter to the property manager of his apartment building, Byron Palace, warning of a potential infestation on the premises.

Dear Sir:

Yesterday, I found an ant crawling along the skirting board of the northeast corner of my bedroom. I successfully identified it as a carpenter ant, camponotus pennsylvanicus. You are aware, surely, that only seventeen days ago, September 3, I discovered another carpenter ant, also in my bedroom. I informed you of this by leaving a phone message at 1805 hours. At time of writing, you had not returned this phone call.

Regarding the ant, if I continue to discover an ant every 17 days, I will have discovered 21 carpenter ants by this time next year, which is more than enough. Frankly though, what I have related is a best-case scenario, because in reality, the rate of ant-discovery is likely to increase exponentially. Why? Because carpenter ants are highly organized and intelligent insects and are resistant to common eradication measures, such as the application of lethal powder or bug baits. A current ant colony in the United States extends all the way from San Diego to San Francisco. It numbers billions of ants. I doubt you knew this, but it is fact.

In short, what I’m attempting to explain to you is that we’re dealing with the tip of an iceberg. It’s time to stop ignoring this problem and start dealing with it like professionals instead of amateurs who don’t even return phone messages.

Both carpenter ants that I have discovered were quite large, over a centimetre in length, and had wings, which is conclusive evidence that there has been an active colony in the environs for at least three years. The gravity of this situation should not be underestimated. The colony is clearly well advanced and is gaining territory with every passing day. I have already consulted local experts in this regard – Killit Enterprises – and they believe it highly likely that the colony of ants is seeking to establish a satellite colony. You should call Killit with no further ado because these people are not amateurs – they are trained and equipped to deal with North America’s most sophisticated and relentless pest: the carpenter ant. I doubt you knew about the concept of satellite colonies. Would you like Byron Palace to become a satellite colony for carpenter ants – that is, if it is not one already? Frankly, call me crazy, but I certainly do not want my bedroom to become a satellite colony for carpenter ants. And if it becomes one, I will hold you completely and utterly liable for the consequences.

As I write this on my computer, I have become aware of yet another ant, this one crawling up the wall. That now totals three ants in 17 days. I warned of an exponential increase mere paragraphs ago. I have already been proven right. Can’t you see what’s happening here?

This latest ant is not winged. This means that he is a worker ant – a mere foot solider in the ranks of the advancing force. Do not think because he is smaller and less mobile that his presence means any diminishment in the threat posed to us. He is surely on a reconnaissance mission to search out and bring back food to his winged brothers and sisters – and to the queen – the queen who is breeding another 2,000 young workers over the course of the parent nest’s reproductive cycle. The situation is clearly spiralling out of control.

A friend of mine yesterday suggested imprisoning an ant in a receptacle of some kind. I think I will do this. You need to see what we’re dealing with first hand – that is, if you even care.

I know you are in negotiations to buy Shelley Manor and Baudelaire Heights to add to your current portfolio of eleven city properties, so maybe the existence of an insect of under one inch in length is small on your list of priorities. But this is a foolish mentality. Maybe you think you can simply tear down Byron Palace and build a more profitable luxury apartment building in its place and hence in one swoop eradicate the ant problem and enrich yourself even further. But I warn you that this will not work. The ant colony is most surely established in the nearby spruce trees and the ants will remain entrenched there and make incursions into whatever structure you erect on this lot. Killit are in agreement on this. They say that they will need to find the nest and destroy it. This is the final solution. Anything else would like be putting a band-aid on somebody who has been torn in two by shrapnel.

In other words, your plans are destined for failure if you don’t deal with this. Another thing to worry about: if you tear down Byron Palace, as it is rumoured you will – guess what the carpenter ants will probably do? They will see all that rotten lumber lying around and most probably move in. Then when you build a new building, the tenants will be condemned to an infestation from day one.

I can offer you more advice on this but if it falls on deaf ears because you’re too busy becoming a millionaire then that, sir, is a sad state of affairs. For want of a horse, the kingdom of Rome was sacked, i.e. the snowball gets bigger as it rolls downhill – to use a euphemism probably easier for you to understand.

I implore you, sir, if you don’t want to develop a reputation for being a slum landlord, admit the enormity of our current problem, call Killit, and face the ants like a professional as opposed to a coward. I remain for your disposal.

Yours truly,

Jeffrey William Parson