I used to know the

     meaning of life, but I

         forgot to write it down.


Diane English

And now onto a short-short . . .

I Wonder


I wonder where ants go when they die. I wonder because I just killed an entire division of them on the kitchen counter. Every spring their infantry marches in and settles on the foodstuff area as the most promising for their survival. However, I squirted them with an insecticide—different from genocide because the stuff indiscriminately kills ants, roaches, silverfish and the like; the list on the container is long. And, as advertised, they died. I ran a soapy cloth over the chemically flooded area and disposed of their tiny bodies by dish-ragging them down the kitchen sink assisted by hot running water. I called it a burial at sea but it was really a burial into the bowels of a sub-sub-agency of the city water department. 

          It is impossible for me to ask anyone where ants go after dying, for two reasons: 1) I am a minister who naturally would not even consider the question valid, and 2) I forgot the second reason. Catch you later.

          From a strictly biblical standpoint, ants are certainly not descendants of an Abrahamic faith, so . . . sorry, but no soul, no heaven for them. Although . . . now that I think about it, I have seen quite a few in the church kitchen. Like others attending on Sunday, I'm certain they like dessert. Even so, I don't think they're members. 

          We could allow a special dispensation for ants. Think of the jobs it could create for the recently unemployed. All those people who have toiled so relentlessly to scribe The Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin in teeny tiny letters could now find work making teeny tiny crosses with teeny tiny epitaphs.


Here lies Ant 209 877 650 451

'Twas In The Kitchen He Got His Just Desserts


Oh! The teeny tiny crosses would snap together like Legos, but magnetically, naturally, so we could attach one to another overlapping them should we massacre a boatload at a time.

          I best take a breath because it's about here that the wheels come off the wagon. Transporting ant bodies into ant coffins may increase the sale of tweezers, but then you'd have to find a funeral home, a minister, someone to sing hymns (The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah . . .), a common but symbolically appropriate burial plot, and then who knows who'd show up on Memorial Day.


Ah, yes, the second reason I cannot ask anyone where ants go after dying: I am a septuagenarian who would surely be put on medication.

Yes . . . This is the website of Sonja Contois