Burning Ants

by Regis Boff

Before I was ten, my friends and I would hold large magnifying glasses on hot summer days at just such an angle that the sun’s rays would be focused into a hyper heated single spot. In Boy Scouts I learned to build a fires this way.

In retrospect, there is a cruelty in children that blends agreeably with innocence. Aside from the family dog, whose domestic relationship in that decade hadn’t quite reached its current zenith of just “another child,” no animal was quite out of bounds as far as ill treatment went.
I had a pet goose we ate. I overheard this was because he bit me. That was a mistake of biblical proportions for the goose as we were an Old Testament family.

Our dogs would routinely get killed on our front streets. There were tears and a couple of days of gully dry stomachs but life went on. People only rarely adopted dogs back then, they were more simply found.

Anyway, my friends and I would spend hours chasing ants around on our hands and knees trying to burn them up with our magnifying glasses.

The ants, in what we assumed was an approximation of insect terror, adopted a “clump together” stratagem. This proved short sighted as it made the rays from above even more effective.

On Weds, Mr. Obama contends he will relieve us of all the mystery over his Middle-East policy. I believe he has rightly recognized that nothing can be accomplished there until our enemy has an opportunity to clump together.