Dear Wigleaf,

We have ants, and our landlord's daughter is having the time of her life. These things are related. Our landlord left her daughter, 17, in charge of the unit above us for the summer while she is taking a spiritual walk through France. "I've just stopped going in the kitchen up there," our landlord's daughter recently told us before heading down to Sunset Boulevard for more drinks. My wife has a reasonable Southern Californian fear of ants. A single file can turn to a stampede, or an eight lane super highway, or other geographically appropriate metaphor. So I am told. Plus they have such baroque taste: who would have guessed they'd love the toilet brush? The dog's toy owl. So as a good husband I spackle, spray and lay traps. But when I'm alone, I'm inclined to let them press their way along the seam of the kitchen door through a ceiling crack into the unit above. Not out of karmic concern. When a spider webs up in our gas grill, I go all Arachnophobia on it. But I like to let the ants do their thing. I say to them, "Go on, have the time of your lives."

All best wishes,

- - -

Read Nicholas' story.

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