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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Ant Watcher’s Handbook that Came Free with My Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm, as Reïmagined Using Other Famous Uncles

by Martin Bell

Did you know 'Ant Farm' was a registered trademark of Uncle Milton's? Yep. It is.Uncle Sam’s Ant Farm
Ants from the same colony are generally very loving to each other, but if you mix ants from different colonies, they will fight. Don’t mix your ants and start a war! Unless, of course, it’s in response to your little sister or someone knocking over the ant farm and ruining some of the nicer mounds. In that case, someone’s gotta pay, and it had might as well be ants from some other colony that had nothing to do with it in the first place.

Rich Uncle Moneybags’s Ant Farm
The best properties to own are the oranges. Yellows are second best. To that end, it’s a good idea to keep a particularly close eye on Dirt Avenue, New Dirt Avenue, and St. Dirt Place. Also, while beginners can fall victim to the allure of hotels, don’t underestimate the rental value of a simple mound of dirt.

Uncle Scrooge’s Ant Farm
“At this holy time of year,” the first visitor said, “It is usually desirable that we make some sort of provision for the poor—”
“Are there no prisons?” Scrooge bellowed.
“Well, no, sir,” the visitor stammered. “Our species has not evolved that particular behavior, nor the underlying philosophical notions of crime and punishment that go with them.”
“Are there no workhouses?” Scrooge demanded.
“Well, I suppose in some sense this entire ant farm is a workhouse,” the second visitor chimed in. “We tend to be very industrious. There are worker ants who dig the tunnels, and feeder ants who find food for the rest of the colony, and nurse ants who furnish Christian cheer and caring to the mult—”
“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Better the poor die, and decrease the surplus population!” Which was odd, of course, because ants tend to be very social, even altruistic creatures.

Other Uncle Scrooge’s Ant Farm:
“Laddies, it’s been a good day. I’m off to me ant bin for a little swim.”
“But Unca Scrooge, isn’t making immediate contact with your ants bad for both you and the ants?”
“Yeah, Unca Scrooge. The Junior Woodchuck’s Guidebook says that landing on piles of ants is a good way to kill them!”
“Aye, laddies. Aye. Me money bin it is, then.”

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’s Ant Farm
All right, we’ll level with you. We’ve never even seen this show. But we do know that overfeeding your ants can be just as bad as underfeeding them. So no more than once a week. Please.

Uncle Ben’s Ant Farm
Hey, you know what’s just about the size and shape of a big pile of your ants, but white and without any legs and infinitely tastier? A bowlful of my converted rice! Mmmmmmm-MMMM!

Uncle Jesse’s Ant Farm
If you look really closely at the legs and body of your ants, you will be able to see little hairs. Watch the hair. No, really, watch the hair. Have mercy!

Martin Bell has run away from a little old woman and a little old man, and he can run from you, he can.