Last weekend the antmind temporarily took over my master bathroom. Thanks to perseverance and enough bugspray to float a battleship, I retook the disputed territory about fifteen minutes after they planted the flag. Yet spring is coming; this is only round 1. I’m thinking about tenting the house and letting off the formicidean equivalent of a nuclear warhead inside.

Take that, antmind.

Maybe I should send to Brazil for some zombie fungus. Apparently entomologists have discovered varieties of fungi that invade ants and take over their brains. The fungus (mushroom, really) forces the ant to forsake its colony and go hang itself under a leaf. Then the fungus sprouts all kinds of growths from the ant’s head and knees, attaching itself to the foliage.

A few days later, the ant has become a mushroom.

So I’m thinking this could come in REALLY handy around my house. Mix a little Brazilian zombie fungus with a little maple syrup or chocolate, stick it where the ants are sure to find it. Next thing you know, I’m selling mushrooms to gourmet restaurants across the country. Right on the rhododendrons.

Of course, with my luck, the zombie fungus will decide that the rhodies are really too far to travel, so that I wake up one morning to find garlands of ant mushrooms all over the bedcurtains.

Hmmm. Zombie fungus that worked on people might explain a lot of things in the news. Wonder if some day we discover that Sarah Palin has turned into the world’s biggest portobello…

Nope. Don’t go there.

I pondered it, though, as I examined obvious and kinda disgusting evidence that Nate the mouse is still hanging around the living room. Sigh.

Really, I don’t know why I don’t hang a big WELCOME TO THE ZOO sign on the front door and charge admission. Instead, I’ve hauled out the humane mousetrap to give Nate eradication one more try.

So far, nothing, but I’m thinking it’s the peanut butter’s fault.

I’ve been using a high-end nut butter containing ground flax seed, organically grown peanuts, hazelnuts, and cashews plus other kinds of healthy stuff. Nate won’t go near it, so I’ve abandoned my gourmet peanut butter in favor of a “children’s spread” that contains honey, peanuts, and a whole boatload of high-fructose corn syrup.

(Somebody want to explain to me why the adults eat healthy while the kids are given face-stuffers full of nuclear waste?)

Anyway, we’ll see if Nate’s tastes are more on the juvenile side. If that doesn’t work, I’ve read that Skippy’s reduced fat peanut butter may have salmonella, so Unilever is recalling supplies in at least sixteen states. Mine isn’t one of them, but I was thinking…what if I call a buddy in New Jersey or wherever, and ask them to ship me a salmonella-enriched jar of Skippy?

Do mice even GET salmonella?

If Nate and his buddies get bad cases of salmonella, will they begin referring to my house as “that place where everybody got sick right after dinner?” Will they complain to the department of mouse health (which then classifies my house as mouse-UNfriendly), and go off in search of a better restaurant?

I can recommend several fine establishments. Heck, I’d even drive ’em over. Wearing a little chauffeur hat.

I think there’s a children’s story in here somewhere

But as you can see, I’m trying hard to think out of the box here. If Nate and I can’t come up with a mutually satisfactory solution, i.e., he doesn’t live in my house and I don’t kill him, the next step is… a cat.