The fire ant, globalisation and me

I feel the sharp bite of insect globalisation and the mini-aliens who exploit mass air, sea and land transportation cross my back and stab me with fire. I jump up in the dark silent night of an in-between-season cabin. Hand up my T-shirt something small and slightly hard has snapped and feels soft. Mari! qualcosa m'ha pizzicato!. There is a half-squashed insect that looks very much like an ant on the floor, a hole in my fresh new grey T-shirt, and a burning feeling on my back.

Later, back online, I discover I was attacked by a fire ant, a pioneer pushing at the boundaries as (s)he crossed the Nevada state line into northern California.

Of Latin American ancestry, that's the fire ant's origins. The Fruit of the Loom T-shirt the formicone bit through was made in Guatemala.


July 08, 2004 | 11:22 PM