On a warm summer evening during college, my best friend Kim and I headed for a park to engage in our favorite ritual: chowing down on ice cream while watching people jog.
It’s pretty much the most evil thing a person can do.
We sat down on a bench near the running paths, and I smoothed out the skirt of my short sundress. Kim and I most often engaged in this voyeuristic activity when one of us had something to talk about, and this time was no different. She began discussing something I no longer remember the details of, but was probably hugely important and serious to us at the time.
As she talked, I soon started to feel a strange sensation coming from my legs – it was sort of tingly, almost like tiny, tiny people were poking me with tiny, tiny pitchforks. Not really painful, but definitely noticeable. Taking another bite of my ice cream, I tried to shake off the odd feeling and shifted my focus back to Kim.
A couple minutes later, the sensation began spreading upward toward my…. nether regions.
I sat up ramrod straight, extremely aware of the not-okay feeling coming from my crotch, but still trying to listen to my friend. Her story was heartfelt and serious, and it seemed rude to interrupt her with off-topic updates of my lady garden.
A couple moments later, I had drastically changed my mind about trying to be polite. It now felt as though the tiny people poking me had replaced their pitchforks with big, fiery torches. With blades coming out of them. The sensation was quickly growing more and more intense.
I put down my ice cream. Something was very wrong.
“SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG!” I blurted out to Kim, no longer able to focus on her tale.
Being the incredibly sweet person she is, she immediately abandoned her story and looked at me with alarm and concern, asking if I was okay.
I don’t remember what my exact response was. I probably gave her a wide-eyed, panic-stricken look and yell-whispered that my delicate bits were on fire and we needed to leave immediately. My confused-but-always-loyal best friend threw away the rest of our ice cream (which should show you how serious this situation was), and we sprinted to my car.
Just like that, we’d gone from watching runners to being runners. I mean, sort of. Most runners probably don’t get their motivation from having fiery switchblades in their underwear. They also probably don’t have to use all their willpower to keep from frantically pawing at themselves.
I was convinced I was dying. I imagined what my headstone would say, and hoped it wouldn’t be something like: “Died from Spontaneous Crotch Combustion.”
Once we were in my car, I recklessly reversed out of the parking spot and began speeding down the street. The feeling grew even more painful.
“SOMETHING IS REALLY WRONG WITH ME!” I repeatedly screamed at Kim. For some reason, it was important to me to make her understand just how freaked out I was. I think she got it.
Unfortunately for her, trying to drive a car while you’re in pain and panicking is not a great plan. There was a lot of harsh braking and swerving.
“Just stop the car!” She eventually yelled, wildly waving her arms at me.
And I did – right in the middle of the street. There was no time to pull to the curb. I scrambled out of the car and reached up my dress for my underwear, mentally grateful that I hadn’t worn pants. Easy access, indeed.
Standing there in the public street, in my cute little sundress, I pulled off my underwear.
And I found fucking FIRE ANTS crawling around in them. My mother doesn’t like it when I curse in my writing, but I think even she’d agree it’s warranted here.
Apparently, they’d been all over the park bench, and because it was dark out, neither of us had noticed them. It appeared that the ants were angry with us for showing up uninvited and crushing a few of their friends. Lucky-ass Kim had been in jeans, and was protected from the ants’ wrath.
I screeched with both disgust and righteous fury as I violently flicked the ants from my underwear. Kim discovered more in my driver’s seat, and set about systematically killing them.
Finally, I was able to return to my car, still sans underwear, and still throbbing. Only now, I also felt somewhat emotionally traumatized. The literal ants in my pants had beaten me.
The night ended with the two of us holed up in Kim’s bathroom – me pitifully spreading cortisone cream on my horrifically-located ant bites, while Kim made soothing noises at me.
Anyone else gotten into battles with mother nature? Or perhaps found themselves unwittingly sans panties in public? If there are enough of us, we could start a support group.