Plastic Invaders

So we have this artificial turf installed in our backyard. I was against it from the start, as a native barefoot Wisconsin boy I had my fair share of grass stains on my pant shins and butt pockets and hey I wanted the same stain opportunities for my kids. But then my wife said, “Think of it like an outdoor carpet” and for some reason that clicked and I went with it. You don’t have to water it and it doesn’t get muddy and blah blah. Hey less for me to worry about around the house, right?

We’ve had the “turf” (as they say in the artificial grass biz) in  for about a month and the kids love it and I have to admit it’s pretty nice extruded woven colored plastic. If you’re going to tromp around on something that’s pretending to be something else, you could do worse.

This morning I was sitting with my feet resting on it with my almost 2 year old daughter (we were blowing bubbles together) when I felt some intruders on my foot. I squirmed and jump and brushed the ped-invaders off as my daughter shouted BUG BUG BUG!

Ants. The original southern California resident. Probably like quintillions of them digging around in our backyard alone, so who am I to even try to squash any of them? This is their territory after all, since it’s you know, dirt on the earth. After initially trying to shoo them off my new “carpet” I gave up and just stared at the turf.

I was fascinated. I leaned down closer and closer until I found a cluster of them crawling around and up and down the little artificial stalks. I couldn’t help but wonder, if say, ants had consciousness and articulate thought, what they’d be thinking.

“What the hell is this? DID YOU THINK WE WOULDN’T NOTICE?! What have you done with our precious grass?! You damn dirty apes! Damn you all to hell!”

or maybe:

“We’re in some kind of alien zoo! NONE OF THIS IS REAL!”

Most likely they’re just looking for food and could give two shits about what they’re walking on. They probably have no memory of grass or anything else. We blew a few more bubbles and went inside. We left the ants to stalk the plastic, up and down and around, up and down and around.

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