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Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:08 by Ananth in response to AAAAAAAAAA

Having been sick for roughly 2 weeks now, I was visiting with my mother for some much needed convalescence. Around 4 AM one night, we were roused by the smoke detector going off intermittently. It continued to do so, at random intervals, for the next 15 hours. Yuko and John stopped by to eat dinner with us the following night, and John was kind enough to take a look at the smoke detector (he is a pretty handy guy and could probably build a house using only three of the fingers on his right hand). 

My Mom and I noticed that there were a couple of ants crawling around on the smoke detector, but we didn't give it too much thought. WE SHOULD HAVE. When John unscrewed that sucker from the base, he accidentally dropped it, and what followed can only be described as a vague, inky black torrent that defined itself only when it exploded into a billion ants crawling around on the carpet. Naturally we all, uh, had a moment, except for my Mom, who calmly and dutifully went and got the vacuum cleaner. ... Then she made us dinner. What I am trying to say is that we are pretty useless. 

(Except for John! Thank you John for doing that! THAT ALARM WAS DRIVING US CRAZY. Also, uh, sorry about the ant shower.)

(Oh, also now the smoke detectors in the house work. Hooray!)

(EDIT: Phoenix Down shirts are still on sale! For those of you that have ordered, shipping is just slightly delayed as I finish recovering! Really sorry about that! Doc's orders!)



Comment by Aido Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:09




Oh man

Comment by Raevis (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:11

Your mom seemed incredibly well prepared for the situation.


(Please tell me you guys closed your mouths. x_x)

Oh gross

Comment by James Chen (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:18

An entire ant colony in your fire alarm? And seconding the hope you, yanno, closed your mouth before you ate a few.

(also, the comment field appears to be slightly borked on Firefox on a 15.4" monitor, as it's pushing into the twitter feed.)


Comment by Jukebox (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:20


That aside, I'd be scared shitless for a few moments if an ant colony came spewing out of a smoke detector.


Comment by Aido Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:23

Yeah, it was kind of like we were living in a Dali painting. D:

Way to go.

Comment by Glad (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:23

Way to assert yourself as the dominant species, guys ~giggles~

... ... AAAAAAAAAAA I...I...

Comment by Zaphy (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:30



I...I... what in the world was an ant colony doing in a smoke detector? AAAAAAAA

Ants and electronics

Comment by Cowdog (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:49

My parents' place is a fairly old house, and they will often have ant scouts roaming around the house in search of food and whatnot. If you leave anything out for more than an hour or so, there's a line at the ant-buffet a mile long.

Anyway, at one point in the distant past when I was still living there, I had a radio which sat on a shelf for ease of listening. I left a can of soda out for too long and the ants were having a field day. Upon following the trail I found it lead back behind the radio. So I go to pick up the radio to see where the trail leads, and much to my dismay it lead into the radio. The radio then started spewing forth a similar "vague, inky black torrent" of ants.

A friend of mine told me later that some ants are attracted to either the heat pr the vibration of certain types of electronics. I don't know if this is actually true or not, but it sounded plausible at the time. Maybe that's what happened with the fire alarm?


Comment by Avelaide (not verified) Sun, 05/17/2009 - 00:36

Yeah, I've heard something similar, except with a printer. Some ants just have a weird thing for electronics.


Comment by Elizabeth B (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:55



If that had happened to me, I would STILL be running. Into the next state if necessary. GROSS.


Comment by Karlee (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 02:59

Reminds me of the time I found ants living in my bedroom lamp. At least I didn't get showered, though. (but still, *bedroom*).
I wonder if you need to get your roof-space checked out for ants now?

Bravery in the face of certain doom.

Comment by Willow (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 03:18

Anath, your mom is one unshakable lady. With nerves of steel. And deadly prowess with a vacuum cleaner.



Comment by majic13 (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 03:44

I think the fact that one of the tags for this strip is "AAAAA" is quite revealing about how often "AAAAA" moments happen to you guys.

In fact

Comment by Softspoken (not verified) Wed, 04/22/2009 - 00:36

Even better is that the alt-text on the comment is "AAAAAAAAAA". Which really shows how long-lasting the effect was.

maybe they were FIRE

Comment by frankstallone (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 03:47

maybe they were



i'm so very sorry for making that probably my first comment ever.


Comment by Cheri (not verified) Wed, 04/22/2009 - 17:25


That's a pretty scary

Comment by w1ng740 (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 04:04

That's a pretty scary ordeal. Hope you guys showered or...danced a whole lot. I'm dealing with scavenger ants every day now cuz of the heat here in SD. They come in from all the wall outlets and walk on my desk while I'm drawing. Agh.


Comment by Greth (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 04:04

When I was 6 we had a pretty serious civil war against our neighbouring an colony. They decided to attempt an annexation of our house. They obviously found out our basic needs as one Sunday morning I walked to the toilet and found our perfectly white bathroom door had been corrupted - much like a symbiont taking over Peter Parker. The whole door was swarming, it had become a living organism.
Being 6, the title of this comic sort of suits my reaction.


Comment by Naktarr (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 05:31

You made me rofl, well in my chair anyway.
rimcl (roll in my chair laughing) doesn't have that nice 90's geeky ring to it.
What worries me is the radioactive material in the smoke alarm (okay okay its emitting alpha and beta rays but still) would have been consumed by the ants! or at least, absorbed. Sort of.
Mighty Morphin' Teenage Mutant Ninja Ants?

Do tell if anything... weirder than normal happens.


Comment by Steve (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 05:36

That's...that's a nightmare I would never like to have. I am scared and I hope there is a new comic fast. Raining ants...*shudder*


*curls in a ball and cries*

Nice comic too.

It's not really uncommon though

Comment by eli (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:00

Oh man we had that happen before, except it was a clock that refused to run. Apparently a colony of ants took residence inside and jammed the clock's arms. orz Tiny fire ants, nasty little buggers.

That said oh man that must have been scary. ;;;;

That reminds me... there was

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:18

That reminds me... there was this old lady who thought there was a bat in her house, and she was scared, so she called animal control. And when the man arrives, he simply unscrews the smoke detector and asks to the lady, "When was the last time you checked the batteries on this thing?"


Comment by Aniphx (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:25

I will keep that in mind that next time I see ants anywhere near a smoke detector. :S


Comment by Holly (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:32

Ants IN THE HOUSE? That can't be a good sign. Might be a good idea to put down some of that ant-killing jelly stuff, assuming are no pets in your mum's house that are liable to eat it.

(At least it wasn't centipedes, though. That happened in an... interesting... nightmare I had once. :C)


Comment by Avelaide (not verified) Sun, 05/17/2009 - 00:39

I have this one nightmare that recurs randomly every couple years, and it's just spiders or ants crawling all over until I wake up trying to get them off of me. Now I'm getting itchy and need to stop reading this particular comment thread.


Comment by Alcnolien (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 06:47

H-h-holy crap, that must have been....
Oh my lord that looks simply terrifying. I think I would have actually died if that happened. D8
.... how the heck did they all get IN there?

Ugh, I've been putting up with an ant infestation over here as well, it kind of sucks. They like to crawl on me, and then get found when I'm in front of people so I can run around screaming and get embarrassed.


Comment by Steve Lee (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 07:00

My skin is crawling. I have to go take a shower, it won't stop. Man that's creepy.

Same here. God, I hope I

Comment by Undead Chris (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 07:55

Same here.

God, I hope I don't dream about this. IF I EVER SLEEP AGAIN.

Oh God, I agree completely

Comment by Kat (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 10:34

Oh God, I agree completely and totally.

AAAAAA is a very succinct way of summarizing the utter horror that such a moment is sure to create. I'm sorry that something like that had to happen to you folks.

Ahaha... ahhaha.. I had a

Comment by Kitty (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 07:20

Ahaha... ahhaha.. I had a good laugh at this XD

Its great beacause it is preety much what I would do :D

Ive had similar problems with lifting other random items though... ehehe...

I hate ants >.>

A mother's job

Comment by Farren (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 08:07

Well, it is a mother's job to protect her young, and I'm sure she looks at all of you as her children. You poor things, I bet you still look up warily, and give a wide birth to any smoke detectors now.

I'm just surprised John needed a chair to get to the smoke detector. You said he was tall. ;>P

Must be a ten foot ceiling.

Comment by Nibbles (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 08:24

Must be a ten foot ceiling. A lot of older houses have them.


Comment by John Kelly (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 17:52

Ananth's parent's house is actually pretty new but for some reason the basement ceiling is really really high.

o___O I think I had a moment

Comment by Ashiru (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 09:11

o___O I think I had a moment just reading the comic. I am now forcibly reminded of the chidhood nightmare where you dream that you wake up COVERED IN ANTS. >>;

Vague horrer movie reference

Comment by Stephen Kennedy (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 09:19



Comment by nbanyan (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 21:19

I think I missed that one. Which movie is it from?

There's a quest in Fallout 3 by the name THOSE!!! where you have to clear a nest of giant, fire-breathing ants out of a town.
I always hated getting within melee range of those.

'Course I've always had a severe dislike of hive based non-sentient pests. They just can't be reasoned with.

Them! is the Name of the Movie

Comment by McClaud (not verified) Wed, 04/22/2009 - 19:08

It's an old black and white film with James Arness and Fess Parker (who went on to play Disney's Davy Crockett).

But yeah, glad they weren't ATOMIC ants.


Comment by PHIL!! (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 09:34

Oh that's your mom! I was gonna say, Conrad sure got pretty.

Then again, this is not news.

I hate ants...

Comment by Lissa (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 10:02

I had a similar experience with ants in my bedroom... Near my front window was a electrical outlet. I noticed a lot of ants near the window. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were congregating around the outlet. So I unscrewed it and nearly threw up..... The ants came streaming out of the socket, some were dead already from crawling in the wrong places (bar-b-qued ants, anyone?).... I've never seen so many ants before... it's the creepiest, sickest thing...

The exterminator said the attraction was the water source on the outside of my room where the front spigot was... just to the side of my window. With new windows, the only way from there in to the house was that outlet.

So is the bathroom upstairs over the fire alarm?

Ew ew ew ew!

Comment by Viga (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 10:17

Ew ew ew ew!

Ohgodohgodohjesuscrap. That

Comment by Ryder (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 10:53

Ohgodohgodohjesuscrap. That happened to me once.

And another time in another house they moved into my router.

Screw ants.

Clever ants

Comment by Farren (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 16:04

Maybe they just wanted to get online, trying to find a route to a new home. At least it wasn't spiders trying to get onto the World Wide Web.

actually now you remind me...

Comment by Naktarr (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 19:34

I did have an indoor infestation - they were living in my old study desk, I couldn't actually open it up (they weren't in the drawers) though so I finally got a new steel and wood table and put the old desk down in the back shed, with each leg in half dog food cans full of ant sand and nothing touching it. That taught me to be more careful getting furniture for free.


Comment by Agatha (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 11:12


Swarms of anything are

Comment by Kirren (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 11:53

Swarms of anything are creepifying.

HAHAHA, I love the

Comment by Chelsea (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 11:57

HAHAHA, I love the paralyzed-with-horror expressions! XD I love ants, but I would totally freak out if an ant bomb fell on me.


Comment by Vyedr (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 12:00

I shudder to think about just HOW MANY ANTS it would take to mess up a fire alarm. And then to have then RAIN DOWN UPON MY HEAD. HOMIGOD. (This is the point where I shudder and become slightly nauseous.) D: Props to John, and more so to Ananth's mom.


Comment by Sidka (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 12:09

I live in a pretty old house in Southern Nevada (still has a wood-burning fireplace old), and we have an exterminator keep the bugs out of the house, but we still have a fire-ant metropolis in the back yard, but we leave them alone and they keep the elementary school kids from taking shortcuts through our yard. It is a peaceful existence.

There are more bugs, but it's mostly cockroaches and ants around here, then after that you get into either that you actually like those bugs (lady bugs and butterflies are back! yaaaay), or they're not bugs at all. Things like scorpions that you slay on sight. Or the happens-once-to-every-one 3 foot Monitor Lizard you see in the neighbors yard that you think is a desert lawn ornament until it Runs Across the Street.

What we have the problem with is the colony of black widows that forms in our wood pile every year without fail. We can't spray the firewood with poisons, because we did one year, then were informed it was illegal, because the burning wood would release the toxins into the air. So every winter when it gets cold enough to want to turn on the heater, one of us will forget to check, and it usually results in someone getting bit.

It's not particularly dangerous, though. None of us are allergic or have any problems with our immune systems, and since there are a lot of these spiders, our town has tons of anti-venom, so it all ends in a painful, embarrassing trip to the hospital.

All in all, I think I prefer the ants.

Have.... have you considered

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 19:45

Have.... have you considered replacing your wood stove with another form of heat? That doesn't involve getting bitten by black widows on a regular basis?

Yeah, but it'd be a lot more

Comment by Sidka (not verified) Tue, 04/21/2009 - 21:41

Yeah, but it'd be a lot more expensive. We tried using the heater on the air conditioner, but it didn't heat the whole house, and converting the stove to gas would cost a lot more money than it's worth, because we'd have to either maintain a propane tank, or get hooked up to city gas, tear up that whole wall, buy a new fireplace.....

Meanwhile, we can endure small amounts of pain, and go to the hospital and pay $10 (yay health insurance) and a few ego points for a shot. It's more annoying than anything else, but one of the things you get for living in the desert.