Tag Archives: terrorism

American Priorities

Number of people killed on Sept. 11, 2001: 2,974
Number of suicides in 2004: 32,439
Number of people killed on American highways in 2006: 38,588
Annual deaths from obesity: 300,000
Total deaths from cancer in 2007: 559,650
Total deaths from heart disease in 2004: 871,500
Total military spending in FY2008: $1228 billion
Funding for health research & improvement (NIH): $29 billion
Total support of Amtrak (safer, cleaner than highways): $1.6 billion
National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. spending in FY2008: $0.8 billion


New Terrorist Threat: ANTS

I made a shocking discovery today.

Terah called me in from outside to inform me that the washing machine was just sitting there. No action. Just stalled in the middle of the cycle. I poked around a bit, and sure enough. It’s stuck.

I then turned on the water faucet next to the washing machine. Nothing came out. So naturally I thought: the terrorists have attacked our water supply! Run for the hills! (which in Kansas are a 3-hour drive)

(Actually, what I thought was we want to put this house on the market next week, and the last thing we need now is a lack of running water. But I’m sure if I watched the cable news channels, I’d think of terrorists first.)

Now before I can explain how SUICIDE ANTS were the cause of our water problems, we need to take a small diversion into the fascinating realm of rural plumbing. When you have a well supplying water to your house, there’s a pump connected to a pressure tank, which is then connected to the house’s plumbing. When you turn on a faucet, you drain water out of the tank. When the pressure reaches a certain minimum, a pressure switch turns on the pump. The pump pumps water into the tank until the pressure reaches a maximum, at which point the pressure switch turns the pump back off.

Now, inside the pressure switch are little metal plates. To turn on the pump, the plates snap together, completing the circuit. To turn off the pump, the plates snap apart.

So, back to our story.

I went out to the well house (the small outdoor structure that houses the tank and switch) with my usual well-adjusting tools: pliers, screwdriver, gloves. I open up the well house and cut the power. I take the cover off the pressure switch and stare at it for a minute.

Hmmm I think to myself. The system pressure is 0 PSI, so the pump should have been running… And indeed the pressure switch plates had snapped together….

…or had they?

No! There was — and I am not making this up — a cake of DEAD, PARTIALLY SINGED ANTS between the metal plates. In fact, there were ants crawling around all over the pressure switch. So I used my screwdriver to scrape the plates off as well as I could. I couldn’t get them perfectly clean because of the angle, but I figured it’d be enough to make contact.

I turned the power back on. Little blue sparks appeared at the pressure switch (burning up the last of the SUICIDE ANTS), and then half a second later, the pump sprang into action.

Now this raises some alarming questions:

Why didn’t our government do anything to stop the SUICIDE ANTS from attacking our water supply?

And more importantly, who is behind this sudden sinister interest in pressure switches on the part of our hill-building friends?

I can see the headlines now:

“Ants attack water supply in Kansas… Is New York far behind?”

“Gitmo Intelligence Links Suicide Ants to bin Laden”

“Price of Raid Hits $200 A Barrel Amid Fears of Ant Attacks”

“5 Troops Deployed With Cans of RAID to Terrorist Ant Training Camps in the Pakistani Mountains”

“Thirsty Latchkey Children Forced To Scrape Dangerous Terrorist Ants From High-Voltage Switches Before Using Faucet”

“Is Your Water Safe? Watch the story about the latest threat tonight at 11”

“Small-town Kansas man detained for posting instructions for attacking rural water systems using ants”