We’re Not Alone

Alien creatures come in all shapes and sizes.

Last month, the news had a mess of stories about a meteor streaking across the sky and then falling in Las Vegas, where a family reported a couple of 10-foot “non-humans” walking around in their backyard. The tall, weird-looking things then left (probably for Los Angeles, where they’d blend right in) before the police arrived.

A few days later, some hot-shot former government UFO investigator spilled the beans about super-secret high-tech devices that were obviously made by non-humans. They were found by “the government” and reverse-engineered in order to build some newfangled devices for “the military.”

I am not scared of non-humans. For Pete’s sake, I can recall a few times when I’ve gotten a little baked and seen some weird things in my own damn backyard. I think these people who act all weird when they see non-humans have never been to Texas. I mean, “Here, hold my brain and watch me smoke this” is a popular phrase in these parts. 

And I wanna know why these alien non-humans only leave behind information for making weapons. What about a cure for some awful disease, a new flavor of ice cream, a self-cleaning toilet, or maybe a Texas politician who doesn’t act like a jackass? That’s what I’m waiting for.

Darlin’, I am not scared of these non-humans one little bit. Wanna know the kind of non-humans I’m scared of? Fire ants. They are non-human terror machines who get their marching orders from hell. Those little suckers are meaner than eight acres of snakes, and they are always plotting something. I can’t help but wonder if fire ants are what happens when you put testosterone and LSD in a blender.

There are some fire ants who have their devil’s command center out behind my garage. That sucker rises about five feet out of the ground, and I guess that means it’s burrowed deep enough to poke through the bottom and spy on China. I’m pretty sure it has condos, hair salons, graduate schools, and a mini-Texas Legislature (which is surely superior to the one we’re stuck with in Austin). It has research facilities that have cured the common cold, and I’m pretty sure the little devils have a time machine in good working order. 

But I do not dare kick in their devil’s den, and neither should you. We both know that fire ants, unlike those 10-foot-tall non-human aliens, fight back. They bite you, and then they giggle. You can hear it. 

You can kick their command center over, and they’ll have it rebuilt by tomorrow afternoon—but not before they cover you with enough bites to force you to go to confession and make a sizable donation to the Church of Fire Ants, LLC.

Years ago, I made a deal with fire ants: I don’t disturb them, and they don’t bite me enough to make me swell up like a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Hell, then they’d prick me with a pin and watch my nekkid butt flying around in circles before crash-landing in the neighbor’s front yard. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has contemplated this spectacular end to an otherwise unremarkable life, which explains why there are so damn many fire ants.) 

But Honey, this is Texas, where Republicans outnumber fire ants and are even meaner. If you don’t believe me, I give you this helpful list:

10 Ways Republicans Are Worse than Fire Ants

  • Fire ants rarely burn books.
  • Fire ants don’t get kicked off of Twitter.
  • Four words: No Ant Ted Cruz.
  • Fire ants just sting you. They don’t sting you and then force you into gay conversion therapy when you swell up.
  • Fire ants have lively political events, but they don’t resemble a Monster Truck Rally.
  • Fire ants are actually concerned about who gets assault rifles. Republicans are only concerned about which couples deserve wedding cakes. 
  • Click-bait headlines that start with “Florida man…” are never about fire ants.
  • Although they are rarely seen in sequins, fire ants have no irrational fear of drag shows. 
  • Fire ants don’t seem to care what I do with my own uterus. 
  • There are no fire-ant TV preachers begging for money.

Until next month, don’t forget that we Texans only have three speeds in the heat of summer: Off, Almost On, and Don’t Push Your Luck.


Susan Bankston

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at juanitajean.com.
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