Inexplicably, in a world where it’s become OK for toddlers to while away their days repeatedly conducting mass genocides on Grand Theft Auto, most people think it’s weird that I have an ant farm. Society doesn’t bat an eyelid when a child that cannot yet operate a spoon, whips out an iPad and fires off a couple of emails. Yet for some reason when people learn that yours truly owns an ant farm, the eyelids begin to bat. And I don’t understand why.
Ant-farms are the bomb. Maintenance is ridiculously low, which is ideal in a student house that took four months to get a functioning toilet seat sorted. They eat roughly 1cm2 (per week) of any fruit, veg or meat; so your food bills aren’t exactly going to sky-rocket. They make let noise than a pad of paper and they’re surprisingly engaging to watch. Many a fine hour have I spent gazing at my tiny soiled kingdom, watching the black creatures jitter their way through a labyrinth of beautiful tunnels.
Granted, at the age of 21 it is perhaps slightly weird to have an ant-farm in your room. Granted, you’re not going to keep the cogs of your social life turning by staring at a Perspex-dirt sandwich, through which forty miniscule insects scuttle. Granted, never in the history of mankind has an ant farm been successfully used in the wooing of a love interest. But it is precisely because of all these reasons that they’re so brilliant. Ant-farms are just a slice of nature doing its thing, oblivious to everything going on in the world. When work stress is mounting or Klute has stripped you of the will to live, there’s only one remedy – ant-watching.
All you have to do is sit down, focus in and zone out – and before you know it, your worries are gone. It’s impossible to avoid becoming so fixated upon the frantic goings on in the world of these six legged critters that all other thoughts slip to the back of even the most fretful of minds. It’s a sort of therapy, except it doesn’t cost £100 an hour.
They may not be state of the art and they’re certainly not going to get you any street cred. But in my opinion ant-farms are legit. 2 legit 2 quit, in fact.