I used to think that termites were just ants that ate wood. Spray some Raid here and there -- done. Move on with your life. But, recently, I discovered the hard way that termites are essentially an invading force of malevolent aliens not looking to make intergalactic friends. They're less E.T. and more Independence Day, with occasional flashes of Alien, and a lot of Starship Troopers. It's mostly Starship Troopers, actually.
Including future indoor football, where people regularly perform 8-foot-high twisting front flips.
The problem is so similar to the way movies depict alien invasions that Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights to my infested door and the movie is coming out in the summer of 2017. It's going to be called Bug Door. It's gonna be a spectacle. So, Stevey (we're on a nickname basis), consider today's column about how battling door-eating bugs is like humanity's fight for survival against an alien menace kind of a first draft for the script. You're welcome.
#4. Weird Occurrences
Before the Xenomorph is ever shown in Alien, the audience is introduced to tiny traces of what appears to be something larger going on. Tiny, subtle clues like the space jockey, and then the eggs, and then John Hurt's exploding stomach.
20th Century Fox
Like the Xenomorphs, the termites left behind just enough evidence to let me know something wasn't quite right, but it was never enough to set me to action, which is weird because the evidence was poop. They shit everywhere, and their shit piles up into little mounds that usually look like coffee grounds or pepper. I've never had the pleasure of really getting my face near their shit piles to examine their turd pellets closely, but apparently termite poop is six-sided. Every time they take a dump, termites drop weird D&D dice from their assholes like they're rolling for damage against my front door.
Finding piles of shit lying around is a good indicator that something has gone awry in pretty much any scenario. If you found a mound of shit in your cubicle at work, you'd ask HR if it meant anything about your employment status, for example. But, as with the start of any movie about aliens (and any kind of movie monster in general), the first sign of trouble is usually ignored; it's rationalized away as nothing. Probably because acknowledging there is a problem at all means having to deal with it and spend money on it. I'd rather my apartment fill to the ceiling with hexagonal turds than have to do things. My life is a spectacular quest to avoid hassle.
"WHAT? A PROBLEM? NO. I DON'T SEE ONE ANYWHERE."
So of course I'm correct in assuming these little mounds are in no way indicative of a much larger and much more disgusting problem that will soon take over my life. It's fine. It's all going to be fine.
#3. First Contact
Inevitably, our film's heroes have to come face-to-face with the alien villains. In Starship Troopers, it was during the battle of Klendathu, when Johnny Rico and the rest of the "Why are these white people all cast as Hispanic characters?" players get ripped to shreds by giant bugs, for example.
After returning from a late-night dog walk, I stepped into the kitchen to turn off the light above the stove, which was the lone light shining in the pitch black kitchen/living room area. Now look at this picture:
That's Bruce Wayne sitting within the glow of a street lamp that slices though the darkness to illuminate not only his dead parents but also his pain. Now, imagine that, but I'm Bruce and I'm surrounded by about a dozen little termite corpses twitching around on the stove top, wings and legs everywhere. In the 10 minutes I was out, there was an invasion, and then a massacre. The invaders saw I had left and had taken my beast with me. "NOW WE STRIKE!" said their disgusting termite lord.
They had probably been planning this invasion for weeks, studying schematics and maps, learning the details of the apartment and its occupants' schedules. Termite troops said their tearful goodbyes to their wives and children and then hopped on steam trains and waved through the window as they pulled further away until their loved ones were motes left only to be remembered. They had taken every precaution, done all of their research, and had taken everything into account, except for that thing about how they're very stupid and can be easily thrown off their game plan by a shiny light. It was an exposed light bulb; they fried and were now dying where I make eggs and shit.
Like this, but disgusting.
Their presence activated my apartment's defenses. I was safe, but only for now. There was an enemy out there, and they had made their presence known ... as well as their intent: They wanted my home.
And, by god, they weren't going to get it.