Ant Stares at Horizon, Ponders Great Vastness of Parking Lot

photo illustration by Mitch McCann

After taking an unusually long detour back to work, Greg Schniepp was suddenly overtaken by the great vastness of the parking lot in which his colony resides. Greg, a professional harvesting ant living just outside a Des Moines-area McDonald’s, took a life-changing gaze out into the distance Sunday night.

“I looked deep into the swirling, mysterious emptiness,” recalled Schniepp, referring to the once-vacant parking space. “And it looked back into me.”

Having caught a mere glimpse of the southern side of the restaurant, Greg’s non-existent heart beat fiercely inside his thorax.

“At that moment, I felt an unusual sense of smallness,” said the 0.0003 gram worker.

“I instantly knew that there had to be a greater power than myself,“ Schniepp correctly realized, not even 20 feet away from evolutionarily superior primates. “Now that I know this, the grass, the only patch of which surrounds my home, is a little greener.”

Schniepp recalls that, before stepping back and observing the beautiful expanse of the known ant universe, his life was committed to “going through the motions.”

“In the hustle and bustle of my 80-day existence, life had jaded me. I slowly became accustomed to the taste of nectar… and water seemed all but dry on my mandibles,” he continued. “I suppose that you often lose perspective of what is important. We get so caught in the chaos of finding edible debris… But why? Shouldn’t there be more to life than survival?

“I’ve resolved to live life to the fullest,” Schniepp added. “What truly matters is family — and learning how to dance in the rain, as massive as its drops might be.”

When asked of his future plans, and how his recent enlightenment would play a part, Schniepp seemed to be lost in thought.

“I guess from now on, I’ll take everything with a grain of salt,” he said, referencing the deposit of salt he had found that afternoon on a discarded french fry. “I mean, there’s so much of this parking lot that I won’t see in the remaining ten days of my lifetime. I could be sampling everything this life has to offer! Why should I waste my days thinking about how fundamentally insignificant we all are?”