Monday, March 12, 2007

Sucks To Be You

Your firearms are useless against them.
If you're a Buddhist monk, your life probably isn't all that bad. You get your head shaved, and you get your orange robe. You get your bowl, which you use for eating and panhandling. You eat your portion of white rice every morning, and the rest of your time you spend relaxing in some shady pine grove, reading some holy Buddhist texts, or unwinding by playing a game of elephant polo with your fellow monks.

It doesn't matter which.

They suffer not, for they lack all human desire. This makes them stand-up guys in our book.

Which makes this news story all that much more funny:

Ants Test Nonviolence of Buddhist Monks

(03-11) 22:13 PDT KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) --

Buddhist monks, who are bound by faith to nonviolence, are grappling with how to rid a temple of a severe ant infestation without killing the insects.

Stinging red ants have plagued the Hong Hock See Temple in northern Penang state for a year, causing one worshipper to be bitten so badly last month that he had to receive hospital treatment, said Elma Lin, a temple volunteer worker.

A temple disciple tried using a vacuum cleaner to gather up the ants before freeing them in a nearby forest, but the method failed to purge the insects, Lin said.

"We haven't found a solution so far," Lin said. "Nothing has worked."

The temple's chief monk, Boon Keng, was quoted by The Star newspaper as saying that the monks had to "respect other living things" in the temple.

"When an ant drops on you, you must not flick it away or blow on it," he told the newspaper. "If you do, it will bite to hold on. You just have to shake it off."

The newspaper published a photograph of Boon Keng standing beside a sign at the temple that read: "Beware poisonous ants. Do not sit under the tree."

The decades-old temple has more than 10 monks living there and hundreds of devotees, Lin said.

Watch out, cuz he bites.

If you looked up "situational comedy" in the dictionary, the definition would include a picture of a Buddhist monk covered with fire ants, wearing them like a leotard, with this look of pained frustration on his face, unable to kill the ants because of Sila. We understand that monks are not allowed to be violent. But when a fire ant, like the one pictured above, clamps its jaws into your skin, it takes a helluva lot of gumption to sit there and take it.

Would these monks really be that violent if they killed a couple ants? Would Buddha look at them any differently if they did? Would he stop showering them with his eternal wisdom and enlightenment, and instead shower them with laser beams that he shoots out of his nostrils?

Hey, it could be a lot worse. They could be dealing with cow ants, which are quite possibly the most dangerous animal known to man. Much worse than fire ants. We have been bitten by fire ants before, and it certainly wasn't pleasant. But when you get bitten by a cow ant, your ankle swells up to the size of a honeydew melon.

They have been known to kill kittens, turtles, and even newborn calves.

Beware of the awesome killing power of the cow ant!


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