British writer, performer and ex-expat attempts to unravel life and culture.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Amsterdam: Ant Misbehaving
Something I like about the newer Amsterdam trams is they have sand in them. They have little windows here and there (usually near the joints, i.e. the bendy bits) where you can look through and see sand. I haven't seen any signs yet, but my theory is that they are ant farms. You know, the thin layer of sand between two sheets of glass that as a kid you introduced ants to so you could see their tunnelling? It was a huge crazy in 1957.
1950s ant farmer
So in my theory, eventually we'll start seeing ant trails in these little slots and occasional glimpses of ants. And this is a billion times more fascinating than the terrible adverts and annoying twirling news items they have on the TV screens. Eventually, I hope they fill the TV screens with sand and introduce the ants into there as well.
A terminal case of the termites
I have an extension to my theory in that these new trams are run on some form of ant power. This is all well and good, and ecological, if somewhat exploitative, but it raises one huge issue. What happens when an ant-power tram collides with one of the future nuclear-powered superbusses? Huh? Has nobody seen Them!? The movie where giant ants terrorise the middle of nowhere and bog down the US army in a protracted desert conflict. Do you really want to see huge, radioactive ants attacking government buildings and eating tourists? Actually, that would be pretty cool. I'm off to design an atomic superbus and engineer an accident. See you in 30 years.