His name was Barry and he was an ant.

An ant, I hear you say? Am I on drugs? Is that a typo?

No, sir!

The Ant – strongest insect in the world!

It is widely accepted that ants are fucking strong, I mean, not only is it accepted, it’s fact. It’s science.

Imagine carrying 50 times your own body weight!

Meet Barry

So here it goes.

I worked a 40 minute drive from home and drove along a highway.

One day as I was driving home from work, I noticed this ant walking across my windshield. I didn’t think anything of it, he’s an ant, he’ll be right – until we were approaching the highway and the car was speeding up.

At this stage, the ant had walked right into my line of sight and I could see him closely, clearly, and completely.

This ant was about to die.

So, here we are speeding up, and I’m starting to think that maybe I should just use my windscreen wiper and put us both out of our misery. But it’s too late because now I’m attached to this poor, unfortunate insect. I’m thinking “well he’s made it so far, who am I to end it all?”

Besides, I’m pro life and I don’t kill things unless they’re trying to kill me (like all cockroaches and spiders) (and clowns)…

So here’s poor Barry (see I named him, I was attached) and he is holding on for dear life.  The faster I go, the more Barry’s body is being torn away from my windshield. Barry held on like a champion.  

How long is 15 minutes to an ant?

I thought, come on Barry, you got this! But I also knew that my drive along the highway was around 15 minutes of straight driving at 100km’s an hour.

How long is 15 minutes to an ant?  If time is relative to body size, that shit could feel like years.

At first, I could see his little antenna moving, I knew Barry was, well, maybe he wasn’t doing too great, but he was alive and that was more than I could hope for.

Then his body started to look lifeless and I thought “Barry, if you’re playing dead, you are very good!

And then I started to fear that he really was dead and that his lifeless body was just flapping in the wind while the little pads on his feet are just really fucking sticky.

Who Was Barry?

I was driving Barry approximately 40 km away from where I picked him up. Barry was never going home. That to us would be like a one way ticket to Jupiter. Barry doesn’t have the road safety skills or a (visible) thumb for hitchhiking, to return home.

So was Barry’s family waiting for him to come home for dinner? Was Barry’s mother or fiancé waiting for a call to let them know he’s ok?

If he survives this ordeal, will he just kinda, keep plodding along until he bumps into another ant and then he just follows him home?

Hold on, Barry!

Anyway, I’m thinking to myself, I can’t watch his little body just flutter around like that. I’m gonna stop the car but that shit is actually dangerous and this is real life, what the fuck am I supposed to do when I stop on the shoulder of a highway with trucks and hoons speeding past?

What would it feel like to have your feet stuck in concrete while your body is being sucked into space?

Let’s be honest, I kill a thousand Barry’s before breakfast.

But my Barry was different.

Could I keep Barry as a pet, I now start thinking to myself, because this fucking guy, this guy, he’s holding on through the most difficult and unlikely of circumstances. What would it feel like to have your feet stuck in concrete while your body is being sucked into space?

I’m guessing that it would feel pretty fucking terrible.

I thought, Barry, if you survive just long enough for me to get off the highway, I promise I’ll stop where it’s safe and bring you into the car.  

I’ll show you to the Husband and my daughter and we’ll make you a great home, I’ll get you one of those glass cases and feed you loads of leaves, find you some friends, give you guys an apple, it’ll be a party.

But I suppose Barry would just want freedom so I guess I could give that to him seeing as having an ant as a pet is a pretty stupid idea – you add five ants in there with him and he’s lost forever.  Not like you can put a red ribbon on him…

I digress…

So I’m like, come on Barry, we’re almost there! And true to my word, the end of the highway is in sight, I’ve gone from a 100km zone, to a 90, to an 80 and finally, the 60km zone.  

And now, I’m driving obnoxiously slowly and people are starting to back up behind me, but I don’t care because guess what…?

BARRY IS ALIVE!!

Barry is fucking moving, he’s struggling to move with the wind still pretty heavy against him but he’s good, he’s going, he’s moving.  

He’s approaching an area close to the window where I could probably reach my arm out and grab him, so I see a red light and I crack the window open so I can reach my arm out, just in time to see Barry to walk his way up to the top of my windscreen and out of my sight.

SHIT!

I think, ok, he must have a strategy, he’s a survivor, he’ll be ok.  I would stop and check but I’m soooo close to home and let’s face it, if he’s gone, he’s gone. 

I spent the next five minutes driving home absolutely riddled with anxiety.

As I’m pulling into the driveway, the Husband arrives home with his sister (Sissy) in time to see me rush out of the car and start frantically looking at the roof of my car to find Barry.

They are like, what are you doing??

And I’m like, omfg, there was this ant, and I was so anxious driving home and he held on from work and he FUCKING SURVIVED but now I can’t find him and I just want to make sure he’s ok.  

He’s a hero.

Sissy goes, there he is! And as she’s saying this she’s moving her finger in a dangerous fashion towards what may or may not be Barry and I’m like NOOOOOOOOO!!!

Then she misses him and I’m like PHEW and then the Husband starts to build up a sneeze and SNEEZES STRAIGHT ON (maybe) BARRY!

He said he was actually aiming for him because he wanted to see if Barry could handle the speed of a sneeze!

Anyway. Barry may or may be still alive. I did my best.

And he is my hero.

Barry, I salute you my friend. May you be safe and find a new family.

GodSpeed, Barry.  

PEACE.

Author: Billi Milovanovic

Billi, A.K.A Bildo, is a freelance writer and she has loved writing since Hotmail accounts were cool – her 15 childhood diaries will attest to that. She’s birthed a couple of little Bildo’s, been with her adoring Husband for over a decade and they would describe themselves about as happy as clams can be. Not that that means he reads this blog – although he really should, seeing as he features in it quite frequently.