Saturday, 12 May 2012
Can you really get ants in your pants?
The phrase 'ants in your pants' may well be an idiom for squirming about, but I once got real ants in my pants when I was five years old, and I remember to this day (1) running home to my mum as fast as hell because all hell was going off inside my shorts and (2) I was dancing and screaming - most certainly not merely squirming.
It was 1964, in England, and I was sitting on a wall with a few friends. I remember we were looking at a jet plane in the sky when I had an immediate urge to up and run home because of a terribly painful stinging mass attack going on all of a sudden in my pants. My mum pulled me inside the house, pulled down my shorts and pants and there all over my private parts was a mass of black ants. She got a wet cloth and got them all off. It was an extremely hot day and my Mum said they had gone into my pants to get salt from my sweat.
I've never met anyone else who has actually had ants in their pants. I know its not a myth that it can happen - just like getting an earwig in your ear. But is it rare? Probably it is extremely rare if you are sitting on the couch watching TV, but possibly less rare if you sit on top of, or close to, an ants nest like I did? Let's see what the self-appointed 'experts' and 'skeptics' on the net have to say.
(1) Answers.com is useless (seems to be run by unimaginative and non-laterally thinking high school teachers) - they do not answer the question posed "Why do you get ants in your pants" because they think its a mere idiom and are not dealing with the question on a literal level. Here.
(2) Urban dictionary is similarly unhelpful. Here.
(3) Here is a story about a guy who got ants in his pants while they were off his body and on the floor.
Other than that - ten minutes of searching on Google asking "Can you really get ants in your pants?" reveals no answers. So here, Mythbusters, we have a strangely unexplored area. Verdict: more research needed.