The ants are my friends?

Through friends on Facebook, a 7/30/12 Captain Scratchy cartoon (by Chuck Ingwersen) “The Wiener Dog Is Annoyed”, in which a dachshund and a pug are transfixed in panel 1 by small black dots on the ground between them, from which these sounds are emanating:

🎶Just like me, they long to be … close to you. 🎶

🎶Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. 🎶

🎶We’ve only just begun. 🎶

— upon which, in panel 2, the dachshund growls:


(To get this, you need to know that carpenter ants are a real thing — not a stretch — and you really need to know about Karen and Richard Carpenter and their songs from 1970-71.)

Carpenter ants. From Wikipedia:

(#1) Carpenter Ant from the Orkin site

Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are large (0.3 to 1.0 in or 0.76 to 2.54 cm) ants indigenous to many forested parts of the world.

They build nests inside wood consisting of galleries chewed out with their mandibles, preferably in dead, damp wood. They do not consume the wood, however, unlike termites. Sometimes, carpenter ants hollow out sections of trees. They also commonly infest wooden buildings and structures, and are a widespread nuisance and major cause of structural damage. However, their ability to excavate wood helps in forest decomposition. One of the most familiar species associated with human habitation in the United States is the black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). The genus includes over 1,000 species.

(We once had an infestation of carpenter ants in a closet in the Columbus OH house — a closet completely lined with cedar wood, to discourage clothes moths.  Apparently, carpenter ants are delighted  rather than discouraged by cedar wood; the infestation was discovered because the noise of their chewing was strikingly audible in an adjacent room.)

The Carpenters. From Wikipedia:

(#2) The Carpenters in 1974

The Carpenters were an American vocal and instrumental duo of Karen (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (b. 1946). They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen’s contralto vocals with Richard’s arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career [1969-83], the Carpenters recorded ten albums, along with numerous singles and several television specials.

The songs in the cartoon:

🎶Just like me, they long to be … close to you. 🎶: “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (Bacharach & David), 1970

🎶Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. 🎶: “Rainy Days and Mondays” (Nichols & Williams), 1971

🎶We’ve only just begun. 🎶: “We’ve Only Just Begun” (Nichols & Williams),1970

Why no cartoon in this posting? From the site:

Q: Can I post your cartoons on my website or in a newsletter or other publication?
A: Since cartooning is my primary source of income, I can’t give away my artwork to other forms of media. But you can have permission to use my work for a very reasonable fee.

I’m not in a position to pay fees for posting material here, though I understand Ingwersen’s position here: Captain Scratchy is a webcomic (powered by WordPress, just like this blog), and Ingwersen’s only source of income from the comic comes from selling stuff on the site — which means people have to actually go to the site, hence the link I give above in lieu of the actual cartoon.

The title of this posting. Wiener Dog doesn’t think the singing ants are his friends, but where does the title come from?

From my 9/12/09 posting “The ants are my friends”, reporting on this mishearing of Dylan’s “the answer, my friends” (is blowin’ in the wind).

Entertainingly, while I was assembling the material for this posting, I heard a tv commercial that seemed to crow

Everything tastes better with the creepy taste of Philly.

— referring to Philadelphia Cream Cheese, the brand now marketed by Kraft:


The actual commercial has creamy taste, with creamy very close phonologically to creepy (bilabial /m/ heard as bilabial /p/), and with one actual word heard as another (however inappropriate in the context).

One Response to “The ants are my friends?”

  1. Neal Goldfarb Says:

    I don’t know if anyone is interested in, um, antedating “the ants are my friends”, but I can attest to hearing it as part of folk singer Michael Cooney’s between-song banter at a concert in Cambridge, MA, in 1975 or so.

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