Unfortunately, a minute later, he does. 'B, I need you...' I sigh, put my book down (highly recommended so far, btw) and grab my dressing gown.
'What is it?' I call as I walk through.
'A slug' comes his reply.
My face twists involuntarily. I was hoping for a spider. I don't like spiders, but I'm better at dealing with them than D. All I need is a glass and I can put them outside. Slugs? Far more complicated, not least because although I'm the better at dealing with them, I hate and detest the things. They creep me out. And although we get less of them since we had our bathroom done, our ground floor bathroom means we'll always get them occasionally.
When I see it, I almost panic. It's huge. And it's heading towards the corner of the wall. How on earth am I going to pick it up? I usually use half a roll of kitchen roll, pick it off the wall so I can't feel it under there, and stick it out the window. I don't want them in my garden, but I can't bear to kill them. I poured salt over one in my kitchen once when I was a student and pretty tipsy, and I was horrified by what happened. I cried. I'd rather let them take their chances with my neighbour's slug pellets than do anything to them myself. After considering for a minute, I fetch the dustpan and brush from the kitchen.
D, standing helpfully in the corner, knows I like snails. I know it's basically the same creature and so highly illogical, but for whatever reason, snails are cute. Slugs are horrible. So he suggests 'why not think of it as a homeless snail?'
I'm about to snap at him, before I realise he could be onto something. This is a huge slug, and I'm going to need something to help me deal with it. I hate the idea of even holding something that's holding a slug, but maybe I can get round it that way. 'OK', I say.
I hold out the dustpan, trying to work out what angle I need to hold it at to knock the
'Henry the homeless snail' D says encouragingly. 'He was evicted from his last shell because he lost his job and didn't have any money to pay the rent.'
'Poor thing,' I murmur. I'm still hating this, but suddenly I'm calmer. I wait til Henry is mostly onto the dustpan, then I move over to the window and fling him out into the darkness.
It's ridiculous, but it's true. Thinking of a slug as a homeless snail makes them easier for me to deal with. I am so sad.