Thursday, 26 April 2007

intruder

There's an exclamation from the bathroom. I'm tucked up in bed reading already; I consider getting up to investigate, but only for a second. Why would I get out of bed without knowing for sure I need to? He'll call if he needs me.

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 slug snail onto the dustpan. It shivers away, but then starts to move towards the dustpan. 'That makes life easier' I comment.

'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.

4 comments:

Anxious said...

If it helps you deal with it, it doesn't really matter!

In our last rented house, we kept finding slugs in our utility room. We couldn't work out how they were getting in, until we realised that the cat flap actually wasn't a flap at all - it was a hole in the back door!

I touched a slug once by accident - it was stuck on a bag of garden waste and I really grabbed at it. It left an orange stain on my hand - it was grim.

b said...

This is true :)

And ew to the hole in the back door!

I picked up a bowl of rabbit food once in the dark only to put my hand firmly on the slug that was crawling over the top. I don't know who was more freaked - me, the slug or the rabbit. This might be one of the reasons they really freak me out.

loria said...

i'm not a big fan of crawlies, whether they be ants and spiders or slugs and snails but i love d's idea of calling slugs homeless snails! they really are the same things, just... slimier.

b said...

D is the coolest :)