Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is not a sex blog

OK.  So this doesn't have anything to do with Vietnam, or Sweet William or whether or not Spaghetti Schnabel should become our National Dish.

But, another blogger has thrown down the gauntlet by asking: tell me about the most disgusting thing that's ever invaded your home.

And I was telling the story just the other day - at dinner - with this lovely family.

Posh and Becks.  Bubba was there too, but tucked away safely of course.

Don't get excited.  That's not then - note the absence of any bump in this photo.  Facebook is the lazy blogger's saviour.  It was the night of the gig, actually.

To be clear - it wasn't a wonderful dinner-table story.  You might want to put down your lunch.

For three years, because we were poor and quite stupid Martin and I lived in the armpit of Grey Lynn.  The little gully down the back of Chinaman's Hill, between the cliff-face and the motorway.  And the armpit of Grey Lynn is moist and greasy and densely populated with these guys:

That is a leopard slug.

They grow very long.  My grandfather used to have slugs in his vegetable garden.  They'd be burrowed among the lettuce leaves and generally not much more than a couple centimetres long.  You could just wash them down the sink.

These guys get to about NINETEEN centimeters long.  You can't wash them down the sink.  If there was one of these in your kitchen sink and you turned the tap on it, it would just stay there.  Sticking.

I don't know why, but they come in the windows.  They'll come in the front door.  They climb up the curtains.  They get between the couch cushions.  Everywhere they go they leave trails. They are so big, and so purposeful in their movements, they look as though they have thoughts.  This isn't just a blind little worm, lost.  The slugs INVADE.

I began to develop a phobia.  I would imagine that they were coming in the window and slugging past my face as I slept.  One night I was home alone, and I woke up to see a fully fifteen centimeter long slug MARCHING across the carpet in the living room.  It had entered through the bedroom window, slugged past my sleeping self, out of the bedroom and was making its way to the couch.  In panic, I grabbed a tupperware bowl and trapped it underneath.  I was so anxious to stop it before it could escape I had dropped tupperware all over the floor, but I didn't want to turn my back on it and clean up.

I sat up and waited for my rescue, and when Martin finally got in I shrieked at him:  THERE'S A SLUG!  IT'S UNDER THE THING!

And when he picked up the first 'thing' he could see and said "It's not there" I nearly died.   (Don't worry, dear Reader - he got right thing and evacuated the slug before anyone was hurt.  Slug evacuation, by the way, generally entails hurling the little buggers over the neighbour's fence.)

So, as I explained to our by now horrified friends, I realised that I needed to do something about this sluggish phobia.  A little aversion therapy and education, I thought, will cure this.

Ask me anything you want about leopard slugs.  I know it all. 

They are fascinating. Someone even found beauty in them once - lookit!

Sadly, for me, aversion therapy and education didn't work. I don't care if you've got a blue penis winding out of your head. You're still not allowed on my windowsills.

Slug sex is very egalitarian.  Ain't no patriarchy amongst the hermaphrodites.

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