Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Slugs On A Porch

Shortwave Set--"Glitches and Bugs" (mp3)
The Happy Planets--"The Summer Slime" (mp3)

I had seen slugs before.

No, check that. I had seen a slug before, never more than one, usually creeping up the Andy Warhol shower curtain in the basement bathroom. A quick blast of hot water from the shower head and he would have to let go and swirl around for a while before half-sticking in the drain.

But never slugs like these.

My wife had come in from the outside and commented casually, "There are a bunch of slugs on the porch."

Not something I would usually have responded to, but I had just finished the 7th and final episode of Generation Kill on DVD, and I was jacked up. Slugs on the perimeter? Trying to compromise our position? No, sir, not on my watch. I dashed to the kitchen to find the salt, my daughter trailing behind me, ready to take on the role of halogen flashlight holder.

"You're going to put salt on them?" my wife asked disinterestedly.

"Kosher salt," my daughter retorted, noticing that I was reaching for the good stuff, as if Kosher salt was like Holy Water, its rabinnical blessing giving it extra power for wet work.

No, never slugs like these had I seen. I could tell that as I soon as I opened the front door and saw their vague gray shapes in the darkness. There were way too many of them.

When my daughter stood almost over them and clicked on her flashlight, it was as if we had discovered, by plane, the Japanese fleet at Midway. Several large slugs with dozens of smaller ones surrounding them were charging toward my front door at a cruising speed of over 6 inches/minute (or .00568 miles per hour). These slugs were smart, organized, disciplined--and, even more clever, they all looked the same, but for the variations in size. It was virtually impossible to tell who the leader was. And with no hesitation, they were coming towards us.

It was quick decision time, either get out of the way of the onslaught or fight back. I chose the latter, guided by my daughter's steady hand on the flashlight and her even firmer resolve. She looked at me and she whispered angrily, "Enough is enough! I have had it with these muthafuckin' slugs on this muthafuckin' porch!"

And my salt rained from the sky.

I don't know if you've ever seen a slug run. Or the slug equivalent. All of the sudden the wet trail thickens and you can detect, if you get close, a veritable burst of speed that is detectable. I couldn't see it, of course; my vision was obscured by the saline blizzard I was unleashing as hard as I could, not only bombarding the main armada, but trying to take out some of the craftier ones that were on the brick walls. By now, they more than knew we were there, and each slug "ship" tried to scatter in a haphazard pattern, hoping to avoid the relentless assault. To no avail, I might add. We had them. Fish in a barrel.

Or so I thought.

It was then that the light caught the other side of the porch, where three slugs had taken a roundabout path, but were closer to the front door. So, the main armada was just a feint, a suicide mission designed to distract me, those slimy dozens willing to sacrifice themselves so that their brethren could get through. I saluted their sneaky valor, and then I salted them with extreme prejudice.

We stepped off the porch to survey our night's work. Just before we breathed a sigh of satisfaction, my daughter's precise light revealed that we had only compromised the front of that flesh-colored flotilla. They were coming out of the garden. The straight "hell from above" approach that I had employed so far would not work here. Our work was not yet complete! The most insidious remained. They were camouflaged among the mulch or creeping along the brick under the precipice. Having studied Midway, I knew that my only hope was to mimic the torpedo bombers and put horizontal fire onto these corsairs. At great expense of salt, I launched wave after wave of sideways attack, eventually lodging enough crystals along the top ledge of the slugs until eventually, the salt broke their hold on the brick and they fell.

It was over. The dead shriveled and the dying writhed, and I took grim satisfaction with the work we had done. But it was over.

What is to be learned? Only this: stay off my muthafuckin' porch...if you want to live.


Billy said...

Has Dick Cheney taken over your soul? Or maybe just your BOTG username and password?

Oh wait. This was also funny, so Cheney couldn't have been involved.

John said...

In Seattle we have Banana Slugs the size of, well, bananas.

They're flat out nasty and I remember taking great pleasure in salting the bastards. A less visceral way of killing them is to put a shallow pie pan of cheap beer in the garden. The next morning, it's like a slug Jonestown.

Tockstar said...

"Slug Jonestown" may be the single funniest image I have ever had in my head. That makes me kind of worried about myself...but I will continue laughing. And why cheap beer? Don't slugs have any taste?

Lee Bailey said...

I thought this post was hilarious until I went out to get the mail and saw two slugs hiding in the bushes. I'm pretty sure they are scouts. Thanks to your post I'll be ready with the Morton's when rest of the troops arrive!

troutking said...

I like this post as well as your Labels at the end of it, as if there are many people searching blogs for "slugocide" or that you plan to write so many blogs on the subject that you'll need some way to organize them.