The Garden of the House of the Flying Martinis will soon be opening its doors to the public as “Snail World”.
Effectively, it’s the latest in our attempt to deal with the fact that we are completely and utterly infested by snails. We have been custodians of the one footed, slime-mongers ever since we moved in eight years ago. Apparently in
Around the country you could be sat behind cars with bumper stickers exclaiming “We Went at a Snail’s Pace to Snail World!” or “My friend went to Snail World and all I got was this lousy bumper sticker and a jar of slime!”
If you are not used to seeing them, coming across a massive snail can be quite interesting, I suppose. You might even get it some lettuce and watch it crunch its way through it. My dad claims he once saw a huge one in
They are actually quite cute with their little eyes on stalks and their little shell houses. In our case,though, we are infested to biblical proportions, so we are way beyond finding them cute. Any large number of anything is terrifying. One kitten= cute; two thousand kittens= scary. Same thing with snails.
Last Saturday we came back from a few light ales at our neighbours’ house (not Nice Female Neighbour and Male Neighbour I’m Not that Keen on, but our Neighbours we Really Like Because They are Just Like Us). It had been drizzling all night and it was dark; primo snail conditions.
As we came into the garden we felt and heard crunching underfoot as we unwittingly squished the brutes. There were hundreds of them, everywhere. Most of them were alarmingly huge.
Even though they are a horrible pest, it felt terrible to squish them. The same way it’s inconceivable that I would pour salt over them, or let them eat poisonous pellets. It’s not a Buddhist thing or anything, as I will cheerfully chase a bluebottle round the house with a newspaper, or spray high-grade chemicals at wasps or midges.
It might be because, unlike slugs who just look like horrible big bogies, we feel a connection with snails, because like us, they live in houses. Or maybe it’s that my generation of “Magic Roundabout” era kids could never envision themselves harming Brian the Snail.
Whatever the reason, the Martinis like to re-home the snails instead of committing escargot genocide. So that night, the four of us collected over 200 snails in a bucket and relocated them to the bottom of the street into a field. The next evening me, Junior Misssy and my three nieces found hundreds more in the garden and did the same. But it occurs to me, what if Sunday’s batch were actually Saturday’s batch of blighters come back home?
Do we have homing snails? I’m going to investigate. I’m going out with Tippex tonight to number the devils, and then re-home them to the field and see how long it takes til they come back. If I’m lumbered with the beasts, I might as well have fun with them.
And of course, if any come back, then my homing snails may just be the unique selling point I need to market “Snail World”.