What do you do when you write a daily blog and have to get up at 7.30am and drive sharpish to Oxford for the day? Well, you grasp at straws and write a blog about slugs around midnight the previous night. This is that blog.
Long-running readers may retain nightmarish memories of my eternally-un-named friend’s obsession with killing slugs in the back garden, normally at dead of night when the surrounding neighbours are fast asleep and unable to witness the terrestrial gastropod mollusc carnage.
The unfortunate, slow-moving creatures usually get collected in their tens in a metal mug and are then put into a copper chamber pot where they meet their maker via a tsunami of boiling water.
My eternally-un-named friend was at it again last night.
“They are only slugs,” I told her.
“Worms go whoomph and they vanish,” she replied with, I thought, rather a lot of irrelevance.
“Slugs deserve to die,” she insisted. “Look at this plant. They’ve been eating this plant to smithereens. It’s been in hospital for weeks trying to recover. Look at it! They’re not even supposed to like eating this plant!”
“What’s it called?” I asked.
“Nemesia or something,” said my eternally-un-named friend. “I can’t remember.”
“Amnesia?” I suggested.
“No, it starts with an N,” she insisted. “Can’t you blog about someone else? Just print the lyrics to that Noel Coward song you were listening to the other day. There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner. That’s interesting.”
“It may be in copyright,” I said, “and it’s not as good as the mass extermination of God’s creatures. You could end up at the International Court in the Hague for this.”
“Blog about something else,” pleaded my eternally-un-named friend. “What about that fantastic poster Lewis Schaffer sent you tonight of him kicking in the air?
“He looked like Robert De Niro in it. Phone him up. He won’t be in bed now. Have a bath. Think about it.”
“You’ve brought Lewis Schaffer into it now,” I said. “He will be very pleased… They’re trying to escape.”
“What?” asked my eternally-un-named friend.
“They’re trying to escape,” I repeated. I think they’re standing on each others shoulders – if slugs have shoulders – and trying to form a pyramid to escape up the side of the cup.”
This caused my eternally-un-named friend such trauma that she poured boiling hot water straight into the cup, bypassing the usual chamber pot method.
After photographing this slug carnage on my iPhone, I went back into the kitchen with her. I had left the outside door open. The ceiling round the light had about 30 flea-like creatures on it.
“Fleas!” I said.
“Flies not fleas,” my eternally-un-named friend told me. “Flies are OK.”
“Kill them all,” I heard myself say to her. “There’s a moth there on the lampshade, too. Kill the moth. Kill everything.”
It did not end well.
Nature is not to be encouraged.
This is what comes of opening windows and doors in the heat.
There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner is on YouTube.