Saturday, October 6, 2012
I had just settled into a fairly blank notebook page when I heard it, a still, small voice --surprisingly mellifluous-- announcing something intended to shock and disgust me: "Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself."
"Gaaah!" I replied.
"Gaaastropod, I think."
"Of course you are," I said. "I can tell by the attitude and pawky humor. Quite distinctive of your kind. Where are you?"
"I'm sort of under the brown bench across the walk. See me?"
"Yes, there you are on the support. How are you?"
"Hah! Should've seen that coming. Mucus trail up the cinder block, eye-pod waggling."
"Eye-stalk, you mean. I'm a slug, not an undergrown adolescent whose status is predicated upon Apple Inc. Products. But that "Gaaah!", it's about mucus isn't it?"
I eyed the slug. Was he right? No, slugs love to start arguments as much as they love word-play. Verbal repartee. Couldn't let myself be drawn into his --well, not web. They don't have webs-- mucus trail, then.
"Slug", I said. "I weary of your snotty insinuations."
"Insinuation? Now there's a five-jointed godless eel of a word! How do you expect that to hang onto your notebook page?"
"Damn right! All those essy words --insinuation, succulent, seersucker, sarcocarp, sapindaceous-- all leave a mucus trail."
"What about homo-sapiens?"
"Present company excepted. Do you need a hankie?"
I may be a rather dense human but even I could perceive the gastropod's insult. One doesn't suggest dehydration to another species without some unresolved personal issues outside pawky predisposition. I stood up.
"Excuse me, slug. I'm going in to get a beer. Could I interest you in...ah, I thought not."