The Tell-Tale Slug

slugfaceTRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

***

Door opens, wife (blond hair, black nighty) comes back into house.

“Man, don’t EVAR go out into the yard barefoot first thing in the morning,” she says.

“Slugs?” he says.

She just nods. “Everywhere. Everywhere.”

***

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night.  Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the slugs, and thus rid myself of their sliminess, and their instinctive greed for my tomatoes, for ever.

***

He went into the basement and got a big bucket.

***

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work!

***

He has a whole box of disposable rubber gloves he uses for wet plate photography. He puts one on his right hand and goes around filling the bucket with slugs.

“You have to cut them in half with scissors,” says his wife.

He knows this.

“You know what happened last time when you didn’t.”

He knows this, as well.

***

Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust them into the bucket!  Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this? And then when they were all in the bucket, all I could find (80, I counted) I dumped them into the biodegradeable garbage can (the rubbish bin for biodegradeable garbage, that is). 

***

He has to shake the bucket to get them all out, some have a pretty good grip on the inside surface of the bucket. He reaches into the bucket and scrapes the last couple off. He already knows it was a stupid idea. It was one of those stupid ideas you should never do, but you feel trapped inside them once you start and you can’t stop, even though stopping would be the best course of action. You feel compelled to see them through to the end.

***

And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly to the garbage can with whatever biodegradeable garbage there was, and lifted the lid and I looked in upon them while they slept. But they did not sleep.

***

In fact, they are very active. They all crawled up to the lid. It is hard to open the rubbish bin because the lid is heavy with slugs.

***

It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness — eighty dull slugs, hideous, that chilled the very marrow in my bones.

***

So the man slams the lid shut  a few times to get the slugs off. He dumps garbage on them but they climb up the walls again. He dumps ashes on them later and that seems to do the trick. Also more garbage after that.

***

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as eighty slimy watches make when buried under fireplace ashes and biodegradeable garbage. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the slugs’ hearts.

***

“See?” says his wife.

“I know,” he says, completing her sentence. “I should have cut them in half with scissors.” But, he thought, that seemed so cruel, not to mention you have slimy scissors afterwards.

***

No doubt I now grew VERY pale. Yet the sound increased — and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND — MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS EIGHTY WATCHES MAKE WHEN ENVELOPED IN FIREPLACE ASHES AND BIODEGRADEABLE TRASH. I gasped for breath. I could bear those slimy pests no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! — and now — again — hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! –

***

“Garbage pick-up is tomorrow,” says the man.

“I’ll buy some cheap beer and put out traps,” says the man, also. Because he saw hundreds more, glistening with dew, when he went out to pick tomatoes, just now.

An opera

Maria, Argentina, Cry, etc. etc.
or
Everything is better with slugs
an Opera
by
Mig Living

Scene I
Governor’s Mansion
Advisors:

Rising! Rising! You are a star!
Opportunistic cutthroats all
we drive the nation into the ground
and you are rising among us!
you are a star!

Chorus:
Sic!

Scene II
Governor’s office. He is alone, typing on computer.

Governor:

You are glorious!
I hope you understand!
Who needs shrinks???
Did you get my eamils?

Chorus:
Sic!

Governor:

Are you basking gloriously?
Are you holding something in the fading light?
Wow, what a rack!
I miss you unbeleivably

Chorus:
Sic!

Maria:
(Whom we hear but not see, only her words on a computer screen)

Hi beloved!
You’re a great kisser!
Crisp as new lettuce!
You make me feel like a teenager!
Soft and slimy!

I’am realized now
How it feels to realy love
I dream of embrassing you
Forever!!!1!

Chorus:
Sic!
Sic!
Sic!

Maria:
My address is (deleted by the State!)
Come to me
You leafy thing
Wet and crisp and tasty!!!

Scene III
In the wilderness

Governor:
Sweetest!
I am most jealous of your salad!
Stuck in world wind tour with family, China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, all that shit
:(((
Then hanging with McCain :(((
Oh, the battle scars of life!
Missing your magnificent parts!1!
O sexual details at the steakhouse!
O 2 pathetic figures!
:)

Chorus:
Sic!

Maria:
I don’t know if I did understood
Your trips are unworthable, remember
You fullfile me with happiness
I don’t want to put the genius back in the bottle!
Freedom! Freedom!
Leafy, tasty freedom!

Chorus:
Sic! Sic! Sic!

Scene IV
Governor’s Mansion

First Lady:
She’s a what?
She’s a what?

First Advisor:
At least it’s not another woman!
Technically it’s not adultery

Second Advisor:
O shut up! Shut up!
Will you just shut up!

Shut up and let me think!

First Lady:
The man I married
and a slug?
Not even a house on her back?

Governor:
In my defense, it was dark.
Dark and moist
In the fading night’s light
O was it ever dark

Chorus:
Sic!

Advisors:
We must spin!
We must spin!
But how can this be spun???
:(((

First Lady:
You must confess!
Confess! Confess!
Apologize!!!!!

Governor:
What? What? What do you suggest?

Advisors:
What? Confess?
Never!

First Lady:
Confess!
Apologize!
I beseech you!
Just leave out the slug part!

Governor:
What? I am confused!
My head, my head.

Advisors:
The idea!
It is brilliant!
:)))
You must confess!
Just leave out the slug part!

(etc etc)

The Waste Land (v 2.0)

THE WASTE LAND

(from a manuscript recently discovered in the stuffing of a sock puppet)

“Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam
possit materiari?

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

I take it back, April is not the cruellest month,
But June, breeding
Slugs out of nowhere, geeze
Where do they all come from, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, they say
Not much snow, and April, so hot, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised you, didn’t it, dude?
Everything looked fine, the tomatoes so tall
Lettuce so lush, until, with a shower of rain, we swarmed
And went on in sunlight, into the Salatgarten,
And ate radishes, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Schnecke, sondern Nacktschnecke, echt hungrig.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots of that beet, whose branches are
So very tasty? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, devoured beets,
And the dead row of peas gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
This is where we hide, nice and cool, during the day
When your shadow at evening rises to meet you;
We emerge, slimy flashmob, today’s the lettuce’s turn.
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
Heulst salzig’ Tränen
Im Salatgarten!
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth slug.”
– Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Our bellies full, and trail slimy and glittering
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
I thought I would burst
Od’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Floating belly-up in Schwechater. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, we’ll skip her
Kids read this blog
Here is the man with saucers, and here the ale,
And here is the desperate gardener, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by flat beer.
I see crowds of people, reading about this on Twitter.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the foggy dew of an Austrian dawn,
A crowd flowed over Mig’s vegetable garden, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each slug fixed his eyes upon a saucer full of beer.
Flowed up the rim and down into it, kersplash
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Yo, Mig!
“You who planted me the red beets and peas!
“That lettuce you planted last week in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this week?
“Or have we sudden slugs disturbed its bed?

Partay

The slugs all have mobile phones and have been organizing flash mobs in my lettuce patch.

Via Twitter, I suspect.

slimy2009 MIG HAS SET OUT SAUCERS OF BEER! PARTAAAYY!!1! #lettucemob

My wife told me she saw a mob of slugs around one of the dishes I’d set out, drinking beer.

I thought they were supposed to get drunk and fall in or something, but they just have a drink and then go eat lettuce.

slimy2009 DUDE I AM SO BUZZED.

mucouslvr @slimy2009 GO EAT SOME LETTUCE AND CLEAN OUT YR SYSTM.

My wife thinks I didn’t put enough beer in the dishes. All I have is good beer, though, and I hate to share it with slugs. She also says the cat was drinking some.

slimy2009 @mucouslvr DUDE YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO I’M DRINKING WITH.

mucouslvr @slimy2009 THE CAT?

slimy2009 @mucouslvr HOW’D U NO?

mucouslvr @slimy2009 I’M 3 SLUGZ 2 YR LEFT

My wife thinks more beer in deeper dishes might do the trick. I’m hoping it at least makes them slower and easier to catch.