A rainy day in Colorado is a rare thing, at least, rare enough that I revel in them whenever they happen. This week we’ve had a few storms blow through, soaking the ground and coaxing the worms up out of their burrows.
The sight of the worms inching along sidewalks is a welcome one, and strolling into my office I swerved my feet around them to keep from trampling them. But then one caught my eye; it didn’t look like the rest. It was gray instead of russet, the belly flattened out like a plate. It wasn’t hard to tell the front from the back, since it sported a pair of tentacles.
It was a slug. A big, slimy garden slug, and it wasn’t alone. Glancing around, I spotted at least a dozen more of these beasts, oozing their way across the concrete. As an entomologist confronted with such a creature, I uttered a technical term we like to use: “Eeewww.”
Having voiced my fear, I went inside the office and ignored the gathering horror outside. Slugs disappear if you pretend they aren’t out there.
But more rainsqualls came through last night and today I discovered that, like gastropodal puppies, the slugs had followed me home. Gliding across the driveway, sliming the sidewalk, the slugs were everywhere I looked while frenetic Alfred Hitchcock music pounded through my head.
Clearly they aren’t limited to the vegetable garden, which is the only location I’ve battled the beasts. They’re overrunning the perennials and beaching themselves on the bulbs, oozing around the front yard and scaling the back fence. The only place I didn’t find them was on the bindweed choking the lawn, which makes sense because invading monsters rarely cozy up to one another.
In a panic, I reached for the heavy artillery – beer and pans to pour it in. Crooning a “come and get it,” at the creatures I dispensed this liquid like a bartender on St. Patrick’s day, moving from customer to slimy customer with a smile pasted on my face.
With luck they’ll belly up to the beer, where they’ll plunge headlong into the fermented beverage and drown my sorrows. I’ll know how successful I am tonight when I get home to check the pans.