#1 They seem to have no sense of danger. Whatsoever. Driveways, paths, doorsteps, pavements – it’s all fair game to them, making it incredibly hard not to stand on one of the little shell-covered critters. The very sight of them might turn my stomach but the last thing I want to do is stand on one. One, it’s a bit mean. Two, it’s a bit… messy.
#2 Their camouflage brown colour only makes them HARDER to dodge. And heaven forbid it’s dark outside. It’s like running a snail-dotted gauntlet with a blindfold on.
#3 When they choose to, they can move faster than you think. Don’t be fooled by their reputation. Step outdoors, dodge the kamikaze snail on the step as you go, return a moment later and… where’s it gone? It’s like trying to spot Wally in one of his pictures. You know he’s there, but where…
#4 They may be kamikaze, but they can also be sly. Very, very sly. They will lurk underneath the handles of the rubbish bin, waiting to send you into an oh-my-god-I-actually-touched-one tailspin. They will lurk underneath the handles of watering cans, provoking an identical reaction. They will even lodge themselves within the spout of watering cans… at least it explained why no water was coming out. Gross but it happened.
#5 It would appear they love the rain, emerging here, there and everywhere to glide along like u-boats in deep sea. Do wet surfaces make it easier for them to get about? Or help them to stay moist? Either that or they actually hate the rain and are doing their best to scuttle out of it.
#6 Though they tend to hide by day and come out to silently terrorise by night, there are always those few who will flout the rules. You’ll spot one clinging to a bright white wall in broad daylight or stuck to a window or glass door. (Thankfully on the outside.)(Though I once knew of someone who had them on the inside… a ropey extension apparently.)(Imagine THAT!!!!!!!!)
#7 They’re hungry little beggars. Sweat peas, garden peas, courgettes, tomato plants, hostas, nasturtiums. You name it, they’ll ruin it, leaving behind their silvery slimy trails (what IS that stuff? It’s stickier than uni-bond) or half-eaten leaves or both.
#8 There’s a telltale crunching sound when you’ve just driven over one. Oops.
#9 If they’re an unwelcome sight individually, try lifting the lid on your garden bin after a clear out. Good God, they make their way to the surface like an approaching army, edging closer and closer to the rim… waiting… all very sinister.
#10 They are, it turns out, MUCH more fascinating to the younger generation. Particularly boys… like my neighbour’s three-year old boy who she found in the garden holding a snail by its shell and happily vroom-vrooming the slug-like bit along the ground like he would one of his toy cars. *Gag*
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