The builder who “modernised” (or “massacred” – your choice) our house was apparently something of an animal lover.
For the purposes of not getting myself in trouble with the law I should state categorically that by “animal lover” I do not mean that he spread peanut butter on his flaccid penis and got horses to lick it off for sexual pleasure. I am instead referring to the act of inserting tubes up the back passages through which squirrels are sent on nut excavation exploratory missions and spreading peanut butter on his flaccid penis before getting anteaters to lick it off.
In addition to those particularly depraved acts he also had a soft spot for slugs as evidenced by the as-yet-undiscovered tunnel built for them somewhere under my kitchen units.
For a while we would – when the night was hot and the air was still – walk into our kitchen with bare feet and not bother with the light because, well, we’d pretty much sussed where everything was. Yes, well that came to a screeching halt the first time I trod on a slug. As long as my hand (almost) and flatter than before and with slightly less moisture than slugs should have as a great portion was affixed to the underside of my toes. I screamed a manly scream. It probably screamed a sluggy one beyond the range of my hearing. Amazingly, it wasn’t dead. Despite my perfect weight for someone approximately three times my size I actually have good reflexes and am quite light-footed – years of stalking prostitutes will do that to a man. I’m also kind to nature’s creatures lest it turn out that I am one so I lifted it up and removed it to the garden and told it to watch out for birds.
It clearly watched out for birds and decided that the best course of action was to seek refuge in my kitchen which it now does on a regular basis. And I don’t know how it gets in. I’ve checked for holes, miniature transporters, secret doors in the brickwork: nothing. It just appears some nights. And you can look at the trail across the quarry tiles and see that it seems to start in the middle of a tile in the middle of the room. I’ve checked for slug mediums in the yellow pages to see whether this is some kind of otherworldly manifestation. But for now I’m just confused. And annoyed. And a little scared. And my toes are still sticky.