The Slug Invasion

Two slugs going for a walk

Operation Dragnet – da de da da

Time: Yesterday evening

Place: my back garden

They were not the friendly slugs known as snail,  carrying their own little house on their back and waving hello when they saw you. They can be quite pretty with nice stripy ornament shells and just staying put: yesterday it was raining, just once but all day.

The evening arrived and I was on an inspection tour of my estate. As the estate is not very large, the tour is not a long tour. I checked to see if everything was in place and then I saw them, stealthily creeping up the stalks, over leaves and almost reaching the flower buds. They had no houses, they were slugs and were brazenly showing their slimy naked form as if they were daring me to touch them. I thought at first it was one or two, and so what does it matter when I take one or two between my fingers and throw them into the neighbour’s garden.

I soon realised my mistake, the one or two were just the advance party. Further down there were one or two hundred, all sliming their way slowly but surely. I gave up, but first of all washed my hands with soapy water about five times, although traces of slime were still there. It seems our slugs lay their eggs in the earth and one day, weather permitting, generally after a strong rain shower, they hatch, they emerge, they pick up their knives and forks and begin the search for food.

I also took action and found my box of anti-slug ammunition pellets, remembering that I had used the box to take precautions with my parsley. Slugs love parsley, it is No. 1 on the slug hit list of plants to eat. I was left defenceless, the box was empty. No pellets to melt their sweet little slime covered bodies, transforming them into liquid. I am an animal friend, really, but slugs are not animals, just slimy avengers, destroying everything that lays in their slime path.

Today I returned from my shopping trip with a mega box of anti slug pellets costing 15 Swiss Francs, which is not cheap, but every cent was worth it. I distributed the pellets everywhere and their fate is sealed. Today was a quiet day in the garden, although slugs are quiet in a sneaky way. Not even my cats will eat them.

I am wondering what will be the next enemy to appear. Perhaps Godzilla slug will develop and take revenge.

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans and the Dreaded Sock Monster

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

3 lonely socks found on the stairs

How is it possible that you lose your socks, leave them lying on the stairwell, just forget them. They belong to the foot, not to be draped over a metal bar for all to see. Obviously the person that lost them was on the way from the washing room and they just fell on the wayside: how careless some people can be. I am very fussy about socks. They belong on the feet, in pairs usually. Someone has now only socks for three feet, as these are definitely not paired. It is a disgrace and I am sure we have no extra-terrestrials living in the house. It is a sad state of affairs because he is missing the three socks belonging to his other three feet.

Let me begin from the beginning. I live in a cold country in Winter. Switzerland is known for snow and ice and temperatures that decline below zero at this time. Warm clothing is necessary especially for the feet. Even in the hot summer days socks belong to the cover up of the feet. Some people do not have such pretty feet, so all the more important.

Even socks go through a season of fashion. There was a time when 90% of the men were wearing white socks. It looked quite good, especially with office uniform complete with a white shirt and tie. There was a time when the golf pattern was in, nice diamonds in various colours, ready to wear for putting on the course. They arrive in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colours. Over the years, with the trouser fashion for women, women also began to wear socks, the nylon stockings gradually becoming out of fashion, and they do increase the volume of sweat being synthetic.

So there I was mother of two sons, with a husband and discovered the sock even for myself. I was never a fan of nylons, a good pair of solid socks gave warmth, but there was a small problem. We were a clean family (as most of us are) and so after wearing a pair of socks for a day they were discarded, thrown into the washing bin and next morning your feet were clothed in clean socks. Some teenage sons even found that two pairs of clean socks were necessary per day. As I am woman, the washing chore was mine. I knew how the washing machine functioned, was able to sort the various items to fit the washing temperature and I was left with the responsibility. This was actually not a problem, when I think of grandmother with her bath full of soapy suds rubbing the wash on a washing board, rinsing them and afterwards pressing them between two rollers before hanging them to dry, so who am I to complain.

Although I was a little under pressure. I did a sock wash weekly. My male family had enough clean socks to wear for a week and I must admit, I was also now wearing socks but I recognised my own socks. Perhaps because they had nice little patterns with flowers, colourful stripes or just some letters like “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc.” Yes we women are organised. The men are a different kettle of fish socks. They seem to dress their feet in a monotonous way. There were weeks when only black socks were worn, weeks with only white socks, or perhaps the famous golf pattern. Sometimes there might be a mixture, but I am talking about one week, four pairs of feet (including me, and I knew my own socks), so work it out. 7 daysx2 feet x3 men=52 socks + mine which were clear. Problems arose when my man lost a sock and found it in the son’s pile. The son had socks in the drawer in the bedroom belong to his brother and the brother discovered that his father’s socks were too large for his feet. There was also a difficulty as they never discussed which colours to wear, and I might have a white sock week, black sock week etc. etc.

Are you with me, the complete responsibility weighed on my feet shoulders, I was dealing out the wrong socks and even more, I had paired a size large with a size medium, meaning that male member of the family had one foot either swimming in a sock too large or a foot slowly suffocating because the sock was too small. There was also the sock eating monster problem. There were times when the sock quantity was not divisible by two and either socks were missing or I had one too many according to how you look at it. Life could not go on in this way. Harsh words were spoken, or deathly silence reigned

I had to be angry with myself, this sock problem was no problem at all. The solution was at my finger-tips. You take a large table. When the socks are dry, clean and ready to be worn you throw them all on the table, just random. Then you call “come and get it!” It might be that your first call is ignored, but patience is a virtue. After ten years there is no longer a sock problem. First of all I take mine (the socks with the pretty patterns and colours) and then the men arrive. As one man has moved out in the meanwhile, the problem now belongs to his partner. I wish her the best of luck, but I think the youngsters now grow up with the sock problem in their blood and we women conquer all. There are now only two men left at home and as one is at work, so one man does it all. There are no longer sock problems, and it is now summer, so the sock amount dwindles in any case.

Who groans about socks? No problem, just a question of organisation.

Actually I was going to talk about the sweet little snails that have invaded my garden, munching happily on everything with a green colour, but decided this was not a problem that snail pellets cannot solve. They are now all literally slowly melting into the background.

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans and The Dreaded Sock Monster