Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Night of the Slug Rave

That's what I'm calling last night. It was a Friday, after a long, hard week. My wife and I decided to sit out on the front porch with a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers. Little did we know that we were crashing a party. It began just after dark as we were in the middle of talking about our respective days. That's when we noticed the first arrivals. The air was cool and damp with impending rain. A pair of slugs were climbing up one of the columns on our porch. They were right in front of us. We acknowledged their slimy presence and I refilled our wine glasses.

A few minutes later, we noticed that the slugs had apparently reached their target height on the column and began, um, partying. They climbed over one another, intertwining their bodies, and...forming letters. We felt like we were about to be swept up in some kind of Charlotte's Web situation as the slugs formed O-S-A-O in sequence. We might have missed a letter or two, but that's probably just as well. I'm afraid to know what they were trying to communicate to us.

Their little party kicked into high gear, and the two bodies, which were both easily four inches long, began writhing and undulating very spasmodically. They seemed to have no concern for their personal safety as they began sliding down the column as a single, orgiastic mass of slug-flesh. The downward sliding didn't distract them from their gyrations at all. Slime practically poured off of them. It was only a matter of time, as my wife predicted, before one of the fell, plummeting two feet to the concrete below. That has to be a long distance when you're a slug, even in the throes of mind-numbing passion. It just lay there for a while and eventually started moving again, but not very far. The other also held its ground up on the column, its energy and strength clearly spent.

My wife and I toasted our guests and thought that our slug adventures were over for the night. We were wrong. Within minutes a third slug entered the scene. This one climbed onto our small porch from the side and was moving like greased lightning straight toward me. I was already a little disturbed by what we'd witnessed and this was more than I could take. I moved my chair out of the slug's path. It eventually slowed down to a normal slug's pace and seemed to relax.

Meanwhile, the slug on the column craned its head around the corner of the square column to see where I had gone! It looked right at me and I could see its head and elongated antennae silhouetted in the dim light provided by a nearby streetlamp. It was very creepy to be sought out by these overly friendly animals. When we saw the fourth giant slug approaching from the sidewalk, we decided that it was time for us to head inside for the night.
As we took our leave, we couldn't help but feel that for the slugs, the night - and the rave - were just starting.

Currently reading: White Night by Jim Butcher

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