Malacoid Adj. made of a soft or fleshy substances
If you thought the worms were bad, today’s word has me thinking of slugs.
That’s right, slugs.
We have one garden plot that is infested with crop-destroying, slime-leaving, hermaphrodite-being SLUGS. Last week, I went out one fine morning, fully intending to harvest some fresh baby spinach and what did I find? Devastation! A spinach wasteland of chewed plants and unearthed roots. All because a colony of slugs got there first and decided, in their evil little hearts that they wanted my spinach more than I did!
They're evil, I tell you, EVIL!
And for those of you who think I'm exaggerating their evilness, let me tell you that as the English research nerd that I am, (some things will never change), I immediately began looking up slugs and found that they can be an apophallating species. What is an apophallating species, you may wonder. A species in which the hermaphroditic creatures can become entangled during coitus and can only be separated when one chews off the penis of the other!
On an only slightly related note, I think this is the exact reason I should never research things on the internet. I always seem to find the most horrifying tidbit of information out there and also always feel compelled to share it....still, I think this proves my point about slugs being evil.
In any case, the rest of my research indicated that beer traps are a good start at slug removal. You take a little bowl, bury it to the rim in the affected area, fill it with beer and voila! The slugs slime their way in, get sluggish from drinking too much beer, and drown.
It seemed a little too good to be true but let's be honest, beer is a main staple of our kitchen. We may run out of bread, eggs, flour, or butter, but we ALWAYS have beer. Opie issued a few mild protests to the beer plan (Bud Light? You're feeding Bud Light to slugs?) but these were overcome with a much more impressive show of histrionics (Did you see the spinach? Did you? Do you think I can handle more of this devastation? DO YOU REALLY?). And a beer baiting we did go!
And I did catch 3 slugs...3 little slugs and one big Bub of a dog, drinking the beer and licking his chops. Not exactly a screaming success.
Bub suggested that we should bait 10 or 12 beer traps and leave them all over the yard or, failing that, pour it directly in his bowl and he would knock the slugs into it later but that just didn’t seem appropriate.
So, I headed back to the computer for more information. And, sadly. the best way to get rid of the little monsters is outright murder. Go out late at night and kill as many of them as you can, then turn over the soil the next day to kill their nasty little eggs.
So, now, every night Opie and I arm ourselves with flashlights, salt, and garden trowels and tiptoe around the entire yard looking for slugs (one of us with the unholy glee of a serial killer or die-hard vigilante intent on saving the poor defenseless spinach from the evil, gaping maws of the invading slug horde, the other with unenthusiastic acceptance that giving in to your new spouse's somewhat lunatic requests is less painful than logical resistance. I'll let you all guess which is which). We search under all the spinach leaves, along the rock border, and underneath the mulch. Whenever we find one, we dig it out with the garden trowel and--even now--I jump back and squeal in revulsion. We used to dump salt on top of them but I kept imagining them writhing in the throes of salt-induced agony and I couldn’t take it…I mean, sure they’re evil but torture is bad for my karma. So now we chop their malacoid bodies in half. Which is a quicker death for them but is so revolting that it makes me squeal even more.
Can you imagine what the neighbors are thinking? They see lights flashing around the yard, hear a loud thunk, then a girlish squeal….Kind of wondering how long it’s going to take them to call 911 to report a pair of lunatic intruders next door.