Last July a tiny snail crawled it’s way out onto the wall of my living room from some lilies in the corner. He didn’t make it very far in the heat, and proceeded to either a) die on the wall, or b) take a nine month snooze.
Yes, that is how long he has been on the wall, or had been until this morning-but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
I said he was tiny but I should have said nearly microscopic. This is important because I don’t want you thinking I would let giant snails continue to live on the wall of my apartment. He was quite cute, and since I wasn’t sure at first if he was dead or alive, I figured he could just hang out and avoid mingling with Parisian restaurants. I had no intention of initiating long-term scarring on the little guy.
So instead I named him Bob, but called him Robert (pronounced Ro-bear in French) on Thursdays and Sundays -for no real reason except that I have always liked those days and figured he’d appreciate a little formality now and again. Sometimes I would pass the wall and see him, raise a mock high-five, and yell out:
“salut Robert’, or ‘hey Bob’ (depending on the day)
Sometimes I would forget he was there.
About three days after I initially spotted him, I figured he was dead. Still, I decided he could stay. It’s Paris, he’s a snail. Seemed to fit somehow.
Today my friend got close to Bob and prepared his standard greeting to my seemingly-shelled roommate, when suddenly, said friend uttered:
‘Ry, are you serious? Have you ever actually looked closely at this so-called snail?’
So I responded, quite rationally:
‘Well not really, I mean he’s not much to look at, is he? Too small to really see much of anything’
I continued talking but quickly realized that my friend was gazing at me with a look generally reserved for the long pause before explaining reproduction to children. He was preparing a biology lecture, just not one involving snails. Mucus yes, snails-no.
‘Ryan, Bob is a booger. You’ve been greeting a booger-FORMALLY greeting a booger for the past nine months. This is disgusting.’
At first I didn’t believe him. How could Bob be a booger? My little Parisian friend? Robert? Not the mucus I had imagined, but a variety of that only far, far worse?
And then I looked closer.
My cartoonish picture of Bob will never again include a small happy snail with wiggly eyes and a round shell. Now it will forever conjure images of whichever idiot stood in my living room and chose to pick their nose, then flick the findings onto my wall.
You’ll remember that I utilized the adjective cute in the description of a booger. A booger.
This dear readers, is truly the life of the unemployed.
Next time I think there’s a snail, I’m grabbing a sponge and re-evaluating the company I keep.