Bob, Robert, and the truth

16 Mar

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.

Until today.

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.

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16 Responses to “Bob, Robert, and the truth”

  1. Zia Zitella March 16, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    OGM! That is hysterical! I can totally see that happening to me or someone I know.
    Since I’ve been rather sick the past week I believe a lot of “Ro-bear’s” cousins have been paying me a visit. 😉

  2. charmerci March 16, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    That is freakin’ hilarious! And yet disgusting at the same time. 😀

  3. Man-shopper March 16, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    This may be in the running for my favorite post. Not least because I have met Bob/Robert. Not only do you have a long-term friendship with a booger, but you have also introduced him to your friends. Have you introduced him to your mother, I wonder? 😉

  4. charmerci March 16, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I would love it if you would read this at the Spoken Word! (If you don’t want to – I’d be happy to do it for you.) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spoken-Word-in-Paris/165517768215 (You don’t have to be on FB to see this link.) I do all the writing and photos on the page. (Shameless plug.) Each Monday at 9pm.

    or http://spokenwordparis.blogspot.com/
    http://www.meetup.com/Spoken-Word-in-Paris/

  5. wanderingmenace March 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Zia: Thanks, happy to entertain you while you’re under the weather. I was sick last week too, and it was no good. Hope his cousins don’t linger too long.

    Char: Yes, it is disgusting. My life tends to run in that direction on occasion. I would love to come read next Monday, thank you for the offer.

    Man-shopper: Yes, yes I introduced you to a booger. It’s a testament of our friendship that you still call upon realization that I also held crusty-Bob in high regard for the better part of a year.
    I cannot promise something weirder or similar will not repeat itself in the future.
    No, my mother would have disapproved of Bob from the beginning. Never introduced her because I didn’t want her to clean him up.
    Go figure.

  6. kacysue March 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    You crack me up.

  7. Juliana March 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    LOL… wow…
    a. i’m glad you have good friends around to set you straight on snails vs. boogers
    b. i’m still saying Robeeaarrr in my head
    c. you obviously have a big, welcoming heart. just keep boogers out of it!!!

  8. amburgular March 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I love your writing, even when it’s about boogers!

    • wanderingmenace March 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

      Thanks! Trying to write about all things sophisticated-with the occasional booger thrown in.

  9. Gnetch March 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    This cracked me up! Who flicked “Robert” on your wall? Do you have any suspects? ;D

    • wanderingmenace March 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

      Still not sure. Thinking I don’t actually want to find out. At this point it would just be embarrassing to know I had befriended a friend’s booger.

  10. Andy March 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Hahahaha oh man, that is actually disgusting haha.

  11. Fishy March 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Enjoyed this. Laughed out loud at the ‘booger’ line. You’re good.
    *Plentymorefishoutofwater – One Man’s Dating Diary*

    • wanderingmenace March 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

      Andy-yes, yes it is pretty disgusting.

      Fishy-thanks!

  12. Mom March 20, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Just to let you know I will be staying at a hotel next week when I am in Paris. How’s the job hunting going? I am again wiping tears from my eyes.

  13. Manish Ahuja April 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Booger? seriously… booger? Hmmmm…. I might just come back and comment when I’m out of the shock 😉 Just kidding, the post crack me up.

    Manish 🙂

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