Joe: Hey – do you know what a slug’s natural habitat is?
J: I found a nest.
J: You heard me. A slug nest.
M: A nest? OF SLUGS? I don’t understand what you’re talking about.
J: There were 23 of them. It was just as disgusting as you’re imagining.
M: (shocked silence)
(Yes, really. It doesn’t happen often, but the mental image of 23 slugs all piled together is enough to push my mute button.)
J: They were under that (big stone in the front yard.) I didn’t come get you, because I didn’t want you scarred for life. You’d probably have nighmares.
M: You realize this conversation is scarring me for life, right? 23?
J: 23. I counted.
M: What did you do with them?
J: I threw them in the trash can.
J: They’re bad for the plants! Plus, they eat the cat food and leave their disgusting trails everywhere. I wasn’t going to just leave them!
M: No, yeah, of course when you find a nest of 23 slugs, you don’t just leave them to go about their sluggy business. But – the trash? Why didn’t you kill them?
M: I don’t know – you could’ve salted them?
J: Yeah. That’s humane.
M: THE TRASH?
J: I put them in that chunk of (pvc) pipe I was throwing out, and packed it tight with leaves. They’ll be able to get out, but not before the garbage men come.
(I think Joe thinks the slugs will go on now to live happy, productive lives at the dump. Which may be true, for all I know. Or, they could meet the incinerator – like in Toy Story. Who can tell?)
J: Oh, man! I should’ve called Jonas out to see them!
M: Yes! You should have! He would’ve thought it was the coolest thing ever!
J: He would’ve loved it!
M: Why didn’t you? What’s wrong with you?
J: I didn’t think of it till right now!
M: How do you see 23 slugs and not think “I gotta show this to Jonas!” ?
J: When I first said the words “23 slugs”, did you think about Jonas? Or were you too busy recoiling in horror?
M: I see your point.
J: Besides – he would’ve wanted to save one as a pet.
M: Good job, not calling him.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go bathe in Purell.