I'm not scared of bugs. I don't really enjoy having them on my physical being or anything, but I won't shriek at a cockroach or do the oh-no-oh-no-a-bee dance. I'm generally the relocator of spiders whenever the need arises. I've helped numerous palmetto bugs find alternate accommodations. No big deal.
Rodents don't really get to me, either. Not the small ones, anyway. I find mice to be a bit of a nuisance and I'm not interested in sharing my pancake mix with them, but when Cha Cha kept seeing one scurrying through the kitchen, my only effort at trapping it was to throw some painters tape over the crack next to the dishwasher that it kept popping out of.
So I was thinking, in my general day to day life, that I was pretty brave about undomesticated critters. And then I was proven completely and totally wrong. Because, as it turns out, I have a raging, irrational and uncontrollable aversion to one particular creature, and this creature, just to really mess with me, keeps showing up when I'm most vulnerable.
I am afraid of slugs. And they keep getting into my shower!
Maybe "afraid" isn't the right word. It's more of a revulsion, a core-deep feeling of wrongness when I reach over for the Ivory and see those two tiny antennae waving at me. Now, obviously they aren't going to leap from the tile and attack me with their 57,000 slug teeth (shudder). It's just the very principle of their existence that bothers me. I was faced with an epic dilemma when I considered de-slugging the shower - I had to decide between sharing my daily routine with invertebrate visitors or actually touching them. It was a tough call, and it took me three days to get up the nerve and fortitude required to grab a wad of toilet paper and flush the little suckers (hey, I saw Flushed Away, they'll be fine down there as long as they don't mess with Le Frog).
I don't remember actually seeing a slug before moving to Memphis - the gastropods where I come from seem to prefer staying indoors, anatomically - so this isn't a lifelong fear. It's something that seems to have emerged fully formed on a day that I can still clearly remember. A night, actually. I stepped outside to feed the dog and felt something soft and slimy and cold and possibly demon-possessed slipping underfoot. It was so deeply and soul-penetratingly unpleasant that I can't look at them without recalling the sensation of suicidal slug between my toes.
"Yes, yes, SAM, all very fascinating, but why should we care?" the hypothetical readers exclaim. And so without further ado, I bring you ... Miss M's new favorite book.