Friday, October 21, 2011

Sidewalk Snails


There are very few sensations in this life less pleasant than unexpectedly crunching and subsequently smearing a snail into the pavement with your foot. I imagine squishing one with your face would be worse, but that rarely happens. Pedal snailocide is comparatively pretty common.  

Most of the time, the sidewalks are largely free of snail traffic. However,  every once in a blue moon one particular stretch of neighborhood sidewalk is choked with a mass migration of snails. I do NOT know what it is about the sidewalk that the snails find so absolutely irresistible. Were they spooked into a snail stampede? Did the snail chief accidentally lead his tribe astray? Perhaps it's the DANGER associated with a journey over terrain peppered with heavy footsteps and stroller wheels that the snails find so enticing. Actually those last two are probably not it, since snails don't really have brains.

Don't do it, snails. You will lose this battle.

I know they don't possess the ability to reason, but seriously, how many snail lives and shoe soles could be saved if each little snail just thought twice before crossing the sidewalk? How hard would it be for them to survey their surroundings with their little antennae? Maybe then they'd notice that their friends behind them in the grass were still alive, while the sidewalk in front of them was littered with the carcasses of their fallen comrades. I guess in a perfect world, snails would be super geniuses who drove little armored c