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Why are there Slugs in my Kitchen?

Venere is back on TVM, but Margerita Pulè witnesses a fashion show of a different kind on her kitchen floor.

 
Why are there Slugs in my Kitchen?
Why are there Slugs in my Kitchen?
Why are there Slugs in my Kitchen?
Why are there Slugs in my Kitchen?
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There are slugs in my kitchen.

Lots of slugs; big, juicy, gleaming specimens that come in as soon as it’s dark. They glide along the floor, soundlessly, efficiently. They leave translucent trails that dry behind them, leaving intricate patterns all over the kitchen floor. I don’t know why they’re here, what they want from me, or what they want from my kitchen.

Sometimes they climb up the walls right up to the ceiling. What are they looking for? Do they hear someone calling them from above?

Sometimes they slither up onto the armchair and rest on the cushion. What are they doing there? Are they expecting a cup of tea?

Up close, the slugs are disgusting. They are made of a single muscle that pulsates as it pushes itself forward and stretches out full length or retreats in the face of a threat, slimily, shinily. Looking at them up close makes me feel sick.

Some are light brown with orange specks. Some are darker; black almost. They have tapered tails and large, hunched heads. Some are big; up to four or five inches long. They have a sort of skirt around them that undulates as they flex and contract. They are, quite frankly, disgusting, and I can’t stop watching them.

One night, barefoot in the dark, I step on one, flattening it. The noise it makes is sickening. The sole of my foot is left slimy and tacky. This is the final straw.

But I can’t work out how they are getting into the kitchen. I know that slugs can pass through tiny apertures; can even escape from closed jars and lunchboxes, and I can’t find their entrance hole. Eventually, though, I catch them in the act. They’re making their way in through a tiny hole in the cement under the door, probably from the well. Unbelievably, they are coming in one after the other, head to tail, in an orderly line, as if they were on some kind of weird slug catwalk. I am repulsed and fascinated at the same time.

I mix up a spoonful of cement and block up their tiny hole. The slugs stop coming.

Without the slugs, I find myself at a loose end. What else can I do but turn on the television.

There they are, two hundred shining, quivering hopefuls queuing up for a chance at stardom, all whispering to themselves, like a mantra, “She discovered Tiffany, she might discover me. She discovered Tiffany, she might discover me”. Tall girls, short girls, big girls, small girls, dark girls, fair girls, spotty girls, geisha girls, even boy girls. I have to admit though, I never knew there were so many, ahem, natural blondes in Malta.

I find myself thinking about the slugs and what they’re going through in their blocked-up tunnel.

Then there’s some loud, er funky music and we see the girls posing for photo shoots, trying to look cool, edgy, sexy, pretty, strong, beautiful, confident and relaxed all at the same time. No wonder they just look uncomfortable.

My mind wanders. Will the slugs be able to turn and go back down the tunnel? And if they can’t, will they be able to slither backwards? Can slugs move backwards?

Thirty girls are chosen to meet the panel of judges, where each contestant will get to show off her dazzling personality.

Now I really begin to miss my friends the slugs.

Twenty-two girls are mercilessly cast aside and only eight are left to take part in the rest of the series. It’s all remarkably dead-pan; there is no hair-pulling or eye-scratching and I find it hard to distinguish between the chosen ones and those that are rejected. In the end it’s all a bit of an anti-climax.

I turn off the television and stare at the blank screen. After a while, I go to the kitchen and find a chisel from the toolbox under the sink. I chisel at the cement where I blocked up the slugs’ tunnel until their entrance hole is open again. I find some nice juicy leaves in the garden and lay them out on the kitchen floor to welcome them. Then I put on the kettle and settle down to wait for my friends the slugs.

 

 

 

 

 

Venere is on TVM on Sunday nights at 7.15

 

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Mona Farrugia
October 05, 2010
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