Every time it rains, snails across the land emerge from wherever it is they hang out when it’s dry and make a nighttime dash across our footpaths towards the road. Whatever’s there that lures them so is anyone’s guess, but they will not be deterred. To be honest, I’ve never quite understood the compulsion: if I carried a fragile apartment on my back and was impossibly slimy (don’t start…), I’d probably weigh up my chances before sliding off unto the breach. For that star-crossed mission will invariably culminate in mass slaughter on a scale unseen since WW1, something the molluscan powers that be seem to have turned a very blind eye to:
Col. Snail: Thanks for coming in. Turns out not a lot of us are making it over to the road. Catastrophic percentages. Completely unacceptable.
Maj. Snail: I’m sorry, sir, but we’re doing our best.
Col. Snail: Not good enough. It’s been chucking it down for days, how hard can it be? Now get back outside and show some bloody gumption!
Maj. Snail: But sir, it’s rush hour. Everyone’s coming home from work. We don’t stand a chance!
Col. Snail: I’m not interested in your chances. I just need you to get to the road. Am I making myself clear?
Maj. Snail: Forgive me for asking, but none of us are entirely sure what the objective is.
Col. Snail: Have you gone completely mad? The objective is the road! What exactly is it about the road that you don’t understand?
Maj. Snail: Er…why we have go there?
Col. Snail: Because there are rules, Major. And your job is to obey them and not waste my time with counterproductive remarks.
Maj. Snail: Couldn’t we go in the day? At least then there’s a ghost of a chance we’ll be seen.
Col. Snail: Don’t be ridiculous! We have always operated under the cover of darkness and I see no reason to alter that now. Any further questions?
Maj. Snail: Yes, sir. What are we supposed to do when we reach it?
Col. Snail: About-turn. And then come back.
Maj. Snail: Come back?
Col. Snail: Yes, come back! We need the intelligence, Major. We need the intelligence.
Maj. Snail: On?
Col. Snail: ON THE ROAD!!! Whatever is the matter with you? Right, assemble the men. You leave in twenty minutes.
Maj. Snail: Yes, sir. One last thing, sir.
Col. Snail: What is it, Major?
Maj. Snail: What if it isn’t there?
Col. Snail: What if what isn’t there?
Maj. Snail: The road, sir.
Col. Snail: Of course it’s there! Where else do you think I’m sending you? Brigadoon?
Maj. Snail: No, sir. Of course not, sir.
Col. Snail: Now get out of my sight!
Maj. Snail: Yes, sir.
When met with indefatigable logic such as this, is it any wonder the pavement pizza count is so high? And ask yourselves: have you ever seen a snail on the road? Seriously, ever? Thought not.