Here’s No.2. We had a hoot doing this one, as you’ll see when I post the outtakes videos. Coming soon x
Q: What did the slug say to the snail?
A: Big Issue, sir?
I like slugs, me. Really. They don’t do themselves any favours, mind, but that’s probably the reason we have cemented a conspiratorial bond of sorts over the years. They are the turds of the undergrowth, loathed by pretty much everyone for being brown and in the way. Even your most bog-standard single-celled organism kicks off when they meet on a glistening pavement, and would probably win if they got into fisticuffs. I know, I know, it’s a tall order this one, but historically the slug has earned its spurs:
1911. The Pageant of London, in conjunction with the Festival of Empire, celebrated everything and anything that promoted the extraordinary advancement of the land. Highlight of which was the all-singing, all-dancing Tower of Slug, anchored in the Crystal Palace Gardens and seen by over 15,000,000 people over its lifetime. This magnificent structure was brown & got in the way for decades until it was destroyed in 1936. Because it was in the way.
In 1917, when resources were scarce & the Hun were menacingly close to Blighty, the good folk of Folkestone erected a massive seafront barricade constructed entirely of foraged molluscs, impenetrable by sea nor air. Believing this blubbery mountain to be a cunning decoy, the Germans shifted their assault to the piers of Brighton, where they were annihilated conclusively at the slot machines.
It was considered ‘good luck’ for top racing drivers to keep a brace of slugs in their top pockets throughout the course of the Circuit de Monaco from 1909 until the controversy of 1966, when the first four finishers were disqualified for substitution with heavy slices of pork luncheon meat, illegal at the time.
Muhammad Ali (or Cassius Clay) enjoyed a bathtub filled to the brim with slugs local to the East Grinstead area throughout his most potent years. It is notable that, just before his classic bout with Joe Frazier in Manila 1975, he chose to replace British slugs with those hand-picked from his home town of Louisville, Kentucky USA.
In July 2007, when smoking was tentatively banned throughout the UK in all enclosed work spaces and a couple of years before the cynical advent of vaping, the fashionable young people of Hoxton, London tried their hands at ‘sliming’. Popular at illegal raves and office parties, this required the slimer to balance the faux-fag at the fulcrum of two fingers whilst talking utter shite to anyone in the vicinity. Preferably with a beard.
And that’s just scratching the surface. If you want the real dirt, go online: There’s acres of info on the slug in history should you care to seek it out. I am merely the catalyst, the weaver if you will, my sole purpose being to prevent the denigration of our upstanding slimy pals. Until they get in the way.
Property prices getting a bit steep for you in that there London? Need to stick your flag into a chunk of affordable real estate almost certain to appreciate wildly over the course of several lifetimes? Well guess what? You’re in luck. The Lunar Registry is currently flogging off tracts of land on the Moon, complete with certificate of ownership, full mineral rights and a framed satellite photograph of your very own galactic Shangri-La for the unrepeatable knockdown price of $18.95 an acre. “What could be greater than to own your own crater?” Indeed.
Tempting though this offer may be, it might also be prudent to point out that many of us will be simultaneously drawn to the more desirable hotspots of our celestial neighbour. For example, the Sea of Vapours is looking pretty tidy: Own front door, excellent transport links, ideal for first time buyer, no onward chain. And unorthodox though it may seem at present, Mare Vaporum is likely to be a strong pull for artistic individuals priced out of the likes of Penge and Peckham Rye, and speculative buyers can therefore realistically expect a robust return on any investment made in advance of the inevitable gentrification process. In short, there’s going to be a bunfight.
Let’s presume I want to snap up a couple of acres in the Lake of Dreams, one of the most sought-after locations for adventurous romantics. Lacus Somniorum has, at best, ill-defined borders and includes the flooded impact craters Mason and Plana to the north. Which basically means I’ll be pitching for the south-facing plots like everyone else. To say nothing of future boundary disputes, riff-raff moving into the neighbourhood and the division of maintenance duties once the conversions start:
“Turns out them next door have discovered a rich seam of anorthite that runs DIRECTLY through my back yard and I’ve only just had the bloody thing moonscaped. I’ll be screwed if I’m going to help those nouveau riche shysters any more than I have already, particularly after they only painted their half of the pod doorway. In orange, for Christ’s sake! So petty! And while we’re at it, the sinkhole’s opened up again and guess who’s mucking out the sulphur deposits? Now, I’m no pedant but it’s basic human decency to keep the communal zones clear. Who else do they think does it? And as for the stink that comes out of their kitchen most nights…”
To be fair, Lacus Somniorum is probably not for me. And that goes for pretty much every must-have bolt-hole on the wretched planet – It will become the East Grinstead of the Solar System before you know it and I haven’t got all that long left. So what to do? I’m thinking Pluto’s looking like a good bet right now, as is the Heliopause and Eris if you can be arsed. Or simply wait for Foxtons to open their first gravity-free bar.