Monday, May 18, 2009


I appropriated two snails today from two small children. The first child was thinking of naming his "Step On". He was also thinking of chucking it. Children hate holding anything in their hands for long periods of time. I decided to take on this first snail as my charge. The second child found the second snail on the floor and wanted to step on it. I put it in the tiny plastic dish with the first snail. Later the first snail attached itself to the second snail or visa versa.

When asked what I should name the snails the second child recommended I name one Triple H after the professional wrestler. I liked the idea of naming the snail HHH and introducing it to people as Hhhhhhhuh (the sound of exhaustion or a dorky exhalation). This child also recommended I name the snail pair The McManns, after a family of professional wrestlers. A third child recommended Lucky or Lucky Jr. and I felt that these last two options were a bit trite but tried to disguise this fact.

Still later, I carried my dish of snails in a car, on a train, on a bus and on foot uphill and felt very grown up that I had managed to do this without chucking them or stepping on them because really, I don't like holding anything in my hands for long periods of time either. The fact that I can and will shows that I am truly grown up. The fact that my snails HHH and Stepon are still sitting in their plastic dish on my kitchen counter with nowhere else to go, since I don't know what snails eat or even whether they should be in salt or fresh water shows that more than anything I wanted to take the snails away from those children to momentarily reinforce their very intentional and constructed vision of me as a responsible and trustworthy adult, when I probably know less about caring for snails than they do. The only one-up I have on them is my ability to do things that I don't like doing.

In any case, I will be taking name recommendations but I think at least Stepon may stick. Maybe Stepon needs a last name. Mallarmé? No.


Pirate Station said...

(Stepon Crane?) I dunno. But when I was a youngster, I would provide some fistfuls of grass for snails, usually in a mayonnaise jar. Salt water makes them shrivel, right? (Norman Snailer? Mary Shelly? Molluskovsky? Gertrude Slime?)

françois said...

My poor Mallarmé, reduced to a snail.