Subscribe to one of Suzanne's online bookclubs and receive her daily
column at: DearReader.com
Sample Suzanne's book at:
Muffins and Mayhem, Recipes for a Happy (if disorderly) Life
Pesky snails nibbling on the roots of my beautiful Pentas and Impatiens, book club reader Shirley Phillips suggested: "Put out a pie pan filled with beer. They will get drunk and drown themselves."
Yes, Shirley, I used to do that and years ago I even wrote a column about it. But I think the snails in my yard have all joined Alcoholic Anonymous (and I applaud them for doing so.) But that leaves me with sober, hungry snails.
My original Belly on up to the bar column:
When I was planting geraniums in front of my house the other day, feeling all calm and relaxed, it started to drizzle and the drizzle turned into a pretty good rain. But I kept on working anyway until all of a sudden, in the middle of the downpour, I was surrounded--they were everywhere. Snails! Slimy, disgusting, huge--I'm talking Texas-sized snails crawling all over the very plants I'd just been lovingly tending.
I've never been squeamish about garden creatures before. Bugs, grubs, they've never bothered me. Big, fat night crawlers--no fear--I bait my own hook, and I even talk to them when I'm gardening, "Keep up the good work, guys. Thanks for hanging out in my dirt." But apparently I've met my match, because when I saw an army of snails crawling all over my geraniums--I freaked.
It's no exaggeration. 'What to do, what to do?' I picked a bunch of them off the geraniums, but when I saw them crawling on my gardening glove--what was I going to do with them now? Scream! and fling them into the street. The people in the cars passing by thought I was a nut. 'What is this woman throwing at us?' But I couldn't help myself.
"Help!" I threw my gardening gloves on the ground and went running into the house, yelling for my husband. "You've got to come out and get rid of these snails!"
That was the end of my gardening for the day, and the day after that, and the day after that. I was getting worried I'd never be able to garden again, so I decided to find out how to get rid of snails.
Every website I visited on the Internet had a photo of a snail, but I couldn't even stand to look at it, so I started visiting websites for children. "Meet Mr. Snail!" Yeah, Mr. Snail is supposed to look like a cute little cartoon character, with his smiley face and his little wiggly tentacles, but I knew the truth. Those smiley, little, slithering, things would invade your garden and hunt you down.
Unfortunately the best way to get rid of snails is to pick them off the plants, put them in a sealed bag and well, you know what. But since I'd already attempted that method and failed, I decided to get them drunk. Yes, option number two was to sink a jar into the ground, so the top is flush with the dirt, fill the jar almost to the top with beer and watch those snails conga line right up to the bar, fall in and party to the end.
It's been a couple of weeks since I've seen any snails in my garden, but when I walked by my neighbor's house the other day I noticed they've put a ceramic snail in their front yard. I know it's supposed to be cute, but I still don't like it. I think I'm going to have to get it drunk.
** It's blue, it's paperback, AND it's almost here! The paperback version of my book, MUFFINS AND MAYHEM: RECIPES FOR A HAPPY (if disorderly) LIFE will be released April 5th. You can preorder a copy at your favorite online book seller, right now.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: Win an iPod Shuffle, get a story posted online and win free books, from this week's authors:
Deanna Fe/A THREAD OF SKY: A NOVEL
Larry D. Thompson/THE TRIAL
Ginger Garret/WOLVES AMONG US: A NOVEL
Tracy Seeley/MY RUBY SLIPPERS: THE ROAD BACK TO KANSAS
Lorna J. Cook/OUTSIDE WONDERLAND
* This month's Penguin Classics book is THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING by Selma Lagerlof. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin totebag. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/March11Classics