Over the past couple of years, I had been spoofing Shakespeare as an inside joke between a few friends, so of course, the NPR article titled, Things We Say Today and Owe to Shakespeare, caught my attention, which then, led me to How Shakespearean Are You?
Not wanting to cheat, I decided to grab the following snippet from a blog posted years before our spoofing began, this one rather, spoofing a tale from H.P. Lovecraft:
Zombie Snail, Part I
Normally at this time of year, the fresh new growth of early spring begins to emerge from the ground. Granted, this winter was abnormally cold, turning much of our landscape into black twigs and slime. But what about the other plants, the ones that are rated to grow in climates far to the north. Where were they?
Oh… the tell-tale signs were obvious. Snails! Foul slimy creatures. To this day, I’m still morbidly amazed that the people of France brought these vile creatures here as… get this… FOOD! Eew!
Although I was unaware of it when I moved here, the fact is, my current house sits on a land filled valley, just a short drive from an oil refinery. So toxic is this area, that I’m sure it won’t be long before I begin to glow in the dark. Needless to say, I’m not eating anything that grows from the tainted soil of this present location. Everything in the ground is ornamental. And at the first sign of spring, the hordes of snails begin to emerge, chowing down on every emerging flower bud in sight…
And that’s when I scatter their “special treats” about. You know, the ones with the happy fun ingredients that turn their little eyes into x’s. I had been using a brand that was non toxic to our other animal friends. Snail treats sprinkled, I was then content that spring would sproing without further hazard. Until…
One week later, there he was, just snacking away on my carnivorous plants, chewing away at their little central heads. So large was this snail, that even with the background lull of city noise, I could hear him crunching and smacking away. Gross! I flicked him off the remains of the plant, and once he landed, gave him a kick for good measure. I watched in the moonlight as his glistening slimy self soared over the fence from the impact. I prepared an extra helping of snail treats that night.
Two nights later… Eew again! Is that..? “OH MY BRUCE!” It’s that SAME snail! This time, sporting a crack in the rear, from the previous impact of my foot to his ass. Oh, ok. He’s eating his treats. “That’s a good snail, eat up!” I rubbed my hands together sinisterly, a content smirk across my face. The following morning I returned to the garden. Wha..? No snail carcass? What is going on here? Hmm… He must have crept off to die somewhere. No biggie. I was certain that he was rotting away somewhere, now breakfast for bugs.
Life resumed as normal again, until the evening arrived… “OH MY MUST-NOT-USE-BRUCE’S-NAME-IN-VAIN, not again! Can’t be!” Eyestalks gleamed in the moonlight as my nemesis stared up at me from the remains of an orchid. Had this toxic environment created some sort of poison resistant super-snail? This time I picked him up by his crackling damaged shell, chucked him into the green waste bin, and slammed the lid shut. “Here, compost this!” Satisfied that the heat within the closed compost would do him in, I went inside to wash up.
The following morning, I paid a visit to the local home and garden mart. This time I purchased the mega toxic stuff with ingredients like, killyouallacide and sproutathirdeyeonyourfetusglutomate. It had warnings on it like, “Do not ingest, inhale, sniff, or even look at pellets. Upon opening the bag, contact a physician.” I dawned clothing similar to that of an infection control tech, complete with gloves and mask, and began to distribute the new “super treats” about. An afternoon storm allowed me to view my genocidal progress in the daylight.
A twisted form of joy overcame me as I viewed the slimy little trails and carcasses scattered about. But half way down the garden path, “EEK!” There he was… Reared somewhat, lower half planted on the mossy path, head up in the air, swaying back and forth, like a drunkard during an arrest. “What the..?!” No, not possible. I closed my eyes and took a second look. Upon second glance I confirmed… same giant snail with a crack in the ass, although now behaving rather unsnail like. A bubbling goo now seeped from the opening in the shell. The eyes were strangely swollen at the end of the stalks. I was tempted to stomp on him despite his large size, but I was wearing my brand new Clarks. The thought of cleaning the gooey mess off my shoes made my stomach turn. I stomped off to the garage, grabbed the bag of killyouallacide and sprinkled a circle around my unwelcome visitor. “Why are you waving your head at me, you freak?!” In response, he waved his eyestalks in crazed circles at me, head still reared and wavering in the air. Eew! A shudder ran up my spine.
The following day, I found his shell where I had left him. Most of the circle of treats was gone. I poked at it with a stick. It tumbled over lifelessly. Finally satisfied with victory, I followed up with a happy dance across the lawn. “Heh, take that Mr. Eyestalks.”
Hmm… best to dispose of the carcass before someone accidentally steps on it. I headed to the garage to get my gloves. But oh, was that the phone ringing? I was distracted and did not return for several hours.
Realizing that a chore had been left undone, I headed back down the garden path. And what did I find..? Nothing but a winding slimy trail that disappeared beneath the deck! The previously remaining super treats were gone as well. Shocked, I quickly turned, expecting to see Herbert West with a syringe full of re-animation serum behind me, but no such luck.
“Your English is 85 percent Shakespearean. Is this the Bard I see before me?”