There has been an outbreak of non-rain here, which feels, well, wrong. Nothing is dropping out of the sky. There are dry bits on the ground. It's not even properly cold. I recall another day like this, I think, although the memory is hazy.
So I have been making the most of it and harvesting the bumper weed and slug crops to make room for the greenhouse seeds, when they are ready. Seasons run a little later here, except winter, which is often early. Summers are warm and wet so the annual Slug War is about to begin and this time I intend to not lose quite so badly as usual.
Slugs are little slimy Satans who will eat a little bit off each plant rather than get together and obliterate just one. They used to take a bite out of every single strawberry until I gave up trying to grow them. Their evil doesn't stop there, oh no. The bit they most like to eat is normally the bit that joins the stem to the roots. You can often hear them singing in the night 'Oh I'm a lumberslug and I'm okay...'
I've tried various slug pellets, but the only ones I found to have any effect at all were .177 lead ones fired from a Gat. That does involve staying up late but at least a Gat is much quieter than an air rifle.
These days, of course, I'd expect to see black helicopters overhead and bulky men with guns abseiling down the side of my house shouting "Hut-hut-hut" as soon as the first slug died. Outraged protestors from Slugwall demonstrating outside my house and staging slime-ins in my shed. Little placards saying 'Slug-free gardens go to Hell' and 'Behead the Desluginator'.
(Pause while I picture a black-clad slug with the eyes poking out through a slot... Yes, well, Hell already has a whole suite booked in my name anyway).
That would set the snails off, naturally, and there'd be petitions about the fag-ends I routinely put out before dropping them among the plants. They'd want them lit. The sparrows would complain about the insecticidal properties of ninety-second hand smoke and how their food now tastes like Woodbines. Think of the cheeeecks.
I'll fill their bird bath with something that dissolves feathers if they don't watch it.
All these things would happen because a neighbour would see me in my garden with something that looks vaguely gun-shaped. Then they would be Offended, Horrified and Appalled and the whole ridiculous circus would begin.
Would the Mollusc League of Britain really be enraged? Would a neighbour really call the police to report a weapon of slug destruction? Well, we now live in a society that actually believes that in the game of cat and mouse, the mouse is having a good time.
The comments below that article can make you despair for the future of the human race. They are weak-minded enough to make the Eloi look like an inner-city drug gang.
So would that neighbour call? Yes, he would. So I won't kill the slugs.
I'll throw them over the fence instead.
Or maybe I'll try beer traps, then all the slugs will get done for drink-driving on the way home.