Thursday, July 06, 2006

Idea #2: Slugs - a fortune at our feet

Never one to pass up the prospect of fame and fortune, Omnivorist has been investigating an unlikely source of nature's bounty - slugs and snails.

I hear shouts of "Why not include puppy dogs' tails, while you're at it?"

To which I can only reply, "Don't be ridiculous. If you're not going to take this seriously I'll stop right now."

No - the first inkling of this vast untapped economic resource first occurred to me while walking in the mountains of Northern Spain. At a certain point in my route, while passing through a sheltered valley, I noticed the path was alive with enormous slugs - the colour and size of bananas.

"If one were to harvest these", I thought. "You could slice them thinly and flash fry them in olive oil. They'd make a delicious, organic alternative to crisps."

What to call them - that was the main problem. Slug Slices had the virtue of accuracy but seemed - in some indefinable way - to be not quite right. It was when a friend ventured the suggestion: Nature Bites that we knew we were onto a winner.

But fate was to snatch good fortune from my grasp; I could never find my way back to that valley. Despite wandering the mountain passes for months on end, my quest was to prove hopeless.

Back home once again, I found myself pondering the potential of our common or garden slug, but it was no use, however hard I tried to persuade myself, they were too small to make the kind of snack I had in mind.

I had been toying absentmindedly with 2 or 3 larger specimens and was washing my hands when the thought struck me:

"This stuff must be more slippery than just about anything else in the world and what's more - it takes some getting off."

What better illustration of how, in the presence of genius, the dull commonplace can be transformed - as if by magic - into shining inspiration.

Slug slime is the perfect lubricant.

Initial trials have proved extremely promising and I even have a name for the final product - Glide.

It should only be a matter of weeks before you see it in your local pharmacy.

(This piece was first published in the Horsley Village magazine - Over the Wall)