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)


  1. I'd like to draw your attention to an article on the BBC website from the 31st of March 2000.

    The article suggests that slug slime has the potential for being used as the basis for a bio computer... Interesting as this might be it isn't my main concern.

    Reading your article and considering your suggestion for slug slime to be used as a lubricant, my attention is drawn to a particular sentence in the BBC article refering to a piece of academic research:-

    "She was looking at what makes slug mucus a lubricant on some occasions and what makes it a glue on other occasions."

    I would strongly suggest that until this conundrum has been solved, you withhold any trials of your "Glide" product...


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