Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Attack Of The Killer Slugs

Who would want to be a dentist? As I lay in the dentist's chair this morning, the smell of enamel burning away to dust under the drill, and the subtle sound of my nails digging further into the plush leather seat, I looked up and swore I almost saw him smile. His breath tumbled down on me, and unable to move or turn, I began to feel nauseous. It was then I thought to myself, "Who the hell would actually want to become a dentist?"

It's a good question.

If rumours are correct, there is a higher percentage of suicides in the dentistry profession than in any other. Why is that? Well, staring into people's mouths all day can't be that glamorous, can it? All that plaque, wine and coffee stains, fag breath and furry tongue syndrome, can't make for it to be high in job satisfaction - can it?

Maybe it's just the money that appeals. Dentists are extremely well off, especially now most have gone private in this country, but I can't possibly think that the money is enough to keep them in it. It certainly isn't in my job, and I am not about to turn to dentistry as a way out of I.T.

With my tooth filled (a previous filling had fallen out and left a hole just the right size for raspberry seeds to get jammed inside), I bounded out of the surgery and tripped on a protruding slab in the path. And as I boarded the first bus to the town, I suddenly realised I was dribbling down my face and shirt, the after effects from the nova-cocaine pumping around the entire left side of my face, now becoming horribly apparent.

The worst thing was, I could not have a coffee for fear I would burn my face off and not even know about it until tomorrow. An itch on my upper-lip, but when I scratched I couldn't feel it. Then inside my nose, something tickled, but when I went to rub it clear of the sensation, I could feel nothing for the drugs in my nerves. Terribly annoying that.

In fact it was around three in the afternoon before I felt the tingle of my nerve endings slowly creeping back to life and I was able to drink my first coffee.

Back home there was some interesting news waiting for me. A couple of people got back to me with contacts for Yello. One of them however, is more involved and has personally forwarded my email to their management. I also got sent the contacts information for the band's Zurich office. I shall write another letter to these addresses to support the forwarded email. I sense that I am getting ever closer to the man, the writer, the lyricist, the singer, the film director that is Dieter Meyer.

I wrote out the first draft of the synopsis for Stella. It came out at four pages and circa 2000 words long. I'll get it re-worked so I have two versions depending on the different publishing house requirements; a 1-pager and a longer detailed one. I want them done in advance so I don't have to worry about getting them out at short notice should the occasion arise.

I began working on the query letter template for sending out also. This is the bit that is worst about writing. These bits have to be done and I would much prefer to have them out the way so I can get the queries sent out. But they have to appeal. They have to be professional and gripping so that someone sits up and takes notice in amongst all the other queries.

In other words, they must not be rushed.

Before I went to bed I did a quick sweep of the back garden for slugs. It was somewhat colder and windier tonight so there wasn't as many about, but it was still approaching infestation levels. I threw on my dressing gown and grabbed the salt and went out to murder them. The cold started to get to me after a few minutes (it was almost midnight) and once all visible slugs had been slaughtered into bubbling blobs of green, I retreated to the house.

As I wandered through the kitchen I stood on something that felt stuck to my left insole. I looked down and raised my leg to see a dead slug stuck to the bottom of my foot. I must have stood on it while I was outside and brought it in with me. That's what I get for being a tyrant in the garden.

Obviously, these slugs are devious opponents and I should be more wary of their attacking strategy from now on. Slugs on the base of your naked feet in the cold Scottish air, is not something I would recommend to anyone.

The common garden slug: a cunning and devious enemy

Colin 10:40 am


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