Friday, April 21, 2006


"I'm sorry, you did what?" My wife was on the phone. She was trying to understand what I had just said.

"I licked my plant."

"That's what I thought you said. How long until we know whether it's going to kill you?"

"I don't think it's going to kill me. It tasted sweet."


As an office-warming gift for my first serious-paycheck job after law school, my wife had purchased and potted a pleasant plant for my credenza. I have no idea what it was, other than tall, leafy and handsome.

It was also sappy, or at least would become sappy, usually in Spring. Little micro-buds would sprout and drip a sticky dew, which would bead and run down the stems.

fascinated, I watched one day as the clear-colored juice pooled on a flat broad leaf. Without thinking, I bobbed forward and licked the leaf. The sap was sticky, but thinner than honey. It tasted like lilac. It was perfectly pleasing, although I had no desire to lick more. Then, all of a sudden, it dawned on me what I had done. I wondered whether I'd hallucinate. I wondered whether I'd die.

I told my secretary. She gave me that "god, you're fucking weird" look that I so often got from her. I then told Princess Leah, with whom I worked at the time. She considered it for a moment, reminded me that I was a dumb ass, and suggested that I call the wife. The wife was simply confused.

That office came and went, as did others. The plant grew tall, and although the plant and I both survived the licking incident, it eventually went the way of the Dodo.

About two years ago, with great eagerness and anticipation, I began my current job in my current office. The missus once again wanted to warm the office with a gift. Having previously learned her lesson, she avoided leaving me alone with potentially hazardous foliage.

Seeking an immanently safer office companion, she decided to buy me a small fish tank instead. Six gallons of happiness, it sits on my bookshelf, home to a friendly family of assorted tetras. With minimal maintenance, the tank is a source of tranquil light, color and movement in what is often a chaotic day. Since I set up the aquarium, it has been virtually problem free. Virtually, that is, with one glaring exception. Algae.

It coats everything. I've tried many of the various additive treatments, and abrasive scrubbers. Nothing has worked. So, last month, I went out and bought a snail.

The creepy fish clerk at the mega-lo-pet store reached his hand into the last vat of sickly looking snail carcasses. "Running low. Shipment tomorrow." He explained as he pulled out a Black Mystery Snail. It had no body. He explained that it was hibernating behind it's safety flap, and that it would wake up and start feeding soon.

That was a month ago. The snail never woke up. I pulled it out of the water this morning and peeled back the flap. The shell was empty. There was no fucking snail.

So, I set my sights on acquiring an actual algae eater today during lunch. However, sometime prior to noon, one of my co-workers invited me to go to lunch with her. Although, she said she had an errand to run first. I said that was fine, I had an errand too, and we should just go together.

Turns out, her errand involved giving a urine sample at her doctor's office. My errand involved buying a snail. Lunch, as if it matters, involved a salad bar.

All in all, one of the strangest lunch breaks I have ever had. I ended up with a Ramhorn Snail though, funky horn-like shell, white slimy body spotted black like a cow. It's really pretty cool, for a snail that is.


  1. Hmmm, a salad bar - now it's getting interesting!

    You need a Plecostomus....

    But then you would glance over at your tank and it would look like Angelina Jolie looking at you with her lips on the glass.

    However, the connection might ruin any pre-existing Jolie crushes/fantasies.

    For me, it ruin my pre-existing ideas of the Plecostamos.

  2. the other anonymous6:06 PM

    Admit it. You picked the snail because the name sounds dirty.

  3. oops, you caughtme.

  4. amanda12:05 PM

    So that damn useless snail was actually not a snail at all! Did you at least keep the algae covered shell for scenery in the tank? Are you going to attempt to engage the creepy low budget fish store salesman in a fist fight or at least name the actual fish store so as to negatively impact their bottom line for the wasted money on the non-existent snail!

  5. Brian Smith9:51 AM

    TETRAS? Dude, what a fag! At least get a cool fish like an Oscar so you can watch it eat other little fish. Does your little tank have a rainbow sticker on it too? Maybe your old snail died of shame. I have to agree with Valdez on the Plecostemos. Anything that can suck like that is ok in my book.

  6. (Princess Leah returns, no longer pregnant). Actually, I don't recall telling you to call the wife regarding the plant licking incident. Hm. I do, however, recall many a prank involving said plant, most of which included ransome notes, stickies and rubber bands. heh heh....

  7. the other anonymous5:08 PM

    At least we know what Brian Smith puts down his pants.

  8. Believe you me, you do NOT want to know what Brian Smith puts in, on, or near his pants...



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