The Attack of the Banana Slug

A combination of talent and necessity has made my sister an excellent cook. I complain about the lack of decent take out and delivery in Oakland, but she has no delivery at all, the nearest Pizza Hut being a 40 minute drive away, and no edible take-out if she did make the drive (Pizza Hut and Mickey D’s being pretty much the culinary limits, though there are really good sit-down restaurants). So whenever I’m there, the food is always great, and it’s all the better for not being made by Me.

When we got home from the cemetery, she made pizza dough and set it to rise in the sun in her garden. Of course, she had a supply of tomato sauce on hand, along with spicy garlic and lipstick peppers from last week’s farmer’s market, as well as locally made sausage. It seemed to take her no time at all to make calzones for dinner (and a few extra for her lunch during the week), along with baby lettuces and balsamic vinaigrette. Dinner was served, along with organic local wine. My brother-in-law did the dishes while we girls talked and giggled as only sisters can.

Late that night, I emerged from the bliss of quilts to offload some of the wine. At this point, I have to explain that to get to my sister’s bathroom, you go out the front door onto the porch, which has a roof (good in winter) and beautiful plants (good all year). Turn left, pass the Hippies Use Side Door sign, and you’re at the bathroom door. Inside, there’s a skylight over the shower, which is decorated with a unique and gorgeous mosaic pattern, along with the usual appointments.

Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the doorknob and found it to be slimy. And gushy. And gross. I pulled my hand away in horror and examined the doorknob. A banana slug was curled around it, minding its own business and completely grossing me out.


It was around 1 am. I seriously considered waking up my brother-in-law, but I knew that would wake up my sister, and neither of us would enjoy that. (Later my BIL admitted that he heard me squeal and just giggled and went back to sleep.) I finally decided that now was as good a time as any to act like a grown-up, so I got a wine bottle out of the recycling and used the neck to poke it off the doorknob. Ick.

However, I neglected to wipe off the doorknob before turning it, so I got slimed all over again. Beginning to see a theme here with the slow learning?

I had never encountered this particular form of wildlife before (nor do I hope to again), but apparently it’s so common that there is a Banana Slug for Peace float in the local Fourth of July Parade (thanks to Meloukhia for the visual). Trust me, they are much cuter in float form than wrapped around a doorknob late at night.