Crunched! A Tragedy of Slimy Proportions

I write for a humor blog with two friends, James Malins and Cherie Michiko, called Misusing Big Words. This post was originally published here:
http://misusingbigwords.blogspot.com/2008/03/crunched-tragedy-of-slimy-proportions.html
Note: this story is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.

It had stopped raining shortly before I left work and headed home. I was walking my usual route, and as per usual, when I saw dried leaves or twigs or anything that looked particularly crispy and crunchy on the ground, I landed my foot directly on them and consequently enjoyed a most satisfying euphony of crunch. I don't know exactly what makes this sound so satisfying to me, but it does, and it does so enough that I'll even go out of my way if I see an object that looks particularly crunchy.

There was a special project going on at work, so I was working late into the night. I got off work that Wednesday around 9:30pm. I remember it was 9:30 because it's a 30 minute walk home and I arrive just in time for my roommate to start watching some trashy top model/house flipping/top chef show on Bravo. In hindsight, I would have been much better off staying at work for another hour, not only because I hate all shows on Bravo (except reruns of The West Wing, which for some reason they show on Bravo), but because of what I'm pained to describe next.

About five paces from the front gate of my apartment complex, I saw a perfectly crispy looking leaf, and it having been a somewhat stressful day at work, this seemed to be karma's way of sweetening my day just a little bit. I actually quickened my stride ever so slightly in joyful anticipation of the sweet music that I would soon hear. When I arrived, I stopped, lifted my right foot, and planted it firmly on top of that dried leaf, and the sound gave me immense pleasure. It was only after my right foot slipped almost out from under me that I realized the tragedy that just happened.

In my haste and my ravenous anticipation, coupled with the darkness of night and the lack of adequate lighting, what I mistook for a dried leaf was actually poor Mr. Snail. And now, for an ever so slight pick-me-up, I had ended Mr. Snail's life in one aurally satisfying crunch.

I paused for a moment, contemplating the life that had been lost. I even bowed my head, though that was more because I was looking at the ground than I was paying respects. Finally, I told myself there was nothing that could be done, Mr Snail looked like maybe perhaps he had lived a good, long, full life and was ready to go. He certainly moved a little slower than the sprightly young snails. If he had moved a little faster, I may not have mistook him for a leaf.

Rest in peace, Mr. Snail. We hardly knew ye. But I thank the snail gods every day for the joy your death brought me.
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