You would never judge Ian Bland (27) as an angry man. Befitting his surname Ian is quiet and sombre, some might say, boring. Amongst his many hobbies you can include the collecting of train timetables and beermats.
But early Tuesday morning Ian was fuming, under the impression that the subject of his main hobby, snails, had been stolen.
Ian woke on Tuesday morning to find the Giant African Snail that was his pride and joy missing from his cage.
Ian may have been furious and angry and mad but to a degree that nowhere matched the drivers of the two-mile tail back that had formed just outside Stratford upon Avon. A procession of blood-spitting drivers who were being led in a slow motion crawl towards their destinations, that was still a good mile and a half away, by, yes you guessed it…a Giant African Snail. Or as he is better known to his owner, Thor.
As far as Giant African Snails go, Thor is a giant among giants. From the bottom of shell (the bit nearest the floor) to the top of his shell measured 3’ (yes, that’s three feet). Thor’s total length was an almost exact 4 foot…as the fuming drivers at the front to the aforementioned traffic queue, could quite clearly see.
Thor had escaped.
Very early Tuesday morning and for reasons best known to himself he had squeezed through the bars of his cage and gone er…’walkabout’.
Thankfully this story ends well.
In a strange twist of fate, Ian’s partner Beryl was at the very front of the queue just returning from her night shift at the local hospital and was able to phone Ian almost immediately. Within 30 minutes Ian arrived with a flatbed truck, some lifting gear and a lettuce and with a little help from an embarrased Beryl, was able to clear the road.
After a warning from the police not to let it happen again, Ian, Beryl and of course Thor are now safe back at home in Stratford upon Avon, all happily munching on a mixed salad.