“We have a problem with dangerous molluscs,”my husband announced.
I did a double take. It’s not every day your soul mate drops a line like that one.
It must be true, it was on the BBC: the tiny shellfish – Quagga Mussels – were found near Heathrow Airport in a reservoir which has sheep safely grazing on its banks. They (the molluscs, not the sheep) are very dangerous. Originally from The Black Sea, they latterly hail from Mother Russia herself, whose ships have been carrying them around with them for a while now.
They are socialist Molluscs. Tiny, innocuous and seemly self effacing, they work in well-ordered collectives to eat the pollutants in the water.
And with Machiavellian simplicity, with implacable impassivity, those tiny frames conceal machines, dastardly natural mechanisms which turn mere pollutants into poison.
These Soviet Molluscs cling to the bottom of boats. Right now, in America’s Great Lakes, American men battle Soviet Molluscs to contain them after it is thought Russian Boats discharged them, along with their ballast, out into those wide expanses of the Water Of The Free.
Not only that: these East European enemies infiltrate our water pipes and simply jump one on top of the other, threatening to clog the pipes forever.
Insidious. Ingenious. Relentless. Everything that stopped Napoleon and Hitler in their tracks, now in a water pipe somewhere near the runways of Heathrow.
Of course the British wildlife police are all over them like a rash. The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) have clocked the infiltration. They’re on the case, and they’re shouting it to the rooftops. No cloak of secrecy here, Comrade Shellfish.
I assume that behind the scenes they are combing Oxford and Cambridge water pipes for unusually intuitive molluscs, irresistible to lady molluscs, who drive fast mollusc cars and carry stylish mollusc revolvers. All this situation needs is a little British crustacean pluck and charm.
Those Rusky molluscs are no match for our chaps.