Walk! Walk! The slime molds are coming!

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

You probably don't know what a plasmodial slime mold is. I've met folks who, once they learned what one was, swear they've been living next door to one for 33 years without even knowing it.Privately, several have attested to being married to one. The fun part for me has been when both the husband and the wife swear the other is a plasmodial slime mold. My sense of humour has traditionally been underappreciated.

The truth is, there are no plasmodial slime molds in Newfoundland and Labrador. Ergo, my number 18 reason for living here. You can see that number 18 is actually fairly close to the top of my list of 375 reasons for living here by choice. No plasmodial slime molds are exceeded by only the most covetous of reasons for living here. An abundance of space has always been the number one reason.

Other reasons that are better than no plasmodial slime molds include a decided lack of the following: Poisonous snakes, alligators, crocodiles, sharks, any type of big snake that could mistake you for lunch, ticks, turtle soup, people with pet snakes, bible salespeople, termites, man-eating bears, etc., etc.

It's probably not an accident that many of my top reasons have something to do with reptilian-type creatures that do not discriminate when it comes to eating. I once lived in Florida for approximately three years. In other words, just long enough to develop my unreasonable fear of the things on my list. You come face-to-face with a hammerhead shark or an alligator, then we'll talk about what constitutes an unreasonable fear. Sure, the shark was only two feet long, but it was a shark!

I could go into a long, biological explanation about what a plasmodial slime mold is, complete with references to scientific terminology I've either forgotten the meaning of, the spelling of, or never knew in the first place, but it is much better to give you an example you can relate to.

Do you remember the movie, The Blob? The original, 1958 version starring Steve McQueen had the best Blob. It started off as some gooey stuff inside a meteorite some country bumpkin just had to twirl up on a stick in order to get a better look at, only to have it work its way up his arm, until he, and a subsequent number of other really slow-moving humans and organic substances were totally absorbed by the....well, blob.

OK, imagine that blob, only really really thin, with a much more limited ability to absorb organic material, like really slow, or dead insects, or maybe a dead toy poodle, and you'll have a plasmodial slime mold. The organic substances a plasmodial slime mold absorbs have to be dead, because plasmodial slime molds move really really slow. Slower than a blob. You can see now why the first paragraph is funnier than you thought.

Thanks to some scientists with way too much time on their hands, we now have plasmodial slime molds. There's no point in asking me why.

My concern is that PSMs suffer from the same fate as the blob, which was, a serious aversion to cold temperatures. You put some iced tea in front of a blob, and they go sliding off to the first meteorite they can find. This explains why we're vacationing at home this year. No self-respecting blob or plasmodial slime mold will be setting a foot near this place, with the summer we've had so far. That is, if they had a foot. Actually, they might, but it's not theirs.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Florida

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page