Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, we have a guest post from Kelly Bowen, senior publicist at Algonquin. Her earthy topic? SNAILS!
I recently joined the Algonquin team, moving from NYC to Chapel Hill. I knew leaving the Big Apple would require some adapting – the slower pace of life, the southern culture of ma’am and seersucker suits, and most importantly, my new job at a publishing house that’s not in NYC. So I was a little surprised and bewildered just a few weeks into the job when our Marketing Director Craig Popelars (1) plopped an empty goldfish bowl on my desk and a Chinese takeout container filled with what looked like dirt. Huh?
He excitedly told me that, in honor of a book Algonquin is publishing this fall called The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (2), I would now be in charge of the new Algonquin mascot – Snooki, the snail. All the while thinking to myself This sort of thing would never happen to me in NYC, I became the dubious caretaker of Snooki and The Situation (who joined Snooki a few days later when we realized she needed a friend).(3) And I’ve learned so many amazing things about snails; fascinating facts about a small creature that I never would have noticed otherwise. For example, snails have 2,400 teeth, are nocturnal and hermaphroditic, eat chalk for calcium, and have an elaborate courting ritual.
So what’s it like to have two pet snails, you wonder? Unexpectedly delightful and very educational. In the past few weeks, my coworkers and I, like the author of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (4), have become inexplicably attached to Snooki and The Situation (5). They are the world’s best pets – so quiet, never give you sad puppy eyes about playing with them, hardly any mess, and they sleep all day long. What more could a pet owner ask for? I guess, in the end, Snooki and The Situation are like any pet you own – you’re excited to see them each day, you lavish them with food and gifts (in the case of S and S, grass and flowers from outside my office, the occasional mushroom from my salad, and a large porcelain snail statue to crawl over), and throughout the day you take breaks from work to play with them.
They are content in their own adventurous and exciting lives, and I’m content to watch them with fascination from the other side of the terrarium glass. I’m still adapting to Chapel Hill, but Snooki and The Situation have helped me to slow down and notice the small details in life, and appreciate the new adventure I am taking. Well…so long as no additional pets are plopped down in my office again!
Check out the photo and video of Snooki below, and be on the lookout for many more blog posts about the interesting lives of Snooki and The Situation!
1. Names have not been changed in this blog post. Feel free to harass Craig about his part in this!
2. A very delightful book about a woman confined to her bed for a year and the relationship she develops with a snail living in the terrarium at her bedside. Coming out August 24th!
3. Yes, we named our pet snails and representatives of the upstanding Algonquin name after the reality TV series “Jersey Shore.”
4. Coming out August 24th!
5. See below for pictures and video of adorable Snooki and The Situation!