Interview with new celebrity

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THE Isle of Man doesn’t run to many celebrity residents these days.

Nigel Mansell is long gone, Norman Wisdom is irretrievably gone, and Jeremy Clarkson . . . well, we don’t know much about Jeremy these days.

But now we have a new celebrity living amongst us, none other than the world’s biggest slug by the name of Limax Cinereoniger, known more familiarly to friends and relatives as the Black Ash Slug.

His presence (I assume his gender. How would you try to establish it in the case of a slug anyway, even if you really wanted to?) has been announced by the Manx Wildlife Trust although I am not sure how they got his permission to do so.

He is the first Ash Black Slug to settle in the Isle of Man for more than a century and we don’t know exactly how long he has been here because he has been keeping a very low profile, as slugs tend to do even in the normal course of events.

In his case his Manx profile is exceptionally low. The Manx Wildlife Trust says he lives down in Glen Auldyn in a deep, wooded ravine thick with oak trees.

Up to now he has made no statement about his decision to move to the Isle of Man. But I thought that, in the public interest, I should search him out and get the first exclusive interview with him for the Examiner.

Fortunately I do speak Sluggish, as do quite a lot of us in broadcasting.

It didn’t take me long to find him. I looked under a fallen log and there was my quarry, nearly a foot long.

‘What can I do for you, Tel?’ he asked politely. (The Examiner is a widely-read newspaper).

I took out my notebook.

‘First, are you one of those who have come to the Isle of Man for tax reasons and are you on the run from the UK Inland Revenue?

He smiled comfortably. ‘Slugs,’ he said, ‘don’t run. What else would you like to know, Tel?’

He added quickly: ‘I do hope you don’t mind me calling you Tel on such short acquaintance.’

I told him it was perfectly fine. We celebrities have to live with this kind of thing.

‘Just one thing more old boy,’ I said. ‘Now that you have settled in the Isle of Man do you think, now that you are enjoying the benefits of Manx residence, that you should put something back into the community. For instance, are you going to stand for the House of Keys?’

‘In the first place,’ he replied, ‘slugs don’t stand. But we do sort of laze around the place and we’re slimy and a bit slippery and, to be honest, not a lot of people like us very much, like politicians. What do you think of my chances?’

There the interview ended. I wonder how the electorate will take him.

With a pinch of salt perhaps?

l LAST week there was a reference in my Times Past pages to butlers and their availability for employment in the Isle of Man. This brought in a call from Andrew Kelly to tell me that in the Douglas job centre he saw vacancies listed for ‘topless butlers’.

I know no more.

l JOHN Kermode takes the stage again with Songs for Swinging Manxmen, moving into the field of light opera, especially the works of Gilbey and Sulbyman:

‘Yeomen of the Garff’

‘HMS Pinfold’

‘The McArdo’

‘The Pirates of Perwick’

‘Trial by Jurby’

‘Iolaxey.’

John says the latter is the terrible tale of a Minorca man who forgets to pay his rates.

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