Stan Silliman is
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Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

Giant African snails have invaded Florida and eating the stucco right off houses. They also eat 512 types of plants, carry a form of meningitis, can harm your pets and are as big as a tennis shoe. But that’s not the bad part. The bad part is they are heading north towards the biggest stucco house in America, a 70,000 square foot beauty belonging to Shaquille O’Neal.
Did you hear that? Shaq’s Shack is in danger! Excuse me, it’s 70,000’, Shaq’s SHACK is in danger!! And when they say these things are as big as tennis shoes, let’s not forget Shaq’s 22DDDD are as big as Volkswagens. Imagine an army of Volkswagen bugs slithering north from Miami to eat Shaq’s house. And having babies on the way, these little hermaphrodites are sexing their way up the coast taking turns impregnating each other, then after they smoke a blunt, hide from the authorities either in or under the grass or up in the trees.  They’re both vicious and sneaky. They found 5000 of these creatures nibbling on Miami home.

How did this happen, you might ask? How did the achatina fulica get so far away from Kenya and infest itself into south Florida? We know this. These critters can lay up to 1200 eggs per year. They don’t know from male or female. They take turns on that making whoopee stuff. That’s why they watched Caitlen Jenner so intensely on the ESPYS this year. But, Florida, why there? We asked Florida Department of Agriculture scientist Mary Young Cong (not making up her name) and she told us “It’s a paradise for snails.”
Some folks are blaming the Santerians. “We always get blamed for everything,” says a Santerian, “The last thing was LeBron going back to Cleveland.”
We blame the proliferation on the death of Andre the Giant, the wrestler. To control giant snails, you need giant escargot eating Frenchmen. The Heat should have traded for Boris Diaw. Florida is going to have to find some way to allow Jacques Depardieu back on a plane and to treat him with meals and meals and meals. And if he has to get up to pee, for Florida’s sake, airlines, let him go to your tiny little restroom.
Here’s what else we know about these snails. They can live to be ten years old. They can give birth every two months, two hundred at a time. Naming the kids is a bit burdensome. You think George Foreman had trouble? They bury themselves underground during the day, do business and chomp on your house and your gardens at night. Every one of these guys has a picture of Shaquille’s home in his shell. It’s the big Kahuna, the motherload, the biggest collection of stucco in one spot.
Florida has tried a number of chemical options, some environmentally safe, some questionable. What they haven’t tried is a diversion. They used to have such a diversion sitting in their prison system. In 2011 that diversion was transferred from federal prison in Florida to Panama. I think it’s time and it might save Florida’s eco system to release the 81-year-old Manuel Noriega from his Panama cell, fill in all his pock marks with plaster, return him to Florida as bait. If it works, if all the giant snails in Florida smell the tons of plaster it took to fill in Manny’s face and descend on Manny only to be captured and exterminated, give Noriega his freedom. Allow Manny to spend his remaining years in a Florida retirement village where he’ll be the young guy with all the stories. 

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