Once I had selected the snail you see at the top of this page as the mascot for this project (for more on how that process worked, go to my previous post), I knew that I would eventually want to name it.
I had thought about holding a contest at some point but when I mentioned that idea to a few people, two of them immediately suggested “Miles.” Both times I couldn’t help but cringe at the idea of naming my “metric snail” Miles. (Still makes me twitch.)
Still, I had not totally discarded the idea of a contest but then one day “Millicent” popped into my head. (Get it? “Milli” as in millimeter and “cent” as in centimeter.) It immediately felt perfect.
As I thought about it some more, it made even more “cents” to me (sorry, couldn’t resist). After all, a changeover to metric will mean adjustments in the grocery store and kitchen (yeah, another post reference) and since women are still the ones who spend the majority of time in the kitchen (love you guys who are doing the shopping and chopping, wish there were more of you), a feminine mascot made even more sense to me. So the snail’s name is now Millicent.
Then, a couple of weeks ago during a moment of boredom, I ended up researching snails. Turns out snails are just slugs with nicer packaging. (Really, the difference between snails and slugs is the shell.) While many people associate snails with slowness (as I do for this project), to leave them with only that connotation does them a disservice. Apparently, the Aztecs viewed them as a symbol of rebirth (works for this project too) and Jung saw them as representative of both the conscious (the shell) and the unconscious (the soft animal part). Some are also food and not just for fancy folks. Yeah, they can be pests in the garden but I’ll take a snail over a slug any day.
What really surprised me was that a broad search for “snail” on Amazon brought up a host of beauty products that include “snail gel” or “snail cream” in their ingredients. Like I could leave that alone. Upon further Internet poking around, I found a site that relays, “The mucus was found to be rich in glycolic acid, collagen, vitamins A, C and E, and elastane. Each of these ingredients is already well known to contribute to healthy skin and is manufactured into many beauty products on the market.” Okay. I’m not going to run out and buy a big tub of snail mucous for my beauty regimen but apparently it’s the aloe vera of the gastropod world. Who knew? (For more information, go to http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-snail-gel.htm.)
I also got some of my information from a site called snail-world.com. At the beginning of the last paragraph on the snail culture page (http://www.snail-world.com/Snails-in-Culture.html) it states: “I mean, when was the last time you saw a business using a snail as their logo?”
Ironically, that’s exactly what I have on my business cards.