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Trial & Error

John C. Calhoun once said, “Learn from your mistakes and build on your successes.” In this spirit, we have several articles outlining what went wrong, what went right, and how to do better next time.

Home » Trial & Error

The Slowest Race Ever

Submitted by on Wednesday, 8 April 2009No Comment
The Slowest Race Ever

A few months ago I volunteered to provide the weekly activity for a church group of 15 or so college kids. Wanting the activity to be special and remembered, I decided to hold a snail race.

For several weeks I let everyone know that we were having a snail race and that people should invite their friends. I looked online and found some printable race car number decals that could be put on the snails. I made a “race track” for the snails. I had everything ready to go. Except for the snails.

The activity was planned for Monday, and it was already the Saturday before. I took my girlfriend and headed to the pet store to buy some snails. Unfortunately, when the store clerk found out what I’d be doing with the snails they sold, she refused to sell them!

Not to be deterred, we went to a park that had a pond to find snails. But alas, there weren’t any!

As a last resort, I sprayed the grass in the backyard with a hose in the hopes of attracting my slimy friends. Victory! I gathered a dozen tiny snails and put them in a plastic container with some grass.

Sunday came, and I gave my snails a little water, but didn’t think of them much.

Finally Monday was here, and it was time to race the snails! The snails weren’t being very lively though. They were bunched up, and several looked dead (I later learned they were eating each other to survive).

The race was a flop. In an attempt to encourage the other snails to get a move on, someone ate one of the more sluggish snails. Although it caused a moment of entertainment for everyone, it didn’t motivate the other snails to move any faster.

We finally gave up and released our snails into the wild.

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