One day I asked myself, “How would snails feel if they could read?”
To answer that question, I sent this press release to the Vancouver news media:
On Saturday, 28 October 1989, artist Rick Gibson will walk along Granville Street carrying a large sign which reads, "Kill.”
Attached to the top of the sign is a box of snail poison. The instructions on the box describe how to “kill” snails with the poison. The artist magnified the word “kill” and painted it on the sign.
The artist says, "Recently I've begun to wonder how snails would feel if they could read the instructions on a box of snail poison. By doing this performance I'm hoping to meet people who will help me answer this question.”
The event started on a lovely autumn day to the sounds of car horns and cheering motorists as I walked across the Granville Street Bridge.
On the other side of the bridge, I met lots of curious shoppers who asked me, “What are you doing?”
So I asked them, “How do you think snails would feel if they could read the instructions on a box of snail poison?”
From what I can recall, everyone told me that the snails would probably be upset.
I also remember a tourist from Los Angeles taking a photo of me with his companion.
The tourist said he wanted to send the picture to his friends in California as proof that Canada is an interesting country.