Ok, I can't wrap this up without finally explaning the story of Gary and Mary.
Troy was a notoriously bad shopper. He would take forever to pick out anything and would frequently wander around and get lost- at least lost to whoever had the misfortune of going shopping with him.
Well one fine day he and Debbie were shopping and he predictably wandered off. When Debbie went looking for him she found him in the toy section looking at a plastic snail. Debbie asked what the hell he was doing and he picked up the snail and said "I like this snail, he is my friend and his name is Gary." Thus Gary the snail came to live with my brother.
Now Gary is not your average snail, he has his own house (suitable for the bottom of a fishtank but Gary is a land dweller now), his own myspace page (but don't expect him to reply to friend requests too quickly, typing is a bit hard for him what with having no fingers) and he is very social. Gary has gone hunting, fishing (which made him a bit nervous) on vacation to Jamacia and even to the firemans convention.
Nolan was out shopping one day and he found another snail! He showed his mom and they brought home Gary's new friend. Little did they know at the time but they found not only his friend but Gary's girlfriend and her name is Mary.
Mary moved into Gary's house with him and they have been together ever since and done everything the family has done including yes, being at their dear friend Troy's funeral.
Gary and Mary even came and got tattooed with the family although Gary whimped out midway through his tat (snails aren't known for their courage). Although Mary totally showed him up by not only getting tatted up but she also had an antena pierced. Mary is a bad ass snail.
Gary and Mary have been adopted by Troy's firefighter brothers and I am pleased to annouce at the last convention they were wed and are now Mr. and Mrs. Gary the Snail....or Gary and Mary Snail if you ask Mary.
Gary and Mary have several cousins in the Herrick family now. I own Barry the snail and his gnome friend Bobo. My dad has Harry the snail who is a racing snail. My dad will take walks and Harry will sit atop his walking stick and pass him up. I believe there is also a Karry snail that lives in my mother's garden and they all look at Gary as their leader and the one who ties us all together.
And that....is the story of Gary the Snail.