One of those Fridays where reading the latest Hyperbole and a Half is both awesome and yet rather sobering in that you look at it and go, ‘Oh, not just me then.’
And it’s a Friday which is not exactly helped by someone cheerfully asking if you’re going to be at some unspecified conference at the other end of the planet, which is only identifiable by an acronym that also happens to be an acronym for about a billion other things you’ve Googled that are not conferences and you’re tempted to ask them why the hell they think you’d drop everything that you’re currently not-doing in order to attend a weird-acronym of a conference on the other side of the planet when you haven’t been ASKED to go, let alone who’s going to fund you to get there and then it all just seems just entirely too rude and kind of an overreaction to think of saying such a thing in the first place when they were clearly just trying to maintain a quasi-conversation that you initiated in the first place regarding conferences, let’s not forget – and you go back to looking at the pictures on Hyperbole and a Half and frowning at how you really relate to it rather well at the moment instead.
Especially the bit about the laundry and the internet. Damnit.
But I’m not going to write about that. I’m going to write about the snake.
See, at the end of that Hyperbole and a Half blog-post, the heroine (Allie) goes to the video store.
I really like going to my local video store, mostly because it’s a walk that takes me about forty-five minutes there and back, and I can take a number of different roads and paths to reach my destination. The act of getting out of the house and doing exercise always raises my spirits and I sometimes make a quasi-event out of it, by tinkering with my iPod before going in order to create a listening playlist.
- The Girl You Lost To Cocaine – Sia
- Cruelest Plague – Helvelln
- Cold – Annie Lenox
- I Don’t Want To Get Over You – The Magnetic Fields
- Temporal Dominos - Marian Call
- Teardrop – Massive Attack
- Black Cherry – Goldfrapp
- Moon Over Bourbon Street – Sting
- Love Is A Losing Game – Amy Winehouse
- Only You – Portishead
- Tempted – Squeeze
- La Femme D’argent – Air
- This Is Not America – Ahn Trio (David Bowie instrumental)
- Fortress Round Your Heart – Sting
- The Things We Did and Didn’t Do – The Magnetic Fields
- Better – Regina Spektor
…yes, I know that’s not exactly getting into the spirit of ‘Get Out Of The House And Get Some Endorphins In You’, but it was the best I could do with this current mindset, okay?
Which was all fine and well, until I got to the swamplands area between me and the video store and I saw the sign. Quasi-sign, really, since it’s written on the lid of an ice-cream container and stapled to a wooden post. It’s not really a proper-sign-sign:
WARNING – LARGE SNAKE SPOTTED IN AREA!!
I’d seen this sign once before and it made me change my usual jogging path and head in a more orthogonal direction. But since I was heading to the video store, it was rather unavoidable.
I start heading into the swamplands, cranking up some misery that reminds me of the more torridly pathetic episodes of House, M.D‘s life, thanks to Massive Attack.
Then I spot the snake. It’s not large. It’s long. It’s a tremendous gold-ribbon of a snake, and it’s fast.
Fast – as in zips out of the bushes about ten meters in front of me, goes over the path and then does a half-turn and looks right at me.
My first instinct is to make as much scary noise as possible that I know it’ll hear – which means stamping my feet.
It kind of muscles up like a fist and glares at me.
I start stamping even quicker, as I move the hell backwards as fast as I can.
About then I fall over backwards onto the park bench that helpfully appeared out of nowhere (not exactly nowhere, but I know that there’s a children’s playground that I passed and I didn’t realise that it was quite that close) and who gives a damn because now I’m on the sodding GROUND where there’s a SNAKE and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from a fall so fast in order to throw myself on top of the bench holding my bag above my head with the intent to KILL the bloody thing with an overdue DVD box set of ‘Being Human’.
It had gone.
By this point my mental playlist consisted of:
- Kill ‘em All - Metallica.
and it takes about a kilometer of getting out of the area and a bottle of water before I’m back to anything near resembling
- Canto De Ossanha – Astrud Gilberto
but I get there eventually.
The video store were surprisingly understanding when I renewed the DVD series for another couple of days.