So, I was telling Mike about the snake and he smiled and laughed and then said “Do you know how fast snakes can move?”.
“No”, I replied.
“Really fast, really really fast, faster than Gerrard striking a penalty. If it went for you, it would just go for you, you can’t avoid them”.
‘Hmmm…’ thinks I, absorbing this information, ‘not ideal’. Then in the morning I tell my office mate the story, adding in Mike’s addendum. “Yes” she says forcefully, “they move really quick [sic], like they could go for you as you cycle past, and just nab you. I’d be kind of worried about you cycling around with snakes”.
‘Hmmm… pt2’, thinks I, ‘even less ideal’. So in the afternoon I tell my story to the bank manager adding in both Ryan and Mike’s postscripts. “Yeah!” he explicates with passion “and you were cycling! That would have circulated the venom around your body! You’d have been dead real quick”.
“Really?” was my incredulous response
“Yes! Like dead! In the road! Without a car or a hospital, you’d have been really dead”.
Turns out Chris’ imaginings (see yesterday’s comment) were not too far from the mark.
No more snake viewings for me. I am all about the BUTTERFLIES, like the one that was on my porch, see above.
Well, when you move, there are lots of things to get used to. I am no longer surprised that things are very different here Stateside (and especially Southside) than back in the UK. I like to think I have lost the look of stultified shock and confusion that was etched on my face for about a week. I feel kinda… at home. I feel good. I feel like I can create a solution for anything Alabama throws at me! Yeah! Or I did, until cycling up the steep, dimly lit, and normally fairly deserted backroad to my flat, a car pulled over next to me. Now, I no longer fear strangers talking to me, I no longer have the permanent hunted look of a london child, eyes down, flinching everytime someone even thinks of looking in my direction. So I merrily cycle over and shout my customary ‘Good evening!’ and pedal gaily on. Stopping dead in my tracks as they shout out ‘Watch out, there’s a snake up in the road. And it is a poisonous one!’. I peer back over my shoulder and watch their tail lights blast off into the distance. Errrr. Now this is not something I am equipped for. What does one do? More to the point – what is the snake going to do if I wheel past / around / over / into / under [well… you never know] it? I think back to my Science lessons…. haven’t done ‘Science’ since I was 13… can’t remember those. Think back to Biology… dimly remember painting my nails for the majority of those and being chucked out of class a lot. Dammit. Need a better frame of reference. Ah ha! Snakes on a Plane! I saw that movie three times. I have my Jackson ‘I have had enough of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane’ impression down pat. On second thoughts, as I think more carefully about this film, slowly peddling up on the hill, it may not actually be that helpful. Unless this snake happens to be a genetically engineered killer snake. Which would be sort of good as I’d know all about it, but sort of bad, as it would probably kill me.
So I carried on up the hill pondering this, and because it was very dark, and it is very rural – the road is essentially cut into a steep rock face, which is covered in shrubs and trees, it was weird, like a film, everything became scary – every noise made me jump, every sensation of something brushing past me gave me judders. Anyway, I eventually found said snake, right in the middle the road. I removed the headlight from my bike and peered at it. It peered at me. It shook its tale. i shrieked with excitement, because I have always wanted to see a rattle snake AND because I now know what that rattling sound around me is (well, maybe not all of it, but some). I realised that the poor snake was not long for this world, so at GREAT PERSONAL SACRIFICE (I did not have my bug spray on) I went into the woods to locate a long and hooked stick. Duly found one, wended my way back to the snake, stood aside with a determined expression on my face (and my cycle helmet still on strangely) planning exactly how I was going to do this. At that very moment a car came along and ran over the snake! I was gutted (and so was it… technically). I prodded it with my stick, but it was definitely dead.
At the entrance to my block there was a strangely tame chipmunk sitting on its hind legs, and timewise I would have been excited. But I was just like ‘eh, you’re not a snake…’.