Sunday, May 16, 2010

Snakes On An Everything

I actually haven't seen Snakes On A Plane. It's not that I wasn't interested. It's just that I saw a lot of the meme action leading up to it and by the time the movie came out, I felt like I'd pretty much seen it already.

To be honest, the idea of snakes on a plane isn't the most bone-chilling plane scenario I can think of. I quite like snakes. Even when I was a kid, trips to the Reptile Park were the highlight of any holiday period. Personally, I've always found the idea of Outbreak of Gastroenteritis On A Plane to be a whole lot more terrifying. What would you do?? There's only those two tiny little cubes of bathroom space for the whole plane. There would be bodily emissions going everywhere. And not in a good way.

ANYWAY. Snakes.

Liking snakes in Australia is probably not the most intuitive thing. If you see a snake in your backyard, you're not really supposed to want to touch it. You're basically supposed to get as far away from it as possible, because that bitch can and will straight up murder you and then slither home to laugh about it with its little snake friends.

One of the best news stories I can remember happening in my home town took place in our local David Jones. It was unfortunately timed; the store was located on a strip of mall where all the shops were closing down and being replaced by crackheads dragging their girlfriends along the ground by their hair. The council had this big campaign to try and encourage people back into the CBD. I remember writing a bunch of letters to the editor trying to explain how putting more meter parking on the street (without any parking garage options apart from the David Jones carpark) while at the same time talking about cutting the public transport options really isn't the best way to attract people to any given area. Unfortunately, it is against the law for a local council to do anything that falls under the categories of 'logical' or 'productive' so the CBD was in pretty bad shape.

It was around this time that they had to temporarily shut down the David Jones unexpectedly one day. Because there was a brown snake hanging out (literally) in the automatic door. Just dangling there, setting off the sensors, preventing anyone who wanted to continue living from shopping for perfumes and such. In the end they had to get animal control in to remove it, where they discovered that a family of the bastards was living in the roof. Not the best for business.

But still, I love snakes. The venomous ones aren't so much my favourites, but that doesn't mean I can't have a soft spot for the ones who don't do all the killing. My old friend, who I have referred to in this blog as 'Binny' on the insistence of my housemates, had a snake in his care for some time. It wasn't his; his old housemate had absconded to Queensland for a job, but had left a great majority of his things in Binny's house. Including his pet snake, Precious.

I loved that snake. I can't count the number of times Binny and I came home drunk and decided to get the snake out to play. I also can't count the number of times I said that to people who asked what I'd done the night before and then refused to believe that it wasn't an innuendo.

Precious did bite me once. Apparently she was a bit temperamental that day. When I reached into the tank, she reared up and fanged me. I showed off that wound for as long as it lasted.

"Oh what's that? Oh, just a snake bite. Venomous? Well technically yes, but I'm so naturally hardcore that I already have venom running through my veins instead of blood and it doesn't have any effect on me."*

Precious was not venomous. Sadly, I am not really that hardcore. I am not even a little bit hardcore. But Meattrain, if you will recall, is made of nothing but steel and brawn and testosterone. He is part Dr House, part Indiana Jones, part guy from one of those CSI shows that I have never watched and thus cannot efficiently reference. As part of his big fancy job, he had to do a component of 'snake awareness' training, which turned out to have nothing to do with how to pick your hookers in Bangkok, as I first assumed.

He recently undertook a series of tests out in the outback which I believe also included driving cars off cliffs. I'm assuming, as with all of these tests, it was considered a pass if he was still alive at the end. The snake test also sounded pretty intense. Basically, my understanding of what happened is they gathered a bunch of Australia's Most Venomous (including one pissed off python they'd simply found on the road on the way to the test) in a small room and threw them at my housemate. They chucked a bunch of snakes at him, and he had to deal with them without dying.

I'm assuming he passed.

-Smackie Onassis

*Disclaimer: this is not true in any way, not by any definition of the word 'true'. Except perhaps where 'true' is defined to mean 'false'.

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