Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Pant - 1. Filthy Lucifer - 0.

I couldn't sleep last night, despite being in possession of Jilly Cooper's latest novel. Wait, that's not entirely true. I fell almost asleep plenty of times. But just as the hypnic jerk happened (you know when you have that slight jerky feeling supposedly when your body becomes immobile otherwise you would act out your dreams?), I got this vision. And it frightened the bejesus out of me.

The lack of sleep has made me a little emotional today. (Thanks muchly to Precious Jo'burg Friend for attempted cheering.)

I think yesterday marks the second most frightening thing to have happened in my life. The first was when I found out I was with-child and wouldn't be allowed to drink or smoke for what seemed an eternity. (It turned out to be pretty easy, actually. But when the notion dawned, I was so frightened that I may have let out a little pee.)

The Daughter isn't much of an eater. Sometimes her Africanness is apparent, though, because she responds well to bribery. So in an attempt to get her to finish her poolside lunch yesterday, I promised her a final swim in The Adults' Pool (it has cocktail bar seating, yes please) and then an ice-cream.

We'd originally been lying by The Family Pool where I bore witness to her brazen pursuit of the older brother of the toothless five-year old. This guy had a silver chain. With cross on it. Apparently that's way cooler than a blow-up dolphin.

We then packed up the beach bag, and moved our things to the other pool. With no intention to stay after the swim, we simply threw our things down and immersed ourselves in the tepid water mixed with sun tan lotion mixed with others' urine mixed with bits of others' skin. Public facilities: pretty gruesome if considered properly.

The Grandpa was buying the ice-creams while the girls were drying themselves. He returned. And then it happened. I lifted up my bag to go, and from beneath it slithered a metre long brown and yellow snake. Slipping. Sliding its way into the bush.

My stomach turned. I used all my will-power not to vomit up my chicken tikka wrap on the unsuspecting holidayers having their lunch next to me. I screamed, "Snake! A real one! A real snake!!"

The Daughter lunged forward in curiosity but I reacted with a maternal instinct so animalistic that I may have dislocated her shoulder in restraining her. I've ignored her whining since then. If the shoulder is sore it means she's alive. The Pant - 1 , Filthy Lucifer - 0.

What really got me, like it got me good, was how the people around me did not panic. The couple who nearly found themselves sick-drenched continued eating. With their feet on the floor!! And they saw the manifestation of evil with their very own eyes. The others around me lazily called their children back. Others ignored me, Pant, The Prophet of Doom.

What is wrong with these monied people? Are they so evolved that they no longer have the faculty for fear? Did they all know that the snake was harmless? Like yellow suggests the wretched thing is placid?

In my book, yellow means danger. Full stop. The battery on my Blackberry goes yellow when it's about to run out. That's a danger, yes? It goes red when it's dangerously close to being dead. If the sneak had been red, well, I'd have done more than let out a little pee.

In fact, I don't care what colour the snake was. It was a snake. It was evil. The Bible says so.

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