Random SMS message

So – got a text message this morning, from a number unknown to me, stating:

“I want ur dick ass and feet”

This has perplexed me, as you would expect.

  • What does this person want with my “dick ass and feet”?  What do they have planned for that combination of my body parts?
  • How do I respond to this? Should I respond?
  • But every time I start to ponder the above questions, I realise there is one question more pressing than all others, which needs to be answered before the other questions can even begin.
    The grammar.
    This, people, is why so-called “grammar nazis” exist, and are (often) justified… without grammar, multiple meanings are possible.

    • Ignoring the “ur” – I’m going to assume this was meant as “your”, and just a case of modern lazy/mis-spelling…
      (although intriguing possibilities multiply if that isn’t true… was it supposed to be “Ur”?)
    • I don’t know if this person wants my dick, ass, and feet;
      if they think my ass is dickish, but they want it anyway, plus my feet as a bonus;
      or if they think both my ass and feet are ‘dick’, but want them anyway (or because of?).

I guess a true “grammar nazi” would make a point of taking the message at face value… that this person is crying out for feet, and some ancient Sumerian dick-filled (flavoured? patterned?) ass.

I know my grammar is far from perfect… I know there are grammatical errors in this very rant for people to gleefully and smugly point out.  But I do try to at least use enough punctuation to make my ungrammatical ramblings unambiguous.   I sometimes re-read an email at work a dozen times: inserting commas, semi-colons, even words – until I get some possible meaning out of it.  And usually arrive at multiple interpretations to select from, often contradictory.

Grammar, particularly punctuation.  And spelling.  It could be the difference between you getting some smelly old Iraqi dick-smelling ass and feet; and my sweet dick, ass, and feet.

It’s worth the effort.

[edit]: another, optimistic, interpretation has been suggested – perhaps a secret admirer who has given me the nickname “ass and feet”.
Any other suggestions?

[edit2]: whoever this is, they’re persistent.  A repeat message was received in the evening, reiterating their desire of my dick ass and feet.  I had to respond, if only to get some more clues as to intentions.

SMS Screenshot

Bank Holiday Season

Lots of bank holidays recently/soon… and I’ve managed to make use of some, not of others.

But first up, recent gigs:

  • Augustines (formerly We Are Augustines) – at Koko.  I can’t figure out if these guys are a guilty pleasure, or genuinely good.  But in any case – another good gig.  They just seem so stoked to be playing.  Mandatory encore, acoustic song from balconyexcursion into crowd, cover of a ‘local’/semi-topical band/song.  Overall, good.  I’m going to take some of their optimism, and rescind my earlier predictions that they would become more and more annoyingly earnest.
  • John Butler Trio – at Brixton Academy.  Good.  Except, as soon as I reached the venue, I remembered… “there are going to be a lot of australians here”… and sure enough, the sheer volume of cheap shiny faux-leather, leopard-skin prints, and just general loudness – spectacular.  Although I started wondering, how different was this from a Black Seeds gig – with the “young-kiwi-in-london” crowd?  After some amateur postulation over mini-bottle after mini-bottle of Black Tower, I decided it boils down to aussies being full of self-confident naivete, while kiwis are self-aware naivete… or perhaps self-conscious naivete… can’t decide.  Anyway – John Butler Trio… good.  Very good, really enjoyed the gig.  Plenty of energetic songs done by the Trio, a few more extended classic John Butler solo efforts.  And, of course, some preachin’.
  • Devendra Banhart – at the Barbican.  Actually, Devendra was the 1st act, main act was Rokia Trao – and the show was the kickoff event for Nonesuch Records 50-year celebrations at the Barbican.  I’m considering grabbing tickets for more events.  But the one I did go to so far – it was obvious a very large proportion of the crowd was solely there to see Devendra Banhart – even though he was doing this solo/acoustic.  And as such, had nobody to rein in his completely random ramblings when he did start speaking between songs.  Or give him direction when he foolishly opened the floor for the crowd to start requesting songs.  But – when he did play, it was rather good.  I stayed around to check out Rokia Traore – and was glad I did.  Really good – I can’t find any videos of that particular gig, but one from recently, which looks rather similar.. or a video of a full concert from last year, which again looks very similar, excepting the setting – including when she really gets going at about the hour mark.  What is it about Mali, that generates so many spectacular musicians?
  • Nick Lowe – at the Union Chapel.  Always going to be good, and it was.  It was just last night, so no videos available on the youtube yet, but – rest assured, good.  About half the show, just him and his guitar.  Then for the second half, he had John Paul Jones (as in, Led Zeppelin) playing bass.

Bike rides:

  • Easter, meandered towards Wales, spent two days just criss-crossing every National Park I could find… the Black Mountains… awesome.  One amazing road, and several other just really really good ones.  The main danger, being nervous sheep – there were a couple which looked like they were going to jump right in my path, but luckily – no such thing happened.  Then on the Monday, meandered my way back towards London, picking random B-roads, ofttimes finding that I’d gone in a circle, or was heading away from London.  But all good… until a pheasant hit me.  Or rather, I should say, I hit a pheasant… at 70 mph.  Right in the centre of the chest, which was probably quite lucky – if it had hit an arm, handlebar, I’m guessing I could quite easily have dropped handlebar, and/or even swerved quite wildly.  But – nope, just a good solid kick to the chest, and the head must have hit my helmet – as I certainly took a little blow to the helmet/head somehow.  But, I stayed on, and stayed going… once I’d checked I was still in a straight line, and head was straight too… checked I wasn’t holding a dazed bird in my lap – but no such luck.  And with white-line-fever, I didn’t bother going back to see if it was dazed or dead on the road.  Regret that now…  somebody told me that it was illegal to ‘claim’ roadkill if you were the driver… but I believe that isn’t actually true.  In any case, probably would have been quite tricky hanging a pheasant in my apartment.
  • Last weekend – headed south.  Criss-crossed the South Downs national park several times, before finding a hotel at Bognor Regis to stay the night.  Turns out that the hotel was your stereotypical colonial-times hotel, with all the sorts of practices one reads about in Agatha Christie novels.  Designed for tour groups.  Dinner at a certain time, with your choice of meal made at breakfast.  A ballroom, the Garden Room, big lawns, bar open at very specific times, etc etc.  And the town – a typical “British seaside resort” town.  Pier, ‘amusement centres’, cheap restaurants, bad fish and chips, bad beach, rental deckchairs, and then Butlins… I’d never seen a Butlins, or similar, before – and even now – I just rode past it.  But it, and several other neighbouring similar entities – is apparently a ‘holiday camp’.  I think it’s just a hotel, and some sort of ‘so-called-fun park’ rolled into one?  I don’t really get it… it’s like they’ve found a place where it would be good to have a holiday, like the seaside… and then built this big complex there, designed such that you would never actually go visit/see/experience the reason for the location being a good holiday destination.  I just don’t get it.
    Anyway – next day, got up – keen to leave this place in my rearview mirror… discovered I didn’t have a clutch.  Realised this was most likely to my clutch fluid being effectively empty… couldn’t get the plate off to refill, neither could AA guy… settled in for a long van ride back to London – but recovery guy suggested he have a go, did so – got it off, sweet – refilled – I was off on my way.  Found myself in the Cotswald Water Park… and once again, I found myself confused.  Similar to Bognor Regis – it seemed like just dozens and dozens of ‘holiday camps’, based around, and encroaching on, a similar number of bad lakes… bad in that I couldn’t tell if they were natural, but ruined by the man-made nonsense going on around them… or artificial – and therefore just inherently bad, as man-made attempts at water features normally are.  Happy Land.  At one point, I discovered the tiny dirty country lane I was riding on, about to leave – was called “Happy Land”.  Not “Happy Land Lane”, or “Happy Land Row”, or “Happy Land Road”… just “Happy Land”.   Happy Land smelt quite a lot of the cowshit it was covered in.  After a day of randomly riding in circles, including through Avebury (home to Europe’s largest neolithic stone circle) several times, found a very nice road from Marlborough-Avebury… I need to remember and revisit… nice corners, hills, a big white horse on the hill, neolithic stones… everything – settled into a hotel in Marlborough… where it seems some family reunion or similar was in progress, with parents very drunk, and unsupervised children running around the hotel/pub – and it seems that at one point a food fight had taken place (parents or children – unknown).
    Monday – more meandering, before finally joining the A40, and making my way into the heart of London.  When, just as I am in the right-hand lane of what is effectively, if not officially, a motorway – heading up an overpass… my rear tyre goes.  Flat/burst/punctured – whatever… I’m in the middle of very very busy traffic, all impatiently driving home after the long weekend.  I pull over to the right of the right hand lane… hazard lights on… trying to make myself the smallest target/nuisance as possible… pull out the phone to dial somebody, anybody – maybe police? – just about to dial… phone switches itself off, no battery.  Awesome.  But, as it happens – I was right next to a police headquarters – they must have spotted me – sent a truck, which blocked traffic – I pushed my bike off the motorway to a nearby side-street, called roadside assistance from a payphone, and sat down to wait 2 hours to be picked up.
  • This weekend – picked up the bike, after having both tyres replaced, full service, MOT.  Should be safe again now – and I’m pretty sure the clutch fluid, and rear tyre going – were both my own fault… I hadn’t checked clutch fluid for a long time… and rear tyre, I had noticed was getting a little bald… just didn’t realise how bad it actually was.  In the future – much more diligent.  So, bike is as good as new now… rode it into town, did some shopping – mostly ridiculously overpriced clothing/accessories.  Then remembered that ridiculously overpriced places love to package their stuff in ridiculously over-sized packaging.  So, ended up riding home with a big luxury brand name shopping bag hanging from one handlebar, my mochila/backpack crammed full of other stuff – during a period when it seemed the rain had stopped (which it did, mostly)

So – sitting here now, with post-shopping regret… nearly every ridiculously over-priced item purchased was wrong for one reason or another.  Still, it was a nice day out.  Now – off to do more shopping, but today – cheap stuff, food, anything which will assist me in using up all the tinned foods I bought 2 years ago, as “ingredients for emergency meals” – but which I have never used, and will apparently expire next month.  I see some uninteresting meal options between now and flying to NZ.

London 2012

The Olympics – on my doorstep.  How annoying was that?  My first day at a new job, the first time I’ve had a real commute – coincided with the first day of the Olympic Games.  Which meant the bus which would normally go pretty much past my house – to take me to London Bridge train station – no longer does that.  I have to walk an extra 10 minutes or so – to St Pauls.  (Actually – to directly outside the city office of my new client – just to rub it in my face that I have a 90 minute commute when I could have a 15 minute walk).  Olympic Games – also meant over-the-top preparation.  London Bridge station… half the entrances/corridors blocked off.  Apparently – the best way to ease congestion in a busy train station is to block off half the ways in/out.  I could see the platform I needed to be at from the entrance – but couldn’t get to it… each morning I had to walk another 10 minutes through a maze, past dozens of rail staff and Olympic volunteers wearing their pink shirts – all waiting to help lost tourists.  Except – there were no tourists.  London was pretty much deserted for the last couple of weeks.  There were literally more staff at London Bridge – standing in people’s way, blocking off easy routes – than actual passengers.  And how does forcing me to spend three times as long in getting in/out of the station ease congestion?  Aarrgh.  Rant over.  It’s all in the past now.  Now I just have to listen to Londoners congratulate themselves for a job well done.  And force myself to point out that no – you didn’t handle the extra load well… what you actually did was terrify the local and incoming populace to such an extent that the host city of the Olympic Games was a ghost town… with Oxford Street retailers complaining of the lowest sales since ever.  Or something.  Rant… really over now.

Eddie Vedder.  Good gig.  Very good gig.  Firstly – I somehow got mistaken for Eddie by a punter at the bar.  Then – some good songs by Eddie.  It was supposed to be “either Glen Hansard” – but I don’t know if Glen Hansard did a traditional support act very early which I missed, or what – but he only played 2, maybe 3 songs with Eddie?  But that’s alright – because then all sorts of other guests came out.  Neil Finn!  Oh, I was a happy man.  Eddie Vedder & Neil Finn performing Throw Your Arms Around Me.  Happy man.  And he did Masters of War – good.  And then he spotted somebody backstage – insisted they come out and do some songs together – and it turned out to be Roger Daltrey, so they played some impromptu Who covers.  Yeah, pretty good gig.

Then on Saturday – Fat Freddy’s Drop.  I’d heard all the hype about how good they are live, etc – I had already talked myself into being disappointed.  Which I really should stop doing… it was a really good gig, and I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t twisted my own thoughts with predictions like “over-rated”, etc.  Yeah good gig – especially as I believe they’d only recently flown in from NZ, so likely still jetlagged.  The pasty white middle-aged trombone-player probably didn’t need to strip down to his boxers though, that just reeked of “drunk uncle at the wedding trying to be funny”.

The following Saturday, ‘Lympics.  Got myself a Katie, got on a train, and watched some Olympic Games.  Women’s Mountain Biking, to be precise.  So yeah – watched some of that.  Most of it looked pretty easy, and I’m keen to go around the course myself – once they install something to help out with the uphill bits.  Whatever the mountain-biking equivalent of tow-ropes/chair-lifts are.  But the race – the New Zealand lass got a puncture, but I think she battled through to finish the race at about the same position she started it.  A French lady won it emphatically.  The British girl kept the crowd happy for a lap or two and then faded.  None of the girls which Katie had assured me were attractive seemed particularly so – but then it was difficult to judge fairly when they were wearing bike helmets, and had bright red faces flushed with competing on a hot sunny day.  Yep – sunny.  I had refused any sunblock – stating emphatically that it was impossible to get sunburn in England.  Which is correct – although the back of my neck was a little blushed by the end of the day.  Just sun-kissed, not really burnt.

Tuesday – Grant Lee Buffalo.  Which was… odd.  A little embarrassing, in fact.  The Forum, not the biggest of venues anyway, half-empty.  So – pretty hard to get a decent atmosphere going.  And it just kinda made the middle-aged bass guitarists antics seem a little sad.  But it also meant this grumpy gig-goer could stand where he damned well pleased, without any of those annoying “other people” to worry about.  So – overall… good?  Yeah – good – but I did feel sorry for Grant… playing to half a crowd, which pretty much meant a quarter of an atmosphere.

In other news – working out in the countryside makes it very difficult to receive packages, or “signed-for” type mail.  But – on Wednesday, I worked from the city – finishing off a previous piece of work – and retrieved a package from the Post Office.  My passport(s)!  And birth certificates, and other documentation, and a letter saying that my visa (or more accurately – Biometric Residence Permit) should be on the way.  Which I suspected, as I had missed several deliveries by The DX – who handle all passport shipping, etc.  So – I had to pay for the privilege of them making a Saturday delivery – when the guy just handed me the envelope without asking for ID or signature anyway – so what was the point?  Anyway – I now have everything I need to leave, and return to, the UK.  Except now I have to remember to take two documents with me every time – my passport, and the Residence Permit, which is a separate card.  Reminds me of the Olympics organisation.  Rant… cut off before it can begin.  And this evening… my new drivers licence arrived.  (Oh – for those of you who aren’t aware – in the UK, there are two parts to one’s driver license as well.  A normal credit-card type deal, plus a big old A4 size document.  You need to have both with you when driving.  Awesome.)

Anyway – I have the actual licence documents now with a little picture of a motorbike on the card – so now I have no further excuse to delay making a decision.  Except now – all the bikes which had interested me have disappeared – leaving boring old Hondas, Suzukis, Kawasakis.  Although – I’m starting to think… for my first bike – just grab a cheap reliable Honda CB600/750?  I think the plan is – next Saturday – go to a dealer who seems to have several bikes advertised in my target range, and let them talk me into something.  Salesman’s dream.  Unfortunately, I’m nearly talking myself into paying double what I planned to – and getting a Street Triple, which I do like the look of.

Commuting Around Europe

So – I figure the best time to write about my most recent jaunt into Europe is while I’m fully regretting it.

I’m currently trying to write the documentation to support the work I did the other week.  And I hate writing documentation.  Even writing the kind of document which I would want to receive (ie: a list of specific stuff.  This was set to that.  This: 1.  This: 23.  This: 100.  Reading it: Perfect – all I need to know on a single page.  But writing it: what order do I put it in?  What’s the most logical tree structure?  Aaaarrgh!)  Sorry – mind is frazzled from trying to write my most hated of documentation – long wordy descriptions of what should be short one-liners – and with screenshots.  Oh – now you’ve got me started on screenshots.  I view screenshots as the vice of the lazy documenter, and the crutch of the incompetent reader.  Unfortunately – I’ve been specifically requested to include screenshots.  Hence my presumably imcomprehensible rambling about this shit that you certainly don’t care about.

Anyway – all this started with my trip to Madrid last time.  And then two weeks ago – another trip.  This time – a ridiculously early train to Paris.  Straight to the office, work until late.  Then to the hotel.  And my room has a balcony (ish) with a view of the Arc de Triomphe.  (And really, no offence, but where did the French borrow the nerve to build a monument to Triumph?)  But anyway – a rather long day – and that pretty much just set the scene.  Essentially a week of spending 16 hours a day with work colleagues – who aren’t even my own work colleagues, and for whom english is not their first language.  Which would normally be all fine – but with me having very little sleep already – it was just that slightly too tiring to cope with for an entire week.  Anyway – enough whinging.  First day ended with some bieres and what-not.  And the next few days – long days in a small office in suburban Paris – miles away from anywhere – then back into central Paris to drop off bags, and then head to random places for dinner.  Who has a few days in Paris – so decides to travel all the way across town to a burger restaurant?  But I managed to escape eating a burger – and had steak tartare instead.  All good.  And crepes.  And I saw the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame, and things like that.  I would nearly cross Paris off The List – except I was too tired to enjoy any of it – and I didn’t see the Louvre.

Oh – and I managed to watch some of the opening rugby matches – streaming over internet.  A lot of my screenshots (grumble grumble whinge whinge) – are great – each showing two monitors, one full of nerd-action, the other with a snapshot of the morning’s rugby.  And the other light-hearted aspect which will hopefully counter-balance the above crazy ramblings – was the exchange of language between myself and my spanish workmates.  I taught them the word “cleavage” – (by special request – with meaning conveyed with a lot of hand gestures and imitation) – while they attempted to teach me – well, some terrible terrible phrases.  Which I was too tired to remember – sadly.  I remember what they meant – and I just don’t know what to think about a culture which would say things like that.

But finally – it was Monday – with a lovely 6am flight to Madrid.  Where I headed to my hotel, thinking I would just be able to leave my suitcase there, and head to the office – and check-in later.  But no – they let me check in at 9am or so – which allowed me to have a shower and head to the office.  Which shouldn’t have brought me so much joy – but I’m pretty sure I would have fallen asleep at the desk otherwise.  But yes – two more days in Madrid – this time out in the suburbs – and then finally back to London.  On a 5am flight – landing at London City airport – just in time for a taxi straight to my ‘usual’ client – and get in at 10am, in order to help a vendor who’s come in especially for the first big piece of work on my current project.  And yeah – I wasn’t particularly “on the ball” that day.

But that’s what you get when you’re some kind of jet-setting business traveller like myself, I guess.

Oh – and did I mention that immediately after work on my day of return – I then headed off to my first fencing lesson?  Luckily we didn’t get given any solid time with epees, foils, sabres, or the such on that night.  But I made up for it the next week – when I knew that we would be handed our first swords – by having a few wines beforehand.  This behaviour was correctly summed up with the comment “You’re a retard”.  It wasn’t my fault – there were work drinks to welcome/farewell somebody visiting from India.  Who doesn’t drink.

Hmm?  Yes – I’m attending fencing lessons.  En guarde!

Punctuation Pedantry: Spelling>Snakes

Sorry everybody.  I’m tired, bored, and probably got a bit of the old heat-stroke.  So – sorry for the rambling mess which follows.  It’s a fraction of what I’d like to discuss with Evan, but far too much for anybody else to have to put up with.  I’m too scared to re-read what’s written below – because I just know it’s disjointed delirious drivel.  But some bullet points beforehand, so you can skip the rest of it if you wish.  I would recommend: yes.

  • Summer seems to have arrived in Ingerlund.  Hooray.
  • Give money to my sister.  I will match every dollar you donate, if you let me know.  And – you’re not really giving money to my sister – but you’re giving money to the Kids.  And you know that these kids will be more likely to want to work in medicine when they grow up, to cure cancer and stuff – so you’re really donating to the kids, AND to cure all sorts of stuff.  It’s like donating to every charity at once.  It’s a bargain.

In case you missed “evan smith”‘s rebuttal to my informative & educational expose on snakes – here you go:

  • ok heres the deal snakes all of this that you just spent on writting was a watse of your time as well as my time for reading it. Second thing snakes are not things that go around killing things all the time. Their just doing what they suppose to do in order to survive.Trust me on this one. i own two of them and they dont try to eat me or my mother or my father.I bet you know almost any thing about them.the thing is that they only eat onc a month not every day they only eat what they need for that one time.Oh all of that stuff about making them extinct yea no here loke at it this way what if there was a being that didnt like us hu. that wanted us extinct that sounds nice hu?Oh and how long where they on earth be fore we even lerned how to even walke on two legs and then because of your little fear of these animals it give you the god given wright to kill all of them off no it doesnt so there you go Oh one more thing I LOVE SNAKES so there you go get over it panzy

As you may notice – I decided not to edit the piece – as I honestly would have no idea where to begin.

At first – I thought “evan smith” was a certain person I know trying to wind me up.  Although I figured I was being quite generous in granting this person the possession of the imagination it would require to create the above.

So – before we get to dissecting his counter-view on snakes – let’s examine what we know about “evan smith” the person.

  1. “evan smith” calls himself “evan smith”
  2. yet “evan smith” has an email address named not “evan smith”, but rather after an anime/manga character
  3. “evan smith” utilises an Internet Provider based in Alabama – which is one of the so-called ‘United States of America’
  4. “evan smith” uses “myspace.com” as his URL
  5. “evan smith” likes snakes

So – what conclusions can we come to?  Now – I’m torn between being honest here, or being kind.  I mean – it is kinda like kicking a puppy, isn’t it?  But – I think we can all be fairly safe that “evan” isn’t going to read this.  So – my next fear is the amount of other people I’m going to offend.  I’ll tell you what everybody – before you get offended – here’s my official response to “evan” – which you can take to be directed at yourself also:

“Very sorry evan – that I disparaged snakes, which obviously mean a lot to you.  Please accept my apology – and believe me when I say that anything I write here under the tag of ‘Rants’ should not, I repeat NOT, be taken seriously.  I will use unfair stereotypes, generalisations, exaggeration – and sometimes outright lies – in order to support whatever nonsense I am spouting.  Except when it comes to snakes.  Snakes are nasty.”

Right – back to figuring out what makes “evan smith” tick…

Okay – he’s from Alabama.  I did a quick search for famous people from Alabama – to see what kind of people this area produces.  The list was dominated by two definitions: “NASCAR driver”, and “white supermacist and co-conspirator in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing”.  Next, I try to narrow it to musicians – as I like to propogate a very simple (and very simplistic) theory that one can judge states by their main musical export  eg: New Zealand = Crowded House.  Australia = Akka Dakka.  Anyway – Alabama… Wikipedia lists two subcategories under “Musican groups from Alabama” – these are “Alabama Heavy Metal musical groups” and “Alabama rock music groups”.  I’ve found all I need to know about Alabama, I think.  I mean when Neil Young sang about her, I hear old Neil put her down.

Oh – sorry – one more thing I felt necessary to research about Alabama.  After re-reading evan’s written piece – I felt a sudden urge to do a quick check on education in Alabama.  An interesting fact: I found that Mississippi has the lowest high school graduation rate in the ‘United States of America’.  But back to Alabama.  Well… Alabama can be proud to have a higher rate of high school graduation than Mississippi.

So – at this point, we know there is a 25% chance that evan has not, and never will, graduate high school (based solely on state-wide statistics, ignoring other evidence such as his style of prose).  But in case he’s still hoping (fingers crossed buddy) – here’s a few pointers:

  • That first scramble of words until the first full-top… I don’t know what that is, and I’m not sure how to help with that bit sorry.
  • “writting” & “watse” are not words – I think you meant “writing” & “waste” – perhaps simple typographical errors?  Fair enough.
  • This one is for everybody – please don’t use “Their” when you mean “They’re”, or vice versa.  It may seem like punctuation/spelling prudery – and sure, it may be.  But – it IS wrong.  Which means that if somebody knows the correct meaning of punctuation/spelling – an initial reading just makes no sense.  Take note:  “Their” is a possessive adjective.  Or – in Alabama english, it is used when “They” own something.  So – one might say “The Irish hired a crazy Scotsman named Patrick to get rid of all the snakes, because the vicious little serpentine bastards were eating all their babies”.  Or – to make it easier – just remember the correct meaning of “They’re”.  This is the easiest one to remember – because it’s actually two words, both of which I’m sure you know.  “They” & “are”.  The apostrophe has been used to replace the “a” so that us lazy folks can amalgamate the two words into one syllable.  Okay?  “they’re” = “they are”.  Easy.  “I hate snakes because they are cold-blooded killers” = “I think we should eradicate all snakes becauase they’re obsolete in the modern ecosystem”  I will leave it to you to figure out what “there” means.  But here’s a hint – it’s spelt like “here” – but with another letter.
  • Time out:  sorry about that little outburst.  But the whole their/they’re/there thing really does get to me.  I honestly have to re-read any sentence with errors in it a couple of times – because I’m just assuming it will be written in English.  My own punctuation/spelling is not perfect – I accept that, and I’m sure some of you will be able to put together a dozen or so mistakes from this post.  Go on then, jerk.  But at least I try.  I do the English.
  • The word “i” should always be capitalised.  That means it will be big and tall, like so: “I”.  You’re big and tall, aren’t you evan?  Then make your “I” big and tall and strong.  Also – it just rubs salt into the wound when it’s also the first word of the sentence.  You know that the first word of a sentence should be capitalised, don’t you evan?  Did you think that if there are two rules both saying that a word should be capitalised – then they cancel each other out?  They don’t, evan – they don’t.
  • Speaking of which, evan, why don’t you capitalise your name?  You should, you know – it makes one seem like a real person.  Are you a fan of ee cummings, perhaps?  Something makes me think not so.  Anyway – those stories about him legally changing his name to remove the capitalisation are all lies.  He just signed some poems withough capitalisation – perhaps because he was lazy, perhaps out of humility when he’d realise it was shit.  Anyway – he was a yankee.  You don’t want to imitate a dirty yankee, do you Evan?  You’re a good solid southern dust-kickin’ boy, ain’t ya Evan?
  • “I bet you know almost any thing about them.” – I’m going to interpret this as poetry Evan.  I think your intention is clear, and it is portrayed in a most lyrical manner.  I bet you know almost any thing about them.  Beautiful.
  • Okay – your closing statement, or series of statements.  “Oh all of that stuff about making them extinct yea no here loke at it this way what if there was a being that didnt like us hu. that wanted us extinct that sounds nice hu?Oh and how long where they on earth be fore we even lerned how to even walke on two legs and then because of your little fear of these animals it give you the god given wright to kill all of them off no it doesnt so there you go Oh one more thing I LOVE SNAKES so there you go get over it panzy“.  Once again – poetry.  But I would like a little more structure here Evan.  I’m not sure when to pause for breath.  Or is that the point?  Regardless – get rid of the “w” from “wright”.  Remove the space from “be fore”.  Strip the “e” from “walke”.  Maybe add an “h” to “yea” – but maybe that’s a dialect thing.  No biggie.  I assume “loke” is supposed to be “look”.  I don’t know what “hu.” is – or if the full-stop is in the right place.  That bit really does confuse me quite a bit.  I think I’ve decided it’s supposed to be “huh?” – considering the context of both this and the subsequent appearance.  Finally, try spelling “lerned” as “learnt”.  I know – all very pedantic – but seriously, it helps Evan.  It helps.
  • I didn’t want to split up the last piece – so included it all above, but I think I can safely say that the following can be logically seperated for the purpose of discussion: “Oh one more thing I LOVE SNAKES so there you go get over it panzy“  Yes, well.  Firstly Evan – please be careful.  Snakes are not capable of emotion.  They do NOT love you back.  They may pretend to.  Oh – they will pretend to love you.  But then one night – you, your mother, your father – everybody – will be found lying dead in your caravan/trailer – one little snake mouthful taken from you – to keep your little snake fed for a month while it makes it’s getaway.  I’m telling this to you as a friend Evan.  Despite, or perhaps because, of you calling me a panzy.  Is this a very clever joke Evan?  Have you surplaced the central hinge of the word “pansy” with the initials of my homeland – creating the word “paNZy”?  Very good Evan, very clever.

So – pedantry over.  It’s for Evan’s own good.  He needs to know these things, to become not just another Alabama statistic.

And Evan – what up with anime/manga?  That stuff will rot your brain.  The Japanese are crazy Evan – absolutely batshit insane.  Don’t trust them.  Remember Pearl Harbour Evan?  The Japanese were responsible for that.  Oh yes – without the Japanese, Ben Affleck might have faded into obscurity, and we’d never have to have seen his smug fat face ever again.  But no – that’s not the case, is it Admiral Yamamoto?  Sorry Evan – Affleck works me up as bad as poor punctuation.  Anyway – manga.  It’s sick.  It will undermine your good fine true christian american beliefs.  How can you believe that God the father of Jeebers personally spoke to George W. and told him to invade Iraq – when your mind is full of teenage girl ninja warriors being seduced by metallic tentacled monsters?  Oh no – Evan, the Fox News syndicate would not approve at all.  Violence Jack is not a good role model.  Whoever is on Pop Idol/X-Factor – there’s a role model.  And you’ve got the same taste in anime/manga characters as Richard Gere.  That’s not cool, Evan.  Namine, Haruno Sakura – gay.  And – please, would anybody call themselves Roy Mustang unless they were over-compensating for something?  (Sorry Evan – I’m making all that up.  I don’t know anything about those characters – they may be fully bad-ass MFs.  Except Roy Mustang – that’s definitely covering for distinct lack of testosterone.)

  • If anybody’s got any words of encouragement for Evan – I can pass them on.  Urge him to give high school another go?  Wish him condolences on the upcoming murder of his family by his beloved pets?  Or just put in an order for some moonshine?  You just know he’s got the good stuff.  Whatever y’all feel.
  • Snakes still suck.  An unnecessary evil.  The bad guys in ‘Arry Potter – what’s their emblem & favourite animal and what-not?  Snake.  The criminal in The Simpsons – what’s his name?  Snake.  What’s the one thing Junior Jones is afraid of?  Snakes.  Bad guy in Karate Kid III?  Snake.  Villain in Powerpuff Girls?  Snake.  Villain in pretty much every single B-grade movie?  Snake.
  • Further rebuttal eagerly anticipated.


ophid·io·pho·bia (n) : \ö-¸fid-ë-(¸)ö-’fô-bë-?\ : abnormal fear of snakes

Okay – I think it’s fairly well known that I hate snakes.  And yes – I think you could say I am scared of them.  And the fear quite likely goes some way towards creating that hate.  But – and this is important – it is NOT an irrational fear, and certainly should not be abnormal amongst other rational humans – nay – beings.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say snakes are evil, per se.  Well… maybe I would.  Because if there is such a thing as ‘evil’ – then the whole spirituality thing comes into play, innit?  So – if I was to subscribe to the ideals of ‘good’ & ‘evil’ – then I would point out that the main ‘baddie’ in the first ever (and still overall) bestselling novel – The Bible™ – was a snake.  In fact – the core and genesis of all evil – representing itself on earth as a snake.  So – did the devil choose to portray himself as a snake, because that’s what tickled his fancy (you know his type – listens to heavy metal down in his cave, probably got a tattoo of a skull with a  snake coming out an eye socket on his bicep hidden by that even more stylish red cape) – OR, did he have no choice in the matter – a snake merely being the natural form attributed to him when he appeared in the Garden?  Either way – not good evidence for presenting snakes as benevolent beings we should have any trust for.

But – laying all aside the mythology – down to pseudo-science.  Researching the scientific term for the phobia of snakes – I came across the following:

“Care must also be taken to differentiate people who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger involved. A ophidiophobic would not only fear them when in live contact but also dreads to think about them or even see them on TV or in pictures.”

This quote had no citations to back this up.  Because it is nonsense.  It is not irrational to dread thinking about them, or seeing them in TV or pictures.  Try thinking of one now!  Slithering, sneaking, sneaking up on you with malice in it’s gleaming nasty eyes so it can bite you with it’s vicious little teeth – maybe poisonous, maybe not – I don’t care, it’s not cool.  And seeing them on TV or in pictures just reminds one that these monsters are actually real.  For really real real.

Immediately following the above – was the following:

“Recent studies conducted have theorised that humans may have an innate reaction to snakes, which was vital for the survival of humankind as it allowed such dangerous threats to be identified immediately”

This  DID have a citation (from the hallowed National Geographic no less) – and makes a helluva lot more sense.  “innate reaction to snakes”, “vital for the survival of humankind”, “dangerous threats” – the National Geographic don’t just take pretty photographs – they know their shit.

Scientific studies people – pointing out that even the not-so-smart cavemen knew enough to be scared of snakes.  Are you dumber than a caveman?  Christ – they didn’t even know how to hang bead curtains at the mouths of their caves.  But – they DID know enough to know that snakes are ‘dangerous threats’.  And – they weren’t selfish.   Sure – Peking Man could have pretended he wasn’t afraid of snakes – and gone to show off in front of that hot Woman X teasing a viper or something – hoping to get back to her place (got one of them new ‘Fire’ you know), but he didn’t.  No – instead, he settled for someone a little dowdier, not so high maintenance.  And he stayed alive – “for the survival of humankind”.  Thinking of the children.  Thanks, Peking Man (sorry – xie xie, Beijing Man).

Snakes are not cool.  They’ve got no legs!  Look at Heather Mills.  She’s got one leg, and she is at a ridiculous level of psychosis, nastiness, and just not-cool.  So, via extrapolation – you’ve got to imagine ‘no-legs’ takes things to yet another level.  A level where the venom isn’t just crazy paranoid rambling – but actual poisonous kill-you-dead venom.  A level where the nastiness isn’t just spewing out bile in crazy television interviews – but sneaking around in the grass, up drainpipes, under beds, in rubbish, kitchen cupboards – and then striking out with nasty sharp fangs.  I would say – A level where the greed isn’t just “I’ve got more money than anybody could spend – but let’s go for more, and some reputation maybe” – but more “there’s a big piece of meat a thousand times my size – let’s kill it and take one bite out of it”.  Except, it can’t be greed.  A snake knows perfectly well it can’t eat me  (Well – an anoconda could at a stretch) – it’s trying to kill me for fun.  Nasty, nasty piece of work.

Snakes are cold-blooded.  You know where else the term ‘cold-blooded’ pops up?  “Cold-blooded killer”.  That’s not a coinicidence.  Snakes are killers, by their very nature.  We already know they’ll kill you even knowing they can’t eat you.  It’s just what they do.  And I don’t think it’s too bigoted to say – I don’t like that.  I don’t like things that just want to kill me – for no reason other than wanting to kill me.  I’m alright.  In fact, some people would rate me above average [citations needed].  But snakes want to kill me!  It just isn’t right.

Now – the whole cold-blooded thing – you might take the logical extension of this, and state “well, by that logic – all reptiles & fishies and what-not are killers”.  Well – yes, you’re right.  Sort of.  They all WANT to be killers.  Only some have the capability.  Take the Tuatara.  I love them – and would become an illegal international endangered species trader in a second if I could find one to purchase.  BUT – I would have no illusions.  If one of those suckers developed venom, or opposable thumbs and tool-making capabilities – I would be murdered within the day.  Just look at all the things in the world that can kill you.  Mammals – plenty of big strong things that can kill you if you endanger their young, or if they’re just hungry.  Reptiles, fish, insects, archnids – heaps and heaps of little things, big things, medium-sized things – that can kill you in various strange, painful, masochistic fashion. Piranha.  Candiru.  Spiders.  Insects.  Electric eels.  Stingrays.  SNAKES.  Not one of these could you stand up against in a fair bout of fisticuffs.  A tiger, lion, bear or elephant – I would give myself a chance of survival with a bit of the old rough-and-tumble, and a fair fight.  But – if that blood is cold, you got no chance – because you’re fighting a dirty little cheat, who probably killed you before you saw it.

So – what are we to do about it?  We can’t just get rid of all the snakes, can we?  YES – we can.  There are estimates that between 35-150 much cooler species become extinct every day.  So – a few species of snake in such a wildly varying estimate range would be alright, wouldn’t it?  Oh yes, oh yes – we can’t just go making things extinct willy-nilly – we don’t know the impact on the ecosystem, right?  Yep – agree wholeheartedly.  However – we know what snakes brought to the ecosystem.  They kill things.  The little ones kill mice, and the bigger ones kill anything they see.  Well – will that be sorely missed?  We’ve invented mousetraps, right?  We’ve invented right-wing pickup-truck driving hunters.  I think we’ve got the whole killing thing covered.  Snakes are obsolete.

And that is what I think about snakes.

By Micheal Kruse Age: 33