Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zombies, Spiders, & Snakes (Oh My)

The news is depressing, lately.  ("But when is it not?" you ask.  So true.)

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An odd jumble of things I was thinking about yesterday (the London riots, music from zombie movies, etc.) led to an exciting night of vivid dreaming about zombies.  (I am now about to relate that dream, in part.  Those who dislike reading about other people's dreams should consider themselves warned.)

We were living in a beautifully dreary (green-on-the-verge-of-autumnal, almost perpetually cloudy-skied) English neighborhood.  Zombies roamed the world-- had done so for long enough that people had moved past the freak-out stage of reaction and now just accepted them as a threat.  That threat kept people tethered to their own personal safe zones, but we were afforded some small comfort by the fact that the zombies were mostly only mobile after dark.  (Yeah, subconscious.  Way to mix zombies with vampires...)  For some reason, we ended up moving in with the family next door. (Consolidating resources? Safety in numbers?)

There was a fair bit of mundane interaction with this family-- conversation, routines, making do, repairing things.  One day, while we worked on something outdoors during the relative safety of daylight, the wife/mother spoke of how she came from New Zealand, originally, and wished she could go back home, though she was afraid of what she'd find.  I sympathized, of course, but commented wryly that at least the weather here suited me well.  She was tired of clouds, and on cue, we glimpsed a fleeting patch of blue sky.

We and the family had plenty of safety measures in place and were doing as well as could be expected.  We even discussed the possibility of putting up some sort of makeshift, protective passageway between our two homes, so that we could travel between them at night, in an emergency.  But despite our planning, I had a gloomy sense that these things-- zombie scenarios-- never end well.  Something always goes wrong, eventually, no matter how careful you are.  Someone always has a moment of thoughtlessness, of stupidity-- wanders off too far-- or for reasons beyond his control, comes face-to-face with the monster when least expected.  And, of course, since it was my dream, where I have the most amazing ability of prediction, that's exactly what happened.

I'll spare you the gory details.  ;o) 

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I've seen a couple of large spiders on the outside of the house, lately-- not the exotic, alien-looking "banana spiders" that come later in the year and turn a woodland path into a creepy, crawly obstacle course of giant webs and palm-sized arachnids that seem to be invisible until they're dangling mere inches from your face.  These are probably somewhat smaller than banana spiders, but they're darker and fuzzier to make up for it.  There's something sinister about them--  but then, I don't like any spiders very much.  It's this type of thing that makes me so unique, which is why I bother mentioning it at all. 

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This weekend, we found another skinny snake stuck in the silicone (?) caulking around the exterior of our kitchen window.  It's so bizarre, the way that keeps happening!  That's at least the second one we've found in that window, alone.  (There have been more in the bay window.)  We can't be the only ones having that particular problem-- but a quick Google search yields no relevant results, so I'm not sure what's going on, really. 

The ones that get caught on the kitchen window have a better chance of survival, since we're more likely to spot them and try to free them before it's too late.  Donald managed to get this one loose and drop it outside the fence.  It was another of those corn snakes, I think.  I'd much rather have them around than something worse, so live, little snake, and eat up all the food before your big, bad cousins decide this is an attractive location.