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Beware the Snakes

by Ang Lloyd / 12.02.2014

I have stumbled across something a little peculiar, extremely perplexing, and a whole lot of disturbing. I’d seen one of these signs before, and had assumed that a disgruntled white middle-class woman put it up: a tongue-in-cheek response to the serious dumping problem we have in our area. But things have taken a sinister turn. On my way to register myself as a voter at the local community hall, I spotted a new addition:


Clearly, “By Order” means business. I noticed something else: a plastic barricade with various trash stuck to it (thanks to actual SA Police service crime scene tape) in an artistic style that I can only describe as ‘Dexter-meets-Die Duiwel’.


The journalist in me said that I had to investigate further; the inner responsible citizen said I had to register to vote first. Fighting the urge to discover more, I reluctantly got back into my car and trundled off to the community hall.

I recently subbed a story in one of my community newspapers where an ‘elderly resident’ by the name of Rose was, and I quote, “consumed by curiosity”, thanks to yellow ribbons that someone had tied around trees in Greenside. While I was dutifully filling out my voting form, I thought of Rose. And now I too was consumed by curiosity –  not by who would win the next elections, and not by who I would vote for, but by the mystery sign-maker.

My responsible citizen now appeased, I could continue my investigation.

Back at the barricade, I got out of my car to take a closer look. A massive church service was taking place on a soccer field nearby; the street filled with wailing and echoed ‘Amens’. A car guard wearing earphones lounged on the curb, his yellow neon vest a shining beacon in the sunlight. I gave him a nod and went closer. And this is what I saw:


Mix tape; Ted Bundy-style.


Left: Satan’s spawn. Right: Redemptive biblical verses.

Condom – No Entry!

Condom – No Entry!

Proof of payment?

Proof of payment?

“Ey. Sissie.” An earphone now dangling out of one ear, the car guard gestured at my camera. “You taking photos for internet?”

I tell him no. I ask him if he knows who put this here; he doesn’t. I ask him if he knows what this is about; he doesn’t. He makes a forced shivering movement and gives himself an exaggerated hug. “It has bad feeling, sissie. Eish!”

By now it’s safe to say that I have the grils. Then I see the snakes:

snake disturbance

Don’t drink the water. Or piss in it. Or [take a] dump in it. Or something else that I can’t figure out. 10/10 for creativity though. And insanity.

What the actual fuck, you may ask? Me and the car guard too. One has to wonder – “Maybe dere’s snake dere” (as he put it). But there’s more – sandbags with obscure words painted on them. I had to look these up in a dictionary, but I now challenge you to work them into random future conversations:


Imbroglio (noun): an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation, eg. ”the abdication imbroglio of 1936″.


Farrago (noun): a confused mixture, eg. “a farrago of fact and myth about Abraham Lincoln”.


Putrescent & Feculent (adjectives): Becoming putrid; foul with impurities, fecal.

Are you sufficiently freaked out? I am. There was another bag with words written on it but by that stage I was scared that I might become possessed by snake demons. I’m still consumed by curiosity though.  I just hope I don’t get eaten alive [slowly]. My salvation might lie in the fact that I recycle.

All images © Ang Lloyd

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