Beware the Snakesby 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:
“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: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:
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