He had finished work a little early, so Alan went into a charity shop, almost absentmindedly. He looked around a bit, rummaged through oversized suits, admired some ornaments. And then, something caught him eye. A colourful hat. A Rastafarian beanie.
Alan, being one of those people who carelessly appropriates other people’s cultures, (for example, while in China, he got a tattoo in Mandarin which he believes says ‘peace’, but really says ‘arsehole’), of course, brought the beanie. It cost him four cans of Pepsi and a strip of bubble-gum flavoured chewing gum – because the manager was ‘hip’ like that.
On his way out of the shop, he squeezed his bald head into the beanie and felt something hard and leathery inside it. He took off the hat and a snake slipped down from the top of his head, wrapping itself, non-threateningly, around his neck.
“Alright, me old mucker, me old pal,” said the snake.
“You’re a snake,” said Alan. “And you can talk?”
“Of course, what d’you call words that come out of a snake’s mouth?”
“I dunno, what do you call—?”
“Nah, nah, that weren’t no joke. I were only making a point there, mate.” The snake flicked its tongue. “So what’d they call you, round ’ere?”
“Nice to meet ya, Alan. I’m just a snake.”
“Ah cool. You wanna come back to my place? I got a load of photos from my holidays. I keep trying to get everyone at work to have a look, but they’re always too busy. If you’re interested?”
“Of course, I’d be interested. Let’s get there quick.”
With a swing in his step, Alan took the snake to his house, only a ten minute walk. On the doorstep, Alan fumbled around in his pocket for his keys, only for them to seemingly spring from his fingers and fall down a nearby drain.
“Alan, ya daft tit,” chuckled the snake. “No worries, being a skinny snake and all, I can slip between the bars, go into the sewers and find them. I won’t be a minute.”
The snake landed on a sidewalk, just right of a stream of sewage. On the same sidewalk was a group of cats. Interrupted, they turned to face the snake. A tomcat, the leader, had Alan’s keys in his teeth.
“Those keys belong to me new friend, Alan,” said the snake.
“We know Alan very well,” said the tomcat, hatred in his voice. “Alan put cat repellent spray on his garden. Now, we can’t poop their anymore.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, but I just want to return his keys.”
“No, we need them to get into his house. As we see it, he takes away our pooping place, we take away his home.” Two cats wrapped in explosive jackets stepped out of the dark, one each side of the tomcat. “They’re on their last lives too.”
“Explosives! That’s a tad extreme.” The cats remained impassive. “You’re cats, independence is one of your more appealing traits, I don’t see why can’t you just find somewhere else to poop? You’re in the sewers, for crying out loud. There’s shit everywhere.”
“We don’t adhere to logic!” snapped the tomcat. “We see the light from a laser pointer, we go after that tiny dot of light. We know we can’t catch it, but we try anyway – it’s an impulse thing. Same goes for pooping. Now, goodbye, snake.”
A cat leapt onto the snake, wrestling with him while the others made their way to ground. After a violent struggle, the snake flicked his tail with all his might, tossing the cat into a stream of sewage where, upon touching the shitty water, it sprung onto the path and flew after the rest of the group. The snake stood on his tail and slithered out of the drain.
“Alan! I’m sorry, the cats have you’re keys. Now, they’re gonna blow up your gaff.”
“What?” A fireball roared through the house, shattering windows, blowing out bricks and debris. The force threw Alan onto his back. Paper and photographs rained down as thick black smoke billowed into the sky.
A few minutes later, the front door fell outward and sat behind it, was the tomcat, smoking a cigarette. He took one look at Alan – a look of pure disgust, then bolted out back.
“What the —?”