Last post of the year, with snakes

I realize I haven’t written in a month.

This is, in equal parts, due to:

  1. An increasing workload
  2. An increasing workload of rather uninteresting work, resulting in nothing to blog about
  3. An increasing workload of rather uninteresting work spent in front of a computer, resulting in a growing propensity to avoid my own PC when at home
  4. QI
  5. Trip to India
  6. Swedish pop

I’ll probably write with more regularity and vigor next year as the dullness of my work hits me and I start to look around for more interesting things to do.

In the meantime, here’s a somewhat interesting story.

I went back to my old office yesterday following an SOS call to fix up the Exchange (email) server (hang in there, this won’t be about IT much). Those of you who know me somewhat more intimately may remember that back in that office we had a couple of animals, including a pair of cats. Well, the cats produced kittens, as cats are wont to do, and I vaguely remembered the last time I was in the office that there had been four furry cute things that I had been tempted to bring home.

On this particular trip, though, I noticed that there were only three. So I asked an ex-colleague if, as per the “Kittens for Adoption!” sign on the front door, someone had already adopted one. She informed me that two would be picked up by a friend of another colleague, but the missing one had been killed by a snake. Now, because of the location of the office and the proximity of forested areas, we’d had a couple of snakes before, so that was normal, but this was the first time any of them had actually done any harm. Still, her response seemed a little cold to me–after all we were talking about a cute fluffy kitten which she had helped deliver being killed, and she was the type of person who loved animals and was, in fact, the reason our office had its own mini petting zoo.

She then told me to go to the back, where a couple of the live-in staff stayed, to ask them what happened to the snake. And so I did.

It turns out the snake in question was a gigantic python, about two and a half metres long. The live-in staff had turned up at the office one morning to discover poor kitty, suffocating in its coils. They bludgeoned it to death with some metal poles, but were too late to save kitty, who expired soon after (I have the sneaking suspicion they put it out of its misery). But at least kitty had been avenged.

But what had they done with the python’s body? I was led to the communal fridge, where I was shown a plastic bag containing half a python. The live-in staff, being foreigners of sturdier stock than the average Singaporean, had been pragmatically stored the snake for consumption. Python meat smells of grass and looks remarkably like chicken. I was told it tasted of chicken, too, though I thought this might be because of the chicken stock used for the steamboat in which the python was cooked.

I’m not sure now which to feel sorrier for, the python or the kitten. At least the kitten didn’t get thrown into a hot-pot.

Thankfully, pythons aren’t very cute (not even deep-fried), so I guess most people will save their sympathies for the kitten. However, sometimes in nature we just don’t have an ugly-beautiful contrast upon which to base our moral leanings, such as this article about cats vs birds.

Oh, and I managed to get the Exchange server back online. Problem was just the lack of scheduled backups, which resulted in the transaction logs growing out of control and taking up all the disk space.

They gave me cupcakes to take home.