Thursday, January 21, 2010




1 : of, relating to, or resembling a snake

2 : of or relating to a large cosmopolitan family (Colubridae) of chiefly nonvenomous snakes

i have two distinct memories relating to snakes or the idea of COLUBRINITY (sic). i will now list them in chronological order:

1) when riding bikes with jen martino in the sixth grade, we were coming around a sharp curve on graniss road, and i stopped because i saw something unusual on the pavement. the flat and wirey black shape was actually a snake that had gotten run over by a car. i was no stranger to road kill, but i thought this was particularly morbid and unnerving. it just didn't seem right. i guess i thought snakes were somehow immune to this cause of death. the world seemed slightly tilted, as if i had witnessed the natural delicacy of the food chain getting flipped onto its head.

the rest of that week, i kept wanting to walk by the snake, just to be near such an anomaly. jen was annoyed. she wanted to go flirt with boys over by a big, graffitied rock behind the stagnant pond at our elementary school. bor-ing.

2) the next COLUBRINOUS (sic) experience was many, many years later, while working at guitar center. like many other isolated universes, guitar center had it's own metalanguage that made little sense to outsiders.

some examples:

burning: working a double shift

phone up: documentation of a phone conversation with a potential customer

GP (pronounced "gip"): profit

yo king (archaic): what's up

snaking deals (possibly wide-used): stealing someone else's customer

every so often two of the boys would get into a fight over the ownership of a "custy." they would be called into the sales (principle's) office to figure it out, and through the glass door i could hear voices raising and cracking:

"he snaked my deal!"

"that was my custy!"

"nuh-uh, dude. i talked to him as soon as he walked in!"

"i have a phone up to prove it!"

it would usually be settled by splitting the GP 60/40, favor on the side of the man with the phone up. the two would storm out of the office like children, tense toward each other until the shift was over and they made friends again over a beer at the ninety-nine.


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