Amusing Live8 story: a work colleague was watching tv on Saturday night when there was a banging on the door. It was a neighbour who says they were watching Live8 and just as the Who struck up, a snake came sliding out from behind the telly.
Neighbour’s wife has a hissy fit. She phones the police whose advice is not to touch it. “No bloody danger of that,” she says. Has she thought of phoning the RSPCA? Well no, as it happens, they had not considered the RSPCA to be the fourth emergency service.
Instead, they come to colleague’s house to enlist the help of colleague’s hubby. They quickly conclude that the snake must have originated from a house across the road where a bloke keeps snakes. (Never seen the attraction.) Had they tried his door? yes, but no reply.
So colleague’s hubby decides he has to act. Knowing that the bloke across the road keeps boa constrictors, twenty foot long and thick as your thigh, he declines colleague’s offer of the cat box to put it in, and grabs a bigger box. It has a large hole in it, but not big enough for a boa to get through.
Pausing only to don a pair of wellingtons, he set off down the street with his box only to find snakeman, alerted by the row on the street, had come over and captured the snake which he held between his hands. It was bright yellow and less than three feet long.
“I feel really embarrassed,” he said. “It’s been missing for three months.” Then he looked at colleague’s hubby and asks, why are you wearing wellies? I didn’t want the snake crawling up my trouser leg. But it’s a grassnake.
And what’s the big box for? To put the snake in. But it’s got a big hole in it. I know. That an airhole.
Things descended into hysteria at this point. Colleague’s hubby to neighbour: why didn’t you tell me what sort of snake it was? How was I supposed to know, he said. Well you could have thrown some numbers at it, says colleague. If it came up with an answer, you’d know it was an adder. (Collapses in a fit of giggles with neighbour’s wife.)
Or if it had pink feathers and you wore it round your neck, then it would be a boa. (More shrieks.)
But the real question was, if it was The Who’s appearance at Live8 that finally persuaded the snake to break cover, does that mean it’s a fan of the creaking band or the opposite?