Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This blog is Snake-Free!

Follow your fancy, says the New Belgium Brewing Company's slogan. Normally I do not do what brewing companies tell me to, but this once I suppose I'll succumb because it amuses me.

Right now my fancy is the hyphenated compound modifier "snake-free." I have been chuckling over it for a couple of days now, and if I'm honest I've even chortled once or twice. It has sunk its fangs into my brain like a vampiric mind cobra and it won't let go.

One of my friends used it innocently while soliciting suggestions for hikes. She wanted her hike to be snake-free and beautiful, and I just started laughing. Words do that to me sometimes.

I just began to imagine what it would be like to advertise products that way. If I saw three different packages of coffee, for example, and one of them had the words "NOW SNAKE-FREE! COMPARE WITH OTHER BRANDS!" in a little yellow starburst, I think I'd have to buy it. The other brands would seem less savory to me somehow, because they did not loudly proclaim their freedom from snakes.

This blog, by the way, is totally snake-free! Compare with other blogs!

This is not a snake-free sentence, unfortunately. Many of my other sentences are, however, including this one.

I have discovered that adding "snake-free" to everyday objects can rescue our daily routine from mundanity and add a whiff of adventure where normally none is expected. To wit: She put on her pajamas and curled up on the couch with a mug of cocoa and a snake-free blanket.

See? Whoever she is, she lives in a world where snakes sometimes occupy blankets. That's edgy. Anything can happen in a world like that. In fact, it sounds like something that movie trailer guy would say to pitch an apocalyptic blockbuster. He'd say in that deep, gravelly growl, "In a world where snakes sometimes occupy blankets," you'd see a python slithering up this woman's thigh, and then everyone in the theater would go "Oh, snap!" and cram a handful of popcorn down their throats before they lost their minds and screamed.

I'm having chili with onions for dinner tonight, so I'll have to brush my teeth immediately afterward with snake-free toothpaste. That's right. It's the best toothpaste you can possibly buy. EVERY dentist recommends it.

I hope you work and live in a snake-free environment. Next time you think your job sucks, think of all the people out there who have to deal with all the stuff you do, plus snakes.


  1. She probably just watched Snakes on a Plane, and felt that it was possible to find snakes just about anywhere, and that it was now necessary to state your preference regarding snakes.

    "Hello, American Airlines, how can I help you?"
    "I need two round-trip tickets to San Diego."
    "Would you like an aisle or window seat?"
    "Window, please."
    "Would you like a meal?"
    "Oh, yes!"
    "Snake or snake-free?"
    "Wait, what? My flight or my dinner?"

  2. I really didn't think it was a terribly unusual thing to say. I've been on several snake-laden hikes, and I simply prefer snake-free. "Snake-free" may be edgy when describing blankets, but I think it's a fairly normal descriptor when it comes to AZ hikes!