News - March 17, 2010


Terrified, I leap out of the bathroom. Jip had warned me about this, but I hadn't expected to see such a heap of flour when I entered. Except where my two footprints are, the flour path is evenly white. My housemate hadn't succeeded in finding traces of his ten centimetre long constrictor snake in the heap of wheat flour. It's clear that Fritske the snake hasn't taken a bath and remains untraceable.

The sms about its being missing was rather funny. The messsage began with asking how I was; Jip had tried to put me, the receiver, at ease. Subsequently, he used smaller letters in an attempt to remove any fear. 'Shitty news, Stijn: my little snake has escaped.' That short sentence on Monday morning was enough for me to lapse temporarily to my secondary school frame of mind, but I only managed a smile this time. When Jip returned, he said that Fritske had never bitten him before (and also never escaped before) and that it's not poisonous (that's why it's a constrictor snake).
Looking back, it seemed that what my housemate was most concerned about was me. He wasn't that sorry about losing Fritske, but his main worry was that I would lose sleep over this. Of course, it's touching that he cares for my state of mind. On the other hand, I get an unsolicited confirmation that my masculine daredevil image leaves much to be desired.
In the meantime, all that frenzy about Fritske is over. I'm not really scared, but every time I drink a cup of coffee, I intuitively steal a glance at the coffee machine to see if anything else is in it. My bed hasn't been made so consistently before and my bag is packed with exceeding care.
It doesn't do me any good to know during this time that Jip's former pet can go without food for more than half a year.
I hope that there aren't any mice in the house. Otherwise, the constrictor snake can grow to more than one meter long. Jip doesn't know how long it would take Fritske to become like that. But I'm not taking any chances. Fritske gives me a reason to finish my studies fast.