Fight or Flight

The "fight-or-flight response", also called the "fight-or-flight-or-freeze response", the "fright, fight or flight response", "hyperarousal" or the "acute stress response", was first described by Walter Cannon in 1929.

His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.

Today, I tested my Fight or Flight response to the very limit.  And, unsurprisingly, it was flight.  Flight, run, flee, escape, exit-stage-anywhere...

Today while at Kellies, the damn cat can running in with a present.  Me and Kellie were sat in her front garden, sunning ourselves while the kids marauded around being, well, kids.  She was on the phone, and I was aimlessly wandering around as I tend to do.  Arwen - the damn cat - shot past me with something long and wiggly in her mouth.  I thought it was something I wouldn't like, made a girlie strangled sound, pointed, but my sweetheart didn't notice.

Realising the damn cat had now entered the house - where there was new carpeting - I decided I'd run in after her in an effort to get her to run out again from terror.  So, I fly in through the front door, to see the damn cat hunched in the hall - on the new carpet.  I shout at her and stomp and run at her, and she runs.

All I now see in front of me is a seething mass of demon creature.  A bloody snake.  And herein lies problem the first.  I am large, tall, wide, and moving at a fair pace.  No, I would not stop in time, so in a moment of pure "TA-DAH!" I leap over the bloody snake, and slide to a halt in the kitchen.  I spin on my feet, and my worst fears are confirmed.

Yes, it's a bloody snake.
Yes, I am now cornered in the kitchen.
Yes, holy mother of all things with legs, the bloody snake is still alive.  And wiggling.  And moving.

It was at that point my body tried to do two things.  The first was burst into tears.  The second was to just turn out the lights.  Night night, sleep tight.  I pictured my unconscious mass being overrun by the bloody snake.  Not on my watch.

Hell no.

Kellie comes running in to see what I'm doing.  I squeak something about the snake on the floor, and my heroine rushes over to it, takes on look, and rushes out again with a "I can't touch that!"  So I am still cornered, still trying not to cry and trying not to faint.

OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod it's still alive.

"I'll get Mr Neighbour Man!" Kellie shouts over her shoulder as she exits the premises and turns out of sight.

So, cornered in the kitchen, I do the only thing I can do.  First, I need to get out before it eats me alive.  Second, I can't go past it in case, well, it eats me alive.  I consider smashing the cooking tin over it, but think either A) I'll pass out, and it'll eat me, or B) I'll survive the snake, but the Kellie will see the mess on her carpet, and thus kill me.

I opt for the lesser of the two evils.  I'm pouring with sweat, I'm trying to hold it together...  I grab a bucket.  I make another graceful leap, and as I fly past the bloody snake, I plonk the bucket OVER it. 

And with moves that can only be described as Super Human, I bound out the house and keep running.  About thirty feet from the house. 

Mr Neighbour Man is coming out of his house chuckling at Kellie.  Aw bless, she's scared of a little snake.  He sees me.  "Why doesn't he get it?!" he asks.  I think I might have used a bad word.  Kellie laughed (!!!!) and said he doesn't like them, really, full on doesn't like them.  Mr Neighbour Man goes into the house, and comes out again.  He wants a glove. 

See, it's not just me!

He goes back in with a gardening glove on, and comes back out with my carefully placed bucket.  I know what's in there, and I move another ten feet back.  Mrs Neighbour Lady is laughing at me, telling Mr Neighbour Man to chase me with it.  He responds with "Look at the state of him, he'll be gone before I even move" and it's true.

I'm probably white as a ghost, I'm quivering like a leaf, and sweating like a fat man in a cake shop.

The bloody snake is removed, Kellie comes over to tell me it's all ok, Mr and Mrs Neighbour People are chuckling at me.

At 11.25am I had a very large Jack Daniels and Coke.  Followed by another fifteen minutes later.  About an hour later, I stop quivering.

And now, writing about it has made me all sweaty again.  Bloody snake.  Damn cat.

I would like to thank the world for it's support today - I believe I had two or three "Poor Dan" comments, while the rest of the world praised the cat.  I'll get you next time...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to change my dress.

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3 Responses to “Fight or Flight”

The HoJo's said...

what kind of snake? we have some really scary poisonous ones out here :o) although I did run screaming for my neighbour to remove a Dugite
it turned out to be a legless lizard, ahem!


oh sorry
poor Dan ;o)

Laney said...

I may have laughed at this, just a little.

The HoJo's said...

a slow worm!! too funny :o)