Sunday, February 14, 2010


In the long reaches of the six o'clock TV newshour, when
the first commercial break has come, and one knows
with a sinking heart that there are still 25 minutes until
the sports news, minutes that will be filled with padded
non-news items of insufferable tedium—not that the
sports news exactly raises one's pulse, though there is
still a dull pleasure in seeing a well-hit Chelsea goal or a
Hurricanes try—I was idly surfing the channels when my
weary gaze fell upon David Attenborough showing us
venomous snakes on Prime. My attention slithered out
of the hole it had been hiding in; I marvelled at the West
Australian tiger snake, gasped at the venom splattering
Sir David's visor, was transfixed by the flickering of the
forked tongues. Relief, at last, from the turgid politics of
the day. Why, then, when the African rock python
swallowed an antelope whole, with ever-widening jaws,
was I irresistibly reminded of the relationship between
the National Party and the Maori Party? Beats me.

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