Posted tagged ‘Nanny Ogg’

Thankful for No Snakes

November 24, 2009

Doesn't Mind Snakes (From 1 Mississippi, BackStroke Books, Karin Gustafson)

You  know those moments in which your life has exceeded all maximum legal occupancy rates and weights and is crashing straight down some shaft?

Or maybe it’s a question of balance.  In your case, it’s so off, that you’ve long passed the tipping point and are now crashing at the perfect tilt to cause maximum cranial damage.

Or perhaps there’s no direct crash.  Perhaps your life is overflowing to the point that the only way to save the levees is to swallow as much sea water as possible.

As if there weren’t already enough pressure, you suddenly remember an important appointment.  Because it had so completely slipped your mind, this moment of recollection  is fraught with anxiety.  You are certain, at first, that you have already missed the appointment.  In the next moment, you realize, with bare relief, that the important appointment is tomorrow.  But this hardly makes you feel better, because there’s no way that you’ll be ready even by the next day.  The anxiety that had gripped your heart shifts to your stomach.

What is worse is that you are going through this whole litany in the middle of a subway car rather than in one of those classic late-to-school, naked-in-class, day-of-the-test dreams (from which you could conceivably awake.)  

What do you do?    What are your options?

1.  Call in sick and stay home in bed obsessively reading Twilight.

2.  There are many much better books in the world;  call in sick and obsessively read one of those.

3.  Don’t just call in sick, actually get sick.  (This may even get you two or three days off the hook.)

4.  Consider computer games.

5.  Or baking.  If you do bake, make sure to save some treats for your boss.

6.  Stop waiting till 8 or 9 pm for your one glass of wine per day.

7.  Who said you had to stop at one?

8.  Finally, remember the wisdom of Nanny Ogg,  a Discworld persona  created by the incomparable Terry Pratchett.  In Carpe Jugulum, Nanny, a witch, and her colleague, Magrat Garlick, with newborn baby in tow, engage in a hazardous escape from (you guessed it) a vampire takeover which has defeated Granny Weatherwax.  As their rickety coach gets stuck in a flooding rainstorm, the baby’s diaper begins to smell, and Magrat complains of their plight, Nanny offers the comforting thought that their situation could be worse.

“How could it be worse?” Magrat asks incredulously.

“Well,”  Nanny says, “there could be snakes in here with us.”

Be thankful that New York City subway cars, by and large, do not house snakes.

(Sorry, by the way, for paraphrasing Pratchett from memory.   If you don’t know his many many wonderful books, check them out!)

And if you are stressed, long for the soothing of watercolors, don’t mind snakes, and would really really like to learn to count (with elephants), check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson on Amazon, or at the ManicDDaily homepage.