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The Rock Star and the Serpent Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Hussein Macarambon, Japan Sep 17, 2003
Citizen Journalism   Short Stories


The Rock Star and the Serpent Chito and Athene are the opposite poles of a magnet. Chito is a hyperactive and slightly mad punk star; Athene is just a hungry albino serpent. They live in the same room, but Chito gets to sleep in bed while Athene sprawls her length over the makeshift pen. At first glance, they might seem like two ordinary species of the animal kingdom, but, look closely and you’ll know why they’re far from being called a perfect pair.

Chito watches a lot of TV, surfs the net, and listens to any radio station that endorses his band’s newest singles. He hates boy bands but he wonders why they never run out of style. "How come they never go away," he thought. He is a big fan of Marilyn Manson, but you’d have to drop an H bomb on him first before you could make him wear some make-up. His band, Parokya ni Edgar, first made its debut single in 1995, followed by more hits from their succeeding albums. However, after five years of fame, without leaving sex and drugs out of the picture, Chito yearns for more. In the entertainment world, either you’re IN or OUT. It is hard to admit that Chito and his band are candidly asked to step aside for younger rock stars. Chito now thinks that maybe plucking his eyebrows wouldn’t really hurt.

Meanwhile, in one of the dark corners of the room, Athene rolls her tongue out to smell if dinner is ready. For her, dinner is nothing but a nice piece of raw chicken. If you think you can fool her by giving her a slab of pork or even a dead rat, think again because all you get is that cold stare of-- 'Where’s my dinner?' She doesn’t care even if Macy Gray wears an oversized shirt that says Rat is Chicken, or a naked guy runs around a golf course with a message painted on his back that reads: Chicken in the 19th hole. All she cares about is reality, and reality for her is pure chicken meat.

I knew Chito from one of my Literature classes but I never liked Athene even after we had met. I am not scared of snakes, it’s just that…ok, maybe a little. One day, Chito brought a red bag in class. I asked him what was in it-- "Athene," he said. My pokerfaced look gave him the impression that I needed a bit more information. "She’s my best friend, AHASSSS," he explained in Tagalog. I wanted to jump onto my seat but seeing that the bag was securely zipped, I pretended to give him a confident “COOL!” I would have thought he had a loose bolt in the head had I not seen him with Athene on TV the next day.

Chito was being interviewed by one of the music TV channels while Athene wrapped herself around his neck, firmly but not enough to choke her friend. Chito noted that ‘this cold-blooded thing around my neck is a music lover and often hangs around when we do our recordings’, which was a lie but it gave the reptile an attitude that people find fascinating. Chito asked the reporter if she would like to hold Athene. ‘I’m afraid of snakes,’ she replied. "It doesn’t bite unless you’re chicken, literally speaking," he explained.

In the end, they seemed to have worked out their differences by working together. That interview with Athene gave Chito’s band a boost and made people ask about the ‘yellow snake.’ Chito has learned from the media ads he has seen that one only needs to be different to stand out among the rest, and his best friend helped him do that. At least he didn’t have to wear make-up and turn into a boy band. As for Athene, a sold-out concert means a bigger piece of chicken. BURP!



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Hussein Macarambon

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Camden BRown Ginter | Sep 13th, 2007
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