The vipers of Santa Clara County

I wrote on Facebook a little while ago:

Just heard on a tv public service announcement from Santa Clara County: … Watch for walkers and vipers. (Ah, that must have been: bikers. Fortunately, vipers are sparse in the county.)

Follow-up: there seem to be plenty of Dodge Vipers in the county, also Pit Viper Sunglasses. And we have the Silicon Valley Vipers quadball team. According to the US Quadball site: “quadball is a mixed gender contact sport with a unique mix of elements from rugby, dodgeball, and tag”. (Until 2022 it was known as quidditch. Yes, that quidditch. Players must have a broomstick between their legs at all times. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.)

Logo of the Silicon Valley Vipers quadball team

From Wikipedia:

Quidditch, also known as quadball since 2022, is a team sport that was created in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, … and was inspired by the fictional game of the same name in the Harry Potter books by the author J. K. Rowling. Two teams of seven players each, astride broomsticks and opposing each other on a rectangular pitch, compete with the primary objective of passing a ball through the defenders’ hoops, while preventing their opponents from passing it through their own hoops. The real-world sport is sometimes referred to as “muggle quidditch” to distinguish it from the fictional game of the books, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls — a muggle in the Harry Potter series being a person without magical abilities. The sport is played around the world.

… Teams are required to be gender-balanced: each team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender on the field at one time, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a gender-integrated environment, but an open community to those who identify as nonbinary.

All this available within a few miles of my house. So now I need to watch for walkers and Vipers.


2 Responses to “The vipers of Santa Clara County”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Passed on by Michael Palmer on Facebook, from the Scary Studies site, “The Story of the Vindow Viper, The Famous (Funny) Campfire Tale” by Cody Meirick on 7/2/21

    Here is the version that was included in the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book.

    A widow lived alone on the top floor of an apartment house. One morning, her telephone rang. “Hello,” she said. “This is the viper,” a man said. “I’m coming up.”

    “Somebody is fooling around,” she thought, and hung up.

    A half-hour later, the telephone rang again. It was the same man. “It’s the viper,” he said. “I’ll be up soon.” The widow didn’t know what to think, but she was getting frightened.

    Once more, the telephone rang. Again it was the viper. “I’m coming up now,” he said. She quickly called the police. They said they would be right over. When the doorbell rang, she sighed with relief. “They are here!” she thought.

    But when she opened the door, there stood a little old man with a bucket and a cloth. “I am the viper,” he said. “I vish to vash and vipe the vindows.”

    This story goes back at least to the mid-20th Century, and became circulated even wider in the 1980s after being included in Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories books.

  2. VipersQuidditch Silicon Valley Says:

    Yes, the broom is a bit silly, but quadball is a super fun sport, and we encourage you and everyone else to come try it out! We’re always happy to teach beginners, and we play year-round:
    Our Facebook group is:
    Our Meetup group is:
    See you on the pitch!
    -Silicon Valley Vipers

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