On the Utility of the Reptilian

I was nearly mugged the other day.

I was walking along Katipunan Avenue close to the Aurora Boulevard flyover with my messenger bag slung over my right shoulder when I felt an insistent tugging on my right side.

In front of me was a tiny man in a green shirt trying to take my bag.

For anyone who’s ever been robbed or been nearly robbed, there is probably always that first space of bewilderment (“what’s going on???”) even if the senses clearly convey precisely what’s going on.

While my brain’s neomammalian complex wallowed in its perplexity, my reptilian complex had already swung into action. I found myself holding on rather competently to my bag while hurling obscenities at my attacker. (Apparently, my reptilian complex is not programmed to run away from these kinds of conflicts. The only other time in my life I’d been robbed, I’d actually chased the thief. That one got away by springing into a waiting van.)

At some point, the tiny man in the green shirt realized that his reptilian complex was no match for mine and simply ran away empty-handed. I was about to run after him in a rage when my neomammalian complex finally kicked in and said: Er, that’s probably not a good idea. He might have friends not as tiny. And with more effective reptilian complexes.

After screaming one final obscenity, I slung my pitifully abused bag across my chest and stomped off. Another pedestrian who’d witnessed the entire scene (which had probably taken 20 seconds at most), asked me with concern: Na-snatchan ka? I shook my head and replied with vicious satisfaction: He didn’t get away with anything.

All of which simply proves: the brain is a wondrous thing. Even the reptilian bit.


5 thoughts on “On the Utility of the Reptilian

  1. Jill says:

    Whew! Good thing he ran away! That area of Katipunan is really dangerous. A faculty member of our department was almost kidnapped there. She was walking when two men grabbed both her arms. They were already dragging her to a waiting tricycle nearby when luckily the other drivers noticed her panicked face and approached her (she was not able to shout for help, probably out of shock and fear). The men immediately let her go and ran away using the tricycle. Scary!


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