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Friday, February 03, 2017

Snakes Are Not The Boss Of Me

That I have a debilitating fear of snakes is not news. I've mentioned it in almost a dozen posts, most notably in this one about Irrational Fears and this one, a little playlet starring everyone's favourite, my mother, St. Patsy. (Speaking of which, let me take a moment to remind her: Hey, Mom, whenever you see the little words in a different colour, you can touch them and go to read or look at whatever it is I'm talking about.)

Thanks, everyone. Onward.

I'm happy to report that I've made considerable progress with regard to my phobia of snakes. Much of this progress has to do with the following:

1. My need for control
2. Actually, there really is no Number Two, as it all really boils down to my Need For Absolute Control, come to think about it.

Here's the thing: I really do not like Being Afraid. Of anything. And I also do not appreciate snakes being around where I am, making me feel scared and generally Being The Boss Of Me, which is another Thing I Do Not Like. Just ask my husband, who will readily answer the question, "Who is the boss of Nance?" with an emphatic and vociferous "No one!" Truth be told, my mother will answer the same question in the same way. And, that is precisely how I want snakes to answer it as well.

Seeing a snake on the shoreline of the lakehouse is still not something I'm happy about, but it no longer makes me rooted to the spot. Yes, I'm forbidden from using the ax on it after a few ill-fated forays into that practice of snake killing, but I have my methods.

I've come a long way from the little girl on East 38th Street who cried and cried one day, eventually calling out for her mother. Desperate to use the bathroom, I was too afraid to go in. I called my mom, who came to me, probably harried from hanging laundry outside or taking care of my then baby sister. One of four children, I was not usually a problem, so my mother was probably surprised by my distress. "Mom! Come quick! Call for help! Call the fire department or something. There's a rattlesnake in the toilet. I can hear it in there." My mother ran to the hallway and stopped to listen. There was absolutely no doubt about it--a rattling noise was coming from the bathroom. "Mom! Do you hear it? You heard it, right?" I knew she heard it. I was crying by then, so hard. My mother turned to face me, her eyes wide and her mouth desperately trying to hold back her smile. Then she just couldn't help herself; she started laughing. "Oh, honey," she said. "That's just the wind coming through the Venetian blinds."

Now before you all--and YOU, MOM--get too smug and superior, take a look at this:

courtesy Big Country Snake Removal

Trust me; I'm not happy about it in the least. I want stories like this to be Urban Legends. And I'm sure that the little boy in Texas who found it wasn't real thrilled either, nor was his family, who found a whole basement full of rattlers, as well as a nest under the house. After the initial shock, they called a snake removal system (the fact that this is a real thing makes me doubly sure I do not ever want to live in Texas) to get rid of them all and prevent further infestation. A spokesperson for Big Country Snake Removal said, "People have an irrational fear about" rattlesnakes. Herpetologist Sara Viernum reminds us that, while a rattlesnake bite can cause "temporary and/or permanent tissue and muscle damage, loss of an extremity depending on the location of the bite, internal bleeding, and extreme pain around the injection area", fatalities from rattlesnake bites are rare if treated with antivenin in a timely manner.

I really don't think Big Country Snake Removal and Herpetologist Sara Viernum are helping rattlesnakes a whole helluva lot with their PR .

Not that I care.

Let me just say that I am putting All Snakes On Notice.  If I have to put an ax next to every single toilet in the house, I will.  I have already eliminated all Venetian blinds.

I am In Control.

image

25 comments:

  1. Would you believe that I sit literally right next to a live exhibit of a rattlesnake EVERY DAY I GO TO WORK?

    He actually takes up a big chunk of my desk. Well, the exhibit, anyway.

    He is my buddy.

    NOT JOKING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina--I believe it, but I would never be able to stand that. Holy crap. As for him being a "buddy", I don't believe that for a moment. Snakes don't have any personality. You could stick a baloney sandwich in there and it would be identical as far as its return on investment for your interest, chatting, and affection. Plus...SNAKE.

      I mean...you know.

      I think you should lobby for the Kitten Exhibit instead. Or the Hedgehogs.

      Tell me what the other choices are, and I'll put them in a rank order for you! (No charge.)

      Delete
  2. Oh holy hell.....I will NEVER venture into a bathroom in the dark again!

    Generally snakes do NOT bother me, but the idea of being struck on the bum while doing my business? Well, that is TERRIFYING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee--Honestly, isn't that just horrifying? Trust me, I'm leaving lids up at the lake for the foreseeable.

      Delete
  3. Quick....Get me the number of the Big Country Snake Removal Company..I have a BIG snake I want removed. I know exactly where he lives..In a big White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,Washington, D.C.

    Hurry, he's doing damage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy--Oh, he's not the only one in DC right now. There's a whole nest of them there. Sigh.

      Delete
  4. I saw that photo and quickly moved onto the next story. I want snakes in the toilet to remain an urban legend, too. I'm inspired by your decision to take action in the form of axes in all bathrooms. Now you are a leader among women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ally Bean--Oh, thank you. I might add my new title to my blog someplace--Nance, Leader Among Women.

      Delete
  5. So glad I live in Texas. Although my one experience F2F with a snake was as a child living in Maryland. I think I even mentioned this in your comments a long time ago. Possibly on a post about Lake Snakes. Really... the only thing worse than these creatures being that close to you is... the element of surprise. And possibly being in a situation where you are not sure how to handle it: http://tinyurl.com/hvaxlw8 Pretty sure I would have swerved off the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ortizzle--Holy crap. I have now had A Setback in my Personal Development regarding snakes in general. Even now, there are tears in my eyes, still. OMG. Holy crap. I repeat myself. !!!!!

      Okay. Give me a minute. (And I only saw about a second and a half of that video.)

      I do remember your Snake Story, and it is impressive. I think I recommended you write it as a children's book. If not, I'm recommending it now.

      Also, how old am I? Had to google "F2F." Sigh.

      Delete
    2. F2F = The only reason I know this is because it is a term used a lot at the uni: classroom space is an issue, and alternative teaching methods that take up less space than F2F classes are becoming more popular: online, hybrid, flipped classroom, etc. I don't usually like that kind of abbreviation, but I see it so much, and it is quicker to type out. But yeah, I am constantly finding out what certain abbreviations are. When I ask my students about it, they say "Oh, that's been around for years!" My latest discovery: "smh" = scratching my head.

      Delete
  6. P.S.--- I did share my snake story in comments: 9-4-2013.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ortizzle--I hope Commenters/Readers go there and read it. Actually, you had a few snake stories there.

      Delete
  7. I am all for snakes being allowed to live there lives, just not anywhere near me, and certainly never ever ever in the house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bridget--I'm not exactly positive that snakes are entirely necessary to our ecosystem anymore. But, okay, whatever. I will defer to biologists, ecologists, and other scientists on that count. I agree with you entirely on their whereabouts, however; they should do their existing completely away from me (and you)!

      Delete
  8. I meant 'their' lives ... sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. B--Of course you did. I don't get all judgy in Comments.

      Delete
  9. OMG, I got the chills with the toilet picture. And then the video of the snake on the car...had to close that down immediately. I do not do well with snakes as most everyone in the world knows. And, I know they are on our property. No comfort there. When my brother was living in TX and working he was told to ALWAYS turn on lights to his office before going in and to ALWAYS look under the desk prior to sitting down. I could not/would not work there. Yikes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera--This is precisely why there is a bustling and purposeful Snake Removal economy in Texas. Never let it be said that this blog is not A Learning Space.

      As I have said here before, "When there is a good Human v Animal tale, I am all over it; that is my vow to you." Even if it causes considerable Personal Consternation, I cannot shrink from this promise nor shirk this responsibility.

      (Add any other SH verbs in there, and I won't/can't do those either.)

      I'll try and put a new post up a bit early and save all us Ophidiophobes from the Heebie Jeebies brought on by that picture.

      Delete
  10. I guess it has something to do with spending my formative years in Asia, but snakes have never bothered me much. In fact, I remember at my elementary school in Taiwan, our class had a pet snake, and every day at recess, some lucky person got to hold the snake and take it outside - as I recall, there was a rotation, and everyone was automatically on it, although I'm sure if one hadn't wanted to do it, there'd have been dozens of eager volunteers to provide a replacement. The snake-minder was the Rockstar of The Hour, and we all looked forward to our turn . Years later, when Mr. L and I began our peregrinations, leaving the East Coast behind us and moving to AZ, I was far less concerned about rattlesnakes (although we did, in fact, run across them from time to time - once at a boy scout family campout - ah, the memories) than I was about the damn scorpions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MsCaroline--Why on earth did the snake need to go outside? Not to go potty, certainly. And didn't it ever try to Make A Break For It? I find myself fixated on That One Thing. I'm imagining a child standing in the middle of an asphalt playground, wrestling with an enormous and writhing python, whilst it...does what now? I'm flummoxed by the very idea.

      I've never been in the presence of a scorpion--even at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. They do, however, look enough like a big bug that I don't find them terrifying or even scary. (Although locusts--the 7-year variety--do make me feel icky.) A lot has to do with the movement of snakes, especially in water, I think. It's just creepy.

      Now, camping--that is a horror story in itself as far as I am concerned. Ugh.

      Delete
  11. Oh man that picture (of course) reminds me of the rat in the toilet in Zambia story, which I'm sure I've recounted here before. Mercy me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bug--I bet your time in Zambia (toilet rats or no) seems very long ago now. Probably a good thing in that regard.

      Delete
  12. Thanks Nance. Now I will have to pee on the floor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J@jj--Sorry (she said, sheepishly). And even moreso if you are squeamish about sheep.

      Delete

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