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Saturday, May 29, 2010

How My Blog Almost Killed Me, and How Crocs Saved My Life

I used to hate Crocs. You know what I'm talking about; those butt fugly shoes made from tires? See the holes in them? That's from people touching them with ten-foot-poles. (Ba-dump.)

I haven't kept my hatred for Crocs a secret. In fact, I've been pretty darn vocal. Crocs, in my opinion, are fashion faux pas, like tube tops and muffin pants; they should have enjoyed their fifteen-minute life spans and dutifully disappeared. Instead, what do we get? Croc Mary Janes. Oh, the horror.

I own a pair of Crocs, but don't know where they came from. I certainly didn't buy them. Perhaps a well-meaning sister gave me a pair for Christmas. Perhaps someone abandoned them (certainly can't blame them for that.) Perhaps they crawled out from under an eighteen wheeler, fully formed, like Venus from the forehead of Zeus. No matter. Because, now, I love Crocs. My Crocs saved my life. How, you ask? Patience, grasshopper. First you have to understand the kind of pressure I've been under, lately.

See, trying to write a daily blog comes with no small about of performance anxiety. It's hard coming up with posts that have entertainment value, information, or pith. So that anxiety is with me as I iron my underwear (shall I write about this?), or mow the dog (how about this?) or paint pentagons on the floor with the blood of a billion tumescent tics. (I'll save this one for later.) Then, this morning, as I prepared to fill the porch planters with fluffy petunias, it came to me.

No, not inspiration. Another freaking snake.

Remember the snake in the bathroom? (posted May 20.) It's baaaaaaaack. And this time, it's mad.

I was warned. Not only was there the bathroom sighting, there was a sloughed snaked skin in the grass. Bird nests around here are full of snake skins. That should have been my second red flag, but I was oblivious.

So I'm pushing the wheelbarrow toward the porch, and I'm wearing Crocs, because plastic bags aren't as sturdy, even if they are ten times more attractive. I reach for the planter, and holy flippin hell. There's that black snake oozing itself INTO the planter. It freezes and looks at me with it's mouth open, like this (not an actual snake):

So what do I do? I run for the camera, of course! Because I want to share this moment, so we can all appreciate the natural wonders that abound along the shores of the James River. We're all God's chirrun; can I have an amen?

By the time I get back to the porch with the camera, the snake is half in the planter, half onto the steps, and headed for the lariopeI manage to get just a bit of his tail as it slithers off.
But I'm not going to let the sommabitch get away without getting a decent shot. After all, I have my blog to think of! My two or three readers are disappointed if I don't share something that takes them out of their own, much more exciting lives. Would Dorthea Lange stand idly by and watch a story wind away? Would Margaret Bourke-White scream like a girl, then throw up in the grass? Would Annie Liebovitz not try to coax a snake out of another layer of skin?  Well, then! Nor will I be denied.

So I picked up a stick and encouraged it out of the border grass.
Okay, I poked the reptile bastard and said something about its mother.
Okay, I riled it up good, trying to get it to stand still and say cheese.

And holding a camera in one hand and working a stick in the other is proving difficult. From the porch step, I gave the snake one last incentive to do the right thing and swung the camera to my eye, right in time to see it coil, lift its head and


strike. Reptile bastard bit me.

On the Croc.

I know, I know. You have no sympathy for me. You're right. I asked for this. I asked a snake to bite me. I said, "Hey, Snake. Bite me!" And damned if it didn't hear. And, because I'm higher on the food chain, it obeyed! So now, with a song in my heart and Crocs on my feet, I have found my true calling as a snake charmer. Oh, wondrous new career path, how I long to pursue thee.

Thank you, Crocs. As long as snakes crawl the earth, live beneath my porch, hide in the petunia planters, and spy on me in the bathroom, I shall never, ever, take you from my feet.

If only you looked more like ruby slippers...


  1. Truly excellent blog post, Irene!

    (But I can't help but ask: what happened to the photo of the snake biting your croc? ;-)

  2. I know what you're getting for Christmas this year! Mary Jane Crocs anybody??? ~C.A-F

  3. ha ha ha ha ha, I needed this post! Thanks for the laugh.

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