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Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's a Snake in my Bathroom, and other true tales from Life on the James.

Not kidding.

I was drying my hair and sensed something at my ankle. I looked down, and there, beneath the towel—

Heart attack city, right?

Later, after my neighbor came over and threw his hoodie over it, scooped it up and whirly-gigged it into the woods, LATER I learned that my husband saw it in the adjoining bathroom, but didn't feel like dealing with it, so he closed the door.

"I didn't know it was going to go over to your bathroom. Besides, it was a black snake," sez he. "Harmless. "

Several months later, we're having a late supper, and one of my son's friends says, "Oh, look. A snake." And there, near the kitchen pantry (no pic, sorry) is a copperhead.  Still not kidding. A copperhead is NOT harmless. I'll spare you the Keystone Cops routine that ensued. We killed it. And you know what? I'm fine with that.

What is it about snakes that they occupy such a dark place in our psyche? They've certainly got a bad rep, being associated with the devil and all. Then there's that poison thing. Even the non-poisonous one have teeth. And the way they move? Eww. I grew up in Florida and saw snakes all the time. You'd think my heart would stop leaping into my throat every time I see one. When passing a dead snake on a highway, my uncle will recoil from the car door, as if it would jump in the window as drives by. Harmless? Maybe, but even smushed ones have a way of ruining our day.

I talked with a reptile handler on the set of a movie once, and while he admitted snakes weren't exactly cuddly, he was in love the things. He couldn't understand why people were so freaked by them. I suspect fascination with them is divided down gender lines. I don't know too many women who keep them in big pickle jars.

The other night, my husband told me he found a tick on his (body part that rhymes with tick.) I told him I'd seen it in the bed but didn't feel like dealing with it, so I pulled the sheet up. I offered to call the neighbor, but he declined.

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