Monday, March 26, 2007
Life List Day 8 - I Hold a Snake
That's not a euphemism - I really did hold a snake. A ball python. I've never held a snake before, not even so much as the garden variety. I'm not sure how I managed to avoid that my entire life. I guess I'm swift with a polite, "no thank you."
This was a last-minute idea for my life list. Originally, I'd planned to go a full day saying only positive things to my son, Danny. That ended at 5:00 when he stubbornly refused to do his geometry homework, and somehow I was compelled to respond, "Well, don't come crying to me when you're 18 and can't get a job...and are IN JAIL!" Seriously. I actually said that. I'm sure it was going all day without saying, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye," that drove me to it. My motherisms were ready to bubble over.
When I stopped by the pet store to ask if I could hold a snake, the staff was surprisingly helpful. A twenty-something guy attempted to set me at ease as he pulled the python from its glass cage. "They hardly ever strike, and if they bite, it's more frightening than painful. Besides, you can tell if they're going to attack because they coil," he said, holding out to me what appeared to be a pretzel.
"Isn't that coiled?" I asked worriedly.
"It sure seems to be!"
"Didn't you just say that means it's going to strike?"
"Hmm. Well, I think it's just scared. I'm sure that's why it's so twisted up"
I stepped back. "Do you think you could pick out a snake who's feeling straighter?"
He did, and by this time my heart was thumpy, but I went through with it. I'm sure if the snake could speak, it would have complained about how clammy my hands were. It, on the other hand, felt smooth and cool and not unlike holding a bunch of muscle.
Tomorrow I'm going to try again to go the day saying only positive things to Danny - even if I have to sew my lips shut to do it. As my mom used to say, if you can't say anything nice...
Well, you know the rest.
Anything you're afraid of that you'd like to face?