Flying Snakes!


I hate snakes. Oh my…it feels good to get out in the open with that.

The word “hate” is such a strong word. I try not to use it at all because it conveys such negativity, such harshness, such absolute loathing. There’s no chance of redemption in it. The word “hate” just doesn’t fit in with the mellow, sweet, laid back person I am – most of the time. Except when it comes to snakes.

If you want to torture me to get information, any information, just tie me to a chair and prop my eyelids open with toothpicks and make me watch “Snakes on a Plane” or any of the “Anaconda” movies. I’ll sing like a canary right before I pass out.

If I had been Eve, Adam and I would have NEVER gotten kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. I would have seen that snake wrapped around that apple tree, hightailed it in the opposite direction and just kept on running. Run Eve Run!

My husband is aware of this ophidophobia of mine. He tries to reassure me that at least snakes don’t fly. Why would he even think of such a thing? But this doesn’t reassure me. It just causes more anxiety as to the possibility of genetic mutations. You know – those crazy scientists are doing all kinds of manipulations with animal DNA just because they can. Who’s not to say a flying snake might not be on their radar. Wackos.

We just got back a few weeks ago from Australia. There are snakes in Australia. Lots of them. And most of them are poisonous.  One list I found on the Internet said that 7 of the 10 deadliest snakes in the world are found on land or in the waters of Australia. And some of them are very ill tempered, aggressive, extremely poisonous and are found all over the country – even in the urban areas. And I voluntarily went there. What the hell was I thinking?

Sitting in a friend’s living room in Adelaide, I asked, “Are all the snakes in Australia poisonous?” “Oh no,” she said smiling at me, “The pythons aren’t poisonous!”  Now I have the choice of being poisoned or swallowed whole.  Really, that makes me feel so much better…

Other friends we stayed with near Byron Bay “entertained” us with various stories about all the snakes they’ve found in and around their house. Did you know that pythons can live in people’s attics and crawl spaces during cold weather?  Charming. It took weeks for me to quit obsessing about that one.

Two years ago, I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC with my niece and her two young sons. The boys were quite excited to visit the Titanaboa exhibit. Certainly this exhibit was one of the levels of Hell in Dante’s Inferno… Have you heard of this monster? I’ve since watched the Smithsonian Channel special on the Titanaboa. The stuff of nightmares.

The rational part of my brain realizes that snakes are part of the natural world and that they have a place in the order of things. All life is noble and sacred. The irrational part wants to pump gasoline on them and set them all on fire. Like my hero, Indiana Jones, who asks the eternal question…

“Snakes….why did it have to be snakes?”

5 thoughts on “Flying Snakes!

  1. “…just tie me to a chair and prop my eyelids open with toothpicks….” That’s all it would take to make me sing like a canary. Forget the snakes (or rats in the toilet). Seriously, propping eyelids open with toothpicks? Oh my gawd, anything but that!


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