How Not to Babysit a Snake, plus an only slightly-related Merlin pic

When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I had a friend who worked in the mall near the apartment complex in which I lived. I can’t remember if she worked at the pet store or the record store, but I do remember that one day, she bought a ball python while she was at the mall working.

Since she still had some hours left in her workday, she asked me to babysit the snake for her. Hang out with a 4-foot ball python? Heck, yeah! So I took the snake home back to my apartment.

I had no knowledge of how to handle snakes. I had no snake accessories, no fish tank in which to keep it, no cage, just a snake.

It was a sweet thing, very well behaved, but I was a teenager with a short attention span and who really wants to actively monitor a snake for hours on end, anyway?

I put the snake in the bathtub. I believe that my thinking was, even if it escapes the tub, where is it going to go? The bathroom door was closed. The room was small, no windows.

Yeah, snake is in the tub. I left it unattended to…I have no idea. I might have been watching Gilligan’s Island. I went through this weird phase in which I watched Gilligan’s Island reruns every day.

I did eventually go back to check on the snake. I was just in time to see its tail ready to disappear into a hole in the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. Apparently, at snakes-eye view, there was an escape route. I don’t spend much time lying on the bathroom floor, so I had no idea it was there.

I tried to grab the tail, and it slipped out of my hand.

I don’t remember if I called the maintenance man or I called my mom and she called the maintenance man, but he did arrive. He had to bust open the floor of the cabinet to get the snake out. I got the snake back, unharmed, and my friend picked up her snake later. I have not been asked to snakesit since.

Now, to make this a fully 100% reptile-themed post, please enjoy this fantastic picture of Merlin on a car ride. Photo credit: the girl.

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Maybe the Grossest Story You Read All Day

I was an odd child. As with many children, I had more energy than good intentions.

In the third grade, I had some wax lips. I might’ve gotten them for Halloween. I might’ve bought them at the candy store down the street from my house.

wax-lips

Being the creative soul I am, I discovered that I could chew them up and then form the wax into shapes. I began to sculpt. I made small snowmen and other simple things, probably a cat or two.

I made a bunch of them and hid them in my desk. It was one of those models where the top flips up, and you stash books and whatever inside.

Then I came up with the bright idea that I would sell them. My classmates really seemed to like them, and they never questioned my materials. I sold several of these saliva and wax masterpieces.

Unfortunately, my gig didn’t last very long. I don’t remember why I quit. I think my teacher must’ve told me that I should not do such things. Of course, teachers did that a lot.

soccer children are dramatic

I took the boy to soccer today. He’s 9, as are the other children on his team. As I watched them practice today, I noticed that they were very dramatic. They’re usually pretty dramatic during games too, but this was over the top.
The first time I noticed was when a boy got nailed in the mouth with the soccer ball. It looked like it hurt. He was actually pretty tough about it. He yelled briefly and took a few steps back while holding his hand over his mouth. Had that happened to me, I probably would’ve become a four-letter word fountain.
The girl standing next to him was the one who reacted strangely. She was very concerned…dramatically. She asked if he was alright. When he failed to answer in a timely manner, she leaned forward into his face and shouted “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!?!?”
It was a tad bizarre. Also, I don’t think it made him feel better.
Later the same girl was injured twice. Once, when my son accidentally stepped on her ankle, she hit the ground, as soccer children tend to. That’s the go-to response for something unexpected happening – hit the ground, kind of like an armadillo curling up to protect itself. My son, perhaps remembering her reaction to the previous injured child, screamed an apology at her. Also weird.
Then someone else accidentally kicked her hand. She shouted about that to.
So basically, soccer inspires two kinds of behavior in these particular children. Drop to the ground and gratuitous use of outside voice.