Saturday, July 19, 2008

I got snake bait

Kids have an incredible knack for being over-the-top literal.

A kid once told me in grade school that he would hit me so hard I would bounce off the sky. For years I thought you could actually hit someone so hard they would bounce off the sky… scared the hell outta me, I recall him being one of those overgrown bullies who wore husky’s in the first grade (my guess is that he’s now wearing a day-glow orange jumpsuit and his meals are provided by the state).

In 1972 I was at the impressionable age of 6 (the peak of literal thinking) when members of “Black September” attacked the Munich Olympics. I have vivid memories of watching a small black and white TV with my dad as members of the group walked around the terrace of the hotel where they held the athletes hostage. Dad explained to this wide-eyed kid that gorillas were holding them captive. Considering the dark shape, with what I now know was a black hood, walking around the terrace with a machine gun… oh crap! As far as I was concerned there was a possibility that groups of gorillas could be so pissed off they would hold you captive with machine guns and start making demands. The zoo didn’t hold the same fascination with me from that point. To this day when I see those images I still think of them literally as gorillas.

Today, shirtlessboy announced that snakes were in the backyard. This got my immediate attention. I thought it may be the relatives of a small garden snake we found dead in the front-yard last week but this is Texas, so who knows. 5 foot rattlesnakes would be rare considering where we live… but maybe not impossible.

I spent some time walking around on the deck (I’m not about to step into the grass – I would defend this by saying I was simply holding the higher ground). Finally I asked him to show me.

Some time back we went on a Cub Scout campout at a large scout ranch in central Texas. Boys being boys, tromping through the brush is considered high adventure. Apparently, I made the comment that snakes love tall grass. I said this more to avoid the 10,000 stickers we would be removing from his socks and shoelaces and to keep him away from the poison ivy.

That simple comment took root. Since we’ve been out-of-town for the last week and right before we left a wheel fell off my mower, the grass in the backyard has taken on a life of its own. Guess where snakes live?

Shirtlessboy and shoelessboy had been walking around on the deck (because holding the high ground is genetic) looking for snakes and yelling at the dogs to get out of the grass.

Since I was born in Oklahoma I've inherited the innate ability to fix anything with some bailing wire and a roll of duct tape (up north they call this being a cheap-ass). The mower is no longer a tricycle, the snakes have only hours to live.

My first update turned out to be bullshit. See my next post.


Shamelessly Sassy said...

haha. Lovely. I am terrified of snakes. We have some holes in our backyard that look as if snakes could inhabit them, and it's been keeping me from that portion of the yard for a while now.

dadthedude said...

Sassy - defend the higher ground! Thanks for the comment. BTW - loved your 4 random sentences. I'll have to come up with my own.