Today my youngest was to go to his friend’s house to hang out with all day. We had this little boy over last weekend and he did great and they played very well. His parents wanted to now have my son over.
The boy lived 1 mile from us in a development. When we pulled in, C hops out and yells, “bye mom” like I’m an Uber driver he just finished giving his credit card to.
Jesus, is that all I am to him? A ride?
“Wait a minute dude, I wanna walk up with you and say hello to his mom.”
C was already ringing the doorbell as I was following in his wake. I didn’t want to be that parent who just slows down and pushes the kid out in some sort of twisted drive by.
I ascended 2 stairs to find their door open and the mom, daughter and my son’s friend smiling…….with a snake wrapped around his hand.
The minute I realized it was a snake I screamed bloody murder and ran (in 3″ heels) as fast as I could to the protection of my car. I nervously locked the doors as if the snake was going to use it’s tail to open the door up to taunt me. Once I realized how foolish locking the doors were, I unlocked it just as the mother was coming to my passenger side. I did a quick review of her clothing to ensure she didn’t have any snakes in her pockets or something. You could tell she was just seconds away from a complete fit of laughter. I rolled down my window.
“Look, I’m sorry. I have a massive, horrible phobia of snakes. I haven’t been to a zoo in 8 years because of snakes and those stupid experience people that walk around with them.”
“Well the good news is that he won’t get any bigger.”
How is this supposed to make me feel better? I don’t care if a snake is 1″ long or can stretch around the globe 3 times. A snake is a snake is a snake.
I continued to shake and let out high pitched whimpers, similar to my sister’s chihuahua when my chihuahua is getting her from behind.
“I’ve just never seen someone have that sort of reaction to a snake,” she said in complete shock of my shock. I’m guessing that is the first time she has seen complete fear in someone’s eyes.
“I’m that way with spiders,” she said.
‘No your not,’ I thought.
This whole snake thing has thrown a real wrench into the relationship with this little boy and his family. I really like the family and still do, but if they foresee us coming over for dinner one night or anything like that, the snake is a deal breaker. I don’t care if that thing is locked in a vault, I will not be going over there….ever.
When I got home, I remembered I was supposed to be attending the zoo tomorrow with my sons and my sister in law. This whole train wreck had me second guessing my decision. I hadn’t been to the zoo in over 8 years because of my phobia and honestly I have gotten by just fine. My sons though had become disappointed about never going and that is the last thing on Earth I ever want to do.
I picked up the phone and called the zoo.
“Hello, this is Pat, your wildlife specialist. How can I help you?”
“Hi Pat, I haven’t been to the zoo in 8 years because I have a severe phobia of snakes. I know that sounds silly but it’s true. Now, aside from the amphibian house, where do I need to avoid?”
There was a noticeable silence for a few seconds then she piped up.
“Ok, you need to avoid Asia Adventure because Lucy is there.”
“Lucy?” I asked inquisitively.
“Yes, the bald python. She is wrapped around a branch behind glass but if you don’t want to see her, avoid that area.”
“Ok, now what about those nature experience people or whatever they are called that walk around with a snake?”
“Yes, I was thinking about that too,” she said.
“Can you just call them and tell them to stay in a particular area of the zoo then I’ll just avoid that area? Maybe they could hang out in Asia Adventure, but just for tomorrow.”
Pat began to laugh.
“Oh yes,” she said sarcastically. “I’ll just call them up and tell them not to come out.”
“Could you do that for me Pat? I’m not even joking here. Could you please just call them up and tell them NOT to come out tomorrow?”