Thursday, May 25, 2006
Live Snakes, Next Exit
On the outskirts of my hometown near the Brazos River (Brazos meaning the arms of God -- in this case, God's arms are full of old tires, tree limbs, and man-sized catfish), there is a sign that tells you to exit if you want to see snakes. Home for Christmas about five years ago, my mother and I visited the Brazos River Snake Farm. Under any other circumstances, I would have driven by it, but I was on a mission for Christmas presents and wanted to see what they had to offer. At the very least they might have t-shirts, and I felt certain that those would make dandy gifts to bring joy to many. If you've been reading my blog, you know my mother's great love for snakes. I, however, run in fear at the slightest sound of a rattle.
After you passed the stuffed rattler that jumped out at you as a greeting by the door (not a good moment for me -- I jumped and clutched my mother in a rare moment of absolute terror). She couldn't stop laughing and we proceeded inside where nothing else would prove reassuring either. Big cardboard boxes were upside down with signs that said, Caution! These boxes, anchored down by rocks, appeared to be moving. A big old boy named Garland with a sterling silver rattle around his neck said nifty things like, That one in the snake is a mean son of a bitch. If he gets out, I'm running. Cool, I thought, as the mean son of a bitch hit the glass over and over again. If you want to see something really scary, go outside and look at the pits. He offered us free food for the pigs outside (the babies they used to feed the pythons) and a view of large ravines full of snakes. I passed. My mother went outside (being far braver) and Garland said, You're actually in more danger in here. There's more snakes inside, you just can't see them. Still, I stayed and didn't touch anything or even breathe when I could avoid it. The room grew silent except for the constant rattling sounds until I couldn't hear anything except my mother's voice outside, telling me she wouldn't be much longer.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
“The wound, which was reopened, is bleeding.” St. Padre Pio
Gummy Worm Punch
Freeze gummy worms into ice cubes (these will float around in the punch)
Green Kool-Aid base
Vodka (a few shots depending on how much you want to drink)
Hang a few stray gummy worms outside the bowl for decoration
Benedictions and Maledictions
Hank Williams on the Night Shift in Branson
His show over, he dishes popcorn,
dispenses Cokes. He’s the 2 o’clock
legend, Elvis gets the night. This Hank
has to be at least seventy, already forty-one
years luckier than the man he impersonates.
Or maybe not -- the real Hank, drunk,
heartsick, riding in the back of a car
at night -- he didn’t have to serve food
and he sounded like no one but himself.