Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Feast of Snakes


On my left index finger, I wear a snake ring. The ring is designed such that the head of the snake could turn inward or outward, and I have always worn it facing inward, not even thinking about it until someone mentioned the fact. I also own a pair of earrings made from the rattles of a snake and a set made from the fangs. I remember thinking that once I got out of my hometown and far away from a climate warm enough to support the little beasts, I would never think about them again. But alas, I choose to wear the scars, and in the case of my ring, face them inward. After all, I would never be comfortable with it facing the other way. You make your choices early; it's hard to recalibrate even the smallest things.

Since my long-ago childhood, I've been terrified of snakes -- one of the strangest times was when I was dragged to a Rattlesnake Roundup in a nearby town. The locals collect the snakes from the hills, wrestling them into brown potato bags and bringing them to dump into huge vats. Some of the snakes are used for their venom, some for decoration, some for food. Others just hang out, making a sound that is distinctive from all others. You walk around, you get used to the handlers, the contests, the snakes with their mouths open, being milked, the ones being grilled for snacks. You begin to not notice what's around you, cease to be afraid of it. You forget you're surrounded by danger. Sometimes when I wear the rattle earrings, I startle myself with a sudden move of the head that sets off the noise a rattlesnake makes to warn you of its presence. At the Rattlesnake Roundup, I stopped hearing the noise after a while -- all those snakes, all that warning. It's then, I think, it's probably time to go. But the fangs, they make no noise. I could wear those for days and never even realize I had them in my ears.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs as you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind, you draw large and startling figures." —Flannery O'Connor, "The Fiction Writer & His Country"

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: The House of Yes

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Saturday!

13 comments:

Short Bus and Special said...

We liked White Fang and Black Tooth from the Soupy Sales Show. And Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, too. With a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! That's the only fangs we know.

Bela L. said...

They are only large upper teeth. Do not be worried.

Paul Lynde said...

I hate it when people talk about fangs.

Rowan and Martin said...

We've got some fangs hanging out at the party. Things are always happening with fangs around.

Bruce from the Rainbow Room said...

Where is that party?

Burt Reynolds said...

I met my ex-wife Judy at a party. I've never had any probelm with fangs. I'm an actor.

Chinua Achebe said...

Did you see the way that turtle freaked out at the feast in the sky? I don't recall seeing any fangs there. Lot's of birds, though.

JLCGULL said...

I like chargrilled rattlers.

Maddonna said...

Quite.

Anonymous said...

I guess this proves that the only way to overcome your fears is to face them. In your case it sound more like you put them on your face..well not quite your face but your ears. What is the story behind the plastic encased snake you have I always wanted ask but we never got around to that.

I am only afraid of one snake and it came out of texas too, unfortunately it made it to the White House.

Don't deny that he's a good old Texan either but I wouldliek to se him in one of those vats shaking his ass to let people know he was around...if he'd done that in 1999 thing may be different, he may have wound up on the grill so JCLGulls could have some rat tler.

peace

TWM

paul said...

Foxy Lady D
Snakes and hangingpuppits giveme willies
but you are one Sexyrockingmama
R2 C2!

JR's Thumbprints said...

You can never truly get away from those childhood experiences. I'm not so sure there is a choice in the matter until years later. Problem is, by then we're too comfortable with the way things have always been.

Tim said...

Some people face their fears and conquer them. Others face their fears and suppress them, not hearing the rattle anymore, but knowing deep down that they could still rise up and strike them.