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CRY WOLF NOT BIGFOOT !Posted Thursday, August 21, 2008, at 2:58 PM
Well now they've gone and done it. Those 2 (3?) clowns that confessed to freezing a costume of Sasquatch while claiming they'd found it in Georgia, have sealed the deal: No one will ever believe in mythical creatures again! Even if I were to call CNN or FOX news about the live Yeti, from the Himalayas, that I have living in my basement, the media would just ignore it. What were they thinking?
I learned years ago about the dangers of playing pranks and jokes. Most of the time they turned out harmless, but one especially comes to mind that could of ended tragically. I was camped with some friends on a sandbar in the Mississippi river. I and a lady friend were fishing on the end of a rock dike, far from camp. Well, I was the one fishing, she was swimming and wading.
I knew she was deathly afraid of snakes. I also knew that in the main channel of the river snakes are so scarce that I've only seen 3 in 30 years and 10,000 miles of river running. The fish weren't biting, and we were both getting bored, so I decided to lend some excitement to the occasion. "Linda" I said, "Don't move!" She replied fearfully "Why not?"
"Because there's a snake behind you."
Well, she immediately disobeyed me and lunged forward with a scream. Her anger upon discovering my lie, however, seemed way disproportionate to my muffled laughter and, as such, ultimately terminated with a blow to my head. I apologized and swore I would never do it again. I also explained to her that the odds against encountering a snake at the end of a rock dike like this were probably one in a million.
Five minutes later things were back to normal. Then, it happened. In the same exact place where she'd been standing earlier, a large, heavy-bodied black snake casually swam up behind her until it lodged with its head between her thighs. I was speechless. This was going to be really difficult. Talk about a need for diplomacy, oh man! Worse even still, I couldn't identify the species. With the milky eyes and obscure markings of a snake fixing to molt, I couldn't be sure it wasn't venomous. And worse still, the snakes head was only a few inches away from an area of the body that no man, or woman, would chose as a place to be "snake bit." Its tongue slowly flicked in and out, tasting the new odor it had encountered.
"Linda?" I said in my most gentle demeanor. "Do you trust me?"
"Most of the time" she replied.
"And you know I would never, ever play the same joke on you, especially one that made you so mad, right?" I could see the fear in her eyes as she contemplated where this conversation was headed.
"It's okay, everything's going to be fine, really." By that time she had felt the touch of the serpents tongue. "Just stay calm. I can't tell what kind it is, but really, just don't move. It's going to be okay."
She began to tremble and cry. Not good. But just then, an involuntary micturition emptied her bladder squarely onto the reptile's head. He didn't like that at all, and retreated back the way he'd come. I caught the snake about 20 yards downstream, and of course, it was a harmless species of water snake.
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