Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snake Duty

Way "back in the day" I worked as a low level grunt, so-called river guide in The Grand Canyon.  People at my status level took care of toilet duty and other nefarious projects.  The Bronzed River God Specimens took care of  ALL the other duties.

And so it was we were approaching the HOT western end of the canyon, The Trip Leader said, "Parsons, if a snake comes into camp, it's you who has to get it out of camp, do you understand?"

Well, sure, I understood.  It was kinda like the military.  If you "didn't understand" you were outta there.

And so it was there was this guy with a snake phobia on that trip.  Man, he had a snake phobia like you read about in psycho textbooks.

SO, we're in the west end of the canyon and it's freaking hot.  We're somewhere down past Lava and everyone is BAKING like they always do down there in the summertime.

It's about the middle of midnight and this HUGE SCREAM shrieks out.  I mean we're talking an Act of God Shriek!

It turns out a rattle snake crawled up onto the guy's chest and coiled up like rattlesnakes are wont to do and then pointed its head toward the guy's face.  Can you possibly imagine that? Especially if you had a snake phobia?

Well, the Trip Leader told me, "GO Deal With it."  Going to "Deal With It" was a Mantra of Trip Leaders Back In The Day.  If you couldn't Deal With It, you were TOAST as far as being a river guide goes.

OK, so I went and dealt with it.  The human with the phobia was flipped out.  He was like nuts.  Meanwhile, the snake had retreated to a safe place and was trying to regroup.  I went over to the snake and started talking to it.  I said, "You really need to get outta here before someone finds you and makes your life a lot more difficult that it already is."

I will never forget me and that snake talking together and I took a stick and helped shepherd it out of camp to a safe place while all the peeps continued their typical freak out mode.

Me and snakes bonded that night.

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