Laurel the (stuffed) snake girl
Laurel the (stuffed) snake girl (Photo credit: oddharmonic)

I have always had one thing in common with Indiana Jones:  my fear of  snakes. It is a genuine phobia that has some long name. Of course it’s a l-o-n-g name.  Ophidiophobia.  O.  It makes me think of a python and how they can squeeze someone to death.  I have successfully avoided being in the presence of a snake for at least 12 years, since I moved to Ohio from Michigan. And I can still tell you every single snake-sighting I had in Michigan; I still dream about them.

Sometimes when I’ve been walking through taller grass or woods, I’ll tell the person I’m with: By the way, I’m like…really afraid of snakes. They usually say, Ohhh…they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.

Doesn’t matter.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a “tiny garter snake”
Doesn’t even matter if it’s RUBBER.

In 13 weeks I am moving to Melbourne Beach, Florida. According to Google: there are more snakes in Florida than in any other state.

I’m devising a plan to face my fear…slowly.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to face it up close and forked-tongue personal.  But at least I need to get to the point where seeing a snake does not make me faint, shake, sob, or render me unable to move.

Experts have written about how to conquer this fear.

Step 1. Acknowledge it.  CHECK.

Step 2:  Read about them: find out all the “good things” about snakes. That doesn’t seem too difficult.

Step 3:  Go to a pet store or zoo and get some compassionate soul to help desensitize me to snakes.  Ok.  Ok.  Not there yet.

Step 4:  Hold a snake.

Oh please.   Typing Step 4 made the bile rise in my throat.

The experts say: start small.

The experts say:  this will work.
The experts say:  start with a little garter snake.

Screw the experts.  I’m starting with a stuffed one… the kind you win at a carnival. And I’m gonna practice wrestling that baby to the ground. Just in case, when I move to Florida, the first one I meet is:

A python.

One comment

  1. I have been living in Florida for 33 years..going on 34;). When I see a snake in my yard, I scream! I can’t help it. But I don’t want them killed either..
    They surprise you! We have a turtle season here ( it is also the snake and alligator season). As anywhere, watch out for the turtles on the road…no one likes road pizza! As for the Gators, we don’t see them in Melbourne beach. The cranes are beautiful, watch out when you drive to Suntree..


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