Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Decisions, Decisions: Mr. Snake in the Road

We have to make decisions every day in life. Some are hard, some easy, some unexpected, some mind-numbingly mundane, but nonetheless, decisions are a part of daily life, like it or not. When you come to a fork in the road in life, you must make a tough decision. Which way do I go? If I choose the left, will it be "right?" If I choose right, will I be happy with my decision later on? Such quandaries can boggle the mind.

Sometimes, you just wing it and take a blind leap of faith and hope you made the right decision. Today was one of those days, when I ran into not a fork, but a snake in the road. No, I'm not making a clever allegory, I am talking about an actual snake in the road. I'll prove it. I took a picture.

And so, the story begins. It's gorgeous today here in central IL, and I was taking my three lovely dogs on a walk. I'm bouncing along, enjoying myself immensely, humming a little I-love-this-weather tune silently in my head, not a care in the world, "doh-ti-do-ti-doh" when suddenly, there it was.

Right. In. My. Path.

Apparently the snake thought the weather was nice for a slither as well. Decision time! Oh, so many options... I think I might need a bullet list!
  • Turn around and go back home
  • Step over the snake
  • Scare the snake out of the way
  • Go to the left of the snake
  • Go to the right of the snake
  • Scream and stomp on the snake, thus maiming or injuring the snake and possibly myself
I stopped dead in my tracks and said, "Hello there!" after my heart was positioned safely back in its ribcage. I'm not afraid of snakes, but it did give me a start. Jump-start my heart, Motley Snake! [Leave it to me to turn being startled by a snake into a Motley Crue song].

It was there, so I had to make a decision. Oh, and I was alone. The dogs were far ahead of me, already enjoying the creek. Slowly, I pulled the camera out of my pocket to take a picture. Like a good model, it didn't move an inch! Photo op out of the way, I put my mind back into gear. What next? After entertaining all of the above bulleted options, I chose to go to the right of the snake and continue my walk. That's when my mind went crazy with thought patterns and I knew it would be a blog post.

"Okay, I've made my decision, but now what if I step to the right (which is the way the snake's head is facing) and it sees me and decides to attack me? Does it even see me? Is this an attack snake? I don't think so. But how would I know? I'm no snake expert. I think it's harmless. It probably doesn't even have teeth. What would it do, gum me to death? Go on, wimp, do it. No fear. No fear of the snake!"

I did it. The snake didn't budge an inch. However, crazy thought patterns continued.

"What if it's one of those blue racers? Wait, it's not blue. Are they really blue or is that just what they're called? I don't remember! What if it chases me down and attacks me and climbs up my pantleg into my hair?"

At that moment, I had the actual visual representation of that scene in my head, me screaming and flailing down the road and hurling myself into the creek going, "Oh Lord, nooooo, it's killing me!" and I literally busted out laughing at myself. God, I love how my brain works. Anyway...

"So, I made it to the creek and now I have to go back home - right past the snake again. Where are my dang dogs? How did they not see this thing? Are they blind? I know it was being really still, but really? They didn't see it at all? What if I need protected? Useless. Wait, where's the snake? I don't remember exactly where I saw it. I don't see it anywhere! Did it move? Is it up ahead? Is it hiding just off the path, to the right or to the left? Did I startle it so much that it froze in fear (you know, the whole 'it's more scared than you are thing') and when I was out of sight, it slithered off to find a good spot to thrust itself at me, hissing wildly, on my way back through? Should I look for it or just walk on like a normal person and imagine I never saw the snake in the first place? I'm insane. This will be a good blog post."

I never saw the snake again, and in case PETA is reading this, I would never have actually stomped on the snake and no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. It was just a panicked thought put into harmless words. The end.


  1. Okay, I would have screamed, and then turned around and either gone home or found an alternate route!! Those slithering creatures kind of freak me out!

  2. Oh Judy, you would never make it out here "in the wild" - I do see them a lot in the summer! They are also in the creek my kids frequent for swimming. Gotta be a countrified kind of person if you're gonna hang out with us bumpkins in the sticks! Don't worry, you can just stay safe and read all about it on my blog :0)

  3. I'm terrified of snakes. I had to jump a copperhead once on a run. So scary! We have a lot of snakes around here. Yuck! I'm definitely having nightmares tonight.

  4. Hahaha, I love it! I sense that your story may someday come in handy as an analogy for a life decision I'll face. For now, it simply reminds me that last night a large buzzing creature started flying around my kitchen and refused to slow down long enough to reveal its identity: A bee? A wasp? A futuristic, global-warming, stinging Mothra? As it flew toward my face, I made no decision, just screamed as if I - were - about - to - die. At a loss for how to stop the beast, my husband whipped it with a towel, stunning it, then scooped it off the floor and tossed it outside. We are clearly less evolved than you. :)

    1. Cara, I can see you thinking about that life decision, saying to yourself, "What would Cindy Brown do if there was a [whatever] in her path?" LOL!


    I would suggest visiting the site above and reading up.

    I can't tell for sure from the angle of this pic, but it looks like the snake has round eyes, which means he {or she} most likely wasn't poisonous. Still it looked pretty big in the picture.

    The important thing is you didn't panic. I grew up in Texas, so I'm used to snakes. XD

  6. I see a lot of snakes around here and we do not have a problem with poisonous ones per se, but I was shocked to see one this early in the season. An unfortunate consequence of the unusually warm weather here - snake sightings!

  7. Hi Cindy, you live in IL, I live in NJ - you would have heard my screams!! Funny story! Feel free to read my St. Patty's Day themed post

    1. What, you don't have any snakes in Jersey? I did read your post and left a comment. Fun! I sympathize.

  8. Oh I am sure we'll be encountering plenty of snakes soon around here, I just hadn't thought about it yet, thanks. Ugh. LOL. I don't freak out about snakes but my husband likes to pick them up and "relocate" them further away from whatever activity it is we are doing. I am ALWAYS terrified that he will act like a 15 yr old boy (which is not beneath him, trust me) and throw a snake on me. Yeah, that would send me running and screaming (right to the nearest divorce lawyer!) Just kidding... maybe.

    1. That's all men are - grown up 15 year olds. I call my husband "my third child".