Snake Country – Getting to know the neighbours

It’s a given that in this digital age, anyone with a computer is going to get the odd “you gotta see this!!” type of e.mail. These well-meant but sometimes irritating impositions on our time and space didn’t exist in the ‘old days’ pre 1990 – just ask yourself; who in their right mind would’ve printed and posted thousands of pictures of the ‘World’s longest nose hair!’ to everyone on their address book? Nowadays all you need is a computer, an empty head and a victim, not forgetting that if you copy all the addresses from your victim’s last e.mail to you, you can show off your new-found knowledge to the world!

I love getting e.mails and calls from people who’re interested in what’s going on around them and who want to share their experiences with stories and pictures, so please keep those coming – but along with the good stuff, there’s also some pretty mindless stuff. Some examples include the mailbox-clogging 8.3mb movie of a child playing with an obviously de-fanged 4m King Cobra with the (rhetorical?) question “Is this for real??” or the perennially recycled series of pictures of someone’s exploding thumb with the caption, “look what can happen to YOU, if you get bitten by a puff adder/ rattle snake/ violin spider.” creature dependent upon who passed on the mail. I forget how many times I’ve been sent the picture of the black mamba/ king brown snake/ anaconda that was seen alongside a cane field in Tongaat/ cemetery in Queensland/ schoolyard in Phoenix. Although the picture remains the same, the story keeps changing and the snake never stops growing. Now I hope I don’t sound like some curmudgeonly old windbag, but I’d always thought that the people who’d sent me this stuff didn’t seriously believe what they passed on, but the reality is that most of them did! A grown up friend of mine who works for an international Banking group has a problem with things that creep, crawl and fly, recently in all seriousness, sent me (and about 60 others) a picture he’d received, of some arbitrary spider which is allegedly multiplying in frightening numbers and is credited with a number of fatal bites, asking me if I thought they really did lurk under the toilet lid as stated in the accompanying warning notice. I couldn’t help him much with the answer, except to suggest that he and his wife immediately vacate the premises, conduct their ablutions at the bottom of the garden and in the interim, have the house fumigated and the garden sprayed with DDT. I’m not sure if he took me seriously.

Next time you receive a hard to believe e.mail; think carefully before passing it on. I might be an unintended recipient. The attached unaccredited photos of two Gyppos and a mamba were sent to me anonymously. If only animals could speak.

© pat mckrill. 2013
herpet@eastcoast.co.za
Cell: 0833036958
Home: 031-7851410

Down at the pond  (01)

Down at the pond (02)