The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 1, 2007

Mike Pound: Fear of snakes is nothing to hiss about

By Mike Pound

Globe columnist

It’s been three weeks now and I haven’t seen the snake.

I think that means the snake has left my car. My wife thinks that means the snake is still in my car. My wife and I are coming at this snake thing from different directions. In my direction, I tend to think no snake is a gone snake. From my wife’s direction, she tends to think no snake is a snake waiting to drop on her feet. So my wife says she still won’t get anywhere near my car.

I noticed the snake on the floor in front of the passenger seat in my car on May 12. When I stopped my car — and believe me, if you see a snake in your car you’ll stop too — and opened the front passenger-side door while the snake was still on the floorboard. When I went to the other side of my car to get my trusty snake-fighting umbrella and came back to the front passenger-side door, the snake was gone. I didn’t see the snake on the ground, which meant that it was possible that the snake crawled up under the dashboard of my car. And as far as my wife was concerned, the word “possible” used in the same sentence as the word “snake” really meant “definitely.”

When I wrote about the “possible” snake in my car I got several calls, e-mails and letters from folks telling me their snake stories. Most of the stories were funny and they all centered around the fact that the callers, e-mailers or letter writers were deathly afraid of snakes. Mrs. Cooper, of Columbus, Kan., wrote to me about finding a very large black snake in her garden that she attempted to slay with a garden spade. Mrs. Cooper also told me what would have happened if she had spotted a snake in her car while driving.

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