Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hazards of the Job

          Richie announces that he needs to buy Snake Chaps.  For the uninitiated, I will tell you this is not a product for scaly lips.  No, it’s a product for a far worse problem.  And the problem is that you don’t have the good sense to stay away from rattle snake-infested areas.
          Let me just ask you, my dear readers, do you own a pair of snake chaps?  No?  Didn’t even know it was a thing? See? You’re smart.  You’re sitting indoors at a computer where the most you can get is eye strain.  Not a poisonous bite that sends you dashing to the emergency room.
          But Richie needs these for his work as a geologist, strolling into overgrown fields and meadows.  Okay, he would disagree that he is strolling.  Maybe “striding in manly confidence.”  Whatever.  He’s still kicking through snake turf and snakes don’t generally applaud that.  If they had hands and could applaud.  So they do the opposite of that, and attack.
          And I, as his mother, am supposed to shrug this off and take it all in that same manly stride.  “Are you kidding?” I ask.  “This is like having to buy a bullet-proof vest.  If you have to do that, you need to get out of places where one would be necessary."
          “What if I were a cop?”
          “That’s different.  They know they’re taking risks to save humanity. You went into science which led me, as a mother, to think you were safe.  Not only that, but this is Springtime when everyone has babies and baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than grown ones.”
          This is widely known out here in the West, since babies don’t know how to gauge the amount of venom they inject, and give you all of it. Dopes.
          Richie decides to change the subject.  “You’ve seen geese flying in a V-shape?”
          I nod.  “Yes.”
          “You ever notice how one side is usually longer?”
          I nod.
          “Guess why that is.”
          I shake my head.  “Why?”
          “There are more geese on that side,” he says.
          And now I glare at him and he bursts into such gales—no, fits—of laughter that his face turns red and he clasps his chest.
          “That was not funny,” I say.
          Now he has to lean on the kitchen counter to steady himself and mutters something about his perfect delivery and I am thinking, What’s really needed here are Richie chaps.

          But I promise you need no special gear if you buy my books, here, and sit in the comfy safety of your home to read them.

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