Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway - Definitely not slimy [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Definitely not slimy [May. 18th, 2010|03:37 pm]
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I am at the bit of The True Tale of Carter Hall where the Queen of Air and Darkness has turned Tam into a serpent and she still has to hang on. I am describing Janet holding this bloody great serpent.

And in my head all I can hear is my grandpa's voice saying, "They're not slimy! People think they're slimy, but they're not, they're dry and scaly."

He was really concerned that I not grow up to be a girl who was squeaky about snakes. I don't know how much of this book he would have liked, but he would have liked that I was clear that they were not slimy. And he would have known that was there for him.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: batwrangler
2010-05-18 08:53 pm (UTC)

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Yay, Mris's grandpa!

(If Tam gets turned into a rat, please don't let him have a naked, worm-like tail. Only hairless rats have naked tails.)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-19 12:40 pm (UTC)

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No rats.

(Have you seen The Incredibles? If so, you want the no-capes voice for that.)
[User Picture]From: kalmn
2010-05-18 09:46 pm (UTC)

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(icon in honor of batwrangler)

snakes feel nice. i like them. if they are healthy, they are all smooth.
[User Picture]From: houseboatonstyx
2010-05-19 12:11 pm (UTC)

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They feel like plants, is what they feel like! Nice green shoots, smooth, cool (unless sun-warmed).

Well, they're smooth if you pet them the right direction. Otherwise a little scaly, like a duck with his feathers neatly dovetailed.
[User Picture]From: jhetley
2010-05-18 10:08 pm (UTC)

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Wife has been trying to persuade people for *ages* that snakes aren't slimy. Has, on occasion, gotten the squeamish to touch examples . . .
[User Picture]From: auriaephiala
2010-05-18 10:11 pm (UTC)

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Snakes are beautiful creatures. I can attest they're not slimy at all.
[User Picture]From: guppiecat
2010-05-19 01:25 am (UTC)

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I must point out that, should Tam be turned into a serpent in the middle of a muddy crossroads during a midnight thunderstorm, as happens in some variants, he would quickly become slimy.

You know, just sayin'.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-19 12:41 pm (UTC)

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Not a muddy crossroads! A hockey rink.
[User Picture]From: guppiecat
2010-05-19 03:11 pm (UTC)

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Hmm, then being a cold blooded snake would be a great disadvantage. I guess that's why she then turned him into a firebrand.

The Queen of Elphan is so kind and considerate.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-19 04:10 pm (UTC)

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Indeed, the sluggishness is a great advantage when you don't want the snake to be able to smoosh you all that quickly while you try to save his life.
[User Picture]From: swan_tower
2010-05-19 01:29 am (UTC)

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To the extent that I am creeped out by snakes, it's because of the weird muscularity of their bodies; you can feel them gripping you if they wind around your arm.
[User Picture]From: houseboatonstyx
2010-05-19 12:07 pm (UTC)

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Feels very nice!
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2010-05-19 02:04 pm (UTC)

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They're certainly very unlike other creatures I've handled!

Poisonous ones bug me; nothing that small should be that dangerous. But I don't live where I encounter them in the wild (and I know that it's mostly very easy to avoid getting bit if you don't make the basic mistakes, and that mostly it's not fatal with US snakes, etc.).

They're amazing predators. Watching a corn snake take a feeder mouse is really something. Not slow, oh no.
[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2010-05-19 02:48 am (UTC)

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Snakes are so awesome. Someday I will have one.

A college friend of mine had a ball python (yes, in the dorm, illicitly). When he was just a little snakelet, he became Very, Very Ill, and the vet told her that he needed to be kept warm at all times or he would die. She did not trust her roommate or her tank lights, so she put him in her bra and went on about her day. Every so often he would put his head up and look around.

So she went to a lecture, and she sat at the back, and she noticed that every so often the professor was staring at her, taking his glasses off, wiping them, and putting them on again. After class he looked as though he was going to come up and talk to her, so she vanished, because she didn't want anyone official to find out about the illegal snake. (Of course every student who was around her much or in her dorm knew.)

The next semester a small delegation of that professor's then-current students came and thanked her, as the professor was apparently a much nicer man since he had publicly and vocally given up drinking after hallucinating a snake in a student's cleavage.

The snake got better and for as long as I knew him he went straight down the shirt of every woman who ever picked him up, which is a lot less possible for a seven-foot python, but still kind of doable. Some people minded this more than others. I never cared much, as he was a friendly and intelligent sort of snake, and I still miss having him around.
[User Picture]From: reveritas
2010-05-19 03:47 am (UTC)

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ha! ha! OMFG. This is awesome.
[User Picture]From: moiread
2010-05-19 05:38 am (UTC)

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Ha! Good story!

I bought my first snake -- an amelanistic cornsake whom I named Eve -- this past winter and I absolutely recommend it. You have experience with snakes, clearly, so you probably know this already, but for anyone else reading, I will say: The startup is kind of expensive (but then again, I'm a poor student, so maybe it was just expensive for me) and getting everything set up just right is complicated, but once it's done, they pretty much take care of themselves and you can feed them for a year with a single $60 purchase of frozen mice. And they're just so incredibly cool. Really, really recommend it. Seriously. GO TRY SNAKES. They are awesome.

Edited at 2010-05-19 05:40 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2010-05-19 02:08 pm (UTC)

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Lydy's corn snake wouldn't take frozen mice no matter how she waved them around; had to be live. Lots of articles talking about how to train them to take the dead ones, but there do seem to be a number of snakes that just won't.
[User Picture]From: ashnistrike
2010-05-19 06:35 am (UTC)

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Best ball python story ever.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2010-05-19 02:06 pm (UTC)

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Love the story. Very amusing, and good, that it actually did some good beyond the snake, too.
[User Picture]From: genarti
2010-05-19 04:44 pm (UTC)

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That is a marvelous story.
[User Picture]From: papersky
2010-05-19 11:42 am (UTC)

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Z got to sit in a loop of boa in Blackpool Zoo on his third birthday. And I was saying "Take a photo!" and his grandparents (who had the camera) were saying "Get him off fast before it eats him!"

But even without the documentary evidence, he remembers the feeling of it, and that it felt warm (it was a cold day) and smooth and like a shoe or a handbag.

I wonder if it remembers -- probably not. Little kids sitting on a loop while their grandparents freak out is probably a normal thing for it.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-19 12:42 pm (UTC)

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I wonder how we would even find out how long snakes remember things. I mean, asking them, obviously. But how does one phrase the question.
[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2010-05-19 07:53 pm (UTC)

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It would involve a fair amount of hissing, I'd imagine. Or possibly some sort of fiddly snake-brain scanning device.
[User Picture]From: cissa
2010-05-23 01:21 am (UTC)

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Snakes are very un-slimy.

When I was in college I worked as a docent for the local zoo (Como), and one of the things I did was handle snakes in the open houses. The snakes were really cool, and people really liked them with a bit of education.