My son, Gabe, has a ball python that he brought home with him from college.
Every Thursday he feeds the snake a small something for dinner.
A Happy Meal of sorts.
I watched my wife and him recently mesmerized by the snake chowing down on his Mac snack.
My son invited me few weeks ago to a feasting but I had to walk away half way through.
I got the idea.
I don’t like to watch things die. I find it way too upsetting. Please, I understand the food chain. I get it.
I just don’t want to watch it. I don’t spend time on cable animal channels observing wild life ripping each other apart, or sharks in a blood bath, or gators, or whatever. I don’t even like watching cartoons where the characters beat up on each other. I don’t like the Three Stooges poking each other’s eyes out or getting hit on their heads with hammers.
It evokes emotional reactions of human savagery. Morbidly, horrid images of witch drownings, executions, genocidal suffering, and war, sear into my being. I become despaired.
I realize it’s a long leap from food chains to man’s barbarism, but I find all forms of ending life vicious, and I don’t want to watch.
So this morning when my son complained to me that his snake woke him up, I hissed (I couldn’t resist that one),
“How could your snake wake you?”
“Ha. Ha. Very funny, dad.”
I had actually hissed.
“The snake took a dump.” Gabe complained.
“A dump? How did a snake’s dump wake you up? Did he yell to you to get him some toilet paper?”
“No, dad.” Gabe shakes his head. ”The dump was real loud. And smelly.”
“So, he woke you up and asked you for room deodorant?”
“No, but it smelled like hell.”
“It’s a good thing the snake didn’t asphyxiate in that little cage you have him in.”
Gabe laughed. “I almost died from the smell in my own bedroom.”
“Did this ever happen before?” I asked him.
“Never. And when I went to clean it up it was all loose.”
I thought for a moment and offered,
“Maybe he got rat poisoning from that take out Happy Meal you gave him the other night.”
Gabe shakes his head at me and leaves the room.
Sometimes I really do understand the food chain.