Or, What do I look like?  A Stupid Tourist?

Continuing my report on my visit to Oz in October...
(I thought this would be a good post for Halloween)

One morning I walked onto the veranda and found a snakeskin between the potted plants.  I called Mom out and said, "That must be the skin they told us they found when they moved in."  No, it was a fresh one.  My sister had watered those plants the day before and the skin hadn't been there.  My brother in law, the tallest of the men there at 6'2", later held it with his arm extended above his head.  The tail of the skin was still about a foot on the floor.  As my sister likes to point out, "That's how big it used to be."  The skin was still supple and stretchy, not dried out and crackly.  Here my dad compares it to his hand:

When Dad stretched it out, it was almost as wide as his hand is long.  Ask the nearest man hands to make a circle touching the heels of his hands and his fingertips.  That's the girth of this bad boy.  Gulp!  

Note to Stupid Tourists:  When I first discovered this skin, the men weren't home.  I wanted a photo of it dangling off the veranda, but my sister said, "It might still be out there."  She'd already identified it as likely a Carpet Python.  (Not an Apartment Python as my yoga instructor heard when I told this story.  Those are a completely different variety.  Very tame.  Everyone in the city has them.  Ahem.)  

Anyway, I thought she was winding me up with her warnings, saying "I'll get a shovel, but it'll be to bury you, not protect you."  I'm thinking this thing isn't like a rattler or something that strikes out.  She said the bites weren't deadly poison, just a visit to the hospital and highly unpleasant.  Constrictors always look like they move pretty slow on the nature channel.  I was confident I could outrun it.

So I took my photo and when I came in the house, my sister said that her husband to be would be really angry with her if he knew she'd let me do that.  Oh.  I didn't think she was that serious, but she said, "Think about it.  How often do we shake our heads at the stupid tourist who gets too close to a bear?"

Oh, you mean like me, standing in my front yard yelling, "Hey, Bear, smile for the camera?"

And let's walk through a day in the life of a constrictor.  The one we're talking about probably outweighs me.  (I was pretty careful with what I ate before leaving, knowing I'd pack it on over three weeks of vacation and celebration.)  So Mr. Constrictor sinks his fangs into my ankle and really doesn't have to do anything else at that point.  I'm not going anywhere.  He's a two hundred pound ball and chain.  I struggle 'til I'm tired and he slithers up and gives me a hug.  Once all my bones are broken into digestible sized pieces, he dislocates his jaw and settles in for a big turkey dinner.  

Stupid, ssssstupid tourist....