Sunday, April 19, 2009


I know I should be thinking books, books, books since I'm smack-dab in the middle of a book release and mere weeks away from a book deadline, but the only thing I can wrap my puny little mind around right now is: Florida. Yes, sweet southern Florida. Where it's currently 85 degrees and sunny. Where I get to laze around on the beach or in the pool all day. Where I can finally relax enough to realize that when people say, "It's five o'clock somewhere," they mean here. I've been looking forward to this for months. And it's finally here!

For eight whole days I'm going to play with my kids, laugh with my family, and revel in the scent of coconut sunscreen. We'll be grilling burgers, kayaking through the wetlands (hope we see a manatee!), shelling on Sanibel island, and soaking up the sun (beneath copious amounts of SPF 125--they make it that high, right?). Of course, I'm also looking forward to... the snakes?

Thank you, Mr. John Stewart of the Daily Show, for pointing out to the rest of the country that south Florida has been (in the words of Science Daily) "invaded by gigantic Burmese pythons." Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? Apparently, in the past five years alone 144,000 Burmese pythons have been imported to the US and sold as pets. Authorities believe that when people get sick of parenting a python, they set them free. And the Florida Keys happen to be perfect python breeding ground.

Sick. Sick, sick, sick. I hate snakes. No, you don't understand, I hate them. If I even see an itty-bitty garter snake in my yard I run shrieking--and may or may not come back. Now I'm walking into a giant snake infestation?

Okay, scratch that day-trip to the Everglades off our list. No way, no how. And kayaking through the marshes? Uh... no. According to the articles, wherever alligators live, pythons can too. That eliminates my walking route (through wetlands), our "backyard" (where a pair of giant turtles live), and anywhere that grass grows. I'll stick to the pool, thank you. Except... pythons can swim!!!


Yeah, fine, I might be overreacting. But according to Skip Snow, a biologist with the Everglades National Park, "Humans don't belong to their natural prey. But Burmese pythons are perfectly capable of killing a human." I know they're gunning for me. Or worse, my boys--they are, after all, smaller and infinitely more delicious-looking. Is there such thing as a snake repellent?

Anyway, say a prayer for us. May our vacation be as blissful as the top photo. And nothing like this:

PS - I might not blog much for the next little while. However, if I don't pop up here at least once in the next week or so, you might want to call in the National Guard. Or a snake handler. A snake charmer? Anyone will do. Just send someone. Please.


  1. have fun! i'm with you on the snakes. yuk.

  2. No way! I feel like my paradise has been invaded. Like you, I have a freak attack at the slightest snake sighting. (Nearly passed out just seeing that horrendous photo on your blog.) This is also why my neighbors saw me assaulting all of my perennials with a rake this weekend. I had to cut back the landscape, and was scared I'd run into a snake. My approach: Beat the snot out of the bushes to inflict serious harm first. ... My arms still ache.

  3. Oh, I'm all over beating the snot out of my bushes. I also carry a hoe sharpened to lethal proportions--though if I ever succeeded in splitting a snake in two I think I'd be even more horrified... Just reading about your gardening experience gave me flashbacks to my childhood: "Niki, go cut me some rhubarb, will you?" Snakes love rhubarb--I was guaranteed to see one. Thus, no rhubarb at the Baart house. I love it, but I hate snakes more.