A Problem With Snakes, Revered Paul, & Patrick Henry

   Written by on July 6, 2017 at 9:36 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The family that moved into our first home kept calling me to ask if we ever had a problem with snakes in the house. Every time he called, I said we never did. After about the tenth call he said, “I don’t understand why you didn’t have a problem, they are everywhere.” I told him, “Certainly they are everywhere. I spent two years bringing them home and turning them loose, but we never had a problem with any of them.”

You may be surprised to learn that I have a strange sort of brain. It has no interest at all in retaining useful information. It does absorb bits of useless and esoteric information and trivia (trivia incidentally comes from Roman Tri-Via which means three roads and refers to public announcements posted at the crossroads). My brain is particularly fond of certain rhymes and cadences. These things just attach themselves to my brain and sit there being useless and waiting for a chance to escape. There are bits of Ray Stevens, Patrick Henry, Robert Service, and others. There are even some filthy limericks and poems which Management says proves I have a pornographic memory. That, of course, is ridiculous; we have never even owned a pornograph.

These things lurk in my subconscious just waiting for some unsuspecting individual to push the button that releases them. This occasionally creates problems.

Once as I was traveling, I noticed a collection of police officers running radar. By some quirk of fate, I was driving the speed limit and was not stopped. As soon as I was out of sight, I began flashing my lights at oncoming cars to warn them of the speed trap. Not only was I helping other motorists, it was fun to watch them suddenly slow down, particularly the ones going very fast.

By another quirk of fate, one of the cars I warned was an officer returning from chasing another speeder. He “cut a bootleg” and pulled me over. As he approached the car, he asked, “Who do you think you are? Paul Revere?” Apparently at that exact moment, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” was lurking near the surface of my brain and was released.

“Listen officer and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. ‘Twas the eighteenth of April in seventy-five,” (and on and on) “one if by land and two if by sea and I on the opposite shore shall be, ready to ride and spread the alarm.” He was not amused. He offered me lodging for the night and this released Patrick Henry. “Gentlemen may cry peace, peace” (and so on) “but as for me give me liberty or give me death.” Either my brain was leaking more than usual, or this guy just had a knack for releasing stuff. He released “A Tale of the Old Northwest” which is not really nice or socially acceptable but he enjoyed it. He then told me to leave. This released “Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow” and he almost changed his mind.

After that trip, I purchased a radar detector. It did a great job. It told me there was radar just as the radar picked me up. When it went off, I knew I should pull over and wait for the ticket. Although more convenient for the police, it didn’t help me at all. I bought a better one. This one worked great; the only problem with it was that the alarm could be tested from inside the car. This would not have been a problem except for a friend of mine with a sick and twisted sense of humor. She would, at random, reach down and push the test button, which in turn sounded the radar alarm, which alarmed me, and caused me to slow down unnecessarily.

This presented a dilemma; I wisely chose to dump the detector. Some time later, the lady wisely chose to dump me.

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