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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How I almost bought two live cobras yesterday

Did you know that it is alarmingly easy to do ten minutes of research online and be able to very effortlessly convince someone that you have a reasonable amount of knowledge on just about any subject? Like when you tell a client that you’re “an expert on skincare for this product line”, or when you tell the IRS that “tequila is a legitimate deduction for a writer”. Or when you convinced a snake seller that you’re a snake expert and almost bought two Egyptian banded cobras yesterday. What?

Let me back up.

You’ll need this for reference later.
A couple days ago I started a Facebook page for this blog. Many people, most notably my mother who “doesn’t read [my] blogs” and “can’t ever remember the name of [my] blogs” and who says “anorexia isn’t funny, Jen”, had trouble finding the articles through my personal Facebook links, which is what’s going to happen when you post unnecessary, ludicrously stupid things about seagulls and baby straitjackets and margaritas every day. There’s just too much complete nonsense to sift through. So a friend-who-is-more-like-a-sister to me in that she used to emotionally abuse me by making me play Ursula and King Triton and sometimes Flotsam and Jetsam when her and my sister were playing Little Mermaid in our pool suggested that I start a separate Facebook page for my blog.

I didn’t even get to play one of Ariel’s insignificant sisters. Just the gigantic, rage-filled octopus monster and a handful of men.

So I started the page. You can find it here.

And if you don’t like it, I will know about it. You mark my words. 

Which brings me to my next point. Do you see how quickly that turned ugly and threatening? So when I posted the link to the new Facebook page, I sort of threatened to put live cobras in the beds of people who didn’t like it. And by “sort of”, I mean that I “definitely did.”

And by the way. Some of you are in trouble.
And that started a thought-chain-reaction, which are never good, because I assume that the movie Soul Plane started with a thought-chain-reaction.

Snoop. Planes. Rap? GO!

I wondered if one could even purchase live cobras. Because obviously that would be incredibly dangerous and irresponsible and you should need a permit or something to own a venomous animal. I mean seriously. I lose my car keys when they’re in my purse. They’re completely immobile. One time, I lost my house key for fifteen minutes in my bra. It’s not exactly like it could go anywhere. My cousins had a ball python that escaped one time while it was at my house and it didn’t even have motherfucking hands. 

Clearly any venomous animal in my care would immediately escape and there would be a rash of cobra-related deaths in the Houston area. Thank God you can’t just email a person and agree to pick up a live, venomous, extremely deadly animal on a whim. Except you can. And after ten minutes of shoddy Wikipedia research and a Google search to find out what the word “gravid” meant (spoiler alert: it means “horrifyingly pregnant and about to deliver the spawn of Satan” when you’re talking about snakes. If you’re talking about anything else, it just means pregnant), I was confident that I knew enough about snakes to ask a dude to purchase two of his. That’s what she said?

I feel like you won’t really understand the gravity of this situation unless you know some cobra facts, which I am now qualified to give you because not only did I find them on Wikipedia, but I also convinced a snake seller that I was a snake expert. 

Here are some of the more important ones:
  • If you look at a map of their distribution, they are found all the fuck over northern Africa
  • They enter people’s homes like they were fucking invited when they were obviously not
  • They eat small mammals (like midgets and babies, I’m assuming)
  • They can be nine fucking feet long
  • Here’s a direct quote from Wikipedia: “The venom affects the nervous system, stopping the nerve signals from being transmitted to the muscles and at later stages stopping those transmitted to the heart and lungs as well, causing death due to complete respiratory failure in just 10 minutes.” I’m sorry? What the fuck?
  • In March of 2011, one escaped from the Bronx Zoo.

Let me repeat that for you. A team of professional people, whose entire job consists of keeping dangerous fucking animals inside of their cages, was apparently ill equipped to keep contained a giant, deadly, mammal hungry, angry, neurotoxin-venom-filled animal with no fucking legs. They have no fucking legs.

Keep those facts in mind when you read the following, which is an email exchange between me and a person who was willing to sell two live, exorbitantly venomous snakes to a person who once fell down two flights of stairs for no reason in particular.

From me:
I saw your listing for two live Egyptian banded cobras and I’m interested in purchasing them. I see that you have one male and one female. Is the female gravid? Not sure if I’m ready for 20 little snake mouths to feed…

From Frank the Snake Seller (whose name has been changed because I’m sure he would be inundated with thousands of emails from the ten people who read my blog and also want two large, aggressive, fangy death machines in their house to call their own.):
The female is gravid. Have you had banded cobras? Beautiful animals.

They most certainly are. When should the clutch be ready? I wouldn’t want to handle her too much. And I would also have to start thinking about knitting onesies for all of the babies. Just kidding. Snake babies don’t really have a way to keep onesies on. What is your asking price? I could possibly come get them this afternoon.

I’m asking $700 OBO, I have a couple offers in (obviously he does NOT have a couple offers in). I live at (I’m taking his address out so that PETA doesn’t somehow get involved. They always seem to get involved. Nothing personal, PETA. You seem really nice when you’re not throwing fake blood on people.) Do you need an incubator? I have one for sale. When were you interested in coming by?

And here is where I realized that Frank was completely fine with selling me what essentially amounted to biological weapons that had no off button (and no motherfucking legs). And I wanted to make sure that Frank was more thorough with his snake vesting process in the future. And as proof of that, here is a screen shot of a text I sent Josh. Who I trust to give me good advice (which is my own fault) and is, generally speaking, extremely supportive, especially of bad decisions.

I might have been offended if it wasn’t true.
I don’t need an incubator. I have two wicker laundry baskets with lids. Are you also selling the charmer? Does he sort of find his own house and just come over when the snakes need charming, or do I have to have a tent set up of some sort? And will he provide his own flute?

And then nothing.

I was kidding, Frank.

Ok. When can you come by?

So Frank still hasn’t learned his lesson.

How about 4:30? I have to pick up the magic rug from the cleaners. I know the charmer won’t need a tent. But seriously. Will the laundry baskets work?

And that was the last time I heard from Frank.

If you take anything away from this post, I would like for it to be these three things:
  1. You can purchase live cobras online
  2. I am able to convince someone that I have enough reasonable knowledge about deadly snakes that they feel confident in selling me two of them
  3. I will know if you have not liked my blog’s Facebook page.

Sleep sweet, guys!

Because I know where you live!

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