College students excel at excuses and before
I met the Rattlesnake Queen I thought I had
heard them all. She said she would have to miss
my class for two days to make some appearances
in South Alabama. When I asked what kind of
appearances, she proudly announced that she was
crowned the Queen of the Rattlesnake Rodeo in
Opp, Alabama. She showed me a photograph of
herself with a strangely reptilian smile wearing
a tiara and a large sash of snake skin. Since this
was my first herpetological excuse, I went to the
library to find information about Opp. It turns out
that every Spring for fifty years tens of thousands
of people converge on this small town where the
Jaycees have captured a hundred or so rattlesnakes.
The rattlers are milked, displayed, entered in a race,
fried and eaten in sandwiches or breaded like chicken
tenders. Souvenirs of snake skins, rattles, heads with
fangs, hats, belts, wallets and boots are bought and sold.
There is gospel, country music, funnel cakes and snake
handling. It is a veritable super bowl of snakery, the
Six Flags of slithering, a nexus of neurotoxicity. I chuckled as I
asked my dean, a Southern gentleman, if making appearances as the
Rattlesnake Rodeo Queen was an acceptable excuse for missing my
class. He became very serious and made it clear that we should be
honored to have this fine young woman in the College of Liberal Arts,
and like the other serpents, the Snake Queen was not to be trifled with.
I just saw this today! Glad to hear you are doing well and have fond memories of your time at Auburn. Let's get in touch on Facebook!
Tonight I went through old Auburn files and saw lots of the "Have you thanked God for Food Today?" posters that you'd rip down and slide across my desk in the AM.
I am so very glad to learn you've adopted further pursuits from SLP. Me too. I'm doing tap dancing these days. You at least were a full professor. Me? I never made it past Assistant.
My Auburn days are well recalled. We had some fun there, invoking "the Lord" amidst a sea of sticky religious schtick, didn't we?
With fond memories and well wishes for 2017!