Bat-Shit: Snakes & Finches


First date and scuba diving don’t go together, at least I didn’t think so, which meant that Steve and I never took the plunge if you know what I mean.  Instead, we became phone buddies, which sounds like code for phone sex, which we did consider until it revealed how stuttering was a shared trait and not something that gives rise to moaning, so we really are just buddies.  He gave me boy advice and I gave him girl advice, but considering how we’d met, it’s probably best I don’t take his and he doesn’t take mine. 

We met at PetSmart, in the rodent section.  He was keeping his alive to feed his snake, and I was looking for poison to kill the ones my kids kept as pets, but I didn’t tell him that. I told him I was building a new home for a family of mice exchange students, and he bought it. Not the home, the story. How do you tell a stranger you’re a murderer?  You don’t, not until you get to know them.  So we exchanged numbers, because he said he could help me out with ideas on keeping them entertained during their stay, which should have given me a clue that he might have been more bat-shit crazy than me.  But I took it, cause it’s Covid times, and outside of threatening my kids and the mice, I don’t talk to anyone anymore.

I called him first and went on about how to socialize mice during school shut downs and he interrupted to ask if I’d like to go Scuba diving with him.  He didn’t actually use the word date, but unless it was an invitation to be murdered, I didn’t know what else it could have been.  It only took me half a second to decline, because we live in Alaska, I was a caretaker of exchange students who were out of school, and he, well I didn’t even know what his whole face looked like.  To keep up the lie, I actually put a rodent house together in case he wanted to stop by sometime and I don’t know, teach them something.

He suggested I consider putting together an igloo for finches and starting an indoor bird skating rink.  Have you seen those before?  They’re the cutest things ever, and according to him, I could probably snag myself a date at the first Skate & Squawk dance competition.  We’ll see.  I told him to consider putting together a snake charming competition, like the one in that movie about Moses.  He didn’t know what I was talking about though.

Like I said, us taking advice from the other may not be such a swell idea, but having a buddy to talk to has eased my anxiety, and I’m grateful for that.

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