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A Pit To Hiss In
by Tony R. Lindsay

My wife will tell you that any snake, no matter the size or stripe, is a shoulderless fiend waiting for a chance to ambush human prey. Serpents without venom kill by the cruelest method of all--sheer terror.

“What men like you don’t understand is that most fatal heart attacks occurring outdoors are caused by slimy snakes.”

“But dear, snakes aren’t slimy.”

“They are too! The only good snake is one that has been dead for a month, and I wouldn’t touch it with a stick.”

“Honey, why don’t snakes have a right to exist?”

“Why don’t birds fly backwards? Because they don’t--that’s why.”

“But, baby, I’m not sure you’re being reasonable.”

“My brother has more sense that you. He says that snakes can hear him coming, and they make his butt want to pick grass.”

“Yeah, he’s a clever guy. No doubt about it. By the way, snakes don’t have ears. They don’t actually hear.”

“R-r-right. And frogs don’t actually jump”.

A wise man would get out of this conversation, but I press on. “All snakes are not evil. We owe everything, even the procreation of humans, to a venturesome snake.”

“How can you say such a thing?”

“Hear me out, dear. In the beginning, Adam and Eve ran around in a lush garden called Eden. The lovely Eve was bare-butt naked, but Adam paid her no attention. A humble snake lived in Eden--a garden snake. The poor snake didn’t have a pit to hiss in. But, he was big on sin. After an apple-tasting episode, Adam began to notice Eve. A wiggle here and a jiggle there awoke a localized stirring of Adam’s anatomy. Ever since, we’ve had sin and sex, and we owe it all to that noble snake.”

I pause for effect, and then add, “Snakes are just another one of God’s creatures.”

Her eyes narrow; she purses her lips. “That’s just what they want you to think.”


“Snakes! For heaven’s sake.”

“Oh, silly me.”

Her voice moves up an octave. “Snakes are not the creation of God or nature.”

“But sweetie, are you sure about that?”


“Honey, I don’t understand.”

“And I’m not surprised.”

Her eyes squint to mere slits. “The slithering demons fled from the nether regions of the underworld to stalk helpless women and dull, mindless men. Snakes were spawned by Satan.”

Pushing my luck, I ask, “Where would we be without that original snake? Without sex we would not have had all the generations that followed Adam and Eve.” I risk a little pinch. “And you and I would not have those tender moments that we enjoy.”

“That’s it! You don’t understand a darn thing about snakes and not much about anything else. I’m not speaking to you. And you know what I mean.”