Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Room Full of Snakes

Two weekends ago the four Ferri attended the TAMU Veterinary School's Annual Open House.  We'd heard rumors that, as part of the open house, event volunteers performed check-ups and minor "operations" on children's stuffed animals, and given Hallie's obsession with and Will's general appreciation for Doc McStuffins, Tom and I knew they'd both enjoy taking their stuffed animals in for a quick check-up.

Turns out everyone in College Station had made identical plans for the day; when we arrived, the line for the stuffed animal clinic stretched out of the building and across the parking lot, and the parents leaving the clinic estimated that they'd waited in line for at least 90 minutes.  So we decided our stuffed animals were healthy enough to skip their once-in-a-lifetime trip to the doctor's office and instead headed off to see what else the open house had to offer.

And what else did the open house have to offer, you ask? This. ----->

If you've been reading Chasing Roots for a while, you know how I feel about snakes, lizards, ants, etc. If you haven't been reading Chasing Roots for a while, let me break it down for you.  I. HATE. THEM.  My husband knows this.  My kids know this.  (My dentist knows this.  The Rock Prairie Elementary School crossing guard knows this.  Even the woman who bags my groceries at Kroger knows this.  My hatred for creepy, crawly, slimy, slithering, potentially poisonous critters is no secret.)  Yet the "Large Snake Ahead" hallway and "Room Full of Snakes" were the two places the other three members of my family couldn't wait to visit.

If anyone from the Vet School is reading this, please allow me to share with you two suggestions for how you might improve your event next year:
  1. Large (cuddly and declawed) cat ahead.
  2. You're about to walk into a room full of adorable, fluffy, puppies.
It made me sick to my stomach to see Will stroke snakes and Hallie whisper sweet nothings (I'm not kidding - I heard her tell two different snakes, in her tenderest voice, "you're so, so pretty. I wish you could come out of your cage and be pretty out here with me") in snakes' ears. Well, snakes don't have ears, so I guess she just whispered sweet nothings in the snakes' general directions.
Timidly at first...
...and then with far too much confidence.
"Well hello there, pretty girl."
When we finally moved on from the room full of snakes (which was set up similarly to the lines at Disney World: once we entered the room, we had to follow the crowd through a series of switchbacks that forced everyone along the exact same path to the exit and basically prohibited early escapes of any kind), we saw dogs catching frisbees, a very pretty bird, a horse with his skeleton painted on his body, and a jousting demonstration.

I thoroughly enjoyed the jousting, but while watching men try to knock each other off horses with fisted spears was great fun, it hardly made up for having to spend close to an hour at Disney World for Snake Lovers.  Never again, I tell you.  Never again.

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