The Search For New Ben

Good morning, y’all. On another “rainy night in Georgia”, I find myself worrying about a host of topics. First and foremost is this talk of expanding the college football playoff to up to as many as 16 teams. If crazier thoughts have ever been espoused, I’m unawares.

If you’re a college football fan, and believe me I am, what joy is there in watching Slippery Rock college getting pounded in the first round by Alabama or Georgia? I mean I guess we’d be rewarding Slippery Rock for going 12-0 during the season by letting them play with the big boys, but my God, maybe just a nice attaboy trophy would be just as good. Creating a situation where the weaker teams would have their lives and limbs placed in jeopardy by playing a major player in the first round is crazy IMO. The people making these playoff expansion plans are so dumb that they couldn’t spell cat if you spotted them the “C” and the “A” first. Just my 3 cents.

Speaking of situations, we’ve got one over to The Full Gospel Original Church of God. As you know, our main attraction, Old Ben, headed for the tall timber after delivering his version of wrath to the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread at that fateful fish fry. Old Ben has not been seen nor heard from since. Now, most people might think this is a good thing. Who wants an eight foot timber rattlesnake with a bad disposition and a history of biting? Turns out, the whole congregation does. I hate to think that there are any misogynistic leanings in our church. It does seem like the acceptance of the new minister, the Reverend Helena Handbasket, will not be complete until she can prove she can handle the big boys. Copperheads and water moccasins and pygmy rattlers apparently don’t move the faithful like a timber rattler, and so the search is on.

Time was, finding a nice pre-owned timber rattler was an easy task in Georgia. A multitude of snake roundups were held each year to bring a little bit of the tourist dollar to some otherwise uninteresting little Georgia town. The most famous roundup was on display in Harry Crews famous book, “A Feast of Snakes”. Crews detailed the everyday life of folks whose claim to fame was an annual roundup of poisonous reptiles. These roundups would end with prizes for longest, fattest, most “buttons”, etc., and then conclude with a snake fry. Now, the description, “it tastes just like chicken” has always begged the question from me, “why don’t you just eat chicken?” A whole lot less wear and tear on the nerves. Anyway, there was a time when you could find a big timber rattler that was “used” to people, or at least, not ornery. Not so much anymore after the SPCA folks have been butting in to the roundups.

The most famous snake hunter to grace these mountains looking for timber rattlers was Steve Irwin. Yeah, that Steve Irwin. Why wouldn’t a fool that faced off with cobras that immobilize their victims by spitting in their eyes, not be interested in facing off with the biggest and baddest America has to offer? I’ve included a video of the encounter at the bottom of this entry. It is of one of the funniest episodes I’ve seen. Follow closely and you’ll see that while Irwin is climbing over boulders looking for rattlers he positions himself for the cameraman so that Irwin and the snake are in the same shot. Only after positioning himself in a squat over two rocks does Irwin recognize that he has squatted directly over another rattler. If the rattler strikes, the first thing in the way is Irwin’s family jewels. Lucky for Irwin it was a cold fall day and the snakes were sluggish. Irwin escape with his testicles and dignity intact.

Mean time the search goes on in earnest for a New Ben, so that the Revered Helena Handbasket can prove her mettle. I’ll be happy to contribute anything I find here at TackyToo. I’m restricted in my movements, you remember.

Steve Irwin’s finest moment: