It happened again. I was sipping on my morning coffee while leisurely perusing my newsfeed on Facebook. My newsfeed is good—I mean really good. I’ve spent years selecting all the eclectic morsels that magically appear every day for my scrolling enjoyment. I try to keep the content fresh and relevant with a good balance of legitimate news and fluff. You can understand why I’m so proud. But I digress.
I was just trucking right along, doing my thing, minding my own when I stumbled on a huge, black snake—yes! I know, I know–it’s outrageous, but the truth. Friends, Facebook posts featuring traumatizing photos of serpents are a very real and ever-growing problem for me and possibly trillions of extra-sensitive, special people. I’ve taken the liberty of putting a name to this scourge—I call it Facebook Snake Abuse. And, indeed, it is abuse and I’m just one victim of many. I will be referring to the issue as FSA in this article because I don’t even like to type the S-word.
If I were Miss America, FSA would be my platform. I just want to be a voice for change, really. Let’s take a closer look at the problem, shall we? Every single morning quadrillions of unsuspecting Facebook users wake up, stretch, and pour their Folgers. They think they’re about to experience the best part of waking up and the poor souls are full of hope for the new day. “It’s gonna be a fabulous day,” they think to themselves. Or perhaps they repeat the timeless mantra of so many who are trying to convince themselves that they aren’t total failures and that their best days aren’t behind them: “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” Or maybe they just go full Tony the Tiger as they start the new day: “Today’s gonna be GRRRRRRREAT!!” Sadly, they couldn’t be more wrong. Their day—and their sense of social media newsfeed safety and security– is about to go the way of the one-piece bathing suit on the Miss America broadcast. Right down the toilet. Shudder.
The inner well-being of many, many, many, many people are affected by this scourge. (Statistics are difficult to find. If the job didn’t involve talking about and writing about and looking at snakes then I would take on the job myself). It’s snakes, people! Big and little snakes, good ones (yeah, right) and bad ones are showing up where the good Lord never intended them to be! As if we didn’t have enough of a snake problem in this country, foreign snakes from other lands are finding their way over here. They sneak in and take over our waterways as well as our newsfeeds. Why, just the other day I read about the Burmese python appearing in ever-increasing numbers in south Florida. From Burma. As in the southeast Asian country of Myanmar. And earlier this year I was the unsuspecting victim of a freaking anaconda in the Everglades. No, I wasn’t in the Everglades—that monster was on MY newsfeed!!
What’s being done about FSA? Nothing!!! And that brings me to the recent fateful morning I began this story with. After my eyes were accosted in such a brutal manner I decided to do the right thing. For myself and for the good of all humanity. The offending post was made by a backyard poultry website I follow and really enjoy. Who can say what causes a normal person to post a photo of a huge black snake coiled up in a nesting box filled with eggs? The chicken lady who makes the posts seemed so friendly—a hippie who looked as if she loved all mankind and would do anything to make world peace a reality. “Me and this tree-hugging, granola-loving, incense-burning, braless holdover from the 60s are about to usher in a whole new, peaceful day,” I thought to myself. I could hear us making a speech together, possibly holding a rally or lobbying congress for change. “All we are saying is give peace a chance, people!”
Knowing full well that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I prepared to contact Ms. Crimson Rainbow or Cosmic River or Dakota Rain. I knew she would want to take care of my—and the world’s—problem immediately. Of course she wouldn’t mind changing the content of her daily posts for me (remember that world peace begins with one individual and that individual is me!)
In fact, she’s waiting for my feedback so she can make her page—and more importantly, my newsfeed—soooo much better. Exciting!!
I attempted to post the offensive picture in my message to her but I had to throw the phone down, run away, and come back when all the willies and the heebeegeebees had subsided–that’s a true story. Here’s the conversation:
Very Important Person (me): I am really upset about scrolling down my newsfeed and having to see that snake. A lot of people are truly terrified of snakes. Maybe one day they’ll come up with snake-blocking technology on FB.
I pressed send and waited for the moment of justice, validation, and gratitude, I hoped. (Thank God that smart woman from Mississippi let us know what we were doing and gave us the chance to apologize for the trauma we’ve caused her.) Now, this is a big moment because I know she ought to be able to take a quick glance at my profile page and quickly see that I myself am kind of a big deal—like Ron Burgundy but minus the leather-bound books and rich mahogany scent. As we look at her response please take notice of the genuine shock and horror she exhibits…
HUMBLE SERVANT (hippie chicken lady): Oh, no! Well sadly they’re a fact of life and he is a good guy.
Wait a minute…she just said he was a good guy?!? She’s a snake person!! Oh, no! And she didn’t even mention my brilliant invention idea. I had been sure she’d call up Mark Zuckerberg and straighten everything out. He can have that snake filter app thingy installed on my device by the end of the day. He can install the rest of the free world’s tomorrow, I reasoned.
Well, snakes may be a fact of YOUR life, sister, but not mine! I know I’m different and unique because if I had gone to gather eggs and seen what I saw in that photo I would’ve RUN and when I say “run” I mean run like FloJo, Jackie Joyner Kersee, and Hussein Bolt inhabiting the same person—a person not unlike a person like me (don’t correct my spelling of his first name. I did the best I could and Hussein didn’t pop up in the autocorrect bar because it’s a middle Eastern name and also I just don’t care if it’s misspelled).
Yes, indeed, I would fly on up out of there, I’d be totin’ the mail and cuttin’ a trail and probably not stop until I reached the continental divide or the equator. I can’t say for certain which way I’d run a blue streak; that’s just something you don’t know until you’re faced with choosing south for the equator and New Orleans or north to Meridian and then west to Jackson and then on to Vicksburg then whichever way the GPS tells me to run to reach wherever the continental divide is. I just know that I’ll be on the move and will just have to find another flock of chickens if I’m ever able to step into a coop again, that is, after I’m diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and get out of the mental ward and stop weaving baskets.
I’ll tell what I would NOT hang around to do—take a picture to post on Facebook or anywhere.
I’d like to say I got over myself then but it was a difficult day. Sometimes, and by “sometimes “ I mean basically all the time (if you happen to be me) you want everybody to just do right and by “do right” I mean that I just want every man, woman, child, animal, corporation, publication, and inanimate object to do what I want. Is that such a tall order? By he end of this day my ego and serenity lay in a sad, entitled pile on the floor. I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself then got up and restarted my day at 5:00 pm. Then I sat down in the kitchen and ate my fried crow and my nasty-tasting humble pie with a lattice crusted top. The pie crust was homemade, though, tender and flaky.