October 20, 2013

KNISELY: Be careful what you laugh at


---- — During a family get-together over the weekend, I told my family about my near fatal run-in with a frog. I told them I wrote a column about how dangerous frogs are and how they should be banished from the planet after the incident.

They laughed at me. Not like little giggles, but full-on belly laughing. Through the roar, though, I was able to make out some words. Most of them weren’t overly nice, unless you consider “You are a serious crybaby” to be polite. Being used to this kind of abuse, I brushed them off and went about my business.

Well, later in the day, we were standing around in the yard just off the front porch. My nieces and I had just made three dummies using a giant pile of leaves they made the day before. My sister and nieces were setting up the finished dummies on the porch. (As an aside, they call them “scarecrows” because dummies is a bad word. This whole political correctness stuff has just got to stop.)

Anyway, standing in a circle with me were my dad, my stepmom and my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law stops mid-sentence and yells, “There’s a snake!” We all look down to see a snake at our feet.

My brother-in-law made the highest-pitched scream I’ve ever heard from a man, and my stepmother and I followed suit. We all took off running in different directions. My brother-in-law was on the porch in 1.5 seconds flat. He was a blur out of the corner of my eye. I don’t think he even used the steps.

Once I got what I felt was a safe enough distance to stop and turn back to the scene of the crime, I looked for my stepmother. She was nowhere to be found. I first thought maybe the snake got her, but then thought better of it. I yelled to my brother-in-law up on the porch and he pointed behind me.

I turned and saw my stepmother several paces behind me. I didn’t know my 70-something stepmother could move that fast.

I looked back to my brother-in-law, still puzzled about how my stepmother outran me, and noticed the new look of sheer terror that had swept across his face. I saw my father and realized why. He had grabbed the snake’s tail as it tried to retreat back into the quiet safety of its hole and he was now trying to pull it out.

That’s when my brother-in-law and stepmom started screaming, “Kill it!” I lost track of how many times they made the command.

Once my father got the snake completely out of the hole, my brother-in-law retreated further onto the porch and demanded the snake be killed or walked a mile down the road. My dad opted for the latter.

What a bunch of crybabies.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or at Follow her: PharosMK