Days of the Dead Indianapolis runs Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 7. As DotD approaches, I am looking back on fun times over the years covering it.
When I saw Snakey at Days last year, I was a bit apprehensive about holding him. I am not particularly afraid of snakes and (in all seriousness) I am reasonably sure the handlers would have the situation under control at all times. In other words, the odds were pretty good that Snakey wouldn't bite me or constrict around my neck. I felt pretty sure that I would not be in danger.
What I feared was a repeat of the last time I held an animal at DotD. Several years ago, Cuzz Gekas and I were at DotD Indy and saw a vendor with an alligator. For the same reasons I felt safe around Snakey, I felt completely okay with holding Otis the Alligator.
Cuzz and I held Otis as the photographer took our picture. Then it happened. Otis started relieving his bladder. Cuzz wisely extricated himself of the situation. I wasn't as smart or as quick. Otis proceeded to soak my shorts with a lot of his liquid body waste.
To their credit, th handlers acted as quickly as they could. They also refunded the small fee for the picture, but that didn't make me feel much better as I stood in urine-soaked shorts.
Fortunately, our hotel was close and I opted to return there for a quick shower and change of clothes. As a side note, I threw out those shorts, rather than attempt to wash them there or (worse) take them home for washing.
With the Otis memory looming large, I boldly approached Snakey under the supervision of his handlers. They handed Snakey to me and took the picture. Snakey started moving fairly quickly and I did request the handlers take over quickly. Honestly, I wasn't afraid he would hurt me. I was more afraid that he would fall and hurt himself or others. He was quite a big snake. All ended well though/
Although one good animal experience won't eliminate the bad memory of an alligator urinating on me, it did help. I also felt good that several youngsters saw me hold the snake and felt good enough about it to take a turn with Snakey.
I want to thank JGsReptileRoadShow.com for taking steps to restore my faith in animal attractions. The folks at JG's were actually very professionala nd fun. They took extra time with youngsters and also with those who were interested but scared.
I don't know if Days will have any animal vendors this year. If they do, I am sure I will try again and hopefully it will go well. Either way, I will report right back here.
Snakey and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2018.