Monday, April 7, 2008

The Aaron Catastrophe

Catastrophe - a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth.

There was a violent and sudden change in my world last Saturday night. For weeks, no make that months, I had worked on a plan to make my life simpler. That all changed in the blink of an eye. From now on, the event will be referred to simply as the "Aaron Catastrophe".

The evening had been planned for weeks, and was even given a name, "The Probing Party". The name was tossed around and refined and became "Dinner and a Probing". It should have been quite simple really. Friends from the zoo, specifically the herpetarium, would arrive around 6:30 in the evening. We would socialize, look at snakes, have an informal meal then probe snakes. What had been an annual event, with mainly just Brian and myself, was expanded to include everyone from the "herp", as it's affectionately called. After dinner, the real business of probing (sexing) 76 baby snakes would get down to business. It never happened that way.

Two invitees to the event were late and, as it was discovered later, even had supper at a local restaurant. They weren't just a little late, they were 2 hours late! While we patiently waited, alcohol was introduced. As soon as the rum and coke started flowing, I knew the probing would never take place. You don't mix alcohol and venomous snakes, it's just not a good idea. But what happened next would take me a full 9 days to correct. Yes, I'm talking about the "Aaron Catastrophe".

Anyone who has been around me for any length of time knows about my attention to detail. That attention really comes into play regarding the husbandry and care of my snakes. Over the years, a method has evolved that lets me give the greatest possible care in the limited amount of time I have during my work week. That same standard of care had come into play with last year's sizable amount of babies that needed to be fed on a regular schedule. So, to not totally overwhelm myself, I devised a plan where equal rows of babies would be fed on a certain day and, by keeping notes on an everyday wall calendar, I would have detailed records on when they fed, shed their skins, etc. Simple and efficient, correct? I thought so until the "Aaron Catastrophe". As soon as I heard "Aaron, Jim is going to be upset!", I knew there was a problem. I had NO idea how big the problem actually was...

The "Aaron Catastrophe". My neat, equal rows of babies (The Viper Bouquet) were now in shambles because Aaron was left unsupervised.

Nine days later, peace is restored to my universe. All babies have been fed and placed back in the proper order.


Derek said...

Order may be restored to your baby vipers, Jim, but how are YOU really doing?

Aaron, just quit right now. Run, run as fast as you can! You'll never live it down so don't even try!

Ha, now I know that you were fibbin' about when the Morgan giants came to visit! Must've cursed me for a week for spilling all of your water bowls.

Too bad you can't make any money at this blog stuff, cause you're good at it bud.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Derek - Thanks for the compliment, man. For the most part, I'm healing well, emotionally. These young herpers think they can just come in and move containers around, while toying with you about a POSSIBLE sale. They leave and the next day, they're just fine! But me? No, I have to struggle through the anguish and pain while cleaning up the mess! Sorry, I thought I was over it!

You're right about your visit, though. If I only had this blog then, the post would have been worthy of the Pulitzer, I feel sure!

XXXX said...

Jim, help is available for conditions such as yours. At times like these, the support and understanding of friends and family is invaluable. I would just like to assure you that I am here to help you during this difficult time.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Thanks X (can I call you X?) I do appreciate the advice and support. Next time, we'll make sure you're there to help supervise so he doesn't freely "rifle" through my snake containers. Just so you know, my next therapy session is scheduled for next week.

Aggie92 said...

I think you should place a sign saying do not move these containers. Owner is subject to complete loss of mental faculties.

Derek said...

See, the truth comes out!! Darlene, did Jim get up in the middle of the night and clean the viper cages while York and I were there "destroying" them? I thought that he looked really beat the next day...and now I get it! And then York and I wanted to look at the snakes again the next day. Jim was probably screaming "NOOOOOOO!!!!!" internally. I have a great Christmas gift idea: plexiglass display cases, for when you have unruly viper-envious company!

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Jig - The sign is being made as we speak. It's just NOT as kind as the one you suggest.

Derek - I looked really tired the next day because I was EXHAUSTED from watching you and York dig out the Montero! How come York's side got unstuck before your side?

Derek said...

Ummm, that's too easy....because York's side was empty but my side had you hanging out taking a nap because your back hurt. Wuss!

L.A. Mitchell said...

Hi Jim,
I've passed along the Blogging with a Purpose award to your reptilian slice of the blogosphere. Congrats!

The "official" rules (that I didn't even follow completely)are:
1. Nominate 5 blogs which haven't had this award before
2. Each of the blogs must have a purpose
3. The nominated blogs must make a link back to this page
4. The logo from the award must be put on their blog and it must link back to this blog

I hope it brings romance writers over here in droves to see your collections and bask in your wit :)
Take care!

Anonymous said...

Jim, now those containers look a bit familiar to me now that I think about it. 8 years? Try 12 my friend and yes, been way too long and makes me misty when I think of it too.

You and Darlene are never forgotten with us, as was your guidance in my young, "know-it-all" years (which I now deal with myself with newcomers in our agency). Many thanks and know I never told you enough.

Aggie 92, L.A and I are both aggies as well (myself 93', L.A 95'). Gig Em! (Sure LaVibora is gagging bout' now)