Monday, June 6, 2011

Warning: don't flush the toilet paper!

The first thing you learn when traveling is that you can't take anything for granted! I learned this lesson when I my sister told me, “Don't flush the toilet paper.” Aparently it causes an almost instantaneous reaction with the septic systems down here. Why? Because the plumbing sucks. I've heard a few horror stories that I'm not going to share, but this got me thinking.

Why do Americans have so many signs around. Are we that stupid that we can't figure things out on our own? Because guess what we have an OVER abundance of warnings.

Does this over sign-age make weaker people? Do we create a society where the weak and strong survive into their breeding years making a stupider race? Are we heading to the future predicted in Idiocracy?

I don't think so. During my time here I've seen that people learn the lessons of survival by trying and learning. When you fall from a tree it hurts, when your friend gets near a ratteling noise (more on this later) he gets bit. We learn through experience and not through the warnings that are posted out there.

We each have a built in system for survival, fear. There is a book called the gift of Fear. I haven't read it yet and I wouldn't suggest it to everyone, but it is a great book. We live longer through fear, and we achieve greatness, and weakness based on our ability to selectively overcome this feeling.

A little story:

A few weeks ago we were driving home from one of our communities. And I spilled hot McDonalds coffee on my lap. I should sue!!!

Ha just kidding, but I was riding in the bed taking in the scenery. It's beautiful here, yet the dirt roads suck and sometimes you just can't stop in time. There is also sugar cane strewn all over and it's usually not worth dodging.

As an aside, sugarcane is long, straight, and tubular. When ran over it can curve a little, but it is also brown and many creatures match it's color to blend in while hunting in the fields.

This day was no exception and there was a piece of cane in the road. Carmen, who was driving, thought “why risk losing control when you can just drive over it!!!”


Huh... Sugar Cane doesn't go CRUNCH it goes “snap.” Yup you guessed it we had ran over a freaking snake. I knew imediately because our sugar can began to curl into a ball. Carmen stopped the car and Michelle got out.

What is an good red blooded American's first instinct? Get a picture!!! I have to give credit when credit is due, Michelle (who has had Bechos 5 times) has nerves of steel. Yet she must not have seen the sign the last American put on that rattler, “Warning: this shit will kill you!”

I can honestly say that I don't think she'd have gotten that close but I still lost it. I fervently told her to get into the bed of the truck as we tried to back over it again. My built in fear meter was reading GTFO and my imagination was all visions of us racing home on dirt roads wondering how long it takes for venom to kill.

Luckily she yielded and got in the truck and we continued to back toward the injured snake.

In the end hesitation won the day as our injured snake got away (hopefully it recoveres and lives a happy human free life. I'm sure of two things, I'll never go near a snake I see and the snake will definitely stay away from big green trucks.

Later I found out that Michelle thought the snake was dead...

So what's the moral of that story? I'm not sure there is one. Trust your gut? Nah, we just need to tag every snake out there with a sign that say, “This snake is of the bite and kill you genius so stay at least 7 feet / 3.128798237439 meters away.”

Maybe it means, don't take anything for granted... I'm not sure. I just know I don't want to see another snake like that again!

Be safe guys,

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