Monday, September 1, 2014

Here Snakey, Snakey, Snakey ... (aka Domestic Superpowers)

The other day, it went like this:

Me (doing a boogie-woogie victory dance in the living room): That's right. Uh-huh. I rock!

Arizona (looks up from reading on the iPad): What did I miss?

Me: This! (Holds it out with a flourish.) I successfully folded a bottom sheet into almost a rectangle.

Arizona: And this is important because why?

Me: I don't know. It just is. Sometimes. When I feel like bothering. Otherwise they just get wadded up.

Arizona: Um ... Congratulations?

Okay, I'll admit it. Sometimes I still get the occasional "look at me, doing wifey sh*t" moment with him. I like keeping our little house fairly neat, and have been known to mend his clothes, especially when a favorite goes down. As far as he's concerned, I have two domestic superpowers: the ability to iron patches on things (I can and have sewn stuff back together for him, but it's not my favorite, so I'll iron-on wherever possible!); and the ability to rescue the little string or elastic thingie from inside the waistbands of any pair of gym shorts or sweatpants. He was suitably impressed when I recently re-strung a pair that had lost their string entirely (all hail, the power of the extra-long shoelace). Hey, we all have our little moments of brilliance, right?

Now, Arizona was a bachelor for a long time, and is fully capable of taking care of himself ... in a very guy's-guy sort of way involving lots of takeout, frozen pizza, canned chili, and boxes of Triscuits. When we were first dating, I was pretty sure he only had one pair of pants and two shirts--not because they were dirty, but because they got very familiar, very quickly. I later learned that he hates shopping, so when he finds something he likes, he tends to buy multiples, usually in the same color. The joke used to be whether he should wear his tan pants, his tan pants or his tan pants. Lately, he's gone wild and added gray. 

The same goes with food. The first time I met Arizona's BFF, he looked in the freezer, snickered, and said, "He's still living on frozen pizza, huh?" Now, granted, that was my freezer, and my now-that-I'm-single-I-can-eat-whatever-I-want diet, but I have since re-emerged into the land of fresh ingredients, salads, and actual cooking. And I'm doing my best to lure Arizona out with me ... with varied success. Grilled chicken, steak or shrimp are all okay, especially if they come with a baked potato or refried beans, bonus points for tortillas, because then I can sneak in some lettuce and fresh tomatoes. Other than that, though ... Well, I'm developing a strategy. 

It's called Feed-The-Snake.

On one of the horsey forums I follow, there's a subsection called The Menagerie, where folks get to talk about their other pets. Usually, it's questions about crate training the puppy or 'Why does my cat pee next to the litter box?', but there's a lady on there who has these lovely amelanistic (ha, autocorrect, choke on that!) corn snakes, and breeds one clutch per year. From when they first break their shells (pip), she takes lots of photos, and lets us follow along as they emerge from the eggs, get temperament tested, get their first meals, and go off to their new homes. This year, it's been extra fun because a couple of them were purchased by other members of the forum, who have picked up their stories.

Backing up a little, though. Before they go to their new homes, the breeder lady makes sure they are "confirmed eaters." With some, this means little more than putting the hatchling in a little Tupperware that's different from their home container (so they don't get used to biting finger-sized pink things at random), and dropping in a thawed baby mouse (pinkie). With others, though, she had to get more creative--heating up the pinkies, cooling them down, covering the cage, making the food seem to move ...

Back when I was a little kid, I had a terrarium in my bedroom, and would "borrow" critters (frogs, turtles, snakes, etc.) from the great outdoors, keep them for a couple of days or weeks, and then put them back where I found them. Or I would catch tadpoles or caterpillars, watch them metamorphose into their final forms, and then release the adults. Sometimes, this meant the same sort of tempt-the-critter when it came to eating, with me often putting a bug or bit of meat on the end of a piece of uncooked spaghetti and making it look like it was trying to escape.

Which brings us back to Arizona. When it comes to fruits and veggies, it's not enough to simply dump them in his cage--er, leave them on the counter. Through trial and error, I have uncovered a handful of healthy things that he will eat if I cut them up in bite-size pieces and leave them in front of him while he's in snack mode on the couch. Pepper strips with ranch dressing that he doesn't know is yogurt based, chunks of cored apple, orange sections with all the icky white stuff picked off the outside ... I don't quite have to hold them up and do "Here, snakey, snakey, snakey ... would you like a nice thawed mouse?" But I do it sometimes, because it makes him laugh. And then he eats the darned pepper, because I made it for him, and it's there, and its the right size and shape, and apparently, feeding the snake is another of my domestic superpowers!

What's yours?


  1. Okay, I'm not even going to tell you what I thought when you said "Feed The Snake." *snort*
    My superpower? I'm Buffy! Well, I wish anyway. :)

    1. Oh, crap, you mean I'm supposed to feed it, too? I thought it just needed to be petted on a regular basis ... (Okay, *that* went downhill fast!) LOL.

      Yay for Buffy!!

    2. Or SOMETHING on a regular basis.... you're right. That went downhill fast! LOL
      Oh wait!! My superpower is being able to turn the most innocent of comments into the dirtiest, most perverted comment EVER. :D

    3. That is a most *excellent* superpower. (Doc Jess tries and fails to find a double entendre, so she can stick it in.)

      Heh heh. I said 'stick it in.'

    4. Wow... that must have been really... hard. Such a penetrating and probing response.

      Entering Guttermind Level: Subgutter 5.

  2. My super power is finding lost things. My mom constantly loses her keys. She used to call me and college and I'd tell her where she put them! I'm bad about putting remotes back where they're supposed to go, but I can always find them again haha.

    1. That's an awesome superpower! I can usually do the Great Karnak and come up with the last time/location I saw something, but I don't have an internal GPS like that.

  3. Strangely enough, my superpower is having exact change on a regular basis. I can occasionally amaze counter staff by having the exact amount the cash register says I owe. I always say "Exact Change Woman strikes again!" But I'm usually the only one amused by this. Not a terribly useful power, but hey, I'm a math geek.

    1. I love this, Marcia! I'm not good at exact change on a day-to-day basis, but *adore* having it for toll booths. We can be ten miles out and I'm already hunting up my toll :)

  4. I love this post. I am an excellent co-pilot with or without a GPS.

    1. Ooh, that's a good one! That is *not* one of my superpowers. In fact, I'm in awe.