Gut Rumbles
 

January 30, 2008

More cognitive dissonance

Originally published June 21, 2003

The company brought in a guy from Australia to fill a vacancy in upper supervision. His name is Sean, and he is of Indian descent. He speaks with a Paul Hogan accent.

So, I now work with a guy who resembles the Son of Ghandi, has an Irish name and talks like Crocodile Dundee. No wonder I stay fucked-up. He blows every profiling circuit in my brain.

From what I've read and seen on TV about Australia, that country has every kind of kill-ya-dead critter on the face of the planet. They've got snakes that give you two steps after a bite before you die. They've got Great White Sharks. They've got posionous sea-eels, poisonous spiders, posionous insects, posionous duck-billed attack-killers and evil shit EVERYWHERE!

I want to go there, but I am afraid of that place. But, I digress.

Sean saw his first Georgia rattlesnake the other day. (Yeah, those fuckers are out and about now) He saw this "strange reptile" crawl out of the swamp and go under a "runabout." (That would be a four-wheeler to an American.) He went over to make sure no one hopped on the runabout four wheeler, took off and injured the snake. He got a piece of pipe, dragged the snake out and "trapped it."

Any red-blooded Cracker would have used the pipe to stove in the snake's head at that point, but Sean is an Indian with an Irish name who comes from Oz. He didn't know what he had, but he didn't want it to get away. He kept it trapped until somebody native came by and told him, "That's a fucking rattlesnake!" and killed it.

Afterward, he suggested a safety meeting. "Mates, I don't know your snakes here. But the fact that one like that, which I am assured is posionous, can crawl into the plant is a point of concern to me. Was that a large one? Do they all look like that? Do we need to warn the operators of the dangers? Is it common to find a snake in the plant?"

Boy, did he get an earfull. That rattlesnake was a baby. The BIG BOYS come slithering in this time of year, especially at night. The plant is lit up like a World's Fair after dark. The bugs are attracted to the lights. The frogs are attracted to the bugs. The snakes are attracted to the frogs. People find the snakes and kill them. It's Mother Nature at work.

YES, we kill a lot of snakes in the plant. We're in the middle of the fucking marsh and woods next to the Savannah River with LOTS of excellent snake habitat all around. NO, we've never had anyone bitten, but it's a wonder, considering the snake-rich environment and the number of them who crawl into pallets and boxes that are stored outdoors.

When I was running the Acid Plant, which was WAY back from the rest of the plant, I came to work one Monday morning and noticed a lot of people in the control room that usually weren't there. I said, "'Morning," went to my office, opened the door, turned on the light, picked up my status sheet from the desk and walked back to the control room.

"Goddam! Somebody told you about it!" I heard.

"Told me about what?" I asked.

"The goddam snake in your office!"

I went back to look and my heart almost stopped in my chest. Those fuckers had killed a six-foot rattlesnake the night before and coiled that sonofabitch up RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY DESK, hoping to scare the shit out of me when I came to work. That snake was as thick as my calf with almost a dozen rattles. He was a full-grown nasty bastard. I don't know how I didn't step on it when I was gathering my paperwork.

If I had stepped on that snake, looked down and seen what was there, I just might have shit my pants. That's what everybody was hoping for.

I said, "Get that dead meat out of my office. And if you fuckers ever do anything like that again, I'll fire every goddam one of you."

I don't like snakes.

And Sean needs to spend some time on the internet learning about rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths and corals. We've got 'em all.

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