BY RAMON PRESSON
Am I the only one who has noticed that this summer has been filled with stories about animals that clearly have boundary issues? If “The Great Outdoors” is so great then how come the animals who are supposed to be outdoors aren’t staying outdoors?
We’ve always been fascinated by stories of animals turning on us in OUR environment — Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park, Sharknado. But this summer it’s become personal.
Bad News Bears
A couple in Pine, Colo., couple was forced to fight off a mother bear with their bare hands and a baseball bat after the animal broke into their house. Jon Johnson, 71, went into his kitchen to investigate a strange sound and came face-to-face with a bear chomping on a loaf of bread. “It was growling, I was growling. Between the two of us we were having a lot of attitude,” John told CBS News in Denver.
Have I missed something? When did growling back at a bear become a recommended method of self-defense?
Jon told reporters that the bear then began attacking him. (Yea, I had a feeling that growling in a bear’s face was a bad idea.) But a fierce wife with a baseball bat is something to be reckoned with. Said Georgia, “All I remember seeing was a big brown blob in front of me. I empowered myself. I’ve never been that strong. I whacked that bear as hard as I could.”
The bear and her cub ran back out through the screen door it had busted to break in. Mr. Johnson was fortunate to suffer only minor lacerations to his neck and chest. Mrs. Johnson suffered no injuries; and a few American League baseball teams have expressed interest in signing her as a designated hitter.
Gators and Haters
In another summer home invasion, a Clearwater, Fla., family got a big surprise when an 11-foot alligator broke through a low window and entered the kitchen. Officers and a trapper responded and captured the giant gator.
Thankfully, some Florida gators are more polite and they patiently wait outside for a homeowner to arrive on the porch in order to make a grown man scream like a frightened little girl.
Michael Prestridge left his Amazon Fulfillment Center job after a 10-hour shift, wearily headed to his Orlando home, and was preparing to relax for the day when he was greeted at the front door by a 6-foot alligator.
Guys, this is what can happen when you call your wife and tell her you have to work late at the office again tonight and she doesn’t believe you. Instead of hiring a private detective to follow you in town she rents an alligator to welcome you home.
A homeowner in Abilene, Texas, discovered a “few” snakes while attempting to fix a TV cable issue in the crawl space under the house, so he called Big Country Snake Removal. Folks, let me just say that if there is a company in your town that makes enough money to stay in business by just removing snakes year-round, you may want to ask your boss for a transfer to some place like Minneapolis.
Big Country associates didn’t just find a “few” snakes in the cramped space beneath the house, they encountered and removed 45 rattlesnakes. The company owner, Nathan Hawkins, warned that “many homeowners don’t think it can happen to them. But rattlesnakes don’t care how nice your house is or what kind of car you drive — they simply care about survival.”
Well, that’s news. So apparently after you run over a snake in the road its dying thought is not, “Wow, was that a Lexus?”
Perhaps the worst invasion and worst nightmare was experienced by the Brisbane, Australia, woman who leaped off the toilet in the dark when she felt a strong sting on her backside. It turns out that Helen Richards had just been bitten on her bottom by a non-venomous carpet python.
Local expert, Jasmine Zeleny, who retrieved the reptile, said it is common to find snakes seeking water in toilets during hot weather. (There’s a comforting thought for all Australians.) Zeleny further explained, “The snake’s preferred exit point was blocked after being spooked by Helen sitting down, and it lashed out in fear.”
Yes, that’s right, folks — as much as we are afraid of being bitten by a snake, a snake is just as fearful of being cornered and mooned by a human. Something to keep in mind the next time you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read Presson’s previous columns go to www.franklinhomepage.com/?s=ramon+presson