Snakes on a Plane? - An Engineer's Aspect


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Snakes on a Plane?

My cousin, Andrew, is an awesome guy! He juggles the responsibilities of being a husband, father, and businessman with aplomb.

All of us (the South Cousins) grew up riding horses, motorcycles, and attending "Danger Reunions." As a South Cousin, we were required to play a musical instrument or two and sing and dance on command. Andrew always approached these hefty responsibilities with a good-natured attitude of fun.

(Even though Andrew is a man of many talents and plays a few instruments--I need more proof than this photo to believe he is also a cellist--perhaps a performance at the next "Danger Reunion?")

I remember one particular occasion while the entire South Clan was rehearsing for a benefit concert, a disagreement about some accompaniment broke out between a couple of our Aunts. Andrew was standing beside me and out of the corner of his mouth in a stage whisper he remarked, "Remember...this promotes family togetherness." I chuckled throughout the rest of rehearsal.

Andrew works with his father, Randy, and his brothers running South Industries, Premier Contractor of Monolithic™ Domes. The entire company has a reputation of excellence, attention to detail, and great customer satisfaction.

Andrew visited our offices and stayed with my father, David South, for the past few days. Unfortunately, I had a terrible flu and missed seeing him, but I did get in on some of the fun today when my husband, Gary, relayed his texting conversation he had with Andrew while Andrew was catching his connecting flight in Denver, Colorado on his way home. Gary and Andrew have always been great friends.

Gary texted Andrew and asked how his travels were going.

Andrew replied, "I am connecting in Denver, and opened my brief case flap to find a small snake. I am not even kidding. Do you know anything about rogue snakes in David's house? It may have got in over the night. What does a guy do with a snake in his bag in an airport terminal?"

Gary texted back, "Not at all (referring to knowing about the rogue snakes). How's your heart rate? He does have snakes around the pond and outside but I have never heard of one inside. Are you ok?"

"Yeah, a little dumbfounded," Andrew responded, " Maybe it jumped bags from someone else's in the bin. Pretty weird."

(Nan's Aside: I just have to weigh in on the subject...there are WAY too many snakes around here! I grew up in Idaho and caught a lot of water snakes. When I first moved here, I found a little snake in my dad's garage, so I grabbed it by the throat and threw it in a bucket for my kids to play with...turns out it was a Water Moccasin! I do not play with the snakes here anymore...yikes! I think Andrew got the stowaway snake at Dad's and somehow smuggled it through security and found it in Denver.)

Gary suggested a solution that wouldn't involve sticky security issues, "Restroom and one flush?"

Andrew replied, "That's a good idea."

Pointing out another possible source for the stowaway snake, Gary asked, "Any snake charmers on your last flight?"

(At this point there was a significant pause in the texting conversation.)

Andrew finally chimed back in, "Well, he was a great swimmer. Almost made it out. If he was a bit bigger he would have. Wouldn't want to be the guy on the throne in the next stall if that happened."

At this point Gary was laughing and reporting to people the play-by-play happenings of Andrew and the stowaway snake, "You have made my day. Go big or go home. Life's an adventure," he advised Andrew using some of Andrew's own words.

"Indeed," Andrew agreed, " Thanks for the sage-like wisdom. See ya."

(I am assuming that Andrew then, having disposed of the stowaway, caught his flight home without further ado.)

So...Andrew...thanks for the post-flu entertainment and I'm glad you were not bitten!