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October 15, 2008

P.S. Your Snake is Dead

If I ever have a serious fire at my house, I most certainly do not want the newspaper account to lead with this: "A pet boa constrictor was the casualty of a Rockville house fire Tuesday morning." I want there to be a lot more melodrama -- like the fact that "Firefighters were able to rescue a cat that had been hiding in an upstairs bedroom."

I really don't mean to make light of this incident. Quite the contrary. I vicariously share the embarrassment of the owners who, besides suffering "thousands of dollars" of damage to their house and probably being scared half to death, have to endure the inevitable questions. "You keep a boa constrictor in your basement?" "Was the snake smoking?"

What's more, since this occurred in my home town, I have a source who informs me that not only did at least 5 fire engines arrive at the scene, along with two fire-rescue vehicles and a police car, but there was a helicopter hovering overhead. I know that if I had caused nearly the entire firefighting force of lower Montgomery County to show up at my house, I wouldn't want it to be so that they could find my live cat upstairs and dead snake downstairs. I would want them to have to save my own life. At least.

And, no, for the record, I don't keep a snake in my basement. It's in the guest bathroom.