OK.... Obviously I had to borrow this pic from google images. I needed an image to accompany my story. As soon as I can grab my own shot of a giant anaconda to post here I will take this one down and replace it with mine. So, yesterday I bought a vintage Kodak Instamatic camera at a thrift store for fifty cents. I bought it because it had a roll of film still in it with 19 (out of 24) exposures taken. It was too much for me to resist. I need to see what is on a camera from 1973 in the middle of nowhere Texas. Today I set out to get the film developed. As it turns out I will have to mail my film off to Oregon for processing because there are only like two places in the whole country who even CAN develop this film (because it is so old) but that is not the real meat of my story here. I stopped in to Walgreens on my quest to get the film processed. On my way into the store I had to walk past the Salvation Army Christmas bell ringin' guy. You know the guy. Here is what happened next...
Bell Guy: "Excuse me ma'am?" (you have to do the bell guy with your best heavy Mexican accent)
BG: "Is that your truck with the boat on top?"
BG: "What kind of boat is theese? Do you go in it here?"
me: "Well, we had hoped and planned to use it here but the Guadalupe (river) is too low right now."
BG: "Ohhhhh.... NO ma'am! NO! The Guadalupe! NOOO!"
BG: "Ma'am... (now he points to his stick on name badge, which reads "Ernestino") Do you see theese? Do you see where I am from?"
me: "Ernestino? Umm, no where are you from?"
BG: "Meh-hee-co! I am from Meh-hee-co! Ma'am! The river...is SNAKES!"
me: (laughing) "What?! Snakes?"
BG: "Rattlesnakes? NO! Moccasins? No! We don't worry about theese! Tall grasses ma'am, bushes and weeds! Is the ANACONDA!!! SIXTY FIVE FEET LONG!!!!"
me: (still laughing) "No!? They are not!"
BG: "In Meh-hee-co ONE HUNDRED FEET! They ATTACK the VILLAGES! (wild eyes) You see theese car? THEESE IS HOW BIG IS THE HEAD!!!!"
So at this point I realize Ernestino is not out to pull a funny on me. Ernestino really believes that The Guadalupe River in Kerrville, TX is inhabited by a sixty five foot long man eating anaconda. He goes on to tell me that he and his uncle were once attacked while trying to cross a slippery bridge in his uncle's car. He demonstrated with one huge black mitten clad hand how the snake had slowly risen up out of the river and bashed into the side of the car actually breaking the window! He then told me that when this happened he laughed. (????) He also told me that his Mother taught him never to drink the rattlesnake water even though to some people it may taste sweet! (again...?????) Let me also mention that he continued to ring the Salvation Army bell through all of this. It made it really hard to follow what he was saying. He talked a lot about how the snake likes it near the dam and in the tall grasses and weeds. And he said with the utmost sincerity that he did not want to see me get hurt. Clearly, I am just asking for it.
I finally was able to pull myself away from Ernestino to get inside Walgreens where once again (I had already tried at Walmart and CVS) the film counter person looked at my roll of film like it was a prehistoric cat turd. I exited the automatic doors at a near run in order to escape further doomsaying from Ernestino but managed to toss him a wave and yell "Thanks!" To which he replied "Be safe! Be SAFE!!" While waving me off with his giant mittened hand.