Hello, my name is Wendy, and I’m a recovering rubbernecker. It’s been five days and six minutes since I last crawled around the entire inside of the cab to see a wreck while passing. Two reasons I credit for my recovery – (1) If I violate the “areas you are allowed to be while the truck is moving” rule one more time, I will be hurled unceremoniously from the cab by the driver, possibly while traveling at high rates of speed, and (2) A guy is going to let an anaconda eat him on the Discovery Channel.
You may ask yourself (and if the Talking Heads didn’t just come to mind, you’re clearly not a fan) what the two have in common, and it just so happens I intend to tell you.
George hates rubberneckers. Every trucker does. They are vile and despised and often cause wrecks themselves with their stupid, insatiable curiosity. The only thing that saves me from being hurled unceremoniously, as previously mentioned, is that I don’t drive and I’m not holding up traffic when I extend my neck like a snapping turtle to see what happened. (Fun fact and possible conversation starter: a large snapping turtle can extend its neck to almost the length of its body, meaning even if you’re holding one by the tail you may still be in danger of getting bit. I may or may not know this from personal experience. They don’t call me “Pinky” for nothing.)
So the last time we were home, I was flipping through the only four channels ever watched in our house — Science, Discovery, History2 and PBS — and saw a quick promo for an earth-shattering event to be televised on December 7. I assumed from the urgency in the voice of the announcer and the visual of giant snakes that we should be preparing for Armageddon, so I turned up the volume.
“On December 7, we will be televising an earth-shattering event! Dr. Doodle McDumbass is going to put on a special suit and let a giant snake swallow him whole!!”
I wondered what the inside of a grizzly bear looked like, so you know what? I looked it up on the Google. No special suit required.
Wut. The. Hell?
I rewound it and watched it again. Yup. He has a special suit and he’s going to let a snake big enough to eat a man in a special suit swallow him whole.
“Did you see that???”
George was in his special universe, where he can sit right beside me and watch exactly the same thing I’m watching on television and not see or hear a word of it. This is a zen only long-suffering husbands can achieve, and he is a master.
“There’s a guy on Discovery Channel who’s going to let a giant snake eat him because he thinks his special suit will save him.”
“Hunh. Is he a little guy?”
“What do you mean, ‘is he a little guy’? That doesn’t matter, it’s awful! Why would anyone in their right mind let a snake swallow them?”
“I don’t know, maybe he wants to see what it looks like in there.”
“I’ll tell you what it looks like, it looks like this, TERROR and then a POP when your spinal cord is severed by a giant anaconda, and then TERROR and then dark. It’s going to be awful.
“People will watch because it’s going to be awful. Don’t you know that?”And then it hit me. The very thing I’m revolted about when I think of people watching an anaconda eating a guy in a special suit on purpose is the same thing that bugs truckers about rubberneckers. There’s no reason to inflict more awfulness on your mind than you have to, and being dangerous on purpose for the sake of entertainment is stupid.