While shopping for a Halloween costume this weekend, I had to ask myself: What really scares me?
"Huge crocodiles living in Lake Placid," I said, checking the price on a Sarah Palin mask.
"Obviously," I replied.
But what else?
Well, let me tell you, three searches on Google and a trip to the Fox News Web site will reveal plenty to be afraid of - toxic baby formula, exploding cell phones, Chinese gymnasts, the plastic in Nalgene bottles, cell phone radiation, Tyra Banks and the Large Hadron Collider, to name a few.
Closer to home, however, there are snakes. That's right, snakes, right in the Adirondacks. Living amongst us! Lots of 'em. Everywhere. You're probably sitting next to one - or on one - right now.
That hissing sound you hear whenever your husband lies? It's actually a snake that's been living in the cupboard for years.
That hissing sound you hear in your dreams sometimes? Actually, that's the devil. Separate topic completely.
For instance: Have you ever been walking through the woods when all of a sudden you hear a baby's rattle start shaking nearby? Did you stop to look, or did you just keep on walking, hoping the baby would go away?
Well, guess what? If you'd stopped to offer help, you would've seen that there was no baby at all - it was probably a huge snake, and it might eat you next time if you're not more careful.
This is all well documented. Several people have put Adirondack snake videos up on YouTube, from bright green ones on Poke-O-Moonshine to a genuine timber rattlesnake in the Split Rock Wild Forest.
If you are bitten by a snake, keep the bitten area below your heart, and then call 911. If you're still conscious, make sure to find a nearby stick and give the snake a solid whack for good measure. Remember: It probably only bit you for the fun of it.
Then, give yourself a whack! What were you doing outside anyway? It's not safe out there; it hasn't been for years.
Have a local video or an irrational preoccupation you'd like to see featured? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org