Thurman P. Woodfork


Thurman P. Woodfork: Too Much ImaginationI hate to admit it, but being blessed – or cursed – with a vivid imagination, I managed to scare myself silly one day in the Philippines. I was home alone, lying on the couch in the front room, reading a book about snakes. Mina, the girlfriend had gone out somewhere. The house was quiet, the radio was playing softly, and the couch was right next to the bar. Nobody was bugging me. Life was sweet. Lord knows what possessed me to choose a book about snakes to read. I hate snakes.

Anyway, after a bit, the old imagination started to ramp up. Since I was in the tropics, thoughts of all sorts of exotic reptiles started to invade my tranquil morning. I had come to the PI from Vietnam, and tales of the infamous, deadly two-steppers were still fresh in my mind. The story went that if it bit you, you only managed to take two steps before you wound up shuffling the rest of the way on off this mortal coil. I think I may have dozed off while reading.

Suddenly, the next thing I knew, I was up and peering under the couch from across the room, franticly scanning for evil, fork-tongued, slit-eyed, scaly, slithery things. Thank God, the couch was raised from the floor on legs, and I could easily see under it from where I was. I didn’t see anything, which didn’t mean something hadn’t been there. I cautiously circled the couch. God, I hate snakes!

When I was in Nam, the first thing I’d do in the morning after pulling back the mosquito netting – and before putting foot to floor – was to thump the side of the cot before cautiously peeping under it, cocked and loaded. 45 in hand. Any scaly, legless, uninvited guest that might have slithered in to pay a nocturnal visit while I slept was going to get blasted. Did I mention I hate snakes? Of course, if one ever had actually been under that cot, it probably would have nailed me dead center before I unfroze enough from the shock to get a shot off.

But back to the PI: Fortunately, as I said earlier, the bar was right behind the couch I had been comfortably stretched out on before my brain betrayed me. So I was able to properly sooth my self-induced jangled nerves with a few quick Crown Royals, neat. I put the snake book in the trash, where it belonged.

When she came home, I had to explain to the temporary Better Half why I was half-snockered in the middle of the morning. She didn’t believe a word.