–Picture: Debbie Williams, WKRG–
An image, from the restroom of an unidentified local business, was disturbing. The thought of any serpentine creature coming close to my bum at that moment was/is frightening. This snake in a toilet bowl, with colored bands around its body, may or may not, have been poisonous. That was little comfort. There are at least five poisonous snake species indigenous to this area. Could there be anything creepier? Where does fear of snakes in humans come from? Is it instinctive?
Meredith F. Small: Anthropologist from Cornell University, says “Ophidiophobia” is fear of snakes, which is a subset of “Herpetaphobia” the more inclusive fear of reptiles.
Snakes, it seems, were the oldest known predators on primates and they have been the most persistent predators over millions of years.
Today, monkeys are scared of them and humans make horror films about them, like “Snakes on a Plane.”
“Just when you thought it was safe to go to the bathroom again,” is the essence of horror movies. I’m going to be more cautious from now on–no more going to the bathroom in the dark. Had I patronized this business in the past? Mum was the word, for fear of bad publicity. I have a healthy respect for snakes; I wouldn’t call it a phobia. If I see them first, I’m OK.