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Hissing Cockroaches and Dead Snakes

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So, I'm cleaning the cage of Madagascar hissing cockroaches that I own. For a blip of a second, I thought about snapping a black and white photo with them while wearing that dang wedding dress from the Acid Neutral Art Project.

They'd be hissing, which they really do, and crawling on my face. My thoughts even wandered to the point of creating each its own miniature wedding gown and veil to wear.

They are about the size of a dude's thumb, brown, probably crunchy and prehistoric looking.

Then I thought, you know in some places, that might be considered animal cruelty of some sort, even though they are just cockroaches and the decomposers in the food chain. It remains only a thought.

It is not a weird one.

Life has to be funny and interesting, even is some of the most adverse circumstances, like a divorce. Every day, especially when you are going through the sadness of ye olde splitteroo, you should find something funny to laugh at, even if it's yourself.

It took scientists until 2011 to prove scientifically that laughter was good for you. Though I could find any kid on the block who could tell you that.

For some reason, we tend to lose that as adults, especially when we are faced with challenges, sadness, loss of hope, loss of love.

Why we tend to abandon the one thing that is totally free of charge that can help us when we need it most, is a mystery to me.

In real life, I am a public school science teacher, and I have a lot of random, let's just say, eccentric thingamabobs in my life. I am the proud owner of those cockroaches, alligator teeth, two geckos named Samantha and Toothless, a fossilized Mosasaur vertebra, and an " in-the-process-of-being-mummified" garter snake, as I write.

The dead snake is a good example. I always ask my students to bring me stuff they find. One day, a student gingerly brought in a lunch paper sack just whispering, "I brought you something." I thought, cool, rocks since we are studying geology, or maybe a muffin or a breakfast taco.
Opened the bag and got a big ol' whiff of dead snake. A few of my students found it dead on the sidewalk on a Saturday. It was a Monday.

The babe (that's what I call many of my students) brought it in knowing I would like it. And the truth is, I was elated, excited, gave the babe a big hug and said awesome. Then, I had to stick the stinky serpent in my mini-fridge, so it wouldn't putrefy my classroom.

All morning, I smiled wondering how I could use it to teach my kids something.

Decided to mummify the dang thing by using kitchen salt as I taught them about decomposers in the food chain and bacteria in the breakdown process.

Plus, we got a dead snake out of the deal. It was a joyful day and I learned something very profound.

If life gives you dead snakes, mummify them.

(Enriching music to dance to after reading this: Walk Like an Egyptian, The Bangles)

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