Snakes, doorbells and toy phones

Some writers are more inspired when a deadline is looming extra-large on the horizon. Kinda gets the adrenalin shooting flames right through the old fingertips onto the keyboard so to speak. Me … I start to panic if I don’t have my column idea by Sunday for the Wednesday noon deadline. It feels like one of those scary-looking zombies from “The Walking Dead” is following close behind and about to eat me for a snack.

Reminds me of this week. I have been preoccupied with lots of other “life” stuff, so pulling a column theme from my right ear has been a tad daunting. It is probably why I turned to my “humor board” on Pinterest for a smidge of inspiration.

My funny favorite Pinterest quote is: “I just did a week’s worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.” Sadly, I can relate. Although I didn’t have a personal workout with a hairy, scary spider, I did have a creepy/crawly encounter that caused my heart to just about jump out of my chest cavity.

The other morning when I headed toward the kitchen to start breakfast for my special needs daughter, I noticed a small black snake about a foot long wiggling around on the tile floor. Wowser … how did you get in here? With the hubster already halfway to the office, it was up to me to return the fork-tongued beast back to nature. With a dustpan in one hand and the accompanying brush in the other, I managed, after several lame attempts, to scoop the snake into the pan. With both my hands now occupied, turning the door knob without the serpent slithering back onto the floor was a bit of a challenge. Somehow I managed. While a margarita was certainly in order after my morning adventure … I opted instead for orange juice. Then added a couple of maraschino cherries … with stems. It helped.

OK, so how about this one: “Doorbell broken. Yell ‘ding dong’ really loud.” That would be “ding dong” as in the sound. Not to be confused with Ding Dongs, the fabulous foil-wrapped treats my mom used to put in our school lunches when we were kids.

Now I am not normally in the habit of answering the door when strangers come calling. Sometimes it is a spontaneous thing. I just answer the door, lower my head slightly, and then make that “face” that begs … please go away. Twice this week I had a couple of dudes peddling bug killing services from two different companies. How does that happen? They both commented how they had polled the homeowners in the neighborhood and found they had used a well-known local bug company for years. And yep … we are also a fan of that same bug company. Call me crazy, but that should have been a teeny hint to just move on to another part of town.

I have just two more Pinterest quotes and then I promise to shut up! “No matter how big and bad you are, when a 2-year-old hands you a toy phone, you answer it.” This is very true … even if the lad is way under 2-years-big. I’ve witnessed this toy phone phenomenon in action. Our little grandson, Jake, hands his grandpa a cell phone case … no cell phone attached to it … and of course Grandpa answers the case every time in grand style.

“Jake, the phone is for you! I think it is Elmo,” our big, tough grandpa says.

The same goes with having a heart-to-heart with our little Jake’s stuffed Elmo, or enthusiastically reading his beloved book, “Pat the Bunny,” just one more time. Obviously, we take grandparenthood very seriously.

And last, but certainly not least: “I love it when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke.” So true. My hubster’s sister, Michele, has the most awesome laugh and is one of the funniest people I know. My son also has these gifts. When Ricky is tickled about something, that deep, hearty laugh comes from somewhere deep inside. I liken it to a cross between a low thunder and a spontaneous combustion. Gets me every time.

Inspiration … it turns out it is everywhere … in critter encounters, ding dongs, cell phone cases, belly laughs, and yes … even on Pinterest.

Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 19 years. Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit Dixie’s blog at   


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