On this page I'll be paying homage to those who have shed their mortal coils.
The Spatmobile (1986 - 1999)
I had a lot of great times in this car. She had 196,000 miles on her when she died. I really thought she was going to live to see 200,000, but her engine blew while racing a Mercedes on the highway (she did win…but at what cost).
She'd been just about everywhere. Down to Florida four times (Daytona, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Boca, and Fort Lauderdale), Salem Massachusetts four times, Ocean City Maryland, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Camelback, Philadelphia), Maine, and god knows where else (I can't remember all the road trips right now).
Even though there were times where it seemed like something new broke every week on her, she always started up fine. Never lost track of her in a parking lot, and if I did get lost I would just ask someone if they had seen a car with numbers on it. It almost always worked. And she was always friendly (although she did seem to like to ram into things a lot…hence the black header panel in the above photo. That was new header number two of three if I remember correctly.).
Everyone liked her, though a lot of people were a little shy about being seen driving around in her. Sooner or later you warmed up to her and it didn't seem so embarrassing. She was known as "The Sesame Street Car", "The Numbered Car", "The Clown Car", "The Paint By Numbers Car", and many other names that I just can't remember right now.
She will be sorely missed, and really tough to replace. And no car will ever be as comfortable as she was to drive.
Bambi (1987 - 1999)
By far, the nicest, friendliest, and most docile Ball Python ever to be brought into the world. She cured many, many people of their fear of snakes because she was so friendly and like to crawl all over new people. She was an escape artist beyond the wildest dreams of Houdini, she could get out of any tank she was put into and I still have no idea how she did it most of the time. Though I did catch her once in the middle of an escape. It was actually a "team" effort between her and her "life partner", Thumper. Bambi (being the stronger snake) would push up the back lid of the tank, right under the hinge clip, just about an inch, and then Thumper would squeeze into the small, newly created opening. Once Thumper was halfway through (to Thumper's thickest point), Bambi would then begin to crawl out. Once Bambi had caught up, then Thumper would continue and a minute later they were both free. After I saw that, I quickly removed the hinge clip, and weighted the top of the tank with about twenty pounds of stuff. They still escaped, but not easily I'm sure.
She was always shy about getting her picture taken and tended to try and crawl away. She loved the color green, and would crawl towards anything green, no matter what it was. She always got a Hamster for Thanksgiving, and a Gerbil for Christmas (she LOVED Gerbils). She also loved to crawl out in the grass in warm weather, and spent most of that time trying to chase birds. Never caught one, but loved to try. Once, a Styrofoam cup bounced by with the breeze, and I guess Bambi thought it was a big mouse. She went in for the kill, but the wind took the cup, and it bopped Bambi on the nose. She curled up into a ball (hence the name "Ball" Python) and wouldn't unwrap for about a half hour.
She did bite me twice, but I truly believe that it was by mistake. The first time, I was holding her food in my hand (a rat by the tail). She was just about to take the rat out of my hand when the rat swung up and grabbed onto my arm. I freaked and dropped the rat just as Bambi jumped, and since there was no rat, she bit my hand. I guess she couldn't stop in mid strike. But rather than grabbing on and trying to eat me, she let go immediately, crawled to the corner of her tank, rolled up into a ball and wouldn't come out for an hour. The second time, I had been handling the rats (picked them out of the tank at the pet store), so my fingers smelled like food. While I was adjusting the dividing wall between Bambi and Thumper (can't feed them unless they're separated, otherwise they try to steal each others food). My thumb was sticking up over the divider, and I guess Bambi thought is was a little rat wiggling on top of the divider. So she bit me. But once again, as soon as she did, she let go, crawled into her corner and rolled into a ball for an hour.
She hated thunder storms, and hated having water splashed on her. She was nearly blind towards the end (which helps explain the two biting incidents), but she always ate when I brought her food (an uncommon thing for most Ball Pythons, and I was actually once offered $200 for her just because she ate regularly. I know a few people who have had Ball Pythons that had to resort to force feeding them because they wouldn't eat.), and when she got scared, or was being handled by someone who was nervous around snakes, she would always crawl back to me or into my jacket because it smelled like me.
Now, hopefully, she'll forever crawl among the green grass with her favorite things: an endless supply of sun, warmth, gerbils and water that doesn't drip on her head. She is survived by her Life Partner, Thumper, and will sorely be missed by all…but mostly me.
If you have any questions, E-Mail me. Spat@spat-nospam-cave.com