The Washington Post

Burmese pythons and the Florida GOP primary

I do not endorse this. (Alan Diaz/AP)

“Petri,” you may say, “that’s not a very nice way to refer to the candidates, even if people in dark bars sometimes mistake Newt Gingrich for Jabba the Hutt in an ill-fitting suit.”

To you I say, no, actual snakes. Burmese Pythons, as a matter of fact. Those things can take down live deer! Nearly 1,000 have been removed from the Everglades since 2002.

Excuse me while I curl up somewhere in the fetal position and don’t move for several hours.

It was bad enough when they reported that a woman had discovered a python in her toilet. And “Snakes on a Plane” only managed not to be terrifying because Samuel L. Jackson was there to yell at the snakes.

I can’t leave the house to vote or to opine. I’m crouched at home under the furniture, whimpering. I have called Samuel L. Jackson repeatedly, but he has not answered. Now I’m just doing my best not to look like a fully grown deer.

The story is a bit sketchy. Apparently, pet owners release their pythons into the Everglades, where they can produce batches of up to 54 baby pythons. I can see how this would happen. “Hey,” someone thinks, “a python would make a good pet.” Then the python shows up. “Oh, wait, no, it’s a python,” the person says, rolling down the car window. This frequently happens to puppies and rabbits, and pythons consider those food.

The only kind of python I like is a coding language and a British comedy group, and both terrify me at times.

They say that Florida is a cross-section of America. America is old, and infested with pythons!

Today, Floridians are voting for a GOP nominee. I’m sure other issues used to press on their minds. Space. The moon colony. Heck, pensions, or the idle curiosity as to which candidate knows the greatest number of verses of America the Beautiful.

But now they have a real priority.

Giant snakes.

The candidates need to address this. Newt, flailing lately, may still have a chance in the primary if he manages to corner the python vote. The moon vote didn’t go so well. Jettison that. Send the pythons to the moon. That’s appealingly grandiose.

Mitt has plans to get the pythons to self-deport.*

Rick Santorum has other things to worry about right now, although that hasn’t kept him from campaigning.

Ron Paul drubbed a python back in 1886, so he’s not worried. In fact, he speaks parseltongue. It turns out that’s what all his speeches were.

But, gee. This adds a whole new level to voter turnout. “Would you like to vote for Mitt Romney?” is a very different question than, “Would you like to vote for Mitt Romney? Keep in mind that there are live sixteen-foot pythons out there as we speak.”

Yeah, I’ll pass.

* Not mine! Thanks to the joke owner who released this one into the Everglades of my live chat!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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