By Pam Burke 

Like a snake in the - what?!


Pam Burke

While I hate to pass along blonde jokes that disparage me and my fair-haired people, there’s an old blonde joke that goes:

A blonde and a brunette were walking along outside one day, and the brunette said, “Aww, look at that poor dead bird.” And the blonde looked up, searching the sky frantically, and said, “Where?!”

If you don’t get it: This is funny because the dead bird wouldn’t be in the sky where the blonde is looking. The live ones are up there.

Of course, if I have to explain it to you it’s not funny, and admittedly, the joke is best acted out, rather than written, but it needed retelling today — not because you need a new joke for the next time you get together with friends and family or random blondes and not because blonde-haters need more ammunition, but rather because it is needed to serve as a cautionary tale about snakes.

Yes, snakes. Bear with me; we’ll get there in due time.

What if the blonde and the brunette had been walking along that day and the blonde had looked up in the sky and said, “Aww, look at that poor dead bird.” And the brunette had looked down at the ground and said, “Where?!” because she thinks her dark hair makes her so much smarter than the blonde.

But then a big ol’ dead and slightly mangled goose that had just lost out in a head-on collision with an airplane came hurtling out of the wild blue yonder and knocked that not-so-smart-afterall brunette totally unconscious right there on the sidewalk because she thought she knew everything about dead birds.

Now wouldn’t that be something? Who would expect a dead bird in the sky?

No one would. But what if seeing and accepting things as they are and not as they should be could save your life.

What if you spent this entire snake season looking down at the ground to avoid snakes when you should be more spatially aware and looking for snakes everywhere.

Because, trust me, they are everywhere.

You ever hear that old wives tale about snakes climbing trees?

I’m here to tell you that sometimes a snake will climb your 6-foot welded-wire fence, scale the side of a building, hoist itself onto the roof, stretch up to the nearest limb and then climb up into the tree.

Snakes in trees is a real thing. Please note the accompanying photographic evidence of a snake beginning its journey into a cottonwood tree housing several bird nests filled with snake delicacies like robin's eggs and other bird hatchlings.

I did not levitate that snake in the photo with my awesome, blonde brain — although that would be cool.

That bull snake is on my 6-foot fence, swapping ends so it can go back to the shop, up onto the roof and out onto the only limb on the tree low enough for the snake to reach from roof-top. The nest-raiding commenced from there.

Mother Nature is a cruel one, and she gives no guarantees. Maybe next time the snake could be a rattler. Think about that.

Suspended from the top of a 6-foot fence, that snake is right there in your face. Even a bull snake could poke your eye out before you even looked up from the ground to say, “What the — what?! That snake ain’t in the grass!”

Plus, it could fall right out of that tree onto your head while you're relaxing in the shade, with your feet up — out of the way of any snakes passing by.

Any of that could happen without a clever blonde there to point up at a tree limb and say, “Ohh, look at that creepy snake,” while you were all caught up stupidly looking for a snake in the grass.

Think like a blonde.

Consider this new twist on an old blonde joke your cautionary tale.

I got your back, man.

(Complete photographic evidence of snakes in trees is available online at


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