As I type this, two small boys in the North of the province in which I live are being laid to rest after an eminently preventable death. As you have all probably heard on the news, Noah and Connor Barthe of Campbellton, New Brunswick were asphyxiated in their sleep by an African rock python that had somehow escaped the cage it was in. While it’s still up for grabs who is ultimately at fault for all of this, certain things aside from the seizure and euthanization of other animals that were in the exotic pet store that aren’t allowed in the province should result from this. The coroner’s inquest that will no doubt be held will very likely state that more oversight should be put in place over exotic pet shops and that exotic pets seized from people who bring them in the province illegally should be put in zoos and not pet stores as happened here.
The reason that I mentioned this is that this is what rational people who understand the stakes will end up deciding. What interests me is what people who don’t know thing one about anything and race around in a blind, ill-informed panic would have to say. People like the Pattersons. Elly, as by way of example, impresses me as seeing the world the way a six-year old does in that if one bad thing happens somewhere, it’s just going to keep on happening. In her mind, New Brunswick isn’t going to be a quiet little place with pretty fall color and a struggling economy. After today, it’s going to be a Hell on Earth swarming with snakes that want to kill and eat every child everywhere. Also, Deanna will show us and Katie what a GOOD mother of Lynn’s grandbabies is by wanting to run around and kill every snake ever while Liz and Anthony will show us what bad parents are by trying to understand the issues and argue rationally instead of running around in a blind, ill-informed panic. Finally, we’ll have good and bad utter lack of information from Mike and John. While Mike’s total ignorance of the need to kill every reptile everywhere will be because he’s trying to support everyone, John’s utter ignorance will be because he wants to isolate himself from his family because he’s dumb and mean.