It is Nashville. What do you expect?
One night, after dropping my wife and her sisters off at a concert at Bridgestone, I met a college friend who was in from out of town, who promptly asked, “So why does Nashville allow giant snakes on Broadway?”
I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere about that question equating to the quality of the dating pool in the bars, but the best I could do was offer a confused eyebrow raise.
After giving my friend a walking tour of Broadway’s honky-tonks, there they were. As Instagram-ready as the Elvis statue, stood before me was one snake wrapped around the neck of a woman, and another being hauled around in a wagon.
Though I’m the son of a veterinarian, I’m quite lousy at identifying snakes. Boa constrictor? Python? I had no idea, but I got out my phone to gather some quality material for a few buddies.
But then, I heard the woman holding the snake say, “Twenty dollars to hold the snake.”
I watched as they placed the snake on a man’s shoulders, allowing it to wrap loosely around him. He grinned as his friends took pictures.
My friend, a graduate school classmate of mine, cued up our trained scrutiny and asked, “Do they have a permit to do that?”
I would not get close to that thing anyway. But I did notice that the first reaction was “Permit?” and not if it was safe as if in “If you buy a government-issued permission, then it is all OK.”
We know better: The driving factor is revenue. Either more coming in or something affecting its flow into
their pockets the city coffers.