Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Who Turned the Snakes Loose?

Some things may seem a little too appropriate to be considered a joke, especially when it concerns terminology sometimes used to identify those whose job it is to serve us in elected office.

I know there are those who have referred to our hired hands in Baton Rouge as "snakes" but it seems there are some really snakey slitherers in the hallowed halls of the Red Stick capitol this session and they've shown up to claim their positions early.

Earlier this week, an honest to goodness live snake was found in Committee Room 3 in the basement of the House of Representatives. That's the word coming from John Maginnis in his daily legislative update and we all know JM has deep and reliable sources. And to make matters worse, another belly crawler was found in the Democratic Caucus office.

In the words of one of my favorite conspiracy theorists, a snake in the hen house is a critter looking for a meal, but two is an invasion. One legislative assistant claimed the pair of serpents was simply visiting relatives in the legislature; another hinted that the pair was to be used as a demonstration on how bills weave their way through the legislative process.

To relieve nervous lawmakers, a staff member reportedly snaked his way through a reptile book and determined the pair was of the non-poisonous variety.

Those entrusted with the safety of elected officials and employees took care of the problems. To date, no injuries were reported. Party affiliation of the serpents has not been disclosed.

Late word from Baton Rouge is that one of the snakes has been offered a job as a lobbyist since it seemed to know its way around the legislative offices.

To protect and serve

The bombing at Boston's marathon and the subsequent intense and successful manhunt for the suspects gave us a look at why the overwhelming majority of the men and women in emergency medical response and law enforcement are very special individuals. While smoke was still billowing from the first explosion, officers and EMT personnel were running to the scene, giving medical attention to the victims and ready for protective action if necessary.

We have grown accustomed to seeing officers running to the sound of gunfire or explosions, and firefighters moving into the flames of a building or home. It takes a dedication that defies explanation. Like talents in many areas, you either have "it" or you don't. Public safety personnel have "it."

Another trait possessed by these individuals is compassion. A great example of that was shown in a simple photograph which many of you may have already seen. For those who have not, the photo shows an armed Brookline police officer dressed in body armor carrying two gallons of milk. Yep...a cop ready for action, toting milk.

When Boston was on lockdown during the hunt for the brothers Tsarnaev, Kevin Wells found himself out of milk for his young family and unable to leave his Watertown home. Wells' mother stepped from the house and asked Officer John Bradley if he might be able to grab some milk for the family.

Bradley, who knows he serves as well as protects, brought not one gallon to the family, but two and Wells snapped the photo as the officer walked up to the house. In addition to his act of kindness, Bradley refused to let the Wells family pay him for the milk.

"We wanted to pay him, but he wouldn't take money from us. He was just so generous," McKenzie Wells told Today.com.

Just another day in the line of duty for those who stand between us and the bad guys; who stand beside us in tragedy. Thank God for all of them.

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .






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