Not much of a surprise, really.

Conversation with Victor at a flea market:

me:  Ooh, look.  A severed snake head inside a glass egg.

Victor:  I think that’s a crystal ball.  It says your future is all full of rattlesnakes.

me:  Huh.  What’s yours full of?

Victor:  Also rattlesnakes.

me:  Aw.  At least we have each other

Victor:  Yes.  Us and all these angry rattlesnakes.  How incredibly comforting.


119 thoughts on “Not much of a surprise, really.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Is there something wrong with me that I want that? It would make a hell of a Christmas present for the aunt I don’t like very much.

  2. My Opa had a giant ‘paperweight’ – a glass hemisphere with a rattlesnake head in it. For the longest time after he died & my family inherited it, it was used as a door stop for the bathroom at my parents house. I lost track of it. Now you have made me want to look for it again, and if nobody is using it, I want it. Thank you, Jenny, for reminding me what is really important in family – who gets the severed-snake-head-in-glass.

  3. My babysitter had one of those when I was growing up. So I’m not sure if I’m full of fear or nostalgia.

  4. You have the best flea markets. We never get severed rattlesnake heads in crystal balls in San Diego.

  5. You know…like Sir Mix-A-Lot, but he’s a snake:
    I like big fangs and I cannot lie…
    You other snakes can’t deny…yadaydadayada

  6. And they’re ANGRY Rattlesnakes. Would it kill the Rattlesnakes to get an attitude adjustment? I mean, I know they’ve been decapitated but still.

  7. He doesn’t look angry to me. He looks like he’s smiling. So you have happy rattlesnakes in your future. Which might be worse because nothing good can come from something that makes a group of rattlesnakes happy.

  8. That is an angry rattlesnake. Of course, if the last thing I ever saw was someone coming toward me with a machete and a glass ball, I’d probably be pretty pissed off, too.

  9. I need something put in this photo for scale. Just how big is this severed rattlesnake head?
    I’d like to know what I am up against in my future…

    (It could swallow a small adults hand. Start running now. ~ Jenny)

  10. I just want to say what a comfort it is to me that I’m not alone in my quest for things that others find weird and off-putting. Love it. One of my most prized possessions is a pair of beautifully framed taxidermied bats.

  11. OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!! They used to SELL these in the store near me as a kid!! Lechmere (a New England chain of retail stores) had these along with butterflies. (So you could either use the embodiment of sweet innocence or venomous death to hold your papers still.) I remember wanting one of these *SO BADLY* when I was a kid and my parents thought I was freaky and morbid and wouldn’t buy it for me. PLEASE tell me you bought this, Jenny … my childhood dream has to live on SOMEWHERE!!!

  12. Gah, I’m stuck here in the Austin ‘burbs and I nevereverever find *anything* remotely that fan-damn-fabulous! I’m still bummed that my daughter swiped my alligator skulls and refuses to let me put their elf hats on for the holidays. I think the least she could do is get me something like a herpetological crystal sphere!!

  13. Your commenters are some of the most clever people I’ve ever read in my life. Sometimes they are better than the post itself (not because your posts are bad, OBVIOUSLY, but because the comments are just that good).

  14. Okay can I get a broad idea of sense of scale (ahem) here? I mean is that thing like a glass marble in which case I can relax, or more like the big rolling ball that chased Indiana Jones in Raiders (which he’d totally hate if it was filled with snakes)?

  15. Please, please, PLEASE tell me you bought this!

    (Sadly, I did not buy this. I didn’t have enough cash on me at the time and when I came back the next week it was gone. I can only hope it went to someone who saw cake and booze inside it. ~ Jenny)

  16. This totally beats the preserved tarantula in a jar that my father had when I was a kid.

  17. Have a “friend” that is in desperate need of a nightmare and/or heart attack?? Get this and leave on the table next to their bed, for a fun filled morning!

  18. I would straight up give that to someone as a gag gift this Christmas. But if I gave it to a Harry Potter fan, I could just put it on a base with a special plaque that said “Nagini’s head.” That’s how I save Christmas in my dreams.

  19. My father had a stuffed and mounted piranha on his desk for years, which was given to him by a coworker. My father was also a lawyer. Thinking there may be a connection between those two things…

  20. I have to agree with Sean and Snod – Snow Globe Snake Head would make my life utterly complete. Jenny, please tell me you bought it?

  21. Is there a globe with his tail and rattle? Now THAT would be awesome. Then your future could be full of rattlesnake rattlers.

  22. @ Megan M,
    Texans know that the rattles were turned into jewelry and the body became stew.

  23. The first thing that popped into my head was “well, at least it isn’t the Headless Horseman.” Which makes somewhat less sense than rattlesnakes in your future (I mean, you DO live in a state with a rattlesnake population…I’m 99% certain I do not live in a state with Headless Horsemen, but I’m not 100% sure).

    Obviously I need more wine today.

  24. i never considered dead stuffed things as a home decorating option until i started reading your blog. thanks for opening up some options for me!!!

  25. Seeing stuff like this (Reptiles) makes me glad to live up north now. I am from Florida, where there are a lot of REAL snakes. Here in Ohio, people point to these worm-like creatures and call them snakes. Um, you don’t know snakes.

  26. I wish we had cool flea markets. Ours just sell stolen power tools and bicycles, daishikis, feathered roach-clips, and 50-cent paperbacks. Psychic taxidermy…totally rad.

  27. Oh my gosh. I’m having trouble imagining who thought of this idea. “Snake!! Kill it! Kill it-Kill it- KILL IT!! KILLLLLLITTTTOMIGAWDITALMOSTGOTME!!!”


    “Hey. Let’s save the head in this old snow globe thingee.”

    Yeah…Good times.

  28. None of this stuff ever seems to appear at our flea markets in Florida. Any kind of gator part you could want, yes, but never in crystal balls.

  29. If you didn’t quite want to commit to the snake’s head, I have a sucker with a scorpion in it you can have. I’d give it to you for free.

    I don’t know what it would say about your future though.

  30. I typically support your flea market purchases and am quite jealous of them, but I’m not sure I support this… I’m probably going to have nightmares just from seeing it! Did you actually buy it?

  31. What I want to know is, what kind of crazy ass stores do you shop in? I never see such goodies available, just boring old sweaters and such. Do you think you need anymore craziness in your life, because if you do, well, then by all means buy it. After all, it is this same craziness that keeps you in business. Just sayin’…

  32. I have one of these, although not as round shaped, mine is more egg shaped. I don’t remember where I bought it new, although on the bottom it still has the sticker saying “Nature Gems” plus some blah, blah, blah. He resides on top of our stereo speaker.

  33. My husband has the snake crystal ball on his dresser (from when he lived in Texas). One year he made Christmas tree ornaments out of real rattlesnake keychains. Kind of awesome if hard to describe.

  34. By the way, how much were they wanting for it? Oh, no particular reason, no reason at all. *whistles innocently *

  35. My dad used to work in fiberglass and he and his buddies would encase random things in the resin for fun. We used to have spiders and flies and all manners of things. Wish we had kept them. They grossed me out and amused me at the same time.

  36. I guess I know my future now…..I have one of those on my entertainment center in my living room. And other than a possible dead mouse carcass in the vent system…that would be my only tribute to the dead animal gods. Wow….I thought mine was unique.

  37. Someone in my family (I can’t remember who) had one of these. Maybe my future is full of rattlesnakes too.

  38. I’ve read your book (repeatedly). As I recall, your past has more than a normal share of rattlesnake encounters. Since your present has snake heads in glass, I think your future looks pretty good.

  39. Where can I find one of those badass rattlesnakes in a ball things? …For some reason I want one now…I’m adding this to my ‘Christmas List of things people will probably never bother trying to buy for me’.

  40. Please tell me you bought it….if not please tell them I must have that! It’s perfect for my evil grandmother.

  41. Why do the rattlesnakes in your future have to be angry? I mean unless you plan on doing something to piss off a bunch of snakes…not recomended.

    BTW the magic snake-head-egg-thing totally did you a favour by telling you about your future with snakes. Now you can plan to keep your future snakes happy. (Maybe start raising rats now.)

    Then it’ll only be the snakes in Victor’s future that are angry. And its totally his fault for expecting angry snakes…and neglecting to raise rats.

  42. That is the sort of thing my students bring in for show and tell. except not rattlesnakes cos we don’t have them in Australia. I make them leave them outside in the port racks in case they suddenly come to life.

  43. A friend of mine has one! We were thrifting together and I found it on a shelf, grabbed it and tracked her down to say “I think this needs to go home with you.” His name is Jeffrey, and his home is on her bookshelf.

  44. eBay shows one of these sold for sixty bucks in September. Searched but couldn’t find a snow globe version as suggested by several commenters. Rattlesnake Snow Globe would be DA BOMB,

  45. During high school, I worked at a summer camp outside of Yosemite for a few years. I was on the maintenance crew, and part of our job was to kill any rattlesnakes in the camp. We did. And then cooked them up and ate them. They taste like chicken. (Unfortunately, I didn’t keep any heads.)

    Anyhow, I’m hoping that crystal ball means my past had the rattlesnakes, not my future.

  46. Is Texas The Promised Land? Bc I’m starting to think it may be. Other than the poorly taxidermied “tail” and rattle my dad created after killing a rattler in my childhood, my life has been alarming rattle snake free.

  47. See the following website….I think the crystal ball belonged to Misty Moser….after opening her frozen beans, she sold the crystal ball immediately. Don’t look in the ball…it’s like ‘the Ring’ only bitier.

  48. So your future is full of rebirth/renewal/change? Pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

  49. I just love how I can forget all about this blog, return weeks, months, or even a year later, and it’s like no time has passed. At. All. You kill me.

  50. I wonder if I had something like that if it would scare away the live snakes that keep trespassing in my house. Like, “THIS is what happens to snakes around here, asshole.”

  51. I love antique stores and flea martkets. Got an amazing ceramic holiday tree covered in pug dogs on my last foray.

    I always wonder just what was in a person’s head when they decided to create something. Like what burning need was there for a snake head in a glass ball? Or even a ceramic tree covered in pug dogs. 🙂

  52. So, I guess the real question is: Did you buy it?! If you did, you could send it to an unsuspecting reader! Could be lots of fun!

  53. My husband’s cousin lives in Nebreska and kills rattlesnakes all the time. He might not mind having a future of them if he could stop having them in the present.

  54. I have one of these. When I was younger, I used to think it was going to come to life and destroy me/my happiness. Yes, it was just going to burst right out of that ball and hop around and kill me. Totally possible.

    Also, speaking of Nagini here in the comments, we have a very large snake at the school where I work that the children have decided to name Nagini. I’m so proud.

  55. My husband, the snake-phobic dude whom I just tricked into looking at this post, asks me to pass along the following sentiment: Screw you, Jenny. I, however, want to thank you for probably the single biggest laugh I’ve had in days. Except, maybe, when he went careening out of control sliding down our driveway on his butt while on his way to break the dog’s water back into a liquid state earlier today. Because ice and Texas probably shouldn’t mix but it sure is funny when they do.

    Oh, and he didn’t mean it when he said “screw you.” Well, maybe a little because he does hate snakes a lot. But mostly he didn’t mean it. I mean, he’s actually a big fan and mostly you make him laugh (and dude does NOT laugh much). He just gets all grumpy and hyperventillatey about snakes. Especially when I hit him with surprise snakes.

  56. I printed this picture off and hung it in my office’s kitchen next to people’s Christmas cards and family hoop-la. It was ripped down in the first 24 hours. I am sad, but also inspired to hang up a dozen each week until a PSA goes out about the snake-crystal-ball-bandit.

  57. I seriously hope that one day my future husband and I have conversations like this.

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