I woke up at 5 am on September 1st, determined to set up an array of birthday surprises for my husband.  Little did I know a surprise was waiting for me in the bathroom.

In the middle of the floor was a pudgy black spider.  Tiny.  Though I needed it to be gone, my heart didn’t pound as I smacked it with the Kleenex box three very loud times.  Progress?

Later that evening, Greg and I waited in the long line outside of Wurstkuche, a trendy and very popular German sausage restaurant and bar.  Perusing the menu of exotic sausages for the umpteenth time, I made up my final decision.  I don’t eat pork, which automatically knocked out at least a third of the menu, if not half.  And rather than chickening out with a sausage made from poultry, I boldly ordered the rattlesnake, rabbit and jalapeno option.  This was a little bit crazy for three reasons:  1. I’ve never eaten rattlesnake.  2.  I’ve never eaten rabbit.  And 3.  Anything hotter than mild salsa tends to burn my mouth.  But a very enthusiastic and tipsy male patron informed me it was the greatest, so I wanted to see if I’d agree!

I know a lot of people are afraid of snakes.  I myself am not horribly afraid of snakes.  I’ve seen some while hiking and they definitely give me the heebie-jeebies in the wild since I don’t know if they’re going to attack (plus they move REALLY fast when scared) but I don’t think I’d be afraid of a pet snake and I’ve definitely touched them at petting zoos before.  Not necessarily a rattlesnake though.  But it’s not as if you’re looking at its scaly skin, rattling tail or wiggly body when you’re eating it. 

Anyhow, it didn’t weird me out too much until I saw the raw sausage behind a display case – and it was white!  Most of the other sausages were various forms of beige, brown or red, but this one looked WEIRD.  In any event, I was confident it would be good, and you know what, it was.  It was really rich and buttery, and not at all spicy.  The drunken patron was right–you can’t taste the jalapeno.  I also tried dandelion and burdock soda…it was really delicious.

I didn’t think that ordering an exotic sausage was brave until my husband gave me major props for doing so.  He was afraid he’d be disappointed in his birthday meal, so he went with a more familiar duck and bacon sausage instead of something more unusual with alligator, buffalo or veal. 

After posting what I ate on Facebook that night, my friend Kim also wrote:  “And I’m brave for rappelling down a building?” 

What a great feeling it was to be called brave.