Gil Head

Thanks everyone for the responses to the polls, and now some thoughts on them...

I find the responses to the two polls I recently posted rather fascinating, all in all.

For the character appeal poll, I intentionally limited most of the choices to the two characters I tend to play online, discounting that there are some characters (Varke, Asterion, Kr'Nach) with costumes very much in the current "rotation" and favorites as costumed characters and others (Dar'Rushk) with retired costumes I really love.  I was really surprised how little appeal Taur-Gil registered; I assumed there would be at least a few people who would find that form more appealing than the "normal" one.

Of course, that doesn't change the art I'll get or how I feel of the character.  I find that shape a bit more animalistic and primal, while not quite reaching what so many in the fandom call "feral" (a term I hate, as it's actual meaning is entirely different).  There's a big piece coming down the line which will feature a lot of the characters together, and it's yet to be clear whether Gil will be "normal" or "taur" in that piece.  We'll see, based on the sketches, which route I elect to take with that.  The nice thing about playing the characters as "demons" is that their actual physical manifestation is subject to change over time, as the way they view themselves change: He can be both, depending on where you are in his timeline, or even just his attitudes at the moment.

The other one, on the snakes, was even more fascinating to me.  I know some fraction of the population have a phobia of snakes, but somehow I didn't expect it for the people who follow me.  The linked article there suggests a evolutionary basis in the phobia, which makes sense, and also suggests any sample of people would likely have the phobia, which the (admittedly small sample) poll supports. Roughly 10% of the respondents gave answers which identified with the phobia, with an additional 10% suggesting they still don't really like snakes, even if they've overcome a phobia of them.

In the snake poll discussion, that lead to what I think is an interesting conflict.  Again, take a world where people start out human, but can "purchase" bodies in any number of forms, mostly mammals, but other forms of animals aren't out of the question.  If you have any animal you particularly fear (snakes and spiders being the two common ones) and your best friend bought one of those bodies, how would that interaction go?  Intellectually, it's still the person you know (and presumably trusted before), but instinctually, everything about him or her is telling you to run and hide.

I've always found this sort of thing, the interaction between different intelligent species, be them naturally different of modified, fascinating, and (along with the monsters) this is probably one of the things which interests me most about this community.
Well, the snake poll answer choices were pretty limited, so I answered as best I could.

I don't have a fear of snakes, but I worry about rattlesnakes on hikes because of the dogs potentially getting bit. I think finding a non-poisonous snake pretty cool-- and have hand-caught gopher snakes to release in my gopher-ridden back yard. When I do find a rattlesnake, I either poke it to get it off-trail or just give it a wide berth, with the dogs 0n-leash.

I don't want to own one because they take work (esp. the live-eaters...I have had snakes in the past and just don't have time for another pet).

I don't want to hold one because the poop on me.

Edited at 2013-11-15 06:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was intentionally keeping answers about wild, dangerous snakes out of the question. Avoiding them, especially keeping other animals away from them, is just good sense.

I feel like I've gotten off remarkably easy with Sybaris. She's never had any problem with pre-killed mice, eating them without hesitation, and perhaps more amazingly, in all the time I've had her, she's never pooped when being handled. There's no visual signs of stress when she's handled and just calmly slides around exploring. All in all, she's about as low-maintenance a pet as one can have.

I was even training her to let me hold her head in place so I could give meds if needed. Ultimately, it didn't take training: she may slither a little when I hold her by the head, but it's pretty minimal fighting and she kist lets you hold her that way. Even the reptile vet I go to commented she was one of the most generally calm and laid-back snakes they have seen.