With the National Geographic Channel, PBS, Discovery, Animal Planet et al regularly airing shows about the beauty, necessity and all-around coolness of snakes, you'd think most of America would have gotten the message by now: Don't fear the snake; the snake is your friend. Yeah, right. Try telling that to the King of Snake Weenies, my big brother. Here is a man in his 50s with a bad back who can, when confronted with the sight of a garter snake, move like the Road Runner from those old Warner Bros. cartoons. One minute he's there, the next you hear a KA-PWING sound and there's nothing but a smoke-shaped outline of him. The man obviously needs a lot of intensive work with Daryl Sprout, whose Snake Encounters show comes to the Dallas Museum of Natural History for the museum's Reptile Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. Sprout will bring 10 live snakes and offer lessons on their habits and habitats at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. both days. (Seating is limited. First come, first served.) Sprout is senior field herpetologist for Snake Removal Inc., which means he's spent plenty of time in crawl spaces ferreting out unwelcome snakes from homes and businesses. (Wonder if he ever deposits snakes. Bro has a birthday coming up in a few months.) Sprout will joined by members of the DFW Herpetological Society, Reptiles on the Move and others for the weekend. There'll be plenty of pythons, toads, lizards and other creep...we mean ecologically vital...critters on display. Dallas Museum of Natural History is at 3535 Grand Ave. in Fair Park. Call 214-421-DINO or visit www.dallasdino.org for more info. --Patrick Williams
Uh-oh, we seem to have gotten some irreverence all over our Spanish fiction. Much like the first man or woman who suddenly discovered once-pristine peanut butter engulfed in chocolate, we too have found ourselves in a brave new world--a world with four Texas cats and their sidekick, a dancing pig. George Arnold, award-winning author of non-fiction books such as Growing Up Simple: An Irreverent Look at Kids in the 1950s, will be at a book signing for his newest and first fiction title, Los Gatos of the CIA: Hunt for Fred-X at noon August 6 at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. And just a heads up: It's BYOB. That is, Buy Your Own Book. Call 214-739-3643. --Jonathan Freeman
What's Up Doc?
There are two ways to view Dr. Steven Hotze. The first is laid out in his new book, Hormones, Health and Happiness, copies of which he's signing August 9 at 7 p.m. at Borders, 1601 Preston Road. Hotze says you shouldn't use antibiotics, antihistamines or antidepressants. He says, to cure yourself, look at the underlying causes of poor health--bad eating habits, lack of exercise--and combat them with the kind of natural hormone therapy his wellness center in Houston provides. The other view of Hotze comes from the Houston Press, a sister publication of the Dallas Observer, which says Hotze's literature is bloated with unsubstantiated claims that have never been published outside Houston Lifestyle & Homes and Spirit, the in-flight magazine for Southwest Airlines. Hotze's book reading is free. Call 214-363-9305. --Paul Kix
A Family Affair
In spite of ongoing in-fighting, even in spite of a full-blown FBI investigation, you can't help but find the city of Dallas endearing, if only for its unsung heroes--those departments that do not make the evening news, those departments that enrich and bring beauty and culture to our lives. Like the Dallas Public Library. If you can forgive its parentage, you will discover a bastion of scholastic and cultural opportunities. For instance, the Fine Arts Division of the Dallas Public Library will offer the last in a series of Classic Film Comedies for Summer on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Performance Space of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St. This Saturday, Rosalind Russell stars in Auntie Mame, the 1958 Academy Award-nominated film featuring Mame Dennis, for whom "life is a banquet." Admission is free. Call the Dallas Public Library Fine Arts Division at 214-670-1643. --Stephanie Morris
Break away from Hollywood and predictable plot lines. But don't just watch; you can star in the abstract video alternative. Austin-based video artist Luke Savisky wants you in his live performance at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Dallas Museum of Art. An award-winning projection artist, Savisky is making a multiple-imaging film-and-video piece that is specifically created for the Dallas audience. His specialty is reshaping surroundings through the use of projection and movement, making spectators part of his artwork. His last piece Film Actions VI was applauded in the Sundance Film Festival's frontier category. DMA's Horchow Auditorium will host his new creation as part of the Dallas Video Festival, running through August 7 at the Angelika Film Center, the Dallas Theater Center and the DMA, which is located at 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets for Thursday's performance are $8. Call the Video Association of Dallas at 214-428-8700 or visit www.videofest.org/2005 or call the DMA at 214-922-1200 or visit www.dallasmuseumofart.org. --Dana Berger