The appended patch should address both issues.  

Thanks Zack!! I installed the changes (separately).

    Note that I have only tested it with Python 2.7 and 3.6.  It _may_
    not be correct for Python in the 3.0--3.3 (inclusive) range

I didn't test any of those versions either. Certainly your change is a
vast improvement in any case.

The test suite now passes on my Alma Linux 8 system (I had one unrelated
failure which I could now fix). For the record, this has Python 2.7.18
and 3.9.7. Thanks again! -k

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