The Snake Story


Yesterday I had a spider incident. In the text of that post, I mentioned a snake incident. This particular snake incident will probably top all other pest-related stories in my lifetime (it has so far) so in order for you to enjoy it, I went and found the email that I sent to friends on the evening that it occurred. This is the story as it was written the night of January 5, 1998, with only the correction of some typos.



From [dead email address] Mon Jan 5  23:15:37 1998
Subject: <unprintable> <deleted>

Another addition to the List Of Things That Suck:

Once there was a man.  Let’s call him Bill.  Bill was home from work and
tired.  Rather than do the innumerable chores that awaited him, Bill decided
to get into his PJs and curl up with a book on his bed.  Bill piles the Pillows
behind his back and sits up, reading.

Bill is enjoying his book but Bill hasn’t twitched for about an hour and his
back has a muscle spasm.  Not a big one, just a small one, right under his
shoulder blades, across the width of his back.  No big deal, just readjust.
Then Bill has another spasm.  Is it his imagination or does it feel like
there’s something moving underneath him?  Must be his imagination. 

Then Bill felt it again and before that cesium atom could vibrate 6E18 times,
he was out of bed, breathing hard, staring at his pillows.  What *was* that,
he asks himself.  He leans in a bit closer to look at the pillow…and it

Bill is understandably unhappy at this point.  He very gently picks up the
pillows (two of them) by the opposite corner and carefully tiptoes into the
hallway where he drops them on the floor and jumps back.  Nothing happens.

Bill carefully reaches down and picks up the pillow that he thinks does not
have the “thing” in it and shakes it.  Nothing comes out.  He tosses it against the wall and nothing goes “thud”.  He kneads it *particularly* carefully and
there’s nothing in it.  One to go.

Bill, even more carefully, one might even say frightfully, but we know Bill
better than that, carefully picks up the closed end of the other pillow

Bill is rather perturbed at this point.  He gets more perturbed when he
realizes that he jumped away from the snake, not toward his apartment door,
but away from it.  So, now Bill is situated ten feet down  the hall from
his front door with a pissed off orangish snake hissing at him in the
middle.  Alas what is out hero to do?

One must not forget that Bill is armed with that most deadly of weapons:
A pillow.  Using his trusty weapon and wielding it excalibur-like, he
fends the evil foe off as its eight and a half foot hissing length
(well, maybe a foot and a bit) lunges at him time and again.

The herculean battle continued until Bill managed to bat the damn
thing down his stairs a few steps, enough to enable him to jump back
into the relative safety of his apartment, dress in snake-proof clothes,
ditch the pillow for a hockey stick, and gather up the phone.

Several calls were made.  Oneonta police found it amusing and nicely
called animal control for me. (oops, sorry, Bill)  Animal control came
down (a very nice woman named Julie) and laughed alongside the slightly
harried Bill who by this time had evidenced his astounding hockey skills by
wrist-shotting the pesky reptile down his stairs, through the entrance,
and out the door, where the damn thing could freeze for all I—um,
Bill— cared.

Bill is now (hypothetically, of course) debating the wisdom of going
back to bed tonight.  He knows that there will not be a single piece
of clutter in his apartment when he’s done cleaning up.  When that
will be, only time will tell.

This is All true, I shit you not.


As the story mentions, I sent the email, and then spent three hours cleaning the apartment. I don’t think that place was ever as clean as it was that night. Not a single piece of furniture was left unchecked. No clutter was left unpicked. I had a wonderfully clean, snake-free apartment.

As it turns out, the snake was from the apartment down the hall. The woman had left it alone for three weeks, so the critter had crept out of its cage, slithered under her door, down the hall, under my door, and then curled up in my pillow case, which had been lying on the floor next to my bed. The snake was a Corn snake, completely harmless, not that I had any way to know that.

That’s my snake story. I sincerely hope that it never gets one-upped.

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