A woman I knew had an uncanny ability to find the very worst men to live with. Invariably, any boyfriend she hooked up with left her with debt, problems with law enforcement, or Timber Rattlesnakes. Okay, only one left her with Timber Rattlesnakes, but how many times does it really have to happen?
I make snakes shrink. That’s my superpower. I’ve had a dozen people tell me they just killed a six foot long rattlesnake and once I get there half their snake is missing. I’ve never had anyone tell me they’ve killed a two foot long snake and it was really pushing five feet. Gina assures me both snakes are at least five feet, each.
Gina’s boyfriend had this great idea of turning two Timber Rattlesnakes into a belt. He dragged a big and totally massive table into the spare bedroom, then put a fifty gallon aquarium, that was missing its bottom, on top of the table. There was about six inches of Styrofoam peanuts in the aquarium, to help keep the snakes warm, a hot rock, and a plastic tub that took up half the space in the tank. There was a screen from one of the windows in the room on top of the tank with two boards holding it down with a couple of bricks. Security, you know, is paramount.
Feel free, please, to use this design to keep hot snakes in your home. I know you are wowed. I was breathless.
“How are you going to catch them?” Gina asked, standing at her front door, with her car keys in her hand. Gina hadn’t slept well since she walked into the spare bedroom one day to discover she was living with two venomous reptiles. How her boyfriend got them into the tank only Darwin knows.
I started by trying to locate both snakes in the tank. One was curled up against the glass, and that was good, but the other? I checked the floor near my feet. You know, it could be anywhere. Eventually, I discovered the second snake in the water container. Neither was over two feet long. See? I told you I could do that.
The Timber in the pool acted interested in me but didn’t rattle. I used a hook to fish it out and get it out and it was fairly calm about this, but the entire operation had to be done with me standing on top of the table, and standing over the tank. I’ve never been bitten by a hot snake. Most of the times I’ve relocated anything packing it’s always outside, in the open, and not on a tabletop.
“I’m not having sex with you if you do this, okay?” Gina yelled from the front door.
“You’re not helping by offering disincentives,” I yelled back.
Honestly, I was more into this for the snakes than the girl. If she called animal control and told them she had the snakes they would come in and kill them.
“Please just get them the hell out of my house.”
Gina saw me come back into the living room where I sat down on the sofa to watch the Braves lose to some other team playing baseball. She stood there, sat down, and asked, “This is your idea?”
“Braves Baseball will bore them into leaving. Any sports team that every played in Atlanta will kill the ambition of any sentient being forced to listen to them on radio or television. Live action has been known to produce suicides.” I opened a beer, a prerequisite in South Georgia if there are venomous snakes involved.
“Okay, I’m going to go to the store, I’ll be back in twenty minutes, have a plan, please.” And she fled. I think the Braves’ pitching got to her. It was worse than snakebite that season.
“Jesus Theodore Christ!” Gina didn’t actually say this, but her vocabulary strayed towards the exotic at times. The woman had been married three times, and she was only twenty-four. Yeah, her mouth showed it, at times.
“It’s freezing in here!” she said, and it was very cold.
I turned the thermostat down to fifty. After a half hour or so, I lifted the tank straight up, laid it to one side, and took a broom and gently pushed the snakes, and about six inches of Styrofoam peanuts, into a trash can. The lid snapped on tightly, and we turned the thermostat back up to seventy-five and watched the Braves go into the ninth tied 6-6 only to lose in it in the tenth 12-6. (To St. Louis, I think, Jon)
I took the snakes out into the woods, and watched them slowly realize they were free, and warm. They headed into thicker brush, and I cleaned up the Styrofoam and left.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.