This guy is huge, though. About four feet long and as big as a dollar coin all the way around. And he’s in the basement bathroom. Good grief.
Where’s Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?
“Dude, did you see Pulp Fiction?”
“Yeah, that guy Samuel L. Jackson is such a bad m-“
“Shut yo’ mouth!”
“I’m just talkin’ ’bout Sam!”
“We can dig it.”
*begin dream sequence*
Samuel L. Jackson: Describe what he looks like!
Me: He’s, um, black…bald…long…stripey…
Samuel L. Jackson: Does he look like a bitch?
Samuel L. Jackson: DOES…HE…LOOK..LIKE…A BITCH?!
Samuel L. Jackson: Well, okay, then. … WHAT?
Me: I’d just like to, you know, go to the bathroom without starring in the home version of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. I don’t own any hipwaders, yo.
Samuel L. Jackson: “The path of the righteous woman is beset on all sides by the inequities of the socio-economic level you occupy and the tyrannies of evil snakes. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of motherfucking snakes for he is truly his sister’s keeper, and the finder of lost reptiles. And I shall strike down upon the serpent with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and freak out my sisters when all they want to do is pee in peace. And you will know my name is Samuel L. Jackson when I lay my vengeance upon the snake!”
Me: YEAH! It’s a snake. In my bathroom! What’s up with that shit?!
Samuel L. Jackson: Motherfucking snakes in a motherfucking bathroom! Stand aside, fool, I’ve got it.
Snake: Oh, hello. Hey! What? Who? Blimey, it’ssss that guy! From that film! Who did that thing! Woah. How’ssssss it goin’, dude?
Samuel L. Jackson: Say ‘hisssss’ one more time, motherfucker!
Snake: Uh…ssssssay what?
Samuel L. Jackson: *divine retribution, possibly with sharp, pointy farm-implement, such as hoe or shovel*
Me: I TOLD you to get out of my damn bathroom. Stupid. I had to break out the Bad MotherFucker brand Snake-Be-Gone canned Whoop-Ass.
Samuel L. Jackson: Your sins, motherfucker! Do you repent?!
Snake: Hey! That ssssssmarts! Ouch! That hurtsssss! Yow! That’s not fair, givin’ a guy a ssssshot down there!
Samuel L. Jackson: VENGEANCE IS MINE, SAITH THE LORD!!! *SMITE smite SMITE smite SMITE*
Snake: Lo, I be sssslain and ssssmote. *expiressss*
Samuel L. Jackson: Time for a Royale with Cheese. That’s a mighty fine burger.
Me: How about some freshly dead snake? Tastes like chicken!
*end dream sequence*
I’ve been catch-and-releasing little green frogs of various sizes for two months, I guess Snakey knows a good hunting ground when he sees one.
Last year I had a Snake Intruder who zipped under my bed downstairs. This left me slightly less complacent for two reasons. I did not want to wake up nose-to-flicking-tongue with a snake coiled up on the neighboring pillows. I also did not want to pick up a dead snake a few weeks later.
I went on a Great Snake Hunt lat year and never found him. This leads me to one of two conclusions: Snake One survived and has become Snake Two, OR Snake Two is a different, larger snake. The former conclusion means that Snake One survived on his steady diet of wee frogs and got much, much larger. The latter conclusion means that I probably have an unknown number of snakes living with me but not paying rent.
There are other conclusions possible, including one where, when I move, I find an entire NEST of the damned things down here. I prefer not to think about it.
I told Snake One that I’d live and let live if s/he’d stay hidden or find the way back outside. I hope that this discussion worked. All I know is that I never did end up sharing a bed with Snake One, or find Snake One in the shower stall, and what I don’t see doesn’t stress me out. Now I’ve told Snake Two that if s/he will oblige me by crawling into a handy container, I will put said container outside, which is where Snake Two should be. Time alone will tell if this happens.
I’d be a lot more nervous if I thought the Snakes were poisonous. Georgia is home to six species of poisonous snakes, and these guys do not look like rattlesnakes (canebreak / timber, pygmy, or eastern diamondback), southern copperheads, water mocassins / cottonmouths or coral snakes. I suspect it’s a common garter snake (though it could be a ribbon snake, they prefer wetter environments).
What I learned today:
Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis): This species is found in a diversity of grassy habitats that are usually wet or damp, although not necessarily near permanent aquatic areas. It is usually less than 2 feet long, large specimens occasionally reach lengths greater than 3 feet. It is distinguished from all other Georgia species, except ribbon snakes, by the presence of three yellow longitudinal stripes down a dark body. Garter snakes have black lines on their lip scales, whereas ribbon snakes do not. Some garter snakes in Georgia have a checkered body pattern with poorly defined stripes. This species gives birth to live young, sometimes having more than 50 babies. Common garter snakes feed on earthworms, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish and tadpoles.
The only part that gives me pause is the several dozen live babies bit. I may be sharing a home with dozens of snakelets. The fun never ends.
Here’s a picture of my little buddy:
Not so scary, is he?
If he had rattles or fangs, though, I’d be screaming just like my ass was on fire. Or if he was much bigger. Three or four feet or so is about my limit for free-range snakes….longer than my legs, and I get a little freaked out.
My cousin was an amateur herpetologist and he tried to freak me out repeatedly with his snake collection when I’d visit. Instead, I’d happily hold them all and ask questions, which disappointed him. I even cheerfully scooped clammy newts out of their tanks and handled them. The only beastie I couldn’t really deal with was the furry spider the size of a tea saucer. I held it once, but gladly never repeated the experience. I’m not into arachnids. Frankly, I prefer my pets to be furry, but I also prefer for them to be mammals. (Great. Now I have They Might Be Giants singing “Mammal” in my mind.)
Speaking of: ferret v. garter snake. Who do you think would win?
This is another reason I’m not too fussed. If Snake Two gets out of line, I’m sending in fanged mustalid reinforcements to weasel war-dance and dook him to bits. Right now Snake Two is hiding behind the water heater in the bathroom (or so I think!), and that’s fine by me.