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Sinaloan Stakeout

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Posted by Nate Godin on June 01, 2002 at 09:02:42:

So I get a call from my roommate Friday morning, saying that he's spotted Olly, my Sinaloan milksnake, slithering under the stove. This is great news, since she'd been missing nearly two months, and I'd given up looking for her. So I tell him to get under the stove and catch her, put her in a paper bag or something and I'd call him back as soon as I figured out the best overnight shipping method. Well, after getting the run-around from FedEx, I determined the best way to get her back was to drive down to Worcester myself. Kinda killed my plans for the weekend... but oh well, I thought, I could visit some friends down in southern Maine on my way back up, and crash at my dad's place. So anyway, I call Mike back... no snake. All he found was a shed skin, which is just shy of 3 feet long... my little Olly has grown! I guess I'm lucky to live in a vermin-infested apartment after all. :P Anyway, I drive down, figuring I can find my snake and be home in time for dinner. Ha! So before I get there, I give my landlord a call, because he's been leaving weird messages on my voice mail all week, and I really didn't want to call him back until this snake thing was resolved. Figuring I have the situation well in hand, I tell him to meet me in an hour, thinking I'd have the snake back in captivity by then. I get to my apartment... the landlord is there, with his little handyman posse, tearing the gas stove out from the wall. It becomes obvious that Olly has followed the gas pipe up into the wall, and could be anywhere inside the floor, wall, the downstairs neighbor's drop ceiling... anywhere. Great. He tells me he can't let the new tenant move in until the snake is dead or captured... this is Friday, May 31st mind you, the LAST DAY of my lease... and he's ready to start tearing up walls and floors to get at this thing. Guess whose security deposit THAT is coming out of? So after making the hole around the pipe a little bigger, tearing up a couple boards, and making a real mess of the downstairs neighbor's drop ceilings (and inhaling some fiberglass insulation... mmmm... lung cancer!) I find no snake. So, I run off to Petco to get a mouse, hoping to bait the snake out of the hole... I set up a little cave with its heating pad, and the food, hoping she'll smell the mouse, come eat it, and chill out on the heating pad to let the mouse digest. So I sit quietly and wait... and wait... and wait... at least I have my laptop computer and some movies to keep me amused, but I really wasn't planning for an extended trip... only brought one change of clothes and no toiletries... luckily a couple of my friends showed up around 7, after I'd been there 4 or 5 hours... we bought some beer and watched Training Day, a good movie. Checked the trap after the movie... no snake. Hung out next door for a bit, hoping that keeping the apartment empty and dark for a couple hours would help lure Olly out... still nothing. I wasn't planning on an overnight trip, but at least there was a left over box spring around, and a blanket in my car... so I slept, waking up every hour or two to check my trap. Nothing. Got up at 8AM when the handyman posse go back to work, took a shower... it was nice to be able to do that at least, even though the only thing I had to wash myself with was leftover dish soap, and I had to dry myself with paper towels... but, y'know, whatever. I took responsibility for this animal when I brought it home, it escaped because of my carelessness, and I broke the terms of my lease agreement with my landlord... these are the conseqences of my actions, and I have to accept them. And so the stakeout enters day two...

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