OVER!!EX!!AGERR!!ATOR!!!! (Now, With Update!)

I swore that I wouldn’t drink another drop of liquor for the rest of my life after being saturated with it the entire time that I was on the east coast last weekend. (Wine tasting! Coffee with Baileys! Beer Pong! No, seriously, BEER PONG!!) But! When I swore off liquor, I hadn’t considered the possibility of the words “MOM! There’s a snake in our backyard!!” being uttered from my children’s mouth just two days after my return home.
That’ll make a girl pop open the $2.99 bottle of Wild Vines she’s been saving for that special night when her husband wants sex and she’s like “I AM TOO TIIIIIIRED.” And he’s all “have a glass of wine and just lay there.” And she’s all “Dude, that sounds so awesome. Give me a few minutes to chug some of this shit down and get naked!”
My old neighborhood was not the kind of place I was proud to live. People stabbing each other, people having sex in my front yard, drug deals, restraining orders, rat infested neighbors, tweekers and so on and so forth, but at least I never had to worry about snakes slithering about in my backyard, or fearing for my life when I went to take the garbage out because OH MY GOD RACCOONS! AND COYOTES! AND MOUNTAIN LIONS!
I don’t know if this bottle of wine is enough to calm my nerves right now because Dudes. A snake. In my backyard.
UPDATE!!
After consulting Google, PigHunter is 100% convinced that the snake we found in our backyard is a harmless Garter snake.
And so a cage was built (without my permission) and a new pet was welcomed by everyone (except me) into our family.
Meet Sneaky The Snake.
Sneaky The Snake
A cage! He actually built a cage for it!
For “The Record,” I’m SO not ok with this and if I have this crazy feeling that Sneaky just might “accidentally” escape from his cage while the boys are at school.
P.S. DEAR INTERNET,
WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO KEEP THE SNAKE. WE WILL SET HIM FREE TONIGHT! So! You can stop worrying about the snake now! Apparently, PigHunter just wanted the boys to experience the snake up close and personal for a bit, but tonight, we shall set him free!

65 thoughts on “OVER!!EX!!AGERR!!ATOR!!!! (Now, With Update!)

  1. stepher

    Y!
    I would freak the f*ck out if I saw a snake in my backyard.
    Last summer I saw, what appeared to be, the world’s largest opossum in our backyard and I’ve yet to go outside after dark ever since.
    Chug. Chug. Chug.
    S t e p h e r

  2. Pam

    Are you kidding? A snake is an excellent excuse to have a glass or four of wine. Eventually you’ll have enough liquid courage to kill it with your shoe.

  3. Jennifer

    I was born and raised in south Texas and I can attest to the fact that snakes love a backyard – especially those where tender young children are playing. My dad would travel a lot when I was young so my mother had to learn to kill them if they slithered onto the property. We had a garden hoe specifically for snake killin’ and she could decapitate one with a single blow.

  4. Nothing But Bonfires

    Do you know what might be worse than a snake in your backyard? A snake SKIN in your backyard. My parents found one in their house in Singapore a few months ago….which meant the snake had SLITHERED out of its skin and was SOMEWHERE IN THE HOUSE, just waiting to be found!

  5. Chag

    Seriously? You had never heard of Beer Pong prior to last weekend?
    I say make a drinking game out of it. Any time you spot any animal (bird, dog, snake, walrus) in your backyard, take a drink.

  6. Karen E

    My daughter just screamed about a snake in the backyard today but we didn’t see it. Ugh. I hate snakes. So I’m feelin’ ya.

  7. Jen

    Count your blessings, it could be worse. In my neighborhood we have drug dealers across the street AND snakes in the back yard. And mosquitos.

  8. Kellie

    Dude, I live east of you in Murrieta (ie, not really that far away, nor rural). 4 years ago, on Mother’s Day, my then 4yo daughter was playing hide and seek in her playroom. She came out, very calmly, and announced there was a snake behind the easel. Me, 8 months pg, assumed that she meant lizard and went over to check it out. A 3ft snake, coiled up, In My House.
    I thought was that bad, but 2 summers ago, we were having lunch outside with family. We have a feral cat outside – she catches all of the mice and lizards – and she got to stalking something. Turns out that “something” was a 4-5ft rattlesnake, coiled up under the apple trees, about 6 feet from where we were sitting eating lunch – and we Had No Idea It Was Even There. Gah.

  9. Kelley

    I had a Blue Tongue lizard in my yard. Scared the living shit outta me. I blogged about it and people laughed at me cause it was a baby… I don’t care. It was scaley and bletch and just like a snake on legs.
    Now I need a drink just thinking about it. Yeah, thanks for that.

  10. norm

    More than likely it’s a gopher snake, and if you have any, you know, plants and stuff in your back yard you really really want to have a gopher snake. They are gentle, eat gophers (duh), and, more importantly, drive away rattlesnakes. If you can adopt a gopher snake to live in your back yard, then you are one happy California homerenter and I am not kidding. Particularly a big one. Like a three-footer.
    Important to make a good identification, though. Gopher snakes are yellow and brown. Rattlesnakes are dark grey, and have that rattle thing on the back end, and you do not want one of those.

  11. catnip

    I used to live in Virginia, in a house that I discovered had a big black snake living under the front steps. My neighbor told me “everyone has one, we like’em, they eat all the mice.” Dude, that’s why I have a cat. I don’t live there anymore.

  12. Kyla

    My little sister-in-law (she’s 6) cut the head off a snake in her backyard with a shovel. And then she was all “Oh hai! Mom! I cut the head off a snake with this shovel.” (weird, right?)
    Maybe I can send her to you? 😉

  13. bzmomma

    At least it wasn’t a snake on a plane (to/from your trip to NY/NJ). HA!
    Ok, sorry that was bad 😛 heheeh
    *going back into lurk mode*

  14. heartfull

    My dad brought home a snake just like that one time. He traveled by car a lot for his job and used to find (thankfully living) things along the roadway and bring them home – usually turtles. But one time it was a snake!
    So we built a cage just like that. the snake lasted a week, and then got its head stuck in the chicken wire and bled to death. Did you know snake blood is yellow? At least the stuff that came out of “our” snake was yellow…
    Ewwwww.

  15. April

    OMG that is a big snake. Aren’t garter snakes usually smaller? It would totally “accidentally” get out of his cage at my house too.

  16. Y

    For some reason, it actually looks bigger in the photo than it actually is.
    Even still, I can’t deal with it. I just can’t.

  17. Becky

    Be vigilant. My daughter caught a snake like that and kept it for a pet. Within 6 weeks our new pet snake “Blossom” had given birth to 29 baby snakes. EEEEEEEEEEK!

  18. SarahDragon

    Lol! I used to run barefoot in fields of grass taller than my head looking for insects and reptiles when I was growing up in the rural midwest : ) My mom was always hesitant to accept any gifts from me, and my dad was happy to provide screen-topped fishtanks for all my “finds.” The most memorable occasion was when I decided to capture as many bugs as I could, and put them in a jar with a secure tinfoil lid, very carefully poked with a toothpick so they wouldn’t die or escape. Then I put the jar in a paper lunch sack and stapled it shut at the top, about 40 or so staples to make sure it would hold. Yeah, I was about 6 I think… Then I wrote a sweet note on the front of the bag and left it on my mom’s desk. I was sure she would be so proud of me for making sure they couldn’t get out. She was pleased as she opened it, until the bugs swarmed out at her face… Guess that tinfoil wasn’t as secure as I supposed it was…

  19. maya

    #1: Fuck that.
    #2: I might be wrong, but I’m fairly sure that it’s illegal to find and keep any animal that is indigenous to whatever state you’re in.
    #3: Hell fuck no, regardless of the law.

  20. Lisa

    Set the cage in the sun. Dry it out. That’s what my mom did to my pet snake. Then when the kids have a fit, you say “Oooooooh, I didn’t know it needed water. Sorry.”
    … still bitter over losing my snake…

  21. Melissa

    Every time I work in the yard, one of these little guys/girls likes to sneak up on me. I scream every time. Last year I had to actually catch one (probably the same one) and move it to a different part of the yard so our beagle wouldn’t kill it.

  22. justmylife

    OH, I will not sleep tonite! And the comments, IN THE HOUSE!!! OH, Hell I may not get off the couch all day! I am terrified of snakes, even babies, where there are babies, there is a momma nearby! I agree, snakes need NO water! Or it just got loose! Wine? I would need STRONGER!!!!!

  23. Amy

    Rats and Snakes are my biggest phobias… I so wouldn’t be dealing very well about keeping a snake in my house.
    I don’t drink, but I’m pretty sure that would drive me to drink.

  24. Jenn

    Hey Y, that is a garter snake and they are HARMLESS, but you should be aware that they are escape artists, so if you don’t “accidentally” release it yourself, it may very well find a way out (and with that kind of screening, it could really injure itself). What are the boys planning on feeding it? It’s not easy to keep snakes happy in captivity (I know you don’t care if it’s HAPPY, but bear with me!) and garter snakes have a pretty varied diet: live fish, live insects, live mice, live frogs, etc. A snake that has been thriving in the wild is not going to be a happy pet. It’s going to try and try and try to escape. It does not want human friends. So I suggest the boys find a place to release it back into nature where it will be happy … and you will be happy 😉

  25. Laura

    Umm, if you were worried about the raw eggs in the cake batter you probably don’t want to know that snakes are a major carrier of salmonella. Be sure the kiddos are washing their hands.

  26. Y

    Yeah… we’re going to release it. I called Tony on the phone and he never really planned on keeping it (THANK GOD.) He just thought it would be fun for the boys to see it up close for a bit. But tonight, it’s so long Sneaky! Thanks for the memories!

  27. Michelle

    Well, it’s no WONDER you are not okay with the new pet. When your post popped up on my screen, I just MIGHT have loudly shrieked “Oh my FUCK!” and quickly backed my chair away from desk. Like, all the way across the room.
    Just sayin’.

  28. Y

    Oh, Laura– Don’t worry, they wore gloves AND I made them scrub their hands. Remember, I am a FUHREEK about such things.

  29. gleep

    Sadly, a wild snake will not do well in captivity and will likely die. Wild snakes carry parasites, and captivity can stress them out, lowering the snake’s immune system and decreasing its chances for survival. It’s also unlikely to eat because it will be too stressed, and can also become uncharacteristically aggressive. Please, for the snake’s sake, let it go!
    (When we were kids we had the 24-hour rule: If we could catch it, we could hold it for observation for 24 hours, but then we had to “let it go back to its own family.” That’s always felt like a fair compromise to us.) It’s an adorable little snake, though.

  30. Beth

    Oh holy fart! Even the picture freaks me out, especially when it’s sitting up and looking menacing.
    *I* need a glass of wine now, and that’s problematic, since I have to go do Safety Patrol at my daughter’s school.
    I refuse, refuse, refuse to believe that my yard will ever contain a snake that damn big.
    Love your blog, btw. I’m always refreshing to see if you have a new post.

  31. gleep

    Oh — right on! I’d feel awful for your kids if Sneaky got too freaked out and turned into Nippy (we did some wildlife rehab when I was younger, and you’d be aghast at some of the things otherwise completely reasonable, intelligent people decided might make great pets.)

  32. Y

    I can only imagine.
    Apparently, I wasn’t listening because husband claims he never said it was going to be our pet. I was just busy screaming things like “I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU IF THAT THING BITES ONE OF MY CHILDREN”

  33. Jennifer

    That is the biggest fucking snake I have ever seen. Ever. I remember the garter snakes of my youth being tiny and cute.
    Poor guy. He’s probably completely harmless and a rather charming fellow when you get to know him.

  34. DogsDontPurr

    I love snakes! I think most people are afraid of them because of the myths surrounding them. The get bad publicity! But really, snakes are quite interesting. They’re not slimy like most people think. They feel like fine leather (think snake skin wallet or snake skin boots…very soft). And they generally won’t bother you unless you bother them.
    Now when it comes to eating snake….that’s a whole nother story! I *am* afraid of that! I was once at a restaurant that served deep fried rattle snake. Being adventurous, I thought, yeah, I can eat that! But when it came to the table….no, no I could not! Ack! (However, I have had eel and it was delicious!)

  35. lizinsumner

    AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! DON’T DO THAT EVER AGAIN!!! Putting pictures of snakes up on blogs for unsuspecting blog-readers to scroll down to is NOT NICE!!!!! I’ll forgive you this once – but, only if you promise not to do it again. UGH! I HATE snakes!

  36. Jessica

    He’s a cutie. 😀
    We’re reverse in this house. My three year old and I want a pet snake. The husband, however, does not. He’s a wee bit ooged out by snakes, spiders, and crawlies in general.

  37. Susan

    I hate snakes. Of course, I live in the middle of the freaking Mojave Desert, so I am not exactly in the best environment for someone who hates them.
    We not only get snakes, but also scorpions, bobcats, and even bears who make their way down from the Sierra Nevadas. Our neighbor had one on their front deck a few years ago. Last year, I had a bobcat eating an owl under my CAR in my parking lot at work.
    Good times!

  38. Kimberly

    Oh dear Jesus.
    Thank you, Y, for curing me of any desire I ever had to move from my nice, safe, snake-free New England home to California. The worst we have to worry about here are spiders.
    Gahhhh.

  39. Rosie

    Warn a girl next time!
    I
    HATE
    all
    snakes.
    I don’t care what their mass demise would do to the environment – I want them gone.
    If I see one outside, I return indoors and spend the rest of the day inside hating snakes.
    Gah.
    Now I’ll have nightmares.
    Gah!

  40. Tammy

    And THAT is why I live in the Yukon. No snakes here. No skunks, either. Or big nasty spiders. I’d rather deal with a grizzly bear than a snake, any day!

  41. Christine

    I wish you’d put the snake pictures behind a cut or something. I’m going to have nightmares now omg :(

  42. unrepentant gallivanter

    I have a friend who had a snake at one time. He got deployed for awhile and gave it to his mom to take care of for him. He came home and she had a delicious home-cooked meal for him. He ate it and liked it. Then he asked how Duke was (the snake.) She said, “Delicious. You just ate him.”
    So, I guess you could always kill, skin, clean and make snake stew of of it!!

  43. Helen

    We just have worms in England and sloworms which are just fat worms…..move to England, it’s cats dogs, worms and zoos, you’d like it! I think we have itty bitty grass snake things but I am 45 and never saw one yet.

  44. christine Gill

    Awww, bless! i love snakes, that is actually something i miss about living in Arizona (seriously, it’s pretty much the only thing i miss about living in Arizona, lil Welsh gal that i am)
    beee-yootiful!

  45. Kim Fenolio

    My parents had four children. 3 boys and me, the only girl. One day my oldest brother came running in the house carrying a harmless garter snake. My mother freaked the heck out, but like in your case, my father allowed him to put it in our fish tank that housed nothing but air. Two days later while we were all at school, my mother entered my brothers room with an aerosol can of hairspray and did some major hair renovation on that lil garter snake that he just wasn’t the same after that. He was dead.

  46. Jayde

    Ha ha Helen, I love your comment! it’s so true! we have NO scary animals here in England, when i read about things like this, I freak. the worst you would ever could come across here in england really is worms…..or slugs uggghhh

  47. Rachael

    Awww, it just a lil bitty ol’ snake! Feed him some mice! 😀
    This is one of the reasons I tend not to keep female friends. :/

  48. Redneck Mommy

    We’ve got snakes every where out here.
    (And so now I’m guessing you won’t be coming over to visit? LOL.)
    I don’t like them but my kids love them.
    It’s all fun and games until Mom finds a snake under her pillow.
    Or in the cereal box.
    And my kids wonder why I don’t bake cookies for their lunches. Cuz my kids are snake luvin’ cretins.

  49. Loren

    Thats actually a chapparel whipsnake in the picture up there. Also harmless. I actually have one myself.

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