The Great Snake Episode of 2015: An Account of Heroism and Hysteria

11:31 AM

I woke up at 2:37 am with the desperate need to go to the bathroom (#pregnancy). As I stumbled, half-asleep, across the room and into the kitchen, I froze. What if he'd come back?? Paralyzed with fear at the thought, I called to Stephen. "Stephen. Stephen, I'm really sorry, but I need to go to the bathroom and I'm scared!"
"Do you need me to check for snakes?" Came his sleepy reply, unshaken, as if this were a nightly-occurrence.
Feeling slightly like a child afraid of monsters in the closet, I said, "Yes. Please. I'm sorry to wake you up."
Stephen got up, walked into the bathroom and turned on the light. "The coast is clear!" He said, sleepily, smiling and giving me a quick hug of comfort.
"Thank you." I said feebly.

I quickly went to the bathroom and then raced back into bed.

**5 hours earlier**

I got home from a friend's baby shower and found Stephen watching videos on ESPN. (If you're in the mood to see something GROSS, watch this video. Don't worry, it just a guy eating something gross. Stephen would like everyone to note that although this guy PLAYS for the University of Iowa, he is from NEBRASKA, and therefore his gross-ness should not be reflected on the great state of Iowa.)

After a few minutes, Stephen decided to take a shower. He walked over to the bathroom, and said (with excitement, but no trace of hysterics), "There is a snake in our bathroom!" The light in the bathroom was off, so Stephen couldn't be 100% sure of what he'd seen, and after just a minute or two he was convincing himself that it probably wasn't a snake afterall. "Maybe it was just a trick of the light," he commented. He grabbed a backscratcher, (aka "his snake-stick" as it will probably forever be called) instructed me to get my camera, ("If there really is a snake, we'll want this on video!") and started poking around at a pile of clothes I'd left in there earlier that day. (Note to self: This is yet another great reason to NOT leave a pile of clothes in the bathroom. I'm sure this story will be told to our children as a scare-tactic to get them to pick up their clothes. "If you don't put your clothes away, you might come back to find a snake hiding in them!" Hahaha can't you see I'm going to be a great mom.)

"There! I see him! There really is a snake!! He's in between your shoes!" Stephen (laughing) poked around with his stick a bit more, and the snake moved from his hiding spot and came fully into view. (Stephen also started narrating on his phone at this point because I was way too far back to actually film the snake with my camera and I was NOT planning on getting any closer haha.) To give some perspective: This is the type of snake I was more-or-less expecting to see. YOU CAN IMAGINE MY SURPRISE, however, when the snake was MUCH BIGGER and MUCH MORE COLORFUL than the one I had pictured. (You can audibly hear the shock in my voice as the wave-frequency (i.e. pitch) greatly increases, haha. Cue hysteria.)

After a few minutes of being not-really-sure what to do, I did what any normal freaked-out person would do: I called my dad. He didn't pick up, so I called my mom, who was, luckily, with my dad. My mom (who thought the whole thing was hysterical - PROBABLY BECAUSE SHE WAS SAFELY IN CALIFORNIA and also because, "I just don't panic about things quite as much as you do" calmly and logically talked me through my fears and ACTUALLY LAUGHED at my idea that there was probably a snake colony living in the walls of our apartment. (The nerve.) She assured me that the snake was much more afraid of me than I was of it and that it wasn't a poisonous snake (she asked what colors it was and looked it up online, which I had already done, but that didn't mean it wasn't still terrifying!!). Good try, Mom, but you did little to calm my fears.

Sometime during this short period of time (when Stephen came over to show me the footage he'd captured on his phone)...the snake went MISSING. We were sure it couldn't have gone too far, because our bathroom is only SO BIG (translation: tiny) and the snake was HUGE (translation: probably a smaller-than-averaged-sized snake), but it was seriously like the thing had VANISHED. With Harry Potter #2 freshly on my mind, I was sure it had somehow gotten into the pipes and was definitely going to be in the toilet next time I lifted the lid! At this point, I was fully prepared to call my aunt to ask if we (translation: I) could sleep there for the next week since the snake was no where to be found (even though my mom said I was being absurd - I WAS NOT GOING TO SLEEP IN A HOUSE WITH THAT SNAKE LOOSE! "What if it's a cuddle-snake and it gets in bed with us??!!?!!" <-- these are my real thoughts when I am terrified. Again my mom just laughed and said, "OH Hannah!").

After a few minutes of looking around the bathroom and being totally bewildered/confused as to where the thing could have gone ("Could he have gone UNDER a wall??") I thought maybe it was under the shelving unit in our bathroom. How it took us so long to come up with this idea, I'm not sure. I blame hysteria and lack of rational-thought. Stephen gently moved the shelf, and yes indeed, a flicker of black and yellow could be seen.

My dad suggested (via my mom on the phone) that we ask some neighbors if any of them had lost a snake because although snakes live in Utah, it seemed a bit out-of-the-ordinary that this one would be hanging out in such a heavily-populated area (AND ALSO IN OUR HOUSE). I immediately thought of our neighbors who have a few dogs. If they have TWO dogs they probably also have a million other animals! (Yes, I can now see the lack of logic in my thought process.) But before we went there, Stephen said we should ask the guys upstairs. POSITIVE that it wouldn't be one of them, SURE I WAS that they would know that having pets is A VIOLATION of the housing contract, I was quite certain that talking with them would get us nowhere. But I went (because, ew, I was not going to stay in the apartment by myself).

We knocked on the door and one of the guys answered, "Do...any of you guys, by chance, have a snake that's...missing?" Stephen asked, so nonchalantly. (HOW he stayed so calm during this whole thing was truly a blessing for me. A real hero ;)) After a split second, the guy's eyes got really wide and he started pounding rapidly at one of the bedroom doors. When the other guy came to the door he said, "Did you loose your snake??"
"Oh, yeah! About a week ago," was the reply.
Stephen (still so calm, finding this whole situation so entertaining): "Well, I think it's in our bathroom!"

Can we just pause for a moment here. A WEEK AGO. A WEEK AGO!???!!?!?!?!?!??!!!?! AS IN SEVEN-WHOLE DAYS AGO??? OH MY GOSH. HOW LONG HAS THAT THING BEEN LIVING IN OUR BATHROOM SLASH UNDER OUR SHELF SLASH IN OUR CLOSET SLASH UNDER OUR BED SLASH IN OUR KITCHEN?!?!?!? (I have an entirely NEW set of reasons of why I am so glad we were in St. George over the weekend.)

Sure enough, he came down and retrieved his snake (which, I don't even want to THINK about how it got into our apartment from his: vents, plumbing, cracks in the walls????? ew ew ew ew if I keep going I might cry) and that was that.

Finding out the snake was a pet was actually quite comforting. It at least (kind of) calmed my fear/theory that there was a snake colony living in the walls. Also knowing that the snake's owner is already moving out in a few weeks is comforting haha. That being said, I'm still QUITE jumpy (AND RIGHTFULLY SO, MOM). You can bet I will be WEARING CLOSED-TOE SHOES everywhere in the apartment for at least the next couple weeks. (A snake attacking my feet/toes/ankles is one of my biggest fears regarding snakes. Maybe a snake would mistake one of my toes as a small mouse?! IT COULD HAPPEN!!!)

I'm sure in just a few weeks this whole episode will be hysterical, and I definitely appreciate the humor already....but it's still a little too fresh to be taken too lightly. (Not to mention the fact that I had one of the most realistic and terrifying nightmares I've ever had, in which a snake lunged at me. Luckily for me, I had lightening-fast reflexes (even in my dream haha) and I was able to dodge the snake, unhurt, but none-the-less, screaming.)

My Footage: (Yes, I am aware that I overuse the phrase "Oh my gosh" when I'm scared, so no need to mention it, Dad, Joseph ;))

Stephen's Footage:

NOTE: Stephen is at work right now and is, therefore, unable to clarify or falsify any of the above claims. Although some quotes may not be word-for-word what was said, they were meant to capture the essence of each situation (we'll see if Stephen agrees when he gets home hahaha).

And, while you're here, humor me (I WAS ALMOST EATEN BY A SNAKE LAST NIGHT FOR GOODNESS SAKE) and please help settle the "Great Snake Debate of 2010" by filling out the poll below ;) [I can explain more about this in a later post, I just wouldn't want to be accused of "skewing the results" baha.]

Is it possible for an animal without legs (i.e. a snake) to “pounce”?

^^Stephen: you are forbidden from answering this poll more than once!!!! 

May your day be delightful and deadly-creature free. haha (but really)
_ _ _

PS NOTE: If you have known me a long time, you will likely remember that I was once a snake-owner myself. (Yes, if you didn't already know that and you just made it through this ridiculously long and dramatic post, you are probably shocked, and rightfully so.) Why my parents ever let me have a snake (and why I ever wanted it!) is truly one of life's great mysteries. I was terrified of the thing. I brought it home from the pet store and that very day I regretted the decision (because I put it down on the ground and it got scared and coiled up even though it was barely larger than a pencil I was petrified). This gap in my judgement, is just additional proof in my mind that middle-schoolers are incapable of making bright decisions. (To any of my former students who might possibly see this someday, I think you're great, but I stand by my statement hahaha.) Some might even say that this whole episode was deserved, "ironic" even, as my snake, too, escaped from its cage and got loose in the house once upon a time. (I'm sure it was only three days, but my mom says it was a week and she's probably right.) I was quite as terrified back then as I was last night (although this snake was significantly bigger than mine was, making this experience even more nightmarish). The cherry on top? My dad found my snake on his way to take a shower. (This post would be so much better with emojis so pretend the laugh/crying emoji is inserted here and various other times throughout this post.)

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  1. Oh my goodness!!!!! This is seriously my worst nightmare! I am terrified of snakes and would have had a heart attack. Guaranteed. So glad you survived ;)

  2. I love the way you start the post! :) And I'm so impressed with Stephen getting up in the middle of the night to check for you! Sorry I wasn't able to calm your fears. :) It was interesting to read that you regretted the decision on getting a snake that same day because, of course, after BEGGING for a snake, you didn't admit that to us. :)