This is an old story. I think it’s safe to tell because everyone outside of myself in the story is dead (if not physically, at least to me).
I had two roommates and we had snakes and lizards (and mice for the snakes and crickets for the lizards. And a bird but the bird was an asshole so it stayed in room which it destroyed). I don’t know how it came to pass that we had snakes and lizards. I just know we had a gaggle of them. Maybe four, five aquariums around the living room.
I worked from home and one of the lizards was my pal. I’d be working and he’d sit on my shoulder. I’d forget he was there. One time someone came to the door. That happens a lot when you work at home. Everyone thinks you’re not really working. But this time it wasn’t a friend wanting to come over to drink my beer and avoid whatever responsibilities they were supposed to be doing.
It was door to door religion salespeople. And you know me, I’m never in the buying mood so I could tell it might not go in a very good way. But before they got into it and before I told them to peddle their wares elsewhere they got spooked and left.
Wow, I’ve finally discovered my superpower!
I watched them scurry down the stairs in record speed then, as I was turning back to my desk I noticed the lizard on my shoulder. Damn! I guess it was the lizard with superpowers. That’s okay, as long as I’m his trusty companion I’ll enjoy the perks.
One day the phone rang at 3:30. That’s AM for you people who don’t know there’s an entirely other side of the clock. It was a roommate. He was going to work but wanted to tell me he was in the living room and one of the snakes got out.
The girl I was seeing also woke so was chirping in my ear for me to tell her what was going on. I told my roommate I’d look for him when I got up. We’re both fine with that.
The girl? She was not.
“You mean there’s a snake running around the house?”
“They don’t really run much. More like slither for a minute then take a nap.” I rolled over to join him.
“You’re not going to go find him?”
“Yeah, when I get up.”
“How can you sleep knowing there’s a snake loose in the house?”
“I’m about to find out.”
But the truth was I was not about to find out. I reassured her that, even if the snake was doing laps around the house, the safest place she could be was in the bed.
“Besides, the door is closed. Even if they were awesome climbers, which they’re not, they don’t have the correct anatomy for opening a door.”
Makes sense, right?
It takes about ten minutes before she decides I’m an asshole and there’s no way she can stay in a house with a rabid, yes, it had transformed in her brain to a rabid snake in the house. So I had to get up because she wanted an escort from the rabid, blood thirsty, snake.
Then I went back to bed.
When I got up I actually forgot there was a beast loose. Until I got to the living room and noticed my roommate had spent some time looking. All the furniture was away from the wall, the table was on the couch, shelves were moved, he’d giving it a good try.
So I started in right away with my work. I gave it a cursory look while picking up my writing partner and putting him on my shoulder. I figured the snake might pop out so all that would be left for me to do was furniture moving.
During the day the roommate called asking how things were going. I told him I hadn’t found him yet (I didn’t tell him it was because I hadn’t looked) so he said maybe it went downstairs. The house had old radiators so there were little holes to the basement. So plausible but not probable.
He told me I should call the girl who lived down there. She was a friend and it was an ‘apartment’ that was ‘part of our apartment’, if you get my drift. So, because the only way she could get into her’s was to go through ours it had to be someone we knew.
I didn’t want to call her but he said if I didn’t he would because she should know. So I called and she freaked out. How did I not see that coming? Then she proceeded to call me every fifteen minutes. How’s a guy supposed to get any work done?
Because my day is going to be ruined if I don’t find the snake I actually start looking. Only stopping every ten minutes to take her calls. She even called her mother and her mother said she’d get her a hotel room instead of coming back to this snake pit.
“Go downstairs and look in my apartment.”
I tell her I will even though, like snake wrangling, I don’t want to.
I give it one more check around the house but still don’t find him. So I head down and start looking. I can hear the phone ringing upstairs. I look on windowsills, behind chairs, the stove, refrigerator, you know, places we find snakes all the time.
I head to her bedroom and check things out there. Knowing I have to, although I don’t want to, I get on my stomach and reach under her bed. And I feel it! So I pull it out and it’s the biggest vibrator I’d personally seen to that date.
I can hear the phone ringing. I don’t think I can talk to her at this moment. I go to put the vibrator away and it turns on. But it must be getting some heavy use because it wwwwrrrred off in a few seconds.
I went back to my belly and put the now non-vibrator back hopefully close to where I found it.
“I wonder if I should tell her she needs new batteries?” I say pushing the vibrator under the bed.
I went back to my apartment feeling pretty confident the snake was not downstairs. So I did what any guy would do in my position. I washed my hands.
While washing my hands I knew I had to end this. The phone was ringing constantly, when I didn’t answer she’d leave a message so I did what any tired of doing this shit man would do.
I started to think like a snake.
I know what you ladies out there are thinking,
“Being a guy that must have been easy.”
Don’t make me come over your house and look under your bed!
So I went back into the living room and thought like a snake. And damned if I didn’t find the bastard rather quickly. He slithered out of his cage and, because they won’t fall, laid down on the warmest thing he could find: the back of the radiator next to his cage. I failed to see it earlier because my roommate had pushed a shelving unit in front of it.
Over beers that night the three of us we went over the tale of the escaping snake and my valiant efforts to bring him to justice! I left out the part about the vibrator.