Episode 1: the Time I Brought the Snake Home
So, I’d like to talk a little bit about childhood or a teenage experience that I had once. So, I think I was about 16 years old, 16 or 17 and I was working at Burger King actually. So, there’s this summer time, you know between school between grades and I was working at Burger King and—but it was a Friday night. And I was going to spend the night at my friend’s house. So, my friend’s name was Michael. And Michael lived a little far away, maybe 2 miles. I guess that’s about maybe 4 kilometers, so we couldn’t find a ride we—no one would take us. So, his grandmother was busy. I mean there was no one who was around to really, you know give us a ride, so we decided to ride our bikes to his house. Now, to get to his house there was this bicycle trail and you had to ride the bicycle along a path that went along the bicycle trail. So we’re going, and it was really hot and he’s peddling and he’s breathing—breathing really hard and trying to catch his breath, and suddenly he goes, “Stop Mat! Stop!!” And, so we both stopped, and he was still trying to catch his breath. And then he said that he ran over a snake.
Now this snake, he said, was the snake he said it’s—it’s about this long and he holds both arms out like a meter and a half, or two meters long and he said: “it’s black and white and I ran over it!” And then then he looked back—he looked back and he looked very worried he said he said, “do you think it will come after us?” And… But the snake never came after us. We just continued to his house, and we ordered pizza, we played video games we went to sleep, and then the next morning I had to go to Burger King. Yeah, so Burger King… Yeah, fun job so… guess what? I had to ride the bicycle back… back on the bicycle trail… to work to Burger King. And, so I had a backpack and I went. And it was hot again, and guess what I found on the bicycle trail? I found a snake maybe a meter… meter and a half long… It was really a meter. It wasn’t a meter and a half. So, I found a snake—black and white snake—and I picked it up, and the snake was… it was a very nice snake, actually. I knew it wasn’t poisonous it’s… it was actually called a king snake. So, it was black and white. Anyways, this snake, I picked it up and by the tail there was, you know, it was the same snake that my friend ran over with the bicycle. Because the back of the snake was… there was like a dent… or a dip… like where the snake’s tail was injured… Yeah, so anyways what happened next, yeah… I put the snake in my backpack and… Most people when I tell them about this story, they think I’m crazy hey, I thought it was a good idea to put the snake in my backpack. And I learned to love snakes and animals because of my grandmother. Anyways, I put the snake in the backpack. And then, I go—I went to work.
I went to work and the snake, actually, the snake got out of the bag and the snake had disappeared in the restaurant and I was very worried that the snake would somehow appear in somebody’s hamburger or food, and scare the customers away. Anyways um, anyways that didn’t happen and that’s good. So, the snake was just in another place in the break room. So, I found the snake and put him back in the bag and make sure—I made sure it was very, very well-sealed. And then I went home that night. I put the snake—I took the socks out of my sock drawer—and put the snake in there. But the snake disappeared and I couldn’t find that snake. And I looked for the snake all night. I closed the door and I tore apart the whole room. I looked under the bed, looked—and every drawer, every shelf… I looked under everything, looked in everything in the dirty clothes… everywhere. And my mom walked by the door, and she knocked on the door, and opened the door and said, “what the hell are you doing?”
And I said, “nothing.”
“What are you looking for?”
So, um, yeah… And then the next day, I did the same thing. I kept looking through the room—I couldn’t find the snake. So, it was now Monday, and I couldn’t find snake. And I just went to school, and then I was in school, and towards the end of the lesson… or not the end of the lesson… towards the end of the lesson… or… not at the end of the… well, yeah, towards the end of lesson, but towards the end of the day we… the whole school got an announcement: “Mathew Armstrong, please come to the office. Mathew Armstrong, please come to the office.” And I went to the office, and it was my mom, and she was crying. And she said, “there’s a snake in the house!” And she said that she had to call the police and the police came to get the snake. Then she explained to me what happened, and it’s a very funny story… what happened, how my mother found the snake… But I’ll tell you that in a second. But I told her, “yeah, I brought the snake home.” And she goes—she cried more—and she said, “don’t you ever do that again!”
OK, so this is what happened when my mother found the snake: so, she’s in the house by herself, and she said that the cat was acting—the cat was behaving very strangely. So, the cat was not, you know, behaving like a cat. The cat was standing in the kitchen looking into the living room, and the cat wasn’t moving at all… just standing there really still. And mom thought, what the hell is wrong with the cat? What’s gotten into the cat? And then she had breakfast and then she noticed the cat was still standing like that, and she said (to herself), what the hell is wrong with that cat? And she went to the living room—the entrance to the living room. The cat was still staring into the living room, and she said… she said: ah hell! One of the kids left the toy snake—a toy snake— on the floor…
And so it was very dark in the room and she went to turn on the light in the room. And in order to turn on the light, she had to stand over this “toy snake.” So, she stood over the snake, and she was looking down at the snake and it’s one of those fan lights… as she wanted to turn on the light, and, so she’s standing over the snake… and she didn’t know it was real. And she went to turn on the light, and as she was turning on the light, the head of the snake moved, really quickly, and then she started screaming. And she ran out of the house. And she said she was just wearing her pajamas! She ran out of the house screaming as she went to the neighbor’s house and called the police and the police came and took the snake out. Yeah, it’s one of those funny childhood stories… I’ll never forget it.