By Ken Poor

     Ever wonder why there was a sudden surge in the stock market recently – specifically for Depends. It is possible that I know why and here is the true story. I was working part time as an emergency first responder at the Heritage at Lowman – a large assisted living facility primarily for the elderly, in central South Carolina.

     While at work one day, a nurse working at the Haltiwanger Building called me and asked for help with a snake. My job description did not include anything to do with wildlife removal, especially snakes. Keep in mind, I have a very deep dislike for all types of snakes big or small. But strictly because I am a nice guy, I went to the Haltiwanger Building and with some help from the nursing staff captured the snake.

     The snake we had captured was a fat, 5-foot plus, Eastern Black snake. With the snake in the bag, I got into my company car and was holding the bag upright on the passenger side seat while driving. My intention was to take the snake to a more suitable area and release it, a short drive, that should only have taken me about three minutes.   

Eastern rat snakes, formerly known as black rat snakes, are large non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet long. They have shiny black scales on their back and a light colored belly, and their throat and chin are white.

     We had put the snake into a doubled-up garbage bag and tied the top of the bag. I have done this several times in the past and with a variety of different wild animals including snakes, geese, ducks and other small animals.

     While driving down Lowman Home Barn Road with the snake in the garbage bags, I became aware that the snake was very active and agitated. Suddenly it sounded like a large balloon was exploding and the snake burst through the side of the garbage bags.

     The snake immediately and amazingly fast, came out of the garbage bag, across my lap, and went down between the door and the driver’s side seat. After what seemed like an eternity, I got the car stopped and jumped out of it.

     I looked in the car and saw the snake on the back floor going under the driver’s side seat. I watched to see if the snake came out from under the seat. It did not, or at least I did not see it come out. About this time, I realized I was still holding the garbage bags and the car was parked in the right lane of Lowman Home Barn Road, blocking a very busy lane of traffic.

     In the meantime, a car had pulled up in back of me and the lady driving it was blowing her horn. I walked back to the car and explained to the lady that she was welcome to move my car, but she needed to know that there was an unaccounted-for snake inside the car. Obviously, she was in a hurry because she opted to drive around my car and be on her way. Lest you forget, I am retired Navy Chief and speak fluent sailor when excited.

     About a half hour later I had calmed down considerably and moved the car off the road. Then I walked a couple of blocks to where my personal truck was parked and I have been using it for the past week. The snake may or may not still be in the car because over a month later the snake is still unaccounted for. Instead of garbage bags I highly recommend using a cloth pillow case for removing snakes and other critters from buildings – better yet – let someone else do the dirty deed.