Thursday, October 13, 2005

The revolution has begun... And the revolutionaries have no legs.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who noticed this, but pythons have been all over the news recently. It’s especially happening in Florida, where apparently escaped pets have reached the point where they are a viable population, and the weather is pretty conducive to their survival. I thought the stories were just curiosities, and was going to post them here as a quirky funny story. Until I noticed these stories are popping up all over the place, almost daily, and I realized it was my duty to alert you of the threat these giant reptiles present.

The first story I noticed was gruesome, but funny in a macabre way. Apparently, rangers in the Everglades discovered the remains of a battle between a 13-foot python and a six-foot alligator. The python won and he swallowed the alligator whole, as pythons are wont to do.

"Encounters like that are almost never seen in the wild... And here we are."
Unfortunately for the snake, however, he had bitten off more than he could chew. The alligator was either too big or still struggling, and the snake, well, he popped. Just like a balloon.
Link (Warning: gruesome picture!)

Next up, in Florida again, a woman lost her cat. Her husband found a snake in their yard. A fat snake.

Experts said that bulge in the 12-foot snake is probably the missing 15-pound cat.
Yeah, thanks “experts.” It’s nice to know all those years of expert school have paid off.

Elsewhere in Florida, a python sneaked (sneaked? snuck? Ok it's sneaked; I looked in the dictionary) into a poultry farm and ate a turkey. He then could not fit back out through the hole in the fence that granted his admission.

"The moral of the story," Cruz said, is that pythons "are eating more than they can chew."
These snakes must be surviving out of sheer tenacity, because it’s not on their intelligence.

In one more Florida story, locals have been calling authorities because there are snakes roaming their neighborhood.
Florida Fish & Wildlife officers were able to find and capture one of them, a 13-foot male. The eight-foot female is still missing.

Now that’s comforting thought. Just knowing that thing is out there, roaming your neighborhood. It’s like living next door to that freaky kid with the close-set eyes. Why won’t they just haul him in and get it done with?

Next up, we head to the west coast. In California, a sleeping 12-year-old boy awoke to find a 4-foot python latched onto his arm. You’re probably thinking what I was, but before you blame his parents:

The family just recently moved into the northwest Fresno home and doesn't own a snake. "We have no idea where it came from," said Michael's mother, Christina Esqueda.
It wasn’t even their snake. It just showed up, like a drunken college student who stumbled back to the wrong dorm room. Drunken college students don't generally try to eat the people they find in the room, though.

Now let’s head to Missouri. Missouri is having its own share of snake problems. First, a family moved into a new duplex apartment, and found a surprise; there was a 4 1/2-foot python under their dishwasher.

A previous renter in the duplex admitted the snake was his. He said it had escaped and he decided he didn't want it anymore.
OK, when I’ve moved out of rentals, I’ve left coat hangers, and maybe some cleaning supplies or canned goods, but I have never left a giant snake behind.

And as if Missouri isn’t having enough problems with escaped giant snakes, one guy is trying to make more! He had a nine-foot python mailed to him. It didn’t quite get there, though.

Ostermeyer told Williams he got the delivery last week but discovered the box was empty. He said he tried to flag down the driver and then put in a claim with UPS.

The python was later discovered in the back of the UPS truck, and is now happily with its new owner, so he can get on with his master plan of creating more snakes to hide under our furniture and eat our pets and children.

Elsewhere in the world, patrons at a pizza place in Austria were understandably distressed when a ten-foot long python was slithering through the restaurant.
Authorities said they were mystified as to how the python ended up in the pizzeria, and were checking with local snake breeders to see if any of their reptiles was missing.
I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the snake in the restaurant, or the fact that local authorities have multiple breeders to call up, looking for the response, “Oh yeah, that’s one of mine. I was wondering where he got off to.”

And, to round out the latest round of giant snakes in the news, we travel to England, where they win the award hands down for the most sensationalist headline.
That’s not to say that the snake has killed any children, or that it plans to, just that, if it wanted to, it could eat a baby. Not to cause anyone to panic, we just want you to know that it could happen.

Seriously, what’s the world coming to when people’s escaped pets are reaching the point that they are coming back to kill the pets that haven’t tried to escape? It’s almost like these snakes are seeking to punish us. Detroit is just as guilty, but in our case it’s the packs of feral dogs that roam the city. Maybe if we had a warmer climate, the snakes would take care of them, too.

I remember, at one time, thinking snakes were really cool. I wanted a snake of my own. I think I outgrew that desire right around the time I was in college. I had a little iguana named Sid, who seemed to want me dead. Every time I entered my bedroom, he would hiss and lunge at the glass. I grew to hate him. I, however, gave him away. I did not leave him in the apartment when I moved out, so that he could terrorize or try to eat the next residents.

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