Judy Gore, bless her little newbie heart. innocently
started the recent sneaky snake discussion at Southern
"Okay, I was sold on the South until this morning
when I started some serious gardening, pruning, and general
backbreaking work. I moved a rotted stump and reached down
to show my grandson what I thought, in my naive northern
brain, was an angleworm. As I talked and reached further
into the hole I'd created, the angleworm coiled. Strange
behavior for a worm. Kinda long too. Damn! Look at the size
of that angleworm's head."
"Wait a minute, angleworms don't have heads. A baby
"Before I could process all the information, my hand
was out of the hole and taking the rest of my body with it
across the yard. Of course I tripped and landed face first,
full body sprawl less than two inches from a fire ant hill.
So stunned by all the adrenaline flow, my body couldn't
decide whether it wanted to move my arms or legs first to
escape the hill."
"In the end, it decided to roll. I rolled away from
the baby rattlers and the anthill to land at my toddler
grandson’s feet. He giggled and sprayed me with the garden
hose he was playing with."
Pamela "Dragon" Klein, ever vigilant
when it comes to environmental issues, injected:
"Well, you just proved my thesis for me; people are
far more likely to injure themselves panicking at the sight
of a snake that they are to actually be hurt by the
"Are you sure they were baby rattlers? Unless you are
really out in a rural area, other kinds of snakes are more
Cowboy Mark Berryman, who knows his snakes (We
didn’t ask why.) replied:
"It could have been a pigmy rattler and not a baby.
They are much more common in yards and stuff than their
larger kin, the diamondback, the canebreak rattler and the
But Pamela Dragon replied: "Even a pigmy rattler is
pretty big! If I saw an earthworm the size of a pigmy
rattler I would think it was one of those Tremors
Judy Gore, still a bit shaken from her close encounter of
the reptilian kind, chattered: "Yikes! Pygmy rattlers.
What was God thinking when he made those? Make them cuter,
therefore, more accepted. What other wonderful creatures
will I encounter over the summer?"
"Judy," Pamela replied, "if you are new to
the South you should get a book on snake identification.
There are only a few potentially dangerous snakes in
Louisiana and most of them you are unlikely to ever meet up
with unless you are fond of swamps and wild places…"
Ben Baker, who shoots and cooks almost anything
with legs or without, offered his free advice and recipe:
"Rattler, when cooked properly, is delightful. It's
also the whitest meat you'll ever see."
"First, obtain suitable sized snake. This can be done
by walking around the woods, checking near gopher holes,
driving through the country and poking around old
"After locating a snake and restarting your heart, make
sure snake is a rattler and of eating size. Remove snake's
head. Discard by throwing at hunting companion. After
screams fade into the distance and you recover from
laughter, bury the head to prevent retaliation upon return
of hunting companion."
"Remove rattles and put on dash of truck. Later drop
rattles in Mason Jar on mantle at the house. Use rattles in
coming years to ward off attacks of irate mothers in
"Skin the rest of the snake."
"Roll stripped meat and spine in your choice of
coating. I use the same stuff I put on fish (plain flour
& corn meal 50/50, Cajun spices). Fry like you would
"Eat, like you would chicken. Comment it tastes like
chicken (it doesn't, it's better) to those who refuse to eat
Judy was actually getting hungry for some Kentucky Fried
"Good idea! So if it don't taste like yard bird,
does it taste like alligator? I would imagine this is best
served with a side salad and cornbread?
Phil Jones, obviously speaking from personal
experience, replied, "Tastes like chicken."
David Decker chuckled, "The good Lord made the
pygmy rattler just after He made the highly annoying,
neighborhood garden variety Chihuahua (that thinks he's a
first cousin of the Pit Bull/German Shepherd strain of
canine terminator). Not only will this obnoxious little
critter wail at you from the neighbor's yard every time you
walk to the mailbox, but if he gets loose he will come after
you like a Muslim terrorist on a jihad fix in a most devout
attempt to "bark you" back into your own
Ben Baker, who had already said way too much, had one final
word: "Rattlers don't taste like gator."
The snake tales were getting bigger and wilder when Mike
Bay got into the conversation:
used to work in a location that was over-slithered with the
things, primarily prairie rattlers (up to 5' specimens), and
one memorable encounter with a western diamond back (over
6'). Using low impact removal devices (snake clamps) in
environmentally restrictive locations (indoors) and a
unilateral removal device (.357) in environmentally flexible
locations (outdoors) to achieve a return to tranquility in
nature (a.k.a., stopping the panic amongst the humans of the
persuasion when confronted by a serpent). I am 17-0 in
kills, and still have six of the rattles as trophies."
"Like Dirty Harry Callaghan, when it comes to venomous
snakes, "I hit what I aim at".
Marta Martin, totally feed up with snake talk,
offered a creative recipe of her own invention:
"I'll tell you how to cook a dang snake. Hit
multiple times with hoe and shovel and burn the blasted
Judy timidly raised her hand and asked, "Over an
open pit, or in my stove?"
You’d think this would end it, but Ben had more snake
wisdom for those still interested:
"We basically have 4 poisonous snakes in the US, not
counting Sen. Joseph Biden, rattler, moccasin, coral and
copperhead. Of them, Josep... er, sorry, the coral is the
most poisonous, and is therefore the snake I personally
stomped to death while barefoot and in shorts in Athens when
I was four."
Pamela, sensing a snake column in the making for next
week’s paper, added:
"Yep, that is about the size of it, except that the
pretty little coral snake is not aggressive and has to chew
on you to get the venom in. In Florida, there is always one
neighbor who sees coral snakes under every rock and palm
frond and goes about shouting the alarm."
David Decker gave us more information than we really wanted
to know when he nostalgically recalled his military
…The Pacific Rim also has a tremendous nuisance called
the brown tree snake. In many travels all over the pacific,
I have encountered these fearless mongrels as they slide
through the racks where Marine after sleeping Marine reacted
in a fashion consistent with a saying my WWII Marine father
used to use. For the first time in my life I finally
understood what it was for grown men to "pee straight
Pamela nodded in agreement, "Ah yes, the vile Brown
Tree Snake. They have overrun Guam and every day a detail
has to go to the perimeter fence around the base and remove
the fried corpses."
Worsham figured she might as well tell her brown tree
snake story while they were still in demand:
"When we were stationed on Guam, family and friends
kept calling and asking if we were being over run by the
brown tree snake. There had been documentaries and 20/20
stories about them stateside. I had to admit that I had not
seen one in two years, but that I did enjoy a particular
tail, oops I mean tale about one.
You see, there was the base commander's wife whose name
was Jane. She walked in the morning for exercise. One
tropical morning while walking by a base house she noticed
the "worker guys" all scrambling and loading tools
into their vehicles claiming their work was done. It was
only 8:00 am. When she inquired about what the trouble was
one of the "worker guys" or what most people would
call "roofers" loudly exclaimed, "Brown tree
At 5'4 and maybe 120 lbs., Jane asked, "Where?"
They pointed towards a typhoon shutter hanging half open
from a window. She walked over, poked around, then returned
carrying the snake. The big burly guys all screamed and
quickly dispersed again. She casually walked to the curb,
windmilled the snake a few times, then popped its head on
the edge of the curb. As the guys gasped in disbelief, she
tossed the snake in the road and said, "now that is
taken care of, it's back to work."
There were several neighbor eyewitnesses accounts to
this. In good cordial southern humor, every time I saw her I
addressed her as Indiana Jane. However, I had to ask
directly, "weren't you a little scared?"
"No," she snapped, "I wasn't going to let
men waste a perfectly decent work day over a silly snake, so
I took care of it."
Now that is woman!!!"
And that took care of the snake stories, speaking of
wasting a perfectly good day.
Copyright Southern Humorists
Stories, Whoppers, and Just Plain Lies by Our Members
Compiled and Edited by Sheila Moss