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A Small List Of Instructions For Taking Care Of All My Snakes While I’m Out Of The Country For 16 Years

Corn snake on a branch

As you know, I must leave the country for 16 years due to my emergency and I need you to take care of all of my snakes while I am away. It should be no big deal, but here are just a few small instructions.

1. Snakes smaller than a garden hose need mice and snakes larger than that need rats.

There are bags of rats and mice in the basement. Use a garden hose to measure all my snakes and feed mice to all the ones that are smaller than the hose and feed rats to all the snakes that are bigger than the hose. If the rodents are still alive the snakes will eat them without much fuss, but if they’re dead you’ve got to use a stick or something to wiggle them around to make them seem alive. I’m sure you can figure it out. Obviously, the supply is going to run out pretty quickly, so I’ve left you the business cards of a few local rodent breeders to call. I usually try to restock once a week. There’s $7,000 cash in my dresser for mice and rats to feed my snakes, and when that runs out I’ll mail some more.

2. When the snakes lay eggs, please be sure they’re kept between 82 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit until they hatch.

I have no way of knowing which snakes are pregnant right now, so just assume all of them are. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of eggs, and you’re going to have to keep them all at the right temperature. You can either put them under a heat lamp or sit on them, it’s your call. Once they hatch, you can keep them with their mother for a few weeks, but plan on picking up some additional vivariums soon to house all the new snakes. I like to keep their environments as natural as possible, so load them with live plants and mosses, and maybe make some bird sounds for them every now and then so that they think they’re in the jungle. You’re seriously the greatest for helping out with this.

3. If Serpentor escapes, do NOT pick him up by hand. Please call Jerry at Reptile World.

Jerry can get you some snake tongs. Do NOT attempt to touch Serpentor yourself. Serpentor is the best of all my snakes at escaping, so maybe put Reptile World on speed dial and be sure to tip Jerry for his time (I will send money for this from abroad).

4. Snakes need fresh water every day, no exceptions.

They really don’t drink much, but I prefer their water be kept as fresh as possible, so every morning make sure you go ahead and pour out the old water, sanitize the water bottle inside and out with soap and very hot water, and refill with fresh filtered water. Once you get the hang of it you can get all the bottles changed out in 45 minutes or less. I really appreciate it.

5. Wednesdays are bath day.

Warm some non-chlorinated filtered water to between 100 and 105 degrees and fill the kiddie pool a few inches deep. Bathe the snakes one at a time for about 8 minutes each, then dry with a fresh towel. Making bird sounds while giving them their bath helps because, again, it makes them think they’re in the jungle, which calms them down and makes them thrash around less. There is no way to make them stop thrashing entirely.

6. If my landlord is coming over, please hide all the snakes at your place for the day.

My landlord rarely stops by, but I don’t want to cause any problems for the guy I’m subletting from if she does. She doesn’t know I’m living there, and she definitely doesn’t know I’ve got snakes, so it’s going to be a real shit show if she finds them.

7. I might sell some of the snakes on Craigslist or have more snakes delivered.

The number of snakes I currently own will fluctuate wildly during the 16 years that I am out of the country. Sometimes I will be selling snakes and sometimes I will be purchasing large quantities of new snakes. If you could help show my snakes to potential buyers and set up the new snakes that come in the mail, it would really help out until I get back.

8. Red tape=Poisonous, Green tape=Harmless, Blue tape=Unknown.

There should be a strip of tape on every snake. If not, consult Google if you get bit.

9. In about 5 years, a lot of snakes are going to start dying of old age.

Any snakes that die should be frozen and shipped to the tannery immediately. Some of these skins go for a lot on eBay so I really need you to be sure that they get frozen and shipped out ASAP after they die. Thanks again, bro. This is really helping me out while I’m traveling for the next decade and a half.

10. Please be careful when milking their venom.

I texted you some links to YouTube videos on how to do it. The poisonous ones need to be milked every week because I sell the venom to hospitals to make antivenom. Please be careful when doing this! There is an old saying in the snake community: “If you die from getting bit by a poisonous snake, there is no way to reverse that.” Again, try making bird sounds while doing the venom milking so that they think they’re in the jungle. It will help to keep them calm. Once you sell the venom to the hospitals, please take all the money you receive and bury it in my yard until I come back. Do NOT forget where you’ve hidden the hospital money (if you need to, draw a treasure map).

11. Don’t forget all the snakes in the attic, garage, garden shed, etc.

I don’t keep all my snakes in the kitchen and the living room. They’re all over the house and also in the garden shed. Basically, assume every room and enclosed space in my house has many snakes living in it.

12. If an old guy driving an old Dodge Neon stops by and says he needs to pick up some of his snakes, do NOT let him in.

Tell him whatever you need to, but do not let him anywhere near my snakes. It’s a long story, but basically this guy is dangerous, both to snakes and people, so you don’t want him around. You’re the best for helping me out like this!

13. I’m going to need you to move them all to a new place in July, 2032.

The lease runs out then, so you’ll have to find a suitable place to move them to and have a whole-house humidifier installed. Hopefully, you can find somewhere that isn’t such a long drive from your place.

OK, that about does it! Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s going to be a good way to get a hold of me while I’m gone, so let me know if you have any questions before I take off for the next 16 years. Again, I really appreciate it!