Survival photo

Watch out at Lowe’s! Or at least watch out when you’re in the kitchen-cabinet aisle. That’s my takeaway from a recent story in the Clarion-Ledger.

Seems there was this guy in a Corinth, Missippi, Lowe’s on a Saturday afternoon. Unless he was accompanied by his wife, I doubt kitchen cabinets were his first stop. He probably checked out a few power tools, maybe the new lawnmowers. But eventually, around 2:30 p.m., he gets to the Kitchen aisle where he sees a set of cabinets, opens the door to one—and a snake jumps out. A good-size one. It strikes, and hits him right between the eyes.

And then it’s stuck to the guy’s head!

I wouldn’t have thought that was physically possible. Rat snakes don’t have fangs. They’re constrictors. Even with its mouth open all the way, how does the thing get a purchase on a guy’s forehead? Even if you’re grossly overweight, you’re not carrying much meat up there. Wikipedia says there are 12 subspecies of rat snakes in North America. And that all are “harmless to humans.” Tell that to a guy with one stuck between his eyes.

This probably sounds like something I’d make up. Nope. From the Clarion-Ledger: “According to Corinth Police Department Deputy Chief Chuck Hinds, the snake was stuck to the man’s head.”

What do you do when a snake’s mouth is stuck to your head? You’d think that somebody would have grabbed the thing and yanked it off. I like to think that’s what I would have done. That’s what I’d want someone to do for me, even if it did take a good chunk of my forehead off. But apparently, the guy had to stand there with a snake attached to his head for what, five maybe 10 minutes, until the first responders showed up.

The paper doesn’t say how long he waited, it just says this: “Responders had to cut the snake’s head off before removing it from the man, Hinds said.” And all Lowe’s has said is that they’re “investigating the incident.”

What’s the proper thing to say when you’re trying to pull a snake off a guy’s forehead? I think there are three options. Vote for your favorite.

[1] “It’s not venomous. Everything’s going to be okay.”
[2] “I’m not gonna lie to you. This may sting.”
[3] “Hold still, won’t you? You got a damn rat snake stuck to your head, and I’m trying to cut if off.”

Or feel free to write in a fourth.