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Snacktime? More like Snaketime!09:17
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"Green Snake" by u/pizzahoernchen
"Green Snake" by u/pizzahoernchen

TL;DL (Too Long; Didn’t Listen)

Ben and Amory dissscusss sssome facsssinating ssstories about sssnakes.

Links: 

Bens stories:

-The snake AskReddit
-The New York Daily News article about a toilet python

Amory's stories:

-TIL about Bill Haast
-New York Times article on Bill Haast
-TIFU about the Yuan-Ti tribe

Thanks to Redditor pizzahoernchen for the the cover art. 

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Full Transcript:

This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text.

Ben: It's snektime, the kind of Endless Thread episode where we snek.

Amory: Which will mean something to some of you, but nothing to a lot of you probably.

Ben: Well, do you know about sneks?

Amory: I know about sneks. So let's explain. I want to shout out our Technical Director, Paul Vaitkus, from whom this brilliant idea came somewhat accidentally. I think it was an auto- correct situation where he was typing "Snacktime" and it auto-corrected to "Snaketime." And we were like, Paul, this is genius. We have to do a Snacktime about snakes. And then I think you were like, no, it's got to be "Snektime." You want to explain that part of it?

Ben: Yeah, well, you know, snek is the internet's way of saying snake.

Amory: Mmhmm. It's like the doge of snakes.

Ben: Absolutely.

Amory: OK. No snacks. Just sneks today.

Ben: Just sneks.

Amory: Yeah. You want to go first?

Ben: Okay. So I'm going to tell you about a response to an AskReddit thread. The question was, "What's your worst encounter with a wild snake?"

Amory: OK. Off to a great start.

Ben: Top comment on this was from PrinceNebula18 and they wrote: When my best friend slept with my boyfriend. That was their answer. You know, it had to be. OK, but here's the real story. It's from user F4T45H35.

Amory: Of course.

Ben: Well, this is odd timing, they say, yesterday I became the owner of a snake. I went upstairs to the bathroom, downstairs was occupied. I'm sitting. I'm chillin. Typical day until I glanced to my left and by the toilet is this two and a half foot snake coiled up looking at me. So I have a kid. I figured this was some kind of hilarious prank. Well, it wasn't. It was real. I poked it thinking nothing of it, and it starts slithering towards me. Lucky for me, I was already in position to be scared that bad. It hid behind the toilet, and I promptly finished and got up, went and found a bucket and came back and caught it. It's an albino corn snake. I was in no danger, so I wouldn't say a worst experience, though, for sure scariest. Everyone we've talked to says it was probably a neighborhood pet that climbed into the sink or toilet and made its way to our house in the plumbing.

Amory: What? It slid in the pipes?

Ben: Yeah, yeah.

Amory: Snakes can come up through my pipes?

Ben: Yes. So now I'm going to tell you a quick other story really fast about my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. This happened a year after I moved there. This is from a New York Daily News story in 2007. “Forget the monsters under the bed. There really are slithery creatures lurking in the pipes. Nature's Call Forest near death. Bruner Archie, 38, to the dark bathroom in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn apartment in the wee hours of Monday morning while washing her hands, she glanced back at the toilet to find a seven foot long python staring back at her.”

Amory: What?

Ben: “‘I turned on the light and screamed. Oh, my God!’ Said the hysterical restaurateur.” That's very New York Daily News-style. It still makes my heart race. Yes, this is a real story. It happened in my old neighborhood, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. They had to, like, call the I don't know, call the snake people, the snek people to come and pull the thing out.

Amory: What if it had come up while she was going?

Ben: I know

Amory: I’m so upset to know like, that's one of those things that as a little kid, you would say. You know, there could be a snake in the toilet.

Ben: It's like alligators in the sewer.

Amory: And your parents would be like, no, honey, that's not real. But it could be!

Ben: Yeah, it's real.

Amory: I'm upset. I wish good things to all living creatures. But I do not want a snake in my toilet.

Ben: That's not how you want to meet a snake?

Amory: No. Oh, man.

Ben: Alright.

Amory: Let's take a little snake break and then I'll tell you one.

Ben: Snake break.

[Sponsor Break]

Ben: What do you got?

Amory: Okay. Mine comes from a TIL. This was posted by a user named LabyrinthLuminary. And they say, "TIL Bill Haast began extracting snake venom at 15 years old. He founded the Miami Serpentarium and he injected himself with venom for 60 plus years. His blood was used to save 21 snake bite victims. He created a venom serum to cure polio. He was bitten over 170 times and lived to be 100."

Ben: Wow.

Amory: Yes. I read in The New York Times that he handled more than three million poisonous snakes over the years. He would inject himself with venom as a kind of scientific experiment. So he was building up immunity by doing this. And he actually was collecting snakes from all over the world, starting with in Florida, where there are a lot of venomous snakes. He was housing these snakes in what they said were strict lab conditions. And then making their venoms available to a broader scientific community in a way that they could be studied, they could be experimented with. They were trying to use them to cure certain diseases or as different remedies. And it’s said that this guy, his hands were like destroyed. He was missing a fingertip. He clearly wore the signs of having been bitten over one hundred and seventy three times.

Ben: Wow.

Amory: And he's regarded as a legend. And one of my favorite little factoids about him is that he bought his first exotic snake, a diamondback rattler, from a catalogue. And this is way back in the day. And he sees that it came from Florida. So he's like, "Oh, I've got to get to Florida." So he actually goes to airline mechanics school. He gets a job as a flight engineer with Pan American World Airways. And he started traveling the world and smuggling snakes.

Ben: Oh my God.

Amory: And with these smuggled snakes, he opens this Miami Serpentarium where he was housing them and he was the pioneer of venom production for venom research.

Ben: Alright.

Amory: Bill Haast.

Ben: That's it. That's a pretty good snektime.

Amory: Can I tell you one other funny little story?

Ben: Okay, sure.

Amory: So this one is from TIFU. Today I f’ed up.

Ben: Okay. Yes.

Amory: So here's the post. I'm just gonna read it. So a little backstory. To my knowledge, I'm just about an eighth Native American. But when they found out that when you're applying to college, you just need to be like one sixteenth Native American in order to put that on your application. He was like, oh, this is great. I've been told that I am, you know, an eighth Native American and that I'm from this tribe of people called the Yuan-Ti. Does that name mean anything to you, Ben?

Ben: Yuan-Ti.

Amory: Yuan-Ti. Have you heard of that before?

Ben: No.

Amory: OK, so he says or she says, confirmed with my parents and sent in my application as one eighth Yuan-Ti Tribe. I found out all these years that this is a fictional race of snake people from Dungeons and Dragons.

Ben: You know what's so funny is I was going to say this! I was going to say, oh, my God, I'm so mad at myself that I didn't guess this because I'm just starting to play Dungeons and Dragons. I just like set up a new character to play Dungeons and Dragons. And I was like, I was gonna guess that this is like a fictional snake people tribe. And there you have it. I should have guessed.

Amory: Yep. He says TLDR, I told everyone I know that I was a fictional snake person. So that's our little, uh. Our little snake roundup. Our snek roundup.

Ben: Good snektime.

Amory: We'll be back next week with a full episode.

Ben: Bye-sssssss.

Amory: Ssssssee you then.

Josh Swartz Twitter Producer, Podcasts & New Programs
Josh is a producer for podcasts and new programs at WBUR.

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James Lindberg Production Assistant

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