Is That A Snake In Your Pocket Or…?

Last week in the news this headline confronted me: “A Sandwich, A Snake, And A SNAFU: How Things Went Wrong At A Saskatoon Tim Horton’s”. And I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to put it into a blog post. (Thanks to Chris Robinson for inspiring the title of this post with his comment on my Facebook page.)

In case the link expires, here are the salient points of the event:

  1. Two guys walk into a Tim Horton’s in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Yes, this IS the beginning of a joke.)
  2. They order a sandwich (unclear whether that was one sandwich between the two of them, or one sandwich each). They want their onions diced.
  3. The employee objects to dicing the onions.
  4. An argument ensues.
  5. The argument escalates.
  6. One guy gets thoroughly pissed off, reaches into his buddy’s pocket, pulls out a non-venomous snake, and throws it at the employee.
  7. Chaos ensues and the police are called.
  8. The guys get arrested and charged with public mischief. The snake gets a temporary home until it can be released into the wild. I get a belly laugh or three. No word on what the employee got.

Naturally, my first reaction on reading this article was to post it on Facebook and Twitter for everyone to enjoy. After all, as I noted there, how often do you find a guy secure enough in his manhood to publicly reach into his buddy’s pocket and grab his snake?

But on further reflection, there was just so much in this article to boggle my mind. To wit:

  • All double entendres aside, why would a guy carry a snake in his pocket?
  • Why did the snake stay in his pocket? In my experience, snakes tend to prefer stillness and solitude, and they tend to seek them out fairly determinedly.
  • If, for some unfathomable reason, you were walking around with a snake in your pocket (yes, I’m still talking about the reptilian variety), why would you go into a Tim Horton’s? Presumably you’re transporting the snake somewhere for a reason, so why not use the drive-through and carry on to the intended conclusion of your snake-toting?
  • If the “unfathomable reason” was a pleasant outing for the snake, there are lots of better places to take it. As far as I know, snakes don’t like coffee or sandwiches. Not even Tim Horton’s coffee.
  • If you’re carrying around a snake with the intent to fling it, why not just fling it and be done? Get in, fling the snake, get out, go get your sandwich at a different Timmie’s.
  • Why was it so important that the Tim Horton’s employee dice the onions? Why wouldn’t the guy pull out a jackknife and chop the onions himself? Or if he didn’t have a tool in his pocket, (hence his need for the snake, perhaps…?), why not just break the onions into pieces with his fingers? They should have been clean – his momma must have told him to always wash his hands after handling his snake.
  • Who, in the extremities of irritation, decides to reach into somebody else’s pocket for what was clearly an inoffensive critter (at least to the snake-toter, who theoretically must have been sanguine about his reptilian pocket pet)?

So many questions… just one answer: Only in Saskatchewan.

(If you don’t believe me, I offer this YouTube clip as evidence. This is part of the half-time show from the 2013 Grey Cup, played in Regina, Saskatchewan. Check out the maniac on the snowmobile behind the band. Yep, I rest my case.)

* * *

Book 9 draft is at 90% and we have a title!  SPY HIGH will be coming out in January… cover art coming soon!

25 thoughts on “Is That A Snake In Your Pocket Or…?

  1. My brother had a very realistic rubber rattlesnake which (this was back in the days of drive in restaurants) he would leave coiled up on the tray when the car hop came back to pick it up. Some car hops didn’t scare easy. Others…


  2. I read your story and had to laugh out loud because I have actually had a snake thrown at me! During my kindness years my best friend managed a convenience store not far from me. She was short handed and called to see if I would help her out for a while. During the night (of course night shift girl couldn’t come in, it’s a Saturday night, she’s young, she just couldn’t take her headache any longer) A little guy came in, drunk as a skunk and brought a 12 pack to the counter. I said “No, can’t sell it to ya’, you’re already too far gone.) He argued, I just stood there saying “No”. He reached into his shirt and I figured it had finally come to this and I was for sure going to get paid for this shift! I grabbed my own pistol in my jacket pocket, ready and willing. He brought out a 4′ long snake! I later found out it was an Albino Python? At least that’s what the cop told me after he quit shaking. I thought it was fake until I grabbed it off my chest and it started to wrap around my arm! The guy grabbed the 12 pack after throwing the snake at me and started to run out the door. He was so drunk he ran into the door frame and knocked himself out. The snake slithered under the counter and hid behind the wall framing. It was quite a night. The cop had a real fear of snakes so he wasn’t much help. Had to call the animal control people. Sheesh. Strange things do happen. While I don’t “fear” snakes, I have a healthy respect for them. My friend laughed and said it could only happen to me. I laughed too, a few days later.


    • Oh, wow! Truth really is stranger than fiction! You should write a book of your memoirs… except probably nobody would believe you. 😉

      But clearly, carrying a snake in your pocket must be more of a “thing” than I realized. I wouldn’t like to be picking an unexpected python off my chest, thank you very much. That guy was lucky you weren’t trigger-happy, or he’d have more than a concussion to worry about!


      • I’ve had it suggested to me about writing it all down, I just may before it’s “all over”. hahaha
        The officer mentioned to me about my pistol as most convenient stores don’t “allow” them. I told him I know they don’t but, when push comes to shove, I will be the one walking out, not carried out on a gurney with a sheet over me. He just tapped his notebook, looked at me for a minute and said “oookay”. They took the guy away, he was fine. A mental patient that hadn’t had his meds in a while. “sigh”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Years ago, we owned an ag-related business in a tiny little town up in the Panhandle. The county sheriff also farmed and was one of our customers. My crew was a particularly rough bunch, and the sheriff knew all of them, er, professionally, let’s say.

          He was in my office one evening discussing business when we were still new to the community. He asked me if I owned a gun. I said no. He said get one, and get good with it, referring to my crew. I asked what I was supposed to do with it if I had some, er, labor relations difficulties with one of them.

          He said, “Anything you want. Just make damn’ sure he’s dead when I get here.”

          Life is simpler in small towns. 🙂

          As it turned out, I did get one and got good with it. One Saturday afternoon about a year later, a car load of ruffians pulled into my warehouse, and they kicked the crap out of one of my guys. When the car came barrelling out of the building to make good their escape, I popped three of their tires, walked calmly (as far as they knew) over to the car and held a cocked .357 against the driver’s head until my good customer and friend the sheriff arrived to deal with the, er, miscreants.

          Then I went back into my office, sat down, and had a nice, quiet case of the shakes.

          Then there was the time late one evening when I walked out into the plant (an incredibly noisy place with all the machinery running) and found a stranger with a straight razor held against the throat of one of my guys. His back was to me, so I backed into the office again, came back out with “my little friend”, stuck it against the back of the stranger’s head, and asked his erstwhile victim to call the sheriff again.

          The sheriff was glad to see the holder of the razor. I think he’s still in jail. He had been a very bad boy, apparently.

          Funny, I never had any problems at all with my crew. Hard working bunch, they were. 🙂


            • It wasn’t about threats, it was about protecting and taking care of. I paid them more than anybody else in town ever had, and they worked harder for me. And NOBODY messed with my guys. A lot of people were surprised at the mix of, er, personalities that worked together at my place. Just take care of folks. Nothing to it. Well, there was the ammo bill every month…

              Liked by 2 people

  3. I want to know why the employee wouldn’t dice the onions, Diane.
    I’ve had a pig in my pocket on more than a couple of occasions, and was asked by the police once what it was after being frisked, but I had to reach in and get it out myself. (It was a big pink stuffed pig key ring, before your mind boggles further… and maybe they’d had their fair share of finding snakes after reaching in and retrieving things themselves.)
    I don’t think I’d ever reach into anybody else’s pocket for anything, come to think of it…


    • Okay, too late; my mind was already boggling! I’ve heard of a pig in a poke, but never a pig in a pocket. Thanks for explaining that.

      And I agree wholeheartedly: I’m perfectly happy to learn about the contents of other people’s pockets by proxy. (I was going to say “second-hand”, but I wasn’t sure that really clarified my position.) 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember seeing that bizzare story on your FB page. Then, when I was driving home from New Hampshire last week, I stopped at a Tim Horton’s at a service station on the New York Turnpike and thought of your FB share and the snake all over again. Ugh. I would have a heart attack if someone threw a snake at me.

    You know, if you or I were to write something like that in our fiction, people would scoff and say, “That would never happen.” And yet it did…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Snakes don’t bother me but I think I’d be perturbed by an incoming airborne one nevertheless…

      And isn’t that the truth? Several times I’ve been about to incorporate an event that really did happen; and then I think, “Nah, people would accuse me of being too far-fetched.”

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Being from Saskatchewan and living for four years in Saskatoon ( who knew now you do) I will not be offended by your post. 🙂 The real question is how can a snake survive in the freezing cold of Saskatchewan? Oh he lives in a pocket!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No offense intended to Saskatchewanians (is that the right word?) 🙂 I’ve loved their rugged individualism ever since they refused to observe Daylight Saving Time (or refused to come off it; I’m not sure which it was anymore). Anybody with enough self-confidence to not care what anybody else thinks just brightens my day!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh no offense taken. Trust me there are a lot of characters in that province let me tell you. They refuse to observe Daylight Savings. I guess any people who are stubborn enough to survive there can be stubborn enough to balk at such a notion. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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