Gary was my colleague at the Contra Costa Times and before that, adored by my children who were young volunteers at the Lindsay Museum, as it was called in those days. So when we had a pet snake problem, I took it to Gary.
My son’s boa had escaped its cage and slithered through a small hole into the wall behind our bathroom sink. Gary suggested capturing it with heat. He said to build a cardboard tunnel from the hole to a heating pad covered with an inverted box. I did.
One, two, three days passed. Each morning, Gary asked about progress. Nothing, I’d say. He’d smile and shrug.
And then, during the night I heard the pop of tape securing the cardboard tunnel give way. The bathroom door was closed, so I waited until morning. Then I found the snake, not on the heating pad, but wrapped around the sink drain pipe.
The next morning I reported it to Gary, along with the tale of the broken cardboard passage.
“Heh, heh, heh,” he chucked. “The snake found its way when it was ready.”