Monday, January 20, 2014

Evil Urban Empire

This is NOT the view from my house.
For a little over a month now, I've been living in the big city of Indianapolis. This is the biggest city (844,000) I have ever lived in. I was in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a year, but it only had 400,000.

There are some major differences between living in the country and living in a big city, but I'm proud to say I have always made the transition fairly well. It's true that I can't pee in my front yard anymore. In fact, I don't even have a front yard. Or a back yard for that matter. Also, as much as I don't like people, I have found it very easy to ignore the multitude of them I am surrounded by. Actually, this is easier to in the city than it was in the country.

Growing up, I really didn't give big city life much thought, but there was one thing I knew. All country people and small town folk know.

You just aren't as safe in the city.

Before leaving my hometown (pop. 400), the worst actual crime committed against me involved someone stealing my garbage and dumping it on the side of the road a mile away. I still don't know what that was about, but I cleaned it up while the police watched. I never found out who did it and the police didn't believe it wasn't me.

Years later, on my first trip to San Juan, I got mugged.

Now, I was in a bad neighborhood and we had been warned to stay indoors after dark, but Dave and I couldn't bear our first night in the Caribbean locked inside someone's house. We just wanted to take a walk. It didn't end well.

Years later, when I actually moved there, someone broke the window on my SUV and stole my wife's purse, which happened to have her wedding ring in it as well as all her identification. These things didn't happen back home in small-town Southern Illinois.

When I moved to Indianapolis, (less than 5 weeks ago) it took all of eight days for my apartment to be robbed. They didn't just rob me, they took something very personal. My pet.

That is a python named Dr. Finklerstein that
we have had for over three years.

When I first moved in, I was told the entire complex was getting new windows. Management would send me a note the day before so I could prep my apartment by moving everything away from the windows.  They didn't send me that note. I left my apartment one day to discover they were putting in windows downstairs. I asked if they were doing the upstairs as well and discovered that I needed to go move some of my things. I then left for the day.

Get in the POT!!!
When I came home, I had beautiful new windows, but later discovered that Dr. Finklerstein was not in his terrarium. I searched all through the house as Kirsten cried on the couch, "That dirty Mexican took him." 

I don't know how she became so racist.

"He took him home to eat him! Snake is a delicacy in Mexico, you know?"

Um...actually, I don't know if that's true.

I searched through all the dresser drawers, behind the shelves, in the boxes that were only half unpacked and as much behind the water heater as I could see. He was nowhere to be found. And my apartment isn't very big.

I finally relented and did what Kirsten was begging me to do. I called apartment management.

The immediate reaction of the woman on phone was of concern for a loose python in the building. I gently tried to reassure her that this was not the case. I've had this snake for three years and he has never gotten out of his enclosure. I told her that I didn't want to accuse anyone, but it seemed odd that he just happened to disappear on the day someone was in my apartment. I understood they couldn't really do anything about this, but I wanted to make a report in case others reported things missing. I also told her I would not be letting people in my apartment unsupervised anymore. Apartment employees included.
While Kirsten was tweeting her rage, I continued looking. Every day for the next week, I expected to see him stick his head out from behind the water heater. I think I got obsessed with the water heater because it was a heat source. I just expected him to gravitate toward it. I finally gave up. Kirsten must be right. Someone fried him up into python nuggets. Or took him home to give to their kids like I did. We're a strange house.

Almost three weeks later, I discover him sleeping on a pile of clothes in a box I had yet to unpack.

I immediately call management to let them know the snake has been found. She responded, "Great. I'll let your neighbors know."

Wonderful. They notified all my neighbors.

At least we'll have something to talk about in the spring when I actually venture outside.


  1. I'm so glad you found it...I'm so glad I don't live in the same building as a pet snake lol.

    1. I will be curious to find out if the local residents I share a building with were actually told WHICH tenant lost a python.

  2. I'm happy for you and I do like happy endings, but I'd have preferred snaky being turned into nuggets rather than roaming around MY house.

    1. Thank you. I would be curious to taste some python nuggets, but not made from mine.

  3. I'm glad you found your snake :)

  4. I'm so happy you found him! I was about ready to lend you my dog so he could sniff out the snake, but I wasn't sure if that would happen before he was fried up to be eaten.

    1. We had the same thought. I was shocked to find him again.


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