Snakes on a bus

There’s a reason why they called that film ‘Snakes on a plane’ rather than ‘Snakes on a bus’. Because if you’re spooked by snakes on a bus, you can just ding the bell and get off. Or, if you’re in a complete panic, press the emergency exit button and leg it between stops.

Whereas if you’re on a plane, there’s nowhere to go. They’ve made it very difficult to get into the cockpit these days and you could only hide in the loo for just so long before you became completely claustrophobic. And if you tried to open the doors, you and all the other passengers would be sucked out by the downdraft (technical term). Followed by the snakes. Falling out of the sky surrounded by snakes would look like a bad Magritte painting. Ceci n’est pas un serpent. Oh yes it is. Etc.

A corn snake: mostly orange

Even so, if you try to take snakes onto a bus, people look at you oddly. Yesterday I was with a friend and her daughter and their two pet corn snakes. Pretty things – marmalade colour, quite thin, probably couldn’t swallow a whole hamster, though we didn’t put that to the test. We’d just taken them to an open air pet blessing ceremony at a church. At one point, the vicar had a snake draped around his neck. If we’d only had a naked lady holding a Granny Smith, we could have re-enacted the fall of man. There was also some drama when a cat got loose and bolted for the graveyard. Luckily it was recaptured before a dog got hold of it or barked it up a tree.

Anyway, the bus driver was nervous of these snakes which eyed him up through the large transparent Tupperware container. He rang HQ to find out if they were allowed to travel. “You can’t take petrol or paint on a bus, so I need to check.” “Snakes aren’t inflammable.” “I still need to check.” There was no one else on the bus. It was a hot day. Everyone else was outside having an ice cream. The snakes could have roamed freely on the upper and lower decks without bothering anyone at all.

Long story short. The snakes were allowed on board and got home safely in time for tea (one live cricket, one dead frozen mouse).

Next time maybe we’ll see how buses feel about pot bellied pigs. Or goats. Unlike snakes, I think this experiment has legs.