And Now For Something Totally Different.....
I remember in the Kansas town where I grew up, when one of the local boys, Denny “P”, got arrested. Now, Denny came from a big hillbilly family across the river in Missouri, and his mother ran a restaurant/beer joint. Mrs. P’s boys were known for getting drunk and coming over to the Kansas side of the river and raising H--- (she didn’t allow them to raise H--- in her restaurant), and getting arrested and thrown in jail.
Well, one weekend Denny had a snootful, and came over into town. He got stupid — moreso that usual — and as usual, he got arrested, and the newspaper where I worked published the fact in the police news, in embarrassing detail. Now, Mrs. P didn’t like that, and Denny’s brothers didn’t like it either, and the newspaper started to receive threatening phone calls.
I was at my desk, the day that it all came to a head. One of the ad clerks went outside to the newspaper-selling box in front of the building to get a copy of the previous day’s paper (we were sold out inside) and she came back in, white as a ghost, and told us that there was a rattlesnake in the paper-box. Sure enough, someone had put what turned out to be a nearly 6-foot rattlesnake in our paper-box.
The editor called Animal Control, but before the officer could arrive on the scene, a crowd of locals had gathered, pulling at their overall suspenders, eyeing the paper-box, and opening it a crack to peer inside and confirm that, yep, sure enough, that was a rattler inside, and a big one, too.
When the animal control officer arrived, an even bigger crowd gathered to watch her catch the snake and to offer advice, but catching a snake in a paper box is no easy task. Everybody had an idea for getting him out, but somehow nobody really wanted to be the one to try it. Eventually, the editor and the animal control officer managed to open the box slightly, tilt it forward, and slide a stick with a noose on one end into the box to catch the rattler. You should have seen them jump back when she pulled it out and held it up — and then everybody had an idea of what to do with it. A couple of people offered to fetch their gun and shoot it (but that was illegal, since we were in town), someone else wanted to make a belt out of its hide, and a couple of other more soft-hearted folks thought that someone ought to take it out into the country and turn it loose (but not on THEIR property, thank you very much!)
Eventually, the snake was put down, and I believe it was stuffed and used as a display in the biology department of a local school.
But OH, what a morning!