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Nose Under the Community Tent

By Paul Losch

About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Uploaded: Sep 24, 2010
I walked out of my office late Thursday morning to go to the copying machine and duplicate some paperwork. Lying (or is it laying?) in my path was a juvenile Garter snake making its way along the carpet.

We are in a pretty typical industrial park, lots more concrete and steel than meadows and flora. I am baffled how this serpent managed to crawl across the asphalt parking areas, let alone gain entry to a building where all the doors were closed, but there it was.

On my second attempt, I was able to grab it at its tail end, march it outside and release it. The snake clearly was scared shitless, given what I had to do in the bathroom sink to cleanse my hands after letting it go.

A bucolic moment in a very commercial setting.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Paul, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

You activated the snake's defense mechanism, not its digestive tract. And good for you for taking it outside - it would have starved in the building.

Posted by Susan, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Paul Losch, what is the issue? It did not have rattles on its tail, so end of story. Why is this a story, to you?

Posted by Paul Loaxh, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm


It's a "slice of life," nothing more. How many times have you at work in a commercial establishment had to deal with a snake? This was my first, although I encountered a few copperhead snakes, which are poinonous, when I mowed lawns in my youth in Houston. I did not pick those guys up.

I suspect that others who have lived here over the years have had encounters such as I had, thus my reason for the posting.

I appreciate that you read my blog.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

No story? When a contractor's truck ran over a snake they shut the BART to SFO project for a week, at a cost of 9 million dollars. Paul, you better hope that snake thrives.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm

It is a bad omen--someone put the evil eye on you--must be something you wrote about " bullies " in the Holy Land.

However--while the serpent does have an allegorical history--there are solutions.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm


I appreciate that you read and post about my blogs.

Let's not get metaphysical about an unfortunate incident where a cleary confused, young animal found itself in a place it did not belong.

I kept my personal safety in mind, snakes do bite, poinsonous or not.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Sep 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm


No worries

We have your back, you took a lot of very nasty flack for that post-in fact you were very fair and accurate-- see Web Link
not that that counts for much in that conflict--these days.
you were correct
You showed great courage in dealing with the topic in a forthright, fair manners-well done--
a snake is just a snake--unless one is a Freudian-- but that ideology has been discredited by clinical trials.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm


What a surprise that must have been! Bless your heart for capturing and taking it outside.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Oct 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Talking of snakes--
there are no reports of rattle snakes in Foot Hill Park this year-- the notices always used to shock our East Coast friends when we took them on hikes there, they thought they were in the Wild West.
We have seen the a species of "false rattler" there this year-- it is not venomous, is much smaller, and does not rattle.

A poodle in wolfs clothing.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Oct 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Still tracking down the name of that resembling snake, RS ,
and whether it does really, in fact, exist in Palo Alto/Stanford, anyone know the facts about RS?

There was Black Mambas scare in Palo Alto years ago cute story-Web Link .
At least we do not have the python problem they have in Florida.

Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of ,
on Oct 2, 2010 at 10:29 am

Editors, please note Sharon's latest scurrilous attack on those that criticize her.
("Still tracking down the name of that resembling snake, RS ,
and whether it does really, in fact, exist in Palo Alto/Stanford, anyone know the facts about RS?)
I am sure you will leave her post as is and will certainly delete mine--after all Sharon is either a member of the PA staff and/or is reflecting the Weekly's editorial stance . You have already removed at least 5 postings I made criticizing her unrealted to this thread comments regarding the holy Land.

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