And then I was attacked by a thousand rattlesnakes.

Every single night I go walking in the dark with Dorothy Barker because it’s cooler at night and I love the dark.  Hailey comes with me sometimes but she’s always a bit freaked out because she’s unnerved by the dark so we stay on our block.  I always try to teach her that the dark is good because you can hide in it but she thinks I’m nuts.  But last night she was at a sleepover and Victor was out of town so Dottie and I went walking and I was listening to Lore (my new favorite podcast about dark, terrible things) while we walked and this episode was about Elizabeth Báthory who murdered a shitload of people and may have bathed in their blood and I was thinking that it was good that Hailey wasn’t there because she would have been freaked out and then I heard this noise and it was like a rattlesnake spitting at me and then there was another and then it sounded like a thousand rattlesnakes had awoken and were spitting and shaking and Dottie was like “WTF IS GOING ON HERE?” and then it got immediately way too cold and I was suddenly completely drenched in what I could only imagine was blood or poison or both.

Turns out it was the sprinkler system turning on in my neighbor’s lawn and I was drenched because I was too afraid to move away and anger the snakes that were actually sprinkler heads.

And that’s pretty much how my whole week went.  You?


And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

bloggess sid


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


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103 thoughts on “And then I was attacked by a thousand rattlesnakes.

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  1. I am actually training to work with rattlesnakes, so I would have rescued you, snakehook in hand. But only if it was an ACTUAL rattlesnake. Sprinkler training doesn’t start until next year, so I wouldn’t know what to do.

  2. And regarding the outtakes from your photo-shoot, had Dorothy Barker had opposable fingers, she’d have totally been giving you one. Speaking of all things opposable (were we? I don’t remember), happy Darwin Day!

  3. hehehe yet another reason to stay inside. I RARELY active the sprinklers inside, and each time I did, it was like a mildewy water shower.

    But great for you and Dorothy getting outside for your evening constitutional!

  4. I went hiking once with friends and we climbed up a rather difficult rock face. When we got to the top the last person coming up said “Hey, there’s a rattlesnake in this crack”, that we had all just climbed past, and even used for a hand hold. Luckily it was a cold morning and the snake was “fuck it, I’m not going to get up just to bite these fools”. Needless to say we climbed down by a different route.

  5. Always enjoy a good Blood Countess story.. and thanks for reminding me why I hate snakes. Did i mention I live in Florida, where we routinely have Gator vs. Python death matches, not to mention escaped Cobras? Yes, and moved here of our own free will..

  6. I absolutely love the outtake pics! One of the pics looks like Dorothy Barker is saying “WTF are these two idiots doing on my chair?”

    As far as the rattlesnake sprinklers go, this is why I live where blizzards happen and I still have to go to work, at least I know there are no rattlesnakes and will never mistake a sprinkler for one. Then again, I don’t think we have a lot of sprinklers here either… how will we spray demons with holy water? Does holy water work if it’s in snow form? Now I have to google… I wonder if anyone has that answer. Also, is it possible to make all the water on earth holy water? Then the demons couldn’t come out in the rain so you’d be safer outside in the rain or swimming… but then I hear holy water has a high fecal bacteria contamination so maybe demons are smart to not like holy water and that’s why the priests haven’t made all the water holy. I always thought it was because they were just keeping the supply low for financial gain. Ok, not sure how I got from rattlesnakes to corrupt priests but I’ve got some googling to do! Thanks for keeping me busy on a snow day!

  7. Reminds me of the day I thought a co-worker barricaded me in the bathroom (because he had implied how easy that would be to do). When I actually went to the bathroom I freaked out because I couldn’t get the door open. I was in there for about 10 minutes before I remembered the door opened INWARD instead of OUTWARD. At least there weren’t rattlesnakes in there with me.
    P.S. Bought “Furiously Happy” … again. Loaned out my copy and never got it back. Finally decided my friend must need it as much as I do so it became her gift.

  8. It reminds me of the scene in Lady In The Water, where the crazy porcupine-wolves are coming and then the sprinklers all turn on. Glad it wasn’t really snakes though!

  9. I once jumped out of a moving vehicle because a bee flew in the window. My sister poo-ed her pants a little bit because, while she could reach the steering wheel, she couldn’t reach the brakes from her position in the passenger seat. True story. And she’s never ridden with me again. I’m 53 years old now so it happened 40 years ago. I think it’s time she got over it. Right?

  10. Yep, it’s been that kind of week, and I’ll be happy to start a new one. Maybe it’s good to make friends with the snakes.

  11. I love Lore! I used to walk out my very isolated country road every month during in summer when the moon was full to enjoy the moon shadows. Until my husband pointed out that snakes frequently crawl onto pavement to warm themselves.

  12. How in the actual hell, did I miss out on this better-than-any-Oscar-movie live tweet of your potential murder in a town where people don’t know Laura Ingalls??? I need to pay better attention or work way the fuck less so I can scroll my Twitter feed. Ps…I am glad the sprinkler didn’t get you and Dorothy Barker. Stay safe. I need you.

  13. This is why I live in a climate where rattlesnakes don’t exist. Or tarantulas. Or scorpions. You should come to Canada. We have maple syrup. Just sayin.

  14. In Connecticut, we’ve got coyotes which my dog Theo calls to at night. But worst is the fisher cats… even Theo is freaked out by their screams. I have pepper spray in my pocket, but I’m pretty sure I’d just shoot myself.

  15. Update: I googled… apparently we can’t make all the water holy and repel demons in the rain because we don’t treat the water on earth with reverence, instead, we pollute it. Way to go polluter assholes, you guys are the reason we have demons!!! I figured I’d save people the time of googling by posting the response here: also, wikihow has how to make your own holy water for pagans and Catholics… in case anyone needs a new craft project,

  16. It’s not you. It’s those damn rattlesnake-imitating sprinklers! The same thing happened to a friend of mine on a golf course in Arizona. It scared the crap out of him.

  17. You and Dottie should have laughed OT off and danced in the sprinkler. That is one of my very happiest memories. Glad it wasn’t rattlesnakes…what would we do without you!

  18. The fairy doors are like an hour and a half away from me! You totally have to add Ann Arbor to your book tour now! I’m sure everyone who showed up would go fairy door hunting with you!!! 😀

  19. That was pretty much how my week went, minus the sprinklers. Turns out my new medication wasn’t helping but instead was pretty much draining my energy. My doctor gave me back my Prozac and I expect to feel better in a few days. Turns out that Prozac loses its effectiveness after a long period and one needs to switch to something else. Except after six months it will work again. Yay!

  20. Okay now I must check out this Lore thing because I am totally obsessed with Elizabeth Bathory. And there is no proof that she bathed in blood, that was never mentioned in the actual trial. But I love reading about her. And omg I totally freak out when I have to take my dog for a walk in the dark… I’m always irrationally scared that some car is going to pull up and someone is going to grab me.

  21. It’s a pity it’s winter there. Running through a sprinkler is great summer fun for kids here. Well at least it used to be great summer fun here in Australia before life got fancy and everyone got swimming pools and stuff.

  22. The home owner was watching from the window, you know. Ticked off because walkers let their dogs use his yard for a latrine!

  23. I love Lore too!! It’s just the right level or creepy for me, with occasional forays into a little too much. So perfect. I especially like to listen to it while outside alone, really ups the ante 🙂 I bought one of their t-shirts while they were donating part of the proceeds to the ACLU and it fits perfectly and is super high quality. It even came with a free window cling and a signed card.

  24. Hi! I had seen many stories about Elizabeth Bathory! Please be sure to see the English dubbed Czech film BATHORY. – It is very nicely done and has an alternative what happened at that point in history. Really well done! VERY unique… but a little bit scary.

  25. Also, I once saw this creepy movie in which Elizabeth Bathory was a character in a video game and as the players died in the game, they died the same way in real life..

  26. Oh my I would just stand there and get bit. It was a great story, and surely something that would happen to me.

  27. So glad for the happy ending! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you could and should publish a book of your photographs. You have a real eye for it. Fabulous shots of the ghost town, and of course, Dorothy Barker.

  28. This would totally happen to my niece. Lmao. BTW, not on twitter, but I read the post about the ghost town…I swear to fing God that road looks EXACTLY like one on a Netflix documentary I was watching the other day day about a bunch of ppl that got murdered in Texas. No joke. Your “realtor” wasn’t wearing a white mask thing by chance were they? Fun times👍🏻

  29. Funny how our brains work!

    I was reading a novel about the Donner Party one rainy night, and I was at the part where they’re starting to chow down on the dead, and my phone rang. It was a friend who was upset about something, very emotional, and my immediate thought was: cannibals are eating her! Ah, the power of fiction.

  30. Need that podcast. The cats have found something to slam against the outer wall of my bathroom so it sounds like intruders are trying to break through to capture me. Not very reassuring when one is pantsless.

  31. Thank you for making my day again. The last two days, I’ve been unreasonably depressed and spent a lot of yesterday crying when I wasn’t snuggled up to my husband trying to take away some of his anxiety over his breathing and swallowing issues. The doctors still haven’t figured out what is wrong with him. We have a 2 hour (yes 2 HOURS) EMG test this coming Friday and a CT of his abdomen and pelvis (FINALLY) to schedule. I was upset with him just now because he said for 2 days he has been trying to tell me that I needed to call them and schedule it. I had asked him Friday if they had called while I was at Physical Therapy and he said no ( they had called his cellphone and not mine and he was so out of it that he didn’t remember). He is having some dementia with this illness what ever it is. And your story made me laugh and forget my troubles for a little while and not be so mad over something he couldn’t help. I will also call the doctor’s office and make certain they have his phone numbers all changed to mine so we don’t have this issue again! Thank you again! {hugs}

  32. Damn!! You are SO lucky you came out of that alive. I can’t wait to hear how you tell this story again at one of Victor’s work parties. Opening line, “I almost died in a random rattlesnake venom attack.”

  33. It’s always a good day when the poison turns out to be just water.

    Have you listened to My Favorite Murder? It’s dark and scary, but incredibly funny. I laugh-cry all the time when I’m listening to it. Karen and Georgia remind me a lot of you; they’re witty, swear a lot, and speak openly about mental illness. You all bring me so much joy.

    Listening to them and reading your books and blog have helped me through the dark times, even though they’ve made me a little bit more afraid of the dark (the good afraid, not the bad kind). I’ve been afraid of pulling into my garage because there might be a murderer in there, then afraid to get out of my car for the same reason, then afraid of leaving the garage because the murderer might be sneaky and now be hiding outside the garage. The point of the story is that I stayed sexy, and didn’t get murdered.

    I’ll check out Lore once I’m done binging on MFM. It sounds right up my alley.

  34. I love Lore!!! And my 14yr old kid came out of his room with what could only be called a goiter on his neck. ER trip on Friday night with a full moon full house!! Strep? Nope. Salivary gland stones! Whaaaaaaaat?! yep.

  35. I love the dark too. Especially in the closet. In the back. Under the hanging clothes. That’s not weird, right?

  36. Your Twitter feed about the ghost town reminded me of two totally unrelated things…..first, there is this tiny historic village in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA called Ushers Ferry that looks similar to the abandoned ghost town, only cheerier and upkept. Second was, have you seen that Eugene Levy show on Netflix Schitts Creek?

  37. I’m just jealous it’s warm enough where you live for sprinklers to be going on at all…..snakes or no snakes.

  38. If you come to Ann Arbor I would love to give you a tour of the fairy doors. Our downtown library has a fairy library (in the fairy tale section, of course) made of several hollowed out fairy tale books. My favorite has been the bank of Ann Arbor. They made a fairy door with a little fairy bank vault next to it. Hopefully returns after they are done with construction. The theater has a door and a ticket window. They sort of come and go and aren’t well documented, but my daughter is thinking of doing some sort of online guide/app thing of them for her Girl Scout gold project in a few years.

  39. Tiny fairy doors are a favorite of mine also :-). A neighbor has placed one in the bottom of a very large tree and it is magical even as an adult :-). I think it takes all of us walking by back to when we were five years old-and that’s not a bad thing right now :-).

  40. This literally sounds exactly like how I would have perceived and handled the situation as well. I’m surprised your heart didn’t stop and that you lived to write this post. Not sure I would have! Good on you!

  41. Wow, those ghost town photos…incredible, but your realtor had to be trying to put one over on you. No way that’s a ghost town: that’s a freakin’ movie set. (It’s slightly more plausible that the movie people would leave behind all their props than that the people would leave behind all their stuff. Unless they were all massacred…)

  42. Yes, we can hide in the dark — but so can everything else. So your and Hailey’s viewpoints both have their merits.

    As a fellow Texan, I can certainly understand walking at night for three seasons of the year and about half of the fourth, but do you walk Dorothy in daylight the dozen freezing days we get each year?

    I loved the Tweets and photos from the ghost town, but your description of the link implies there’s more to the story. Did you try to buy it? How did it not end well? From the Tweets themselves, I’d say it began poorly (there’s a two hour gap between the last “trying to get there” photo and the “arrived” photo that implies two hours of non-photo-worthy wandering in the wilderness before you found the right route) but ended splendidly (with you sitting on the porch surveying your prospective domain).

    This is my first post here, though I’ve been Tweeting at you for a while. As I’ve said in various Tweets, you are a smart, funny, brave, sweet, generous lady, and you’re one of my favorite people. Thanks for the blog.

  43. OMG your ghost town story! The taxidermy! The saloon! I kind of want you to keep visiting ghost towns for potential purchase because you are a fantastic tour guide! 😉

  44. Week has started out with a beautiful snow blizzard. I’d say it’s pretty good 🙂 Hoping someone has a snowblower available for loan today….


  45. You should totally get Hailey a copy of The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark. It was a huge favourite of mine when I was a kid – all about a barn owl called Plop (which is great in itself), who is afraid to go out in the dark but every night meets someone who explains to him why they love the dark. A little boy shows him fireworks, a cat explains how the dark is silent and perfect for being stealthy, an old lady says she likes to sit outside in the night time because it’s best for thinking….it’s such a great story.

  46. That sprinkler-snake thing happened to me one time when I was travelling cross country and camping at night on the way. Had just set up the tent ….in the dark, late at night…..when the sprinkler-snakes attacked and I realized belatedly that I had set up the tent in a park.

    I love the idea of buying a ghost town and would do so myself if I could. That particular one, though, looks more like a movie set to me than a real honest-to-god place where people once lived and is now a ghost town. Everything there looks too new. It’s just a bit too cute to be real………but not too cute to buy and live there if such a thing were possible!

  47. OH MY GOSH I LOVE LORE. I overdosed on it when I first found out about it and listened to all 20 or so episodes that were out in one week and that was a mistake because then I was very freaked out and mistrustful of everything but I still love it.

  48. Love it! Once upon a time (last year) I stepped on a snake (it was dark, I’m not an idiot) which was obviously warming itself with the residual heat of the walk (thank you Rhonda’s husband.) I was so freaked out that instead of running away I proceeded to jump up and down in place, maddening the snake and causing it to wrap itself around my bare ankles. This went on for what seemed like forever (30 seconds) until my daughter shrieked “run!” So I did.

  49. Reminds me of the time we lived in a condo. It had a small yard out front with sprinklers that the association controlled. We had the bright idea of letting the kids go “camping” so Mom and I could have some alone time. I sat up an old two person tent right over a sprinkler head without realizing it. Around midnight they came on, ripping right through the old floor of the tent. Yea, our alone time was abruptly cut short.

  50. Reminds me of a true story- last year I was visiting my best friend and her 90 yr old mom lived with her and she started complaining that there’s a snake in her room and she’s afraid to go to sleep. We go in and tear her room apart, can’t find a snake anywhere. My friend starts telling her mom it’s all in her head (she did have dementia). Poor woman kept complaining the whole weekend-finally on Sunday we figured out she had one of those timed air fresheners that would spray every hour or so. Poor woman hadn’t slept for 3 days in fear of snakes.

  51. Pretty much the same…sometimes the things I try work, and sometimes my fear gets in the way. This week I overcame the fear (mostly) by starting a new blog called “Scotch & Scones”. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it 🥃😀

  52. YES! Come to South-East Michigan! We have a town with fairy doors! (Do a book signing while you are here, please!)

  53. Another plea for Jenny to come see us in Ann Arbor, with book signing if possible! We also have funky murals and the electrical utility boxes are all beautifully painted. And there is a cat cafe!

  54. That sounds like something that would happen to me. The first time I got caught in the sprinklers I couldn’t figure out what was making that hissing sound. Now I instantly recognize it. Also, everything seems twice as scary in the dark. I need to check out that podcast!

  55. crap, i was reading your book, got out of bed — don’t judge, darkness makes me sleepy — and then I decided to check out your blog, but then you mentioned that serial killer lady, and because I am one of your people, I then wiki’d it and now I feel sick to my stomach. So thanks for that. Also, I am going to finish watching Evil Lives here, which is horrible, but I am not a quitter.
    See? We might be related Carrie

  56. This so sounds like something I would do. But maybe screaming? I don’t know. I may not have internet for awhile or have WAY to much. Sorry either way.

  57. Lost my oldest dog today. Some days a funny story is especially needed. Thank you Jenny. You rock.

  58. Mrs. Lawson or jenny,
    You have an incredible knack for coming up with names and we have a frug (frenchie-pug) named
    Mortimus James Von Buttons the 5th aka Morty (named after the swiffer commercial elderly couple) and the pug is named Mr. Moosey Man the 3rd (his name was moose when we rescued him) and we call him Moosey.
    We do not have a pug puppy yet, but we are planning on it in the near future and we want to name him Hamlet.
    However we need a much more formal name for him so we thought we maybe we could ask you to give us some ideas? We know that you’re exceptionally busy and that you have much better things to do than name our dog, but we admire your creativity in this area. We are huge fans, we admire your strength, and your humor is right up our ally. Thank you for making us all feel a little less crazy!

  59. I had a similar experience after moving to New Mexico. I was riding my horse and she was jittery about the hissing noises. I was told it was the sprinklers, but a neighbor decapitated 4-5 large rattlesnakes that day. Good instincts, mare!

  60. I can relate to the rattlesnake/sprinkler experience! I once went running way too early in the morning. It was still dark, and I only had one of those helmet lights on. I passed a dead armadillo and freaked out, and seconds later, the damn sprinkler systems for the hotel I was running past came on. Armadillos and snakes? Yeah…that was the last time I ran that early in the morning.

  61. I used to live in Austin/San Diego but now I live in London and your posts make me feel less disconnected from home. Thank you for being you and posting all of your…well, everything. Happy Valentine’s Day…from London…freaking cold and wet London. 🙂

  62. 😀 I love you. Conveniently, I am late on reading this so I get to say that because of this post AND because of Valentine’s Day.

  63. Call me creepy (please don’t) but I like walking at night because you can see into homes, and there is something warm and reassuring about seeing all those lives being lived… but maybe it’s just creepy.

  64. More than once, I’ve passed my husband’s car on my way into the house, called out and heard nothing, and assumed that he was on the floor in the bedroom, dead. My first thought never seems to be, “He must be at the store. The one that’s a block away.” Thanks for making me feel less alone.

  65. Monday I went to work wearing my pants backwards (didn’t notice until almost noon), Thursday morning I discovered I left a case of gingerale in my car and it was -27 Celsius and multiple cans exploded all over my car. INSIDE. EVERYWHERE.

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