When I first heard about this story, I was mad. The two things that make me maddest are (1) people who are dicks to animals, and (2) finally getting to write a FLORIDA OR OHIO story and finding out it happened in neither.
I can only feel so badly about this one, however, because it is the comedy gift that keeps on givin’. Meet Gary Wayne Ericcson, the 46-year old North Carolina man who mourned the death of his beloved pet snake by shooting it, then went to jail for animal cruelty because he couldn’t reasonably explain why he’d want to shoot up a dead snake. His rationale is almost poetically southern:
But Ericcson says the snake, which he said was named Anonymous, had died before the shooting.
“I couldn’t bury him or the other animals would get him,” Ericcson told NBC Charlotte, the Observer’s news partner. “I had to shoot it to get the gas out of him, then I was going to burn him.”
Ericcson said the snake was his pet for about 17 years. “I’ve had that snake since he was so small he could just wrap around your wrist,” he said. “Me and my wife can’t have kids, so the animals are our kids.” (via Charlotte Observer)
If a man naming his child-pet “Anonymous” (to keep it off the grid, I guess?) and debating whether to shoot it with love or burn it with love to keep other animals from “getting him” doesn’t make you laugh, perhaps this aside from the end of the report will. Ericcson was so mad that after he shot the snake, he turned the gun ON HIS NASCAR MEMORABILIA CABINET. Because America!
Ericcson claimed he was so distraught over the snake’s death, he shot up the large cabinet that contained his Dale Earnhardt collection.
I don’t think The Intimidator would want you to remember him like that, Gary.
In all seriousness, I know how he feels. My hamster died when I was a kid, and the only way I could cope was lobbing it into a wood chipper and setting fire to the Ninja Turtles Party Wagon. Let this be a lesson to anyone else planning to explode a bracelet-sized snake to keep local cats from trying to dig him up, I guess — do it where nobody can hear you, and stay away from the action figures.
[h/t to From The Marbles]