I had just returned from doing six reptile presentations at two schools in as many days—this is in addition to my day job as a freelance graphic designer—so I was pretty tired. Before I moved all the snakes back into their cages I figured it would be a good time to clean all the cages in my collection. So I started switching out dirty tubs for clean ones. For water bowls and hides I use empty plastic food containers and empty food boxes, respectively. So when I clean cages I remove the snake, place it in a clean tub and dump the entire contents of the old tub in my trash can outside. Nice and easy assembly-line style. Except when it's breeding season and you forget which snakes are together.
Before the shows I had placed a male Honduran with one of the females and totally forgot he was in there. My faulty memory told me he was still in shed in his own tub. Wrong! So I opened the female's tub and put her in the clean one, dumped the dirty tub and moved on. About an hour later I made it to the male's cage and he wasn't there! My tubs are pretty tight, so I was reasonably sure he hadn't escaped. Checking my notebook, I saw that he was supposed to be with the female. I panicked.
The thoughts whizzing through my head included primarily guilt over a.) dumping my snake in a trash can; b.) letting loose a snake that could potentially breed with a local species and taint the gene pool; and the fact that this guy was supposed to breed two females for me this season and I don't have a backup.
I ran outside and started tearing through boxes and whipped topping containers and newsprint—all covered with snake poop—and there he was, still coiled in the taco shell hide box. At least there was a happy ending. I snatched him from the trash, muttered something to the effect of "Sorry dude," and went back inside.
I'm not really an idiot, but I play one on the internet.