A close encounter of the venomous kind turned out okay - for me, at least.
When I was sixteen, I was a little on the short side. I drove a pickup truck that was nearly as old as myself. It had running boards. Well, not on the outside, but inside the doors. It was kind of a high step down from those running boards to the ground, and with my short legs, I passed a kind of point-of-no-return on the way down. If I changed my mind about getting out of the truck, I had to touch the ground before I could get back up.
Early one Saturday in Petersburg State Forest, I prepared to hunt squirrels. It was still twilight, but it would be light enough to hunt legally by the time I got myself situated in the woods. I got my shotgun - still in its case - from behind the seat, opened the door, and sleepily stepped down into the near-darkness.
Just as I passed the point of no return, I looked at the ground below me. There was a copperhead right where my foot was going!
There was no turning back. All I could do was push off with the foot that was still in the truck, so I would land near the snake instead of on it.
The motion set me turning, so I landed moving backward, off-balance, and inches from the copperhead. Reflexively, I pointed my shotgun at the snake.
Three things came to me all at once: My balance, a realization of the futility of pointing a cased shotgun at a venomous snake, and the fact that the snake was partially squashed and had obviously been dead for a number of days.
Didn't need any coffee to wake me up that morning!