Sssssss (Bill's in Tahoe)

The following is a word from Derek Hobson:

Bill is in Lake Tahoe, so I hear, but I suspect there’s something more to it than that.

If we break down the fact that the title of this mashup is “Sssssss” we might be able to find some sort of clue to his whereabouts.

Now there’s no denying that “Sssssss” is the sound a snake makes and given Bill’s background in Christianity (as he has dabbled in prayer), I’m inclined to think that this is a matter snake-itude. The snake, of course, starts with a capital “S” and therefore signifies that it is “The Sssssss” you hear and not simply a “ssss.”

This is a crucial point though because the “Sss[et al]” also has seven letters. On the surface, that appears to be a mixed meaning. On the one hand, seven often holds a holy connotation, however, on the other, it could be in regards to seven deadly sins – going with the Satanic nature of the title.

To figure out which one is at work here (the heavenly or the sinful), we turn to Tahoe itself – which in turn, presents another paradox.

Lake Tahoe is about as anarchistic as it gets. It’s right on the border of Nevada and California and therefore isn’t governed by either state. At the same time, given that it’s a prime vacation spot, one could almost call that a proverbial paradise. It’s not an anarchy in a dystopia sense, but rather a utopia. Plus, when we look at a modern representation of Nevada and California, we think of two things.

Nevada=sinful (gambling, drinking, hookers, etc.)
California=paradise (glamor, beauty, weather, etc.)

So we take it back further to Tahoe’s roots and learn that its name means “Edge of the Lake.” If anything, the “edge” only reinforces the division between what the “Sss [et al]” stands for. For further confusion, it turns out, that this name, “Tahoe” is actually a mispronunciation of the Native American word: da ow a ga. So technically, Tahoe does not mean anything. It’s a symbol of the miscommunication – a term lost in translation.

The religious connotation is not lost however. Instead it’s only further emphasized by Lake Tahoe’s million years of formation. Take notice of the way UC Davis and the Tahoe Environmental Research Center discuss Lake Tahoe’s formation:

“Three to five million years ago, the valley that would become the Tahoe Basin sank between parallel fractures in the Earth’s crust as the mountains on either side continued to rise”

This quote parallels how Satan felt in Milton’s Paradise Lost, feeling that the angels and God were “self-raised” like the mountains. If anything, the Lake is then symbolic of Satan’s self-descent and feelings of inferiority.

“Two to three million years ago, erupting volcanoes blocked the outlet on the north end, forcing the lake to raise hundreds of feet above its current elevation.”

If this isn’t a perfect representation of Satan’s uprising, I don’t know what is. Satan tries to elevate a “valley” instead of being subservient. He does not want to be restricted, he does not want to “bow down” as a valley would to a mountain. The volcanoes only further epitomize Lucifer with hell fire.

“The glacier itself [near the Squaw valley] acted as a dam. This caused the lake level to rise and then draw down rapidly when the dam catastrophically failed.”

The “dam” here serves as Satan’s hubris.

In one sense it is the force Satan uses to channel his military assault. To help he and his brethren rise. However, the glacier is in direct opposition to his hell fire and therefore his own hubris. He is not God and can therefore not rise above, his own hubris is what causes his failure and “catastrophic fail[ure]” causing him to “draw down rapidly” – his descent into hell.

“The epic-sized flood washed boulders the size of cars past present-day Reno…”

A “flood” has a very Noah-esque connotation and would make sense since God and Satan both rebuild in different ways. It’s the fresh start; a clean slate. (For more of Tahoe’s information, click here for

On said site, you’ll also find that the Lake is 99.994% pure. Perhaps the only part that is tainted is due to human flesh, feces, and or pollution.

In which case, we can probably disregard most of the Satan allegory from Bill’s title and instead infer that he’s probably peeing in the lake: Sssssss.

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