When I was a kid I had a WC garter that was missing an eye. I did the hand feeding thing with him and he once missed the feeder fish I was giving him and took my finger instead, past the first knuckle. Scared the hell out of me, I hadn't been bitten before. I used to use the calci-sand ingestible stuff but it's too expensive for me to replace as often as I'd like. It holds smell as well as heat. No more, newspaper in all my cages, though my N pine doesn't seem to like not digging.
I feel a little light headed... maybe you should drive...