Facing my fears: Rattlesnake in the driveway

Posted on June 20th, 2011

OK, I admit it. That scream you heard last week? The one heard by every person on the planet? Yeah, that one. That was me.

But I can explain.

You see, it was a nice, warm day. So of course, to celebrate, I went shopping. Because as we all know nothing says, “ooh, summer is finally here” like staying inside Home Goods all afternoon shopping for patio umbrellas and plastic mojito glasses.

Anyway, I went home and I was all happy because I found some bargains (seriously, they had the cutest little mojito glasses for dirt cheap on the clearance aisle). So I leap out of my car and hear a strange noise. Kind of like a rattle. And it didn’t stop. So my (unfortunately) tiny brain kicks in and I started thinking stuff.

Thought 1: “Huh. I don’t remember a baby rattle on the driveway.”

Thought 2: “Do baby rattles work when there is no baby attached?”

Thought 3: “It kind of sounds like the rattlesnake noises from a ride at Disneyland.”

Thought 4: “Maybe I should look to see if there is a baby on the ground.”

Thought 5: “Crap. That is not a baby.”

Thought 6: “Huh. It would appear that coiled, rattling and hissing means it’s ticked off.”

Thought 7: “There’s about one shoe length between us. How far can that thing jump?”

Thought 8: “Why didn’t I watch more Discovery Channel and less Real Housewives before I died from a snakebite?”

Thought 9: “Feet? Hello, feet? Don’t just stand there. MOVE.”

Now as a side note, I would like to let my high school PE teacher, Sister Mary Something-or-Other, know that she was right. With proper motivation, I can run fast.  Really fast, actually. And do you know what else moves fast? Rattlesnakes. Turns out they can uncoil and head down a driveway before the woman freaking out in front of them can catch her breath.

So I did what any normal woman would do when faced with a rattlesnake. I grabbed my glasses, ran into the house, called my husband and demanded that he return home IMMEDIATELY to kill the snake.

Sadly, my husband was 40 miles away.  He very gently pointed out that by the time he got home, the snake would be hissing and coiling and rattling someplace else. Well, when faced with that logic, I could only do one thing. Yes, I stamped my feet, screamed and cried.  It didn’t work. In fact, Harry suggested that perhaps I might want to get a shovel and kill the snake myself.

Um, hello? Is he insane? Does he not understand that he is married to a woman who does not like snakes at all and who once threw away her favorite flip-flops because they had touched dead snake goo? Honestly. I’ve spent a lifetime training him and he still doesn’t get it.

Also? There’s the chance that I could get some bad snake karma. If I killed one, a billion of them might then descend upon my driveway and I’d never get to go to Home Goods again. And I really, really like Home Goods.

So I went outside, checked for the snake, which was now napping under my car and then flagged down an innocent passerby who, after much begging, pleading and more than a few tears, agreed to kill the snake. Only then the dang thing wouldn’t die. But after a bunch more stuff that went on without me peeking out from behind my hands, the snake finally stopped moving. And that is when my Good Samaritan asked to throw it over my fence because nobody lives behind me.

Well, hello? What is wrong with men? Do they not understand that I will live in fear for days that the snake, despite its lack of a head, would somehow heal and then bring all of its friends over the fence to party in my backyard? And that they could possibly mess up my Mojito mint?

But what could I do? I mean, the Good Sam guy was pretty intent that he wasn’t going to leave a headless snake in the road for a kid to play with (OK, OK, he had a point there). So he tossed it over my fence. And I am happy to say that so far, there haven’t been any snake parties in my Mojito mint.

But I’m always on the lookout. You can never be too careful.

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