Wednesday, April 14, 2010

6 Inches Isn't Long Enough. Call the Fire Department.

Unfortunately, the title of this entry doesn't have anything to do with the 6 inches you might be thinking of!

While I was cleaning my house in preparation for family dinner, I discovered that there was a little unwanted visitor in my house. Very unwanted. And not so little, either.

After moving my little blue ottoman from one side of the living room to the other, I went back to start vacuuming when something not quite right caught my eye. It was black, it was coiled up in a little circle, it was, it was, it was a SNAKE!!!

Screams of horror, shrieks of fear and shooing of all dogs out to the deck quickly followed. I called the only person I know who is aware of my great, gut wrenching fear of snakes and who would also give me level-headed, practical advice during a time of great duress: my mother.

"Hello." "Aaarrrggghhhhh . . . SNAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!" "Kiki, do you have another snake in your house?" Laughter on the other end of the phone. "Yes I do and I'm about to vomit blood." "Hahahahahaha, that's so funny. Where is it this time and how are you going to get it out of the house. If you open the front door it will probably just go out." "Oh right, mom. I'm sure it will simply bypass the dark recesses of the cypress bookshelf and just hot foot it right out into the blazing sun."

It wasn't moving. In fact, it was coiled up very neatly with it's little head practically tucked under it's body. I say little, but by my count it was about 18 inches long. Pretty big, as far as I'm concerned. "I think I can grab it with some tongs and fling it out the front door." "How long are the tongs?" "About six inches long." "Six inches isn't long enough. Call the Fire Department."

As if. That's all my neighbors need - to see the spectacle that is me calling up Atlanta's finest (!) to help her out with what was surely just a little garden snake. The last time this happened (yes, 13 years ago there was a snake on my bed and I got it out the front door but not before my robe practically fell off and the neighbors were all treated to a sighting of my naked body. "I'm going to put a towel over it and push the whole thing to the door with the broom. But first, I'm going to put you on speaker phone so you can hear me if it bites me and I need first aid."

I gently laid a folded up towel over the beast. Nothing moved. I started pushing it rapidly towards the front door. Nothing moved. "I think it's dead," I shouted in the general direction of the phone, as I gave it a mighty push and flip to get it over the threshold. The snake snapped out of that towel straight in the air, whipped around and hissed at me. That nasty snake tongue was flicking for all it was worth as I screamed and slammed the door.

The dogs were going nuts on the deck, trying to get through the french doors to aid their poor mama. "What happened? What happened?" my mother yelled from the phone. Out of breath and about to wet my pants, I picked up the phone to inform her that the snake was now outside, but also wasn't leaving my front porch.

I peeked through a crack in the door and there it was, staring up at me malevolently. I guess I don't blame him. If some giant had first lifted the rock under which I was hiding and then threw a blanket over me and shoved me out the door, I would probably be giving him a piece of my mind, too.

I opened the door again. Snake still there, now being pawed by George the cat. "No!" I shrieked at George. I managed to skirt around the snake and flatten George in the yard, shoving him under one arm as I prepared to run the snake gauntlet again.

Back inside, I continued cleaning (and drinking vodka. medicinally, of course.)and getting dinner ready for my father, brother and nephew. Every few minutes, I would crack the door open and do a snake check. 45 minutes later, it was still there. "Seriously, go away," I hissed at it. Clearly I am a Parseltongue because the next time I checked, it was finally gone.

Now I just have to be on the lookout for it when I step off the porch, water the yard, cut the grass, do any gardening, bring in the dogs and cats or in general leave the confines of my house.

I hate snakes. Period.

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