Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Snake & the Broom

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Blue skies. Not too warm. Not cold. A breeze. An excellent day for yard work, for grilling, and for hanging out on the deck. In the afternoon, I decided I wanted to check on our herbs and enjoy some sunshine. I need SP's help to get on the deck because there's a big "hump" to get from the sunroom, through the sliding doors, and onto the deck. The wheelchair can't get over it unless someone lifts it over.

Since backwards (big wheels) first is the best way to tackle bumps, I positioned myself at the sliding door with my back to it. Then SP said,"Um, I don't think you want to come out here right now."

I knew. I knew before I turned around. I knew before I saw it. I KNEW.

I turned around and started frantically scanning the deck. My heart rate was rising. I didn't see it. So I started scanning the pots of tomatoes and herbs. And then I saw it. I saw its head poking up from the tomato pot, resting on the edge of the basil pot next to it.

Sammy was back. Sammy the snake. Or, in this case, the new one or another one. We didn't see Original Sammy's skin shed on the front patio this year. Judging from his length, OS was pretty old.

This was Sammy Jr. Sunning himself IN MY TOMATO POT. ON MY DECK. How the eff did it get up there. Yes. OK. It climbed.

SP was fairly nonchalant. After all, he once owned a pet snake (that thankfully went to snake heaven 2 weeks before we moved in together).

My response? "GET IT OFF." SP went to get a broom. As soon as he returned, Sammy Jr. started slithering out of the tomato pot, along the deck, under the wood bench, and then slithered down under the deck, disappearing through a space between the deck wood planks.

"Do you think it's gone? Gone for good?"
"I can't swear it, but yeah, probably. Nothing for it to eat up here."
"What about me?! My toes?! I'm exposed! Wearing flip flops!"

Yes. I know how ridiculous that sounds. So we waited. No sign of Sammy Jr. So I decided it was safe enough to brave the deck to see my herbs. While checking them out, we decided they needed some water. So SP was going to leave me on the deck to get and fill the watering can. Leave me. Alone. Unprotected. Unable to get over the hump into the sunroom or down the steps to the driveway. No escape.

"Don't worry. It's more scared of you than you are of him."

I doubt that. But just in case, he left me holding the broom for self defense.

So I sat there, enjoying the sunshine, the breeze, admiring my herbs, being sad that they haven't gotten very big yet, and then IT WAS BACK.

Sammy Jr. slithered up between deck boards, coming up under a lounge chair. I didn't even see him until he was completely on the deck. Are they that fast? That silent and sneaky and deadly? I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. What was I supposed to do? Could I really battle the snake with the broom? Could I yell for SP? Would it hear me yell and come investigate the source of the sound? I swear it turned its head and looked at me.


I heard SP's footsteps as he pounded across the kitchen, across the dining room, across the sunroom.

"There - under the chaise lounge."
"Give me the broom."
"No! Get me in the house! Now! Hurry!"

From the safety of the sunroom I watched SP battle Sammy Jr. He went over to it and stomped around. No reaction. He nudged it with the broom. It flipped out, doing that frantic ess wiggle thing and trying to wrap itself around the leg of the lounge chair. He shoved harder. It freaked more. The third time, he shoved it so hard with the broom that Sammy Jr. went flying off the deck, through the air, and landed, presumably, somewhere in the yard.

As this was happening, I'm inside squealing a bit, like a lame girl. I was scared it'd attack SP. When I saw it go flying I had two simultaneous thoughts:

1. Ha ha ha you stupid snake get off my deck, yeah SP show that snake who's in charge!
2. Aww poor snakey, shoved into the air and plummeting 8 feet, SP is so mean.

So now I am terrified of the deck. I am refusing to allow the sunroom door to be open even if the screen door is in place. I am scared of SP leaving the garage door open when he does yard work.


If only Sammy Jr. hadn't dared to venture on my deck.

If only SP hadn't told me that the neighbor told him she found 2 snake skins in her attic when she moved in.

If only my long ago physical therapist hadn't told me the story about picking up her kids' toys, including rubber snakes, and discovering that a rubber snake wasn't rubber but real.

If only as a teen I hadn't been working at Hills at the Village Square Mall when a snake escaped the pet store and then showed up under the ice machine in the snack bar area where I was working.

If only after that snack bar snake incident the jerk co-workers hadn't continued to terrorize me and my snack bar co-worker by randomly hiding rubber snakes from the toy department around the snack bar.

If only I hadn't seen a photo last year of Original Sammy sunning himself on the grass near the deck when he was 6-7 feet long (not exaggerating).

If only I hadn't ever seen the snake skins against the exterior brick by the concrete patio.

If only SP & my dad hadn't told my mother and I to stay inside while they chased OS off the front patio one day when we all were trying to leave for dinner.

Snakes. Way too close for comfort.

So. SP fought the snake with a broom and won. But I think the snake beat me because I am scared to go on the deck, scared to be alone on the deck, scared to open any windows or doors, and terrified of one somehow getting inside.

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