I killed a snake today.
Okay. That’s a lie. I didn’t actually kill it. I swept the dead snake into a dustpan and threw it into the outside trashbin while concentrating ever so intently on controlling my pathetic gag reflex.
The day started out so innocently, too. The precious puppy woke me up around 6 am, whereas I ushered her outside after feeding her breakfast with my eyes still halfway closed from morning grogginess. I then promptly fell back asleep, therefore successfully ignoring her attempts of garnering my attention by repeatedly throwing herself at the glass back door. I’ve decided that prior to my sister and I, some important diplomat must have lived in our house and had bulletproof glass installed for extra protection because that glass didn’t so much as budge at thirty-pounds of angry puppy flinging herself against it.
Don’t judge me. It’s a beautiful day outside and as the stand-in parent for the weekend, I’m allowed my flaws. Besides, she was happily playing with a chunk of bark at least three times her size—nowhere near the bulletproof door—when I woke up two and a half hours later to call her back inside. I’m sure “Fresh air does a child good,” is written on a bumper sticker attached to a minivan somewhere. If not, I’m going to produce one, so don’t even think about stealing my idea.
Anyways, back to that lovely start of a Saturday morning. After wasting a good majority of the morning doing absolutely nothing—which I have a talent for—I started working on a freelance project. Since ideas weren’t flowing as readily as I needed them to, I decided to take a short break and take the puppy—currently vying for my attention by continually pushing a slobbery purple bear against my bare leg—outside. Surely enjoying the good weather on my back deck while reading a few chapters from Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? would help put an end to my creative block. Plus, actually being outside with the puppy makes her more likely to happily play in the yard instead of tapping out an SOS against the glass door with her entire body.
All was good and well. Maddie was galloping around the yard, her paws still adorably too large for her puppy body. I was laughing aloud at the genius of Mindy Kaling while sipping my 3rd, oversized cup of coffee when, abruptly, my nose caught a whiff of what smelled like rotten fish. I looked up to see a stick hanging out of Maddie’s mouth. I instinctively reached out and snatched it from her mouth. And then I screamed.
It wasn’t a stick, you see. It was a dead snake. How big was it? That’s not the point. Whether it’s the size of my pinkie finger or as freakishly large as that CGI anaconda from that campy 90’s movie of the same name, I am deathly afraid of snakes. I repeat. Deathly. Afraid. I’m sure the entirety of my Copper Young neighborhood heard my bloodcurdling scream. I mean, where’s Ice Cube when you need him? I’m surprised I didn’t try to test the bulletproofness (yes I made up that word) of the glass door by flinging myself against it in my hasty retreat from the back deck.
I spent a good five minutes frozen inside, my breath fogging up the glass as I stared, unblinking, at the dead carcass of the snake to make sure it wasn’t just playing dead. You know, like in those scary movies where you assume the killer is dead until one of the supporting actresses gets close enough to make sure and suddenly he comes back to life all Frankenstein style and stabs her thru the stomach, hence why it’s always the supporting actresses who assess the damage instead of the lead ones.
It was close to the longest five minutes of my life.
I apologize to the poor guy campaigning for Ron Paul around my neighborhood who rang my doorbell just minutes after I bravely mustered up the courage to sweep the dead snake up in the dustpan and dispose of it in the outside trashbin. While I never would have voted for him in the first place, I will now always lump Ron Paul’s serene face from the front of his political brochure with the traumatic experience of my fingers coming in actual contact with the scaly body of a dead snake. Very poor timing on your part, campaign guy.
And, so my sister doesn’t assume I made this story up as a reason for her to never go out of town and leave me alone in the house ever again, I have photographic evidence. Feast your eyes on little Ron Paul:
Upon further investigation of this photograph, I have now convinced myself those weird looking white balls caught between the slats of wood are, in fact, snake eggs waiting to hatch and grow into huge anacondas. Excuse me while I go figure out how to fumigate my back deck.
– lindsey archer