Last week, one of my co-workers told me, with eyes filled with terror and trauma, that she had seen a snake in her backyard. She spun wild tales of snakes slithering amok all over our city and wanted to rally all of the exterminators to decimate these reptilian invaders.
I politely shook my head at the nerve of those pesky snakes and gently told her not to worry because, of course, they were just harmless little garter snakes.
Then I went all Jon Snow on her, telling her not to kill the obviously dangerous beasts in our midst because I am so noble, brave, and kindhearted.
But, much like Jon Snow, I know nothing.
When I got home later that day, I threw on some old cut-off jean shorts because I had to do some gardening and then, once I was done in the yard, I went inside and started cooking dinner. Country Boy stayed out in the front yard to continue planting those bulk plants that I told you about back in March. Yes, we are STILL planting them. Country Boy and I have never met a project that we didn’t want to start and not finish.
A while later, Country Boy popped his head through the front door and asked for a glass of water. I began preparing a glass of cold refrigerator water with ice to positively reinforce his decision to finish up the garden, but, before I could finish that artisan water cocktail, he stopped me and told me that warm sink water would be just fine.
I looked at him.
I knew I was about to ask a question to which I did not want to know the answer, but I just couldn’t stop myself. I’ve never met a bad decision that I didn’t like.
So, I asked “What do you need the water for?”
He sighed, recognizing my error, and responded “To clean up all of the snake blood off of the driveway.”
I whispered, with eyes filled with terror and trauma, “Excuse me?”
And, he, with a barely suppressed eye roll, said “There was a snake, so I killed it with my shovel. It got blood everywhere. I just need to wash it off before it stains. Relax. It was just a harmless little garter snake.”
I said “Right. That’s totally normal. Here’s your snake-blood-cleaning water.”
After Country Boy went back outside, I took a few deep breaths and talked myself down off the ledge. I reminded myself that snakes are living creatures that people keep as pets. People also keep puppies as pets. Ergo, snakes are totally the puppies of the reptile world. And puppies are awesome. So, snakes are awesome? Logically, this was no big deal.
All was well until I realized that I had BBQ chicken cooking on the grill.
The grill that was outside.
WHERE THE SNAKES LIVE.
It was all terror and trauma up in my kitchen. I did not want to go out in the backyard.
But, I also did not want to starve.
So, I took a deep breath and evaluated my options.
I quickly realized that there was only one option. I had to go to the grill.
Apparently, my love of BBQ chicken trumps my fear of poisonous snakes. It’s good to know that I have my priorities in order.
But, I’m not dumb.
So, I armed myself with a rake just in case Mr. Dead Front Yard Snake was friends with Mr. Alive Back Yard Snake and his crew. I also cracked a Coors Light because liquid courage is never a bad idea.
And that’s how I found myself wearing grass-stained jorts, swigging a cheap American beer, and grilling meats while fighting off vermin with a homemade weapon on a Tuesday night.