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.
I am totally one small step away from having fox in a box in my freezer and from serving raccoon to my holiday guests…
July 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM
Back with a vengeance!
A couple weeks ago we were walking back to my hotel room in Scottsdale and saw a snake outside the door. Security came and took it away, explaining it was non-venomous King snake. He explained that they like those there because they eat rattlers. OF course, we couldn’t sleep with the thought that his dinner was probably close by…
July 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Thanks! Apparently all it took for inspiration to strike was a brush with death and an accidental trailer trash outfit.
And, yes, the main course was DEFINITELY nearby. Why else would a snake leave his spot lounging in the shade of a nice hotel to venture out into the open?
July 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM
You know Pinot, for an urban dweller you sure do have a lot of wild animals in your life. You seem to attract them (Ha! like Country Boy). My suggestion is to never move to a rural area because if every animal within 10 miles is doomed to end up in your yard, as they seem to, you would empty the forest.
July 10, 2014 at 6:51 PM
I know, right?! Last month I went for a run — again in the middle of the tropical CITY where I live — and literally ran into a fox. A totally alive, should be in the forest, what the hell are you doing here, fox. He gave me a knowing stare and then trotted away.
I would have to concede that I must have imagined the interaction — I was many miles into a run on a hot morning — except that I took pictures of him on my phone and those pictures still exist. And hallucinations don’t show up in picture, right?
August 21, 2014 at 2:59 AM
That’s a creative answer to a difclfuit question
February 21, 2015 at 1:03 PM
That’s the best answer of all time! JMHO
July 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM
Oh, hey how’s Kato doing? Enjoying the new back-yard?
July 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM
Kato appears to have moved on to greener pastures. We sprinkled cayenne pepper in our grass and that was enough to convince her that we are not the luxury property she had assumed.
Before my close encounter with the snake kind, I was really enjoying my backyard oasis.
July 10, 2014 at 6:06 PM
Welcome back! I’ve missed you!!
And we just be channeling the same blog fodder because my traumatized by a snake in the pool skimmer post is sitting in my draft folder. 🙂
July 10, 2014 at 7:22 PM
Thanks — I missed you, too, and am happy to be back from my accidental hiatus. I don’t know why I didn’t get motivated to come back sooner!
A snake in the pool?!?! That is the stuff of nightmares.
July 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM
I too have missed you.
One of my earliest childhood memories is a bloody snake my mother hacked to pieces with a hoe and left for me to find while riding my tricycle………so I totally get this post.
July 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM
Aww — I missed you, too, and was so happy to have so many amazing things Andra to read about upon my return.
But, more importantly, what possessed your mother to do that?? You must have thrown one hell of a toddler tantrum to warrant revenge by ravaged reptile. Your parents really are the best!
July 11, 2014 at 1:51 AM
Omg, you’re back!! I have missed you so much! You have a lot of wildlife in your backyard! I’ll trade you some scorpions–fair deal? Seriously though, I’m glad to see you back on the blog!
July 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM
Scorpions?! Part-reptile, part-bug, all-killer? I’ll take a hard pass on that trade my friend.
July 11, 2014 at 2:08 AM
Maybe you will appreciate my most recent snake experience. A couple months ago I went out mountain biking. I’m not that big on biking, but I do it when I hurt my foot or something and can’t run. So I rode a few miles in some canyon, and I was getting impatient because like I said, not big on biking. What do I do? I start riding as fast as I can!!!!! And what do I NOT see until it’s literally under my bike tire? A baby rattlesnake!
And the truth is I felt HORRIBLE, went back to see it, and didn’t even realize until I was back at the scene of the crime that it was a rattlesnake. I watched it slither away, and realized in my drive home that I was an idiot. But hey, neither of us killed the other. Good enough for me.
July 11, 2014 at 4:26 PM
Dude! That is insane! I’m glad you’re okay. But, despite my arming myself with a rake and being totally freaked the F out over the whole motherf-ing snakes in my motherf-ing yard thing, I’m glad that you stopped to make sure that the little guy was okay. I feel like you two had a live and let live agreement going on.
But, yeah, I probably would stay out of canyons during prime snake times, you know?
July 11, 2014 at 9:09 AM
You know, just last week I was thinking about you, and wondering if you (a) posted some stuff that I just happened to miss, (b) were eaten by a rabid racoon, or (c) ran away to join the circus. I admit that (b) and (c) were a bit more unlikely than other more reasonable explanations (like an impromptu blog hiatus), but I have pregnancy brain, so everything is screwy up there. You should see the shit I’m dreaming about! Frightening. Anyway, I’m glad you are back, because I missed your brand of crazy hilarity.
I had a snake as a pet in college. His name was Cog, short for Incognito, because we were not supposed to have pets in the dorm room. Everyone on the floor knew we had it though, and would come by to play with him. In fact, one day my RA, wrapped in a towel, came knocking on my door with Cog in hand after he had escaped and ended up in the guy’s bathroom. He was a sweet little thing. I have a pic of me with him slithering all through my hair. He was pretty small. Anyway, all that to say that I don’t have a fear of snakes, but I do have a healthy respect for wild snakes, because you never know if they are poisonous or are just having a really bad day. i.e. I don’t run up to them to pet them or anything. The hubs on the other hand . . . terrified.
July 13, 2014 at 8:13 PM
Oh please, you know me well enough to know that (b) and (c) are totally likely, although, let’s be honest, I’m actually too lazy for (c) so that would just be a temporary hiatus before I returned to my regularly scheduled programming of watching television from the safety of my own couch.
As for Cog, really? REALLY?! Although I have to admit, being able to channel Medusa at whim is a pretty solid party trick.
August 21, 2014 at 1:45 PM
None can doubt the veticary of this article.
July 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM
I honestly don’t know which is making me laugh harder – that you guys are STILL planting those damn plants, or that last line up there! Rock on 🙂
July 13, 2014 at 8:15 PM
I know, I KNOW! But, breaking news, the final plant — the lemon tree — went in the ground today! I will be retiring my jorts, shovel, and planting gloves for the foreseeable future (aka until I realize that I don’t have the cash to hire a landscaper and have to get back out there and clean things up myself).
July 12, 2014 at 6:14 AM
So happy to see a post from you!
Because I live in absolute terror of critters, I moved from snake-infested Africa to Australia. Makes total sense, right?
On my honeymoon, we were told the game reserve had had a few snake ‘incidents’ in rooms. Apparently you had to RUN if you saw a black mamba. I went everywhere with a chef’s knife and a balaclava.
July 13, 2014 at 8:26 PM
On your honeymoon, you should only be worried about one snake, and you shouldn’t be running away from it. Although, I supposed the knife and the balaclava could make things interesting…
July 13, 2014 at 10:16 AM
So happy to see a post from you–I’ve missed reading all of stories.
When we lived in NYC and had one winter with mice issues, I would usually keep a bottle of bleach near me and if one of them was brave enough to come out when I was there, I’d shoot at the thing with abandon. (Evidently this helped as it covered up the “scent trail” that they would leave as a signal to other mice to come in and hang, and eventually the bodega below us bought another mouser which probably made the biggest impact.) In other words, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, even in jorts.
July 17, 2014 at 6:50 AM
Oh, you were on hiatus, too? Unfortunately for me, my hiatus-es (hiatus’? hiati?) seem to come quite regular… must be the CADD. (The C stands for Creative, I’m guessing you know the rest) The good new is, you won’t have much catching up to do on my blog, lol.
Regarding your post, I’m not sure if I should admit this, but I’m going to anyway…
Not only have I eaten raccoon (just so happened, it was BBQ’d, like your chicken, though not served to guests) but I’ve also had a fox in my freezer O.o except it was in a bag, not a box.
To ease your mind, I did shed copious tears over the fox… but the raccoon was pretty tasty, if I recall- I was pretty young when I had that culinary experience. 😉
July 30, 2014 at 11:51 PM
🙂 This story both made me feel bad for you and laugh. You are such a skilled writer.
August 20, 2014 at 9:21 PM
Just the type of inhgist we need to fire up the debate.
August 15, 2014 at 11:42 PM
You could have left the snake blood as a warning to all other snakes…
But really, snakes in any form are terrifying.
I refuse to water my vegetable garden (which could not be any closer to my house) without my phone in case I need to call for help from an animal attack. This morning I was ready to shoot my hose water at a squirrel if he got too close. Thankfully he knew what was best for him and ran away.
Glad to see you are back 🙂
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October 17, 2014 at 2:28 AM
I am shit scared of snakes…. and I live in a continent where some people see them everyday. Country boy killed the snake? I run from those creatures…
January 29, 2015 at 6:43 PM
Omg I HATE snakes so much! You are such a badass for going into your backyard armed with a rake and a cold beer. I would have needed a hover craft and a fifth of tequila. You remain my everlasting hero.