Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jim Stafford said it best

So I'm no mighty outdoorsman. Anyone who knows me knows that already, and loves me just the same. No, really. I can camp with the best of them, fend off invading raccoons while Dammit Dog sleeps peacefully, cook over the fire in the pouring rain (Coleman fuel rocks), and trudge through swamps and ravines without ever getting poison ivy. I can let the woodsmoke build on my skin until the skeeters can't break through, and I can climb out of the tent while putting shoes on while not tracking any sand back inside.

However, there are limits to my manliness. Limits to how much nature I want in my nature. And as far as I'm concerned, nature should stay where nature knows best and not in my air-conditioned, sterile non-natural cocoon of a house.

Anyhow, Friday night, we were enjoying the Deadliest Catch marathon from the sterile, non-natural cocoon of our house when Dammit Dog (officially known as Quincy to everyone else), who normally only barks at inopportune times and NOT at impending doom, wigged out behind the couch. We got up in time to see the tail end of a snake creeping behind his food bin.

I should take a moment to mention that the vet recommended some sort of VegiDent chews for Dammit Dog to take the hassle out of his annual cleaning, and the dog has subsequently become addicted to them. Addicted, as in "I'm going to stare at my food bin until you give me a bone, even if that's six hours from now" addicted. So I'm sure the issue was not that a two-foot snake had somehow found its way into our home, but that it was potentially going after his treats.

I should also mention that I'm allergic to snakes, and I break out in screaming and swearing fits. Not pretty at all.

The snake found his way around the food bin and under the curio cabinet, which is laden with all things glass and fragile. While Lori hunted for the number for Animal Control, I took the collection of vases off the top of the cabinet and pulled one side away from the wall enough to get a clear view of a potentially striped, maybe ringed, possibly spotted snake. All the identification guides online somehow expect me to perform an intense, up-close inspection of the snake, take down its vitals, see how hard it bites, etc.

So after determining that it was NOT a coral snake (which, per the AC guy, would actually need to chew on me to inject poison - BIG comfort), he decided from my non-herpetological descripton, that it must be a scarlet king snake.

This left me with two options from the AC guy, my way of snake removal or his way of snake removal. I opted initially for his way, until he informed me that his way cost $250. Suddenly, my way seemed okay. Armored with oven mitts, and armed with the longest barbecue tongs we could find, I pulled the cabinet further from the wall and went in. And panicked, dropping him again once he thrashed about the first time. Two for the show, I got a firm grip, Lori threw the patio door aside and I dropped him as animally friendly as I could muster. He seemed slightly offended, beyond him hissing at me the whole time I was shining the flashlight in his eyes. Not that snakes have shoulders but I think he shrugged at me before slithering off in a huff.

Yesterday's perusal of the Florida Snake Guide tells me it was NOT a scarlet king snake, after all. Don't know what it was for sure, possibly some sort of water snake, or anaconda, or pit viper, or who knows what. Time to get the 'Great Stuff' out again.

Yesterday, while cleaning house, we had another visit, this time from one of the happy, bouncing, non-threatening hand-sized wolf spiders that somehow get in from time to time. Unlike my normal reaction of screaming like a little girl while swearing like the lummox that I am and unloading half a can of insect killer on it, I took matters more directly and put the smackdown on him with one of Lori's sneakers. Once I was sure he was dead, I smacked him eight or nine more times, to make sure.

I really don't like spiders and snakes. Period.


Bev said...

Hi Elliott! Funny stuff, and I can definitely relate to the subtitle since I also have a couple of "crappy, unfinished novels" lying about.

Also, LMAO @ "I break out in screaming and swearing fits."

Elliott said...

Glad you enjoyed it, if I can figure out which box the old novel fragments are packed in I will probably start a second blog, a la the subtitle.

Harmony said...

"I'm allergic to snakes, and I break out in screaming and swearing fits." ~ Made me laugh so hard that I cried! This is my exact reaction to spiders. Spiders..*shudder*

I guess I would have overcome my fears when faced with a $250 bill too.

Anonymous said...

You should just do what we do.... shoot them while they are in the house... nothing says white trash like firing off a round in the basement. LOL.
Fuck spiders and the "no shoulders" creatures... If I can't hear them sneaking up on me, I don't want them anywhere around me.

MJenks said...

I'm sorry I missed this story before.

Now I'm getting all linky and thinking "Hell, I guess it really COULD have been worse..."

Be nice and share!

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