I was minding my own domestic business. Sitting on the floor in my bedroom and sorting through a mound of laundered socks that seemed to lack a significant other, particularly since said cotton companion was most likely on the ground next to the trampoline or abandoned in the neighbor’s yard, I haphazardly glanced towards the window in front of me.
The Holly Tree outside my window appeared to have a branch that was mobile. I blinked my eyes, hoping that what I was seeing wasn’t true, sort of the same way I wish that the parentheses marks between my eyebrows were non-existent, but even the best prescriptive bifocals couldn’t correct the horror show I was facing.
A big, nasty snake with creepy, scaly skin that made my own crawl was looking directly at me through the window. Unrecognizable noises erupted from my lips and my hands began to involuntarily flutter as I encountered a creature that is just plain wrong. Unknowingly, I spun around in a few circles before good sense finally took the place of the bad.
With my eyes never leaving the reptile, I backed slowly towards the phone and dialed the number to animal control, a number that also coincidentally summons my spouse.
My husband answered the line in his office. Skipping pleasantries, I yelled, “You have to come home quick! There’s a giant snake – a BOA CONSTRICTOR - and it’s right next to our house!”
Replying in that irritatingly calm doctor’s voice that has potential to cause my head to spin right off of my body, he responded, “Considering that the Boa Constrictor is primarily found in deserts and tropical forests - places ranging from Northern Mexico to Argentina - I doubt very seriously that a Boa has taken up residence next to our home.”
Speaking as though he were Jack Hanna joyfully educating a TV audience filled with curious boy and girls instead of his very freaked out wife, I replied that I was not looking for information about the life of the snake. In fact, I was calling to see how we could bring about its rightful death.
It’s not as though this were the first time we have had difficulty with critters. We’ve had a phantom skunk in our basement, a wayward bat hanging in our window treatments, a spastic bird in our den, a family of frogs in our mailbox and a herd of aggressive deer residing in our front yard.
Clearly, it should come as no surprise to my spouse that a BOA was lurking outside the bedroom window.
In an even, composed tone that only served to incite my own, my husband asked me to describe the terror before me. After ciphering through descriptions like “big enough to eat me and my three children” and “slimy, black monster sent by Satan”, John determined that the evilness causing such distress was a black snake. He further elaborated, “That’s the kind of snake we want around to kill other bad snakes and rodents. It’s a good snake.”
“Really? A seventeen-foot long reptile with teeth and scales and a slithering tongue is a good snake?” I countered in a high-pitched voice that caused our Labrador to howl. “In my opinion, the only good kind of snake is a dead kind of snake.” Over the phone line, I could hear my husband rolling his eyes. It was that loud.
The oddity of the situation, and all others involving the unwelcomed creatures we’ve experienced, is that it’s not like we live in the country or the jungle where animals are welcomed to roam freely. We live in a neighborhood, in a very developed part of town, with actual running water, inside toilets and working electricity.
My husband did not come to rescue me from the snake that day as sick patients took precedence over hysterical housewife. A priority he will sorely regret one day when the thing swallows me whole.