Snake removal isn’t something you think about at all, until you need it. Rick and I had just moved in together a few weeks ago, and we were still making a few adjustments to having another person around all the time. We don’t really fight, but we are great at bickering, and we’d already bickered over groceries, over who has to do the dishes, and even how to make the bed. But, we loved each other and we were happy to be together.
He had gone to bed kind of early that night, and I stayed up late working on my laptop. I tried to focus on the presentation I had to make at work the next day, but it got harder and harder as the night got later and later. As I tried to decide whether to just go to bed or get some caffeine and stay up even later, a book fell off the bookshelf all by itself. I have to admit, I jumped, and my tired brain immediately thought of the last horror movie I’d seen.
I told myself I was being stupid and crossed the room to replace the book. As I bent down to pick it up off the floor, something moved behind the books remaining on the shelf. I screamed, threw the book and jumped backwards on the couch all at the same time. My boyfriend came tearing down the stairs to see what was going on.
I didn’t even know what to tell him. “There’s something behind the books!” I finally got out. He must’ve thought I was being silly over a spider or something, because he got kind of angry and yanked a couple of books out. “Breeeaaaaah!” I have no idea what he meant to say, but he made some kind of weird noise. That’s when we realized we had a snake in the house.
After his initial shock, Rick went into snake removal action. He grabbed a five-iron from his golf bag in the hall closet and stalked towards the bookshelf. “What do you think you’re going to do with that?” I laughed. Shock and adrenaline had turned into laughter. The whole situation seemed ridiculous.
“I’m gonna get rid of the snake,” he said, ignoring my giggles. Despite my levity, I remained perched on the back of the couch, far away from the snake in the bookshelf.
“With a golf club?”
“That’s right.” Rick used the club to pull the remaining books off the shelf, and I screamed again as the snake wriggled onto the floor. Quickly, Rick pinned the snake against the floor with the five-iron and then looked at me. “Now what?” he asked.
“Ummm, tongs!” I yelled, pleased with my quick thinking. I ran out the back door and came back triumphantly with his barbeque tongs.
“What’m I supposed to do with this?” Rick growled as the trapped snake tried desperately to get away.
“Put the tongs behind its head so it can’t bite you, and then carry it outside.”
Rick turned to look at me, which loosened his grip on the club. The snake, feeling less pressure, made a bold move and got free, which sparked a whole new series of screams from me. Fortunately, he was able to trap the snake again. Without looking at me this time, he calmed me down and then said, “Go find a number for a snake removal service and call them.”
I agreed that was a good idea and crawled over the back side of the couch to turn my laptop back on.
“Oh, and ask them what I should do with this thing while I’m waiting for them to show up and get rid of the snake, okay?”
As I dialed the number on my cell phone, I muttered, “I bet they tell you to use tongs.” Rick didn’t say a word.