(Yes, I must give credit to Dawn for the title. Read on.)
It had been a long day. The requisite hours at work and multiple errands, followed by a leisurely drive through our neighborhood right at dusk.
At the end of our street, we saw moms walking with their kids and people walking their dogs. Normalcy. And that is why I questioned what it was I saw in the road – or thought I saw in the road.
While I was turning the car around, Dawn looked at me with a question mark over her head.
“I think I saw a snake”, I explained. I did not got into any further detail for fear of looking like an idiot when our headlights illuminated a large twig or a rope.
But, sure as shit, when I pulled over next to the pond 50 yards from our house, there was a snake in the road. It was not moving, so I assumed it was dead. But I was also looking at it from about 8 feet away in dusk, so I turned the Passport around again to shine it with the headlights.
And then it started moving.
All five feet of it.
Since our neighborhood has all sorts of end-of-the-day foot traffic from the fitness minded, my first instinct was to run over it. Then Dawn said, “Run it over!” So I did. The tires yelped “ka-thunk”, PETA planned a protest, and backyard ministers winced. But I was just looking out for the neighbors and their pets, so even my eco-friendly mind was nonplussed. However, I wanted to make sure the job got done so I quickly turned around…
… and saw nothing.
Not even a hint that the five foot long behemoth had even been there.
And that is when Dawn turned to me and asked – ok, told – me to roll up my window. Suddenly, life lessons from her childhood were reinforcing themselves into her mind. Namely, how her dad had always told her to NEVER run over a snake because it will strike the vehicle and latch on for dear life. It was then that I knew I was driving around a lethal weapon in my undercarriage, and I am not talking about Taco Bell flatulence.
She told me it was some sort of diamondback. Hell, I saw the skin markings myself, but I also saw no rattle on the end. So for all I know it could have been Randy Johnson. Or Doug Davis. (I was praying for Doug Davis.)
Visions of forked tongues through air conditioning vents and scaly creatures roaming the floor boards filled my head – not mention creeping the shit out of me. What were we going to do? We felt trapped in our own Honda, afraid to exit for fear of bites. Irrational as it may seem now, it was the gospel then.
So I did the only thing that I could think of at the time. I drove down another street in our neighborhood that two of my co-workers live on. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I thought either of them might see a lifeless body hanging from underneath the car (hissing the words “I know what you did last summer”). Or perhaps they could run interference for us, amusing the death-grip snake while Dawn and I ran our happy asses home. “Hey, look, snake! Free cats!”
But, alas, neither of them were outside so it was time to formulate Plan B.
Plan B turned out to be running our car through the automated carwash (using the cycle with undercarriage wash) and hoping that the snake would either sink its lifeless body into the drainage area (best case scenario) or slink away laughingly due to all the suds and water.
Neither of those happened, but the Passport looks freaking awesome!
It was kind of scary when the car was covered in foam, making a peek through the windows impossible, and the blowers of the wash turned on giving the entire scene a cheap, B-movie horror flick feel, complete with cheesy soundtrack…
By then, I had exhausted all our options. We had to get home, no question.
After parking in the driveway (there was NO WAY that I was pulling this transporter of death into the garage), I talked Dawn into exiting first. My thought process was that I could make it to help quicker since I was behind the wheel, while she would have to climb over my poison-stricken body, kicking me to the side while “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” played in her head, should something wicked happen to me.
But once we were safely inside, I returned to the car with a flashlight. I figured that if anything happened, I could always play cop and ask the snake for its license and insurance. However, after sweeping the underside of the Passport with the beam, I determined that there was no danger present. I then told the little kid from next door that he could get out from under the car – and give me back my flashlight.
Look for a follow-up to this entry Thursday night…