I feel pretty fortunate to live relatively close to my parents for the time being. After I turned 18 I pretty much left for 7 years straight except for the occasional holiday and I believe that took a toll on the family because I am the only one they had. I guess youthful indiscretion can be at times better worded as selfishness. But now that I am older I recognize the importance of spending family time even when this happens.
So I am at work, knee deep in superficial issues and figuring out other peoples dilemmas when I get a cellphone call from my Mom. I make a point to not answer personal calls at work but then she called again before the voice mail alert beeped. Maybe it is the fact that there are elderly people in my family and I am extremely paranoid over the well being of my parents, because I broke my cardinal rule and picked up.
“Bill, you need to come home right now”, Mom said in a shaky voice. My heart stopped.
I asked what happened as I frantically made my way to the elevator. There was a long pause and then she quickly said she would call me right back and hung up. As soon as I reached the bottom floor I made my way to the parking deck, my mind racing on every conceivable emergency. Did something happen to my Dad? Did my final Grandparent pass? Did one of my little cousins get ill? What could it be?
Now, I love my Mom but I know that she exaggerates the severity of issues. It’s not her fault, it was just how she was raised. We all have someone in the family that takes a situation and adds a touch of irrational thought and a pinch of panic. That’s her. So as I was driving out the garage I figured unless someone was dead I needed to subtract at least 20% from whatever I was about to be told. And then the phone rang.
I quickly demanded to know what was going on and then Mom said in a voice of pure excitement, “There’s a snake in the garage!”
Yep, there was a snake in the garage and I left every pending issue of corporate importance to drive 30 miles and due battle with a snake. I have to tell you that was a relief. I instructed her to call animal control and I would be there as soon as possible and not to shoo it out herself. If you think Mom would get excited to see a snake I couldn’t even comprehend the story if she was bit. Epic scale my friends.
So she informed me she already called 911. God I wish I could have heard that conversation. I imagine it would have gone like this:
911 Operator: 911, what is your emergency?
Mom: There is a huge snake in the garage!
911: Ma’am, can you describe what the snake looks like?
Mom: I don’t know, but it’s walking around on it’s hind legs! Come quick!
So I finally got there after I spent time on the phone consoling my very bothered Mom. I walked into the garage and saw no sign of a snake but I have seen Animal Planet. I know these thing coil in the furthest corners. So I peered over the first place that I would go if I were a snake and I found him. And it was exactly what I feared. A copperhead snake and it was poisonous. Fuck.
I have very bad luck when it comes to handling dangerous or any non-domesticated animals. I am always the one to walk away from a petting zoo with the handlers saying, “So sorry Billy, Danny the Deer has never ran down and bitten someone like that before.” So my chances of getting said snake from the opposite corner of the garage to it’s natural environment without getting bitten was not good. So I did what any guy in a suit with zero training would do. I took two golf irons and picked it up. (don’t do this)
Surprisingly, everything was going smooth. The snake wasn’t flipping out, I didn’t trip, Mom didn’t faint. Nope, 90% of the journey was smooth as silk. Right up to the point I gently put him/her down on the driveway. Then the little bugger did the unexpected.
Every nature show I have seen on TV paints the picture that snakes, when caught and then let go, take off into the wilderness because “it is more scared of you than you are of it”. Bullshit. That little bastard was on the ground for about ten seconds after I laid it down, sticking it’s tongue out with it’s head raised. Then right before I felt a sense of accomplishment it turned and made a beeline right for my leg. (shakes)
I don’t remember how I got to the end of the driveway. I think I miracled myself there. Regardless, that little bastard took approximately 30 dignity points away from me and fused my heart to the base of my throat. Jeff Corwin, suck it.
So we waited until animal control came and it took the guy about an hour to check the entire garage and came up empty. So now the next time I visit the folks I have to be worried about a very pissy foot long snake that wants to bite me. Winter can not come soon enough.
As for Mom, she may never use the garage again. I feel bad that I botched that up but she still made me a sandwich and lemonade. It’s funny that moms have a way of fixing issues through food.