Why are the uninvited always showing up at my house? Is there a sign out front beckoning any and all who pass by? An invisible force, maybe, that pulls in visitors like a powerful tractor beam? Whatever the reason, no unwanted guest to date compares to the one who dropped by last night. In fact, I'm calling my therapist first thing in the morning to schedule an appointment before the nightmares begin.
"Oh my god!" is what I heard from a corner in the den, where my husband stood, bent over a pile of his man toys. Knowing he's not one to scare easily, I went on high-alert in an instant. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on tiptoes.
"What is it?" No answer.
"Is it one of those huge roaches?" I hate those crunchy suckers. "Do you need a shotgun?"
Still no answer.
I peeked in the den from the dining room, not even close to prepared for what I was about to see. As I leaned forward from the table, I witnessed my husband morph into some type of Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee hybrid. Without wasting a millisecond he reached for a small saw. I then watched in horror as he began delivering rapid blows to something on the floor I could not see. At that point I knew whatever beast he was slaying could not have been a bug, not even one of those saddle-laden roaches I've dueled with many a time. No, this was worse.
"What the hell is it? What are you killing in there?" I hollered from the chair I stood on for safety.
"Some sort of viper," came the reply.
"What?" I could barely breathe. A snake? In the house? He had to be kidding. I pictured an eleven foot python all chillin' in my La-Z-Boy and felt my eyes begin to roll toward the back of my head. For some reason I put my hands over my ears. I guess I was afraid the snake was into wet willies or something. You can never tell with snakes.
I waited for the battle in the den to conclude before I uncovered my ears again. My daughter heard the commotion and emerged from her cave at the other end of the house.
"What's going on?" She looked up at me as if it were totally normal to see me standing atop a dining room chair with a look of terror frozen on my face.
"There's a snake in the den. Don't go in there." I pointed for emphasis.
"Cool," she said, and walked into the den like I had just told her an orpaned kitten was in there. Freak. Without the slightest sign of fear she inspected the defeated intruder.
"Put it in a bag and take it outside," my husband told her. She walked closer to the snake.
"It's okay, Mom, it's only about a foot long. I'll pick - (scream) after you kill it first! It's still moving!" My hands slammed over my ears again. I really don't know why.
Indiana Dundee went another round with said "viper" before at last emerging the victor. My brave daughter took the bagged-and-tagged body outside. I waited a few more minutes, for good measure, before I set my feet on the floor.
No, I don't know what kind of snake it was, nor do I want to know. I don't even want to think about how he slithered into my house, past my useless dogs. My dogs have a stern lecture coming about who and what they allow inside. Goofy neighborhood kids are one thing, but I must draw the line at reptiles. Sorry guys, there's no more room at the inn.