Today my very dear friend from high school came over to visit. She's in town with her female relatives doing a girl's week vacation and is my very first official visitor from Illinois. So, when I heard Kara was going to be here of course I was really excited! We planned on doing nothing but hanging out, because when you've been friends as long as Kara and I have, and have as many life experiences as we've had, hanging out is what we do best.
I picked her up at her condo and we grabbed lunch and headed for my house. I was also excited for today because it would be the first day that I would actually let myself just hang by the pool and not CLEAN toilets (boy, is THAT a fun task!), put away stuff, empty boxes of crap that I should have donated back in Illinois, or sit in front of Facebook hitting the Refresh button waiting for any ONE of you to post something interesting. Nope. I was going to pretend I was on vacation with Kara and veg out. Today was going to be totally a VACA day.
I had just seen Kara right before we moved, but seeing her again was awesome and it did feel like vacation. We easily slipped into relax mode and put on some Glee tunes and hopped into the pool. Diva was with us in the pool and the boys were inside the house. We've got a little rock waterfall at the pool and Kara was relaxing by it (the water was not on), and Diva was doing her usual flipping around in the pool while Kara and I were talking old time high school stuff: Bon Jovi, bad perms, Sun Country two-liter wine coolers, you know the norm, when all of a sudden I saw it.
And I could feel my eyes bulge out of my head.
"Kara," I said, "Come toward me."
She didn't ask why, she just calmly moved from her spot on the pool ledge and swam/walked in my direction.
"Diva," I said, "Come on, "Let's get out of the pool."
"WHY? WHAT IS IT?" She asked impatiently.
"Just come on, there's a little critter."
I waited till we were all out of the pool until I made my announcement.
"THERE WAS A SNAKE!! HOLY SHIT A SNAKE WAS SLITHERING RIGHT TOWARD YOUR HEAD KARA AND IT WAS GOING TO CLIMB RIGHT ONTO YOUR NECK IF I DIDN'T ACT FAST AND OH MY GOD I DIDN'T SEE ITS TAIL SO I HAVE NO IDEA IF IT'S A FREAKING RATTLER OR NOT BUT IT PROBABLY IS AND HOW IN THE HELL COULD MR. MANIC MOVE ME TO THIS HELL-FORSAKEN DESERT!"
Nah, I didn't say that. But I sure as shit thought some of it!
I did say I saw a snake, which made Diva run into the house, which made the boys run out and then Diva snuck back out and then the boys went back inside and then locked Diva out and then made Diva scream and cry and I swear to you that snake just ruined Diva's whole summer and she is never going to swim in our pool ever, EVER again, so thank you very much you fucking snake for ruining our lives.
Nah, she may be back in the pool as early as tomorrow. Because the Snake Huntress was on alert!
What did I do, you ask? Well, as soon as I got the kids safely secured in the house, I grabbed my phone and called our neighbors, who have been nothing short of miraculous to us and asked what we should do about snakes in the yard because I've heard you should call 911. They calmed me down enough so that I didn't rush to get the fire department over and assured me that it probably wasn't a rattler because it's too hot for them now and that if it got into the pool it would drown (phew, Diva can live to swim again!). They did suggest I kill it. KILL IT!?!?!? KILL IT!
Well, OK. Here's the thing. I live in this snake-dwelling place now right? It's me or those mother effers and I'm not going to let THEM win! So, I call for Tukey, who has a friend over and ask if he has a shovel, because HELLLOOOOOO! We no longer own a shovel, because, say it with me folks ... YOU CAN'T SHOVEL SUNSHINE, so the Manic family didn't BRING A SHOVEL TO ARIZONA! Who woulda thunk it that we'd need our freakin' shovel to throttle off the heads of snakes in our backyard?
So, in the meantime, while our neighbor kid runs to get his shovel, I am throwing water at the rocks where our friendly snake was last spied upon, like, "here, snakey snakey, come get the water, come out and get some nice cool water, so I can find out where you are." Like that's smart, right? And in doing so, I have no idea where the slithering thing has gone.
But I am a mother on a mission. A mission to protect her children. To make her home and yard safe so they can play and frolick in their backyard and not be afraid to jump and swim in their pool.
So, I go on the Snake Hunt.
I search the brush. We have a lot of foliage in our backyard. Palm trees and rose bushes, and a lot of shrubbery, and a lemon tree and a bunch of other pretty stuff I can't name, but would make GREAT snake hiding places. There's no way in hell am I gonna find this snake.
But I do.
And it's in a place so far from the first place this snake was originally that I think it can't possibly BE that original snake so I freak out and think that our yard is absolutely infested with hundreds of snakes, but then Kara, who is laughing hysterically at me this whole time, because "snakes don't bother me, but spiders do"... Kara assures me that is the SAME snake, even though SHE didn't even see the snake in the first place because it was trying to crawl up her back!
But it is. And I lock eyes with the bastard. Seriously LOCK eyes with it. And I refuse to not look at it, and I wait for the shovel, and I do not let it out of my sight because I am going to GET IT! I am going to PREVAIL, and rid my yard from this SATAN SNAKE because I feel it is SATAN!
The shovel arrives at the hands of our 10 year old neighbor who has lived in the neighborhood his entire life and he exclaims that they have NEVER seen a snake in their backyard EVER, which further cements my SATAN fear. Gotta kill this snake. Gotta kill this snake. And its eyes are locked on me and it's not moving and I tell everyone:
Kara goes, "Let Ajers do it."
Oh ye of little faith, my beloved Kara.
Oh no, I want to taste the sweetness of snake victory. I want to behead the evil being.
It moves. I move. It slithers. I follow it along the wall, hoping beyond hope that it will choose to move upward and over the wall. But it does not, and instead, crawls along the rocks, and so, while my heart pounds and my shovel is poised and at the ready, with a fierceness I never thought I possessed, I strike.
And I miss the fucker.
And it slithers under another bush and out of sight. And AJers said, "I coulda totally got it!"
And Kara said, "He coulda totally got it!"
And I say, "Let's go get some frozen yogurt!"
That should be the end of the story, but it's not. That snake may still be out there, living the plush life in my backyard. But hopefully not for long.
Later in the afternoon, I got gutsy, now that I know the snake is pretty thin, possibly a garden snake, definitely not a rattler (unless it's a baby rattler and it hasn't grown it's rattle yet, which is a thought I JUST HAD THIS MOMENT! Is that possible?) I grabbed a spray bottle of water and also a Terminix bug spray and went on the hunt. The bug spray said do not get in the eyes, so yeah, I know it won't kill a snake, but I figured I could spray it in its eyes, blind it, and THEN go for the shovel decapitation. It would at least slow it down, right? The spray bottle of water would be to just scare the snake out of the brush in order to locate it before using the bug spray. So yeah, I did THAT for an hour or so this afternoon too. Like I said, a woman on a mission to protect her family.
And NO, I did not find the snake later this afternoon.
But I did not STOP there! A Facebook buddy who lives in New Mexico suggested a product a Lowe's and I just happened to be by there today (seriously! Unrelated! We went to dinner at In & Out - we gave it a second chance!), and I ran in and got, no lie ... SNAKE REPELLANT! Which is some nasty ass smelling granules that you pour all over your backyard that snakes do not like. Which I can understand cuz humans don't like the smell much either.
So now, we have a stinky backyard, and possibly a snake infested yard. Sidenote: I found a broken little egg - snakes DO come out of eggs, right? This worries me because that means it could have HATCHED from a MOTHER snake and there could be a WHOLE family of snakes in my backyard. I am thinking this is a very good start to a HORROR movie in the making. Unsuspecting family moves into a beautiful new home only to be terrorized/infested by millions of snakes. Wonderful.
So, the hunt shall continue, but at least I have some solace in knowing that the snake repellant, whether it works or not, is out there on the ground. I don't care if it's a placebo or not, it'll at least help me to sleep at night, but I still think the snake nightmares are inevitable.
As for my kids, we'll see if Diva will ever swim again. Ajers just wants a fresh kill, and Tukey ... well, this is what Tukey had to say about the whole event and my antics as Snake Huntress and how I reacted with the shovel as I tucked him into bed tonight, which I think is the absolute most awesomest part of this whole snake thing:
"When I'm an adult, at night, I'm gonna tell my kids that story."