Monday, October 19, 2009

How Does This Happen??

Finally I have some time to share the story that horrified me two weeks ago. Several of my friends have already heard this tale by now, so if you're one of them, you might want to take the day off from reading! Hopefully the rest of you will find this somewhat entertaining.

Two Mondays ago I was driving home at the end of the day when I got a call from Chad. He started by saying "I'm not even sure if I should tell you this." In general, I'd say that's just not a good sign. He preceded to tell me this story.

Chad got home from work, fed the dogs and sent them outside, and then walked downstairs to take the mail to our computer desk. At the bottom of the stairs, beside the new loveseat that had been delivered a couple of weeks before, he saw a strange something sitting on the floor. At a glance he thought it was a piece of the packaging from the pub table and stools we'd unpackaged and put together the night before--maybe a piece of cardboard or something that had been chewed up by the dogs. He reached down to pick it up, but when he did, it began squirming and wiggling. Obviously he was a bit startled, and his knee jerk reaction was to fling the squirming thing into the air--the squirming thing that happened to be a snake!! IN OUR BASEMENT! Seriously!!!

At this point, as Chad is telling me this story, I'm on the other end of the phone screaming like a crazy person. I was so hysterical you would have thought I had been the one to find the snake instead of my husband. Of course, had I actually been the one to find the snake and accidentally pick it up, I would not be alive to tell you this story right now because I would have had a heart attack and died. For real.

Anyway, after Chad flung the snake (which was only a small garter snake, thankfully) into the air, he of course realized that he needed to actually capture it, so he grabbed a handful of paper towels off the wet bar and tried to use them to pick up the intruder. Unfortunately, Mr. Squirmy went slithering towards the crack under the door to the furnace room! Chad grabbed it before it could go under, but didn't get a firm enough hold on it, so the snake went squirming all over the place again. There was a bit of a wrestling match in the middle of the carpet between the snake and the paper towels (confirmed by Fresco, who could not stop rolling in that spot for the next three days) before Chad finally got a good enough hold to carry the serpent outside.

Now, I realize that garter snakes really aren't dangerous or harmful to humans, but seriously folks, that DOES NOT MEAN I want one in our house! IN OUR HOUSE!! I'm sure some people will think I'm totally overreacting, but this is so incredibly disturbing to me! How did this creepy thing get into our house!??? The fact that we have no logical answer for this question makes it even more disturbing!

We obviously searched all the corners and walls in the finished part of the basement for any cracks or crevices, but couldn't seem to find any snake holes. Chad thought maybe it came through a tear in one of the window screens, since I'd had the windows open the day before for an hour or so while I was cleaning the windows, but a thorough search turned up no tears in the screens either. Chad theorized that it could have climbed its way up one of the 4X4s of the deck and then slithered into the house at some point when we had the door wide open during the beautiful late summer weather. I find that theory completely implausible since a) I don't think a tiny snake could climb 12 feet up a wood post, and b) I don't think a snake could have come into our house and down the stairs without us or the dogs noticing. Our last theory was perhaps the most disturbing: that maybe Mr. Snake came into our house with our new furniture--like he was somehow living in the frame or cushions or packaging and finally came out two weeks later when it started getting hungry. Just to make sure this wasn't the case, I took a flashlight down and inspected the bottoms of both the couch and loveseat, just to make sure there were no holes or second snakes hanging out. The final theory, which is probably the most probable, is that he came in through some crack in the foundation in the unfinished storage room in our basement, which hasn't been inspected quite as thoroughly since there's so much crap in it right now you can hardly see the walls. There are seriously no other reasonable explanations that we could come up with! Anyone have an plausible theory? Anyone? Bueller?

As you can imagine, for the next several days (which happened to be the days my family was in town) I would get the willies every time I tiptoed down the stairs to our basement. Even now, two weeks later, I still peek around the corner and scan the entire basement before getting to the bottom of the stairs. I have to shake out any blankets or pillows laying around just to make sure there are no snakes hiding beneath. I've been totally obsessed with snakes ever since. Last night, when Chad was installing our new printer, he accidentally sat on the old power cord and jump slightly in surprise. In all seriousness, for a split second after he jumped I thought SNAKE!!

I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to get over having snakes in our basement. This might be even worse than Snakes on a Plane.


Anonymous said...

AGGGGGGGH!I would have...I don't know what I would have done. As long as it is a little gardner snake, it wouldn't be too bad, but no, it still can't be there!!! I stepped on a fairly large snake when I was about nine. I don't like thinking of them either. But..this too shall pass. Love you, mom

EmilyG said...

Lol...2nd 'snake in the basement' story I've heard in a week. Must be cold in KS and they're coming in to get warm. Be glad, though...the other snake I heard about was 3+ feet long. ;)

jake said...

Three words - toilet bowl snakes. You're welcome for the new source of paranoia!

Erin said...

I would feel the exact same way. I would have loved to have seen Chad's face when he realized what it was. When we lived in Austin and had a pet door, Lainey would bring things in all the time....gecko lizards, birds!, and yes, one time, a snake. It slithered under the couch. Tracy was at one end and I was at the other. We were both screaming and trying to catch it in a big plastic cup. I was not happy with Lainey for a few days after that.

cw said...

Just to be clear, as I have been asked repeatedly, I did NOT scream like a girl when I realized it was a snake.

While well written and very funny, the "wrestling match" was rather brief. I slapped on a rear-naked choke, and that wussy snake tapped out instantly. SCOREBOARD! Leroy Jennnkkkkinssss, out.