On Saturday morning, I was comfortably seated in the passenger side of the mommymobile, attending garage sales with my family.
When I’m alone on such an occasion, I stop at every single sale. However, when Fiddledaddy is driving, I am able to employ a technique known as the “drive-by.” In that I can crane my neck in the general direction of the sale, without fear of mowing down a hapless shopper, or hitting another vehicle.
There are actually people out there who throw a tarp on the front yard, then litter that tarp with various pieces of mismatched tupperware and toy remnants and call it a “yard sale.”
I call it a “drive-by.” My husband uses considerably more colorful language.
We were happily in our own area, which was holding a community sale. As we made our way down the narrow street, I noticed movement on the windshield of the passenger side. Movement that included brightly colored scales. And a flicking tongue.
My eyes widened as I swallowed my voice. All I could squeak out was, “Snake, snake, snake.” As calmly as I could.
Anyone who knows me well would know how much effort that took. Because everything in me screamed, “SNAKE, SNAKE, SNAKE, for the love of all that is good, SNAKE!!!!!!” But on occasion, I must put on the pretense of being an actual adult.
Fiddledaddy, while still driving, said, “Where?”
I pointed to the windshield, but he assumed I meant the street and so he kept driving, because a flat snake is preferred snake fare in these parts.
I finally was able to tell him that the snake was on the windshield (details), only by this time, I watched in horror as it slithered down into the engine hood. Fiddledaddy stopped, and I jumped out to see it wriggle along, under the crack.
And let me pause to tell you this. This snake was no ordinary garden variety grass snake. It was bright orange and brown (which in my book spells VENOMOUS) and it was NOT SMALL.
Fiddledaddy never saw it. He popped open the hood while I stood a good distance back wringing my hands.
And the children? They were all having a nervous breakdown in the back of the van. Cailey and Emme had escaped from their seat belts and were clinging to the interior of the roof. Like cats.
Jensen remained trapped in his 5-point harness, because had he been released, no doubt he would have ended up in the engine block with the snake.
Since nothing could be seen, and we were drawing a crowd, it was decided that we would climb back in and make our way back home. For it was too far to walk. Something I seriously considered.
I decided to sit in the back with the children, to, you know, um, comfort them.
I sat in Jensen’s car seat, with him, with my feet far off the ground. The girls remained on the ceiling. Screaming.
We arrived home and the children scurried indoors, grabbed comfortable seating, and planted themselves inside the safety of the storm door.
At some point, Fiddledaddy called the snake wrangler at the local pet shop, who told him just to shut the hood and park on the grass. Because snakes are not fond of warm cars, and the grassy knoll underneath might coax the snake out of hiding.
My theory is far different. The snake would most certainly find her way into the interior of the van, and gorge herself on petrified frog legs, moldy chicken nuggets, stale fries, and cracker crumbs, while sipping warm leftover iced tea. Then she would settle in for the long haul and LAY HER EGGS. Which would then hatch the next time I am hurtling down the freeway at 65 mph, with 3 high strung children strapped into the back.
To be continued.