There are things in life for which I expect to garner a certain amount of pity. You may or may not feel sorry for me that I’m confined to crutches but damn it, when I call and tell you there’s a snake outside my front door, I expect a sympathy bouquet from 1-800-FLOWERS to show up, pronto.
This is the story of the snake, but it could also be called, “How My Mom Failed Me.”
When I arrived home from dinner Saturday night, I collected my things from the car and lurched my way to the door. While wrangling my keys from my purse, I noticed a very thin and exceptionally long earthworm lounging just in front of my porch mat. I peered in closer and the worm raised its slimy little head.
I looked around my condo complex, fighting the urge to yell, “Help! Help!” I was more than willing to play the damsel-in-distress-I’m-on-crutches-I’m-so-helpless-please-save-me card in a heartbeat if anyone had appeared, man or woman. Pride is a relative thing.
Instead, I turned back to face the beast.
“Shoo,” I said. “Go away. Shoo.”
The head swiveled right and left but the body didn’t move. I knew I should just pick up the mat and he would probably slither away, but that would place my hand in closer proximity to a snake than I was comfortable with. So I used what I had at my disposal. I began stomping the ground near him with my crutches.
“Go away!” STOMP-STOMP. “Move!” STOMP-STOMP-STOMP.
When snakes decide to move, they are unnervingly fast. He did a sidewinder slither to the side of my porch and I kept herding him with my crutches, praying he wouldn’t change direction and force me to disobey doctor’s orders not to run.
He slithered into the grass and I darted inside, slamming the door behind me. And immediately texted my mom. My phone rang moments later.
“Mommy,” I said, mustering my best “I’m trying to be brave” voice.
“Hey, how are you?” she said cheerfully. “How was dinner?”
“Um, did you see my text about the snake?” I asked.
“Oh right, I did. He was brown, right? I’ve read most poisonous snakes around here are mottled so you should be fine.”
This was not the conversation I thought I would have. Obviously, she didn’t understand the life-threatening danger of the situation.
“I’m afraid to walk outside now,” I said.
“Hm. Well, I just hope he hasn’t decided that your mat is a good place to hide,” she said. “You may want to just prop it up against the wall for a day or two in case he comes back.”
Comes back??? WTH???
To add insult to injury, when I did step foot outside Sunday morning, there was no snake. Instead, a want-to-be-tarantula was curled up inside my door stoop. (I'd bet money that was what the snake was after.) At this point, I’d had enough.
“AIEEEEE!!!!” I screeched as I used my crutch to stomp the hairy little body into oblivion. “See that?” I called out to the snake as I swept the dead spider into the grass. “Do not mess with me, motherf---er.”
Crutch-Ninja. That’s me.