Five days ago a neighbor on my street and who also happens to be a friend on Facebook, updated her status that her immediate next door neighbor had found a rattlesnake in their garage. E-freakin'-gads! It's not the first time we've had rattlesnakes on our street. In the last almost 14 years that we've lived here there are two neighbors whose dogs have been bitten, one neighbor who both surprised the snake lying beneath and himself when wheeling out his trash container, and my own husband who found one curled up behind the wheel of our car in our own driveway.
And those are just the occasions that I know about. I sat my children down the evening after reading the status update to remind them to keep an eye out when retrieving their bikes, skateboards, and toys from the garage...to stay out of the gated access to the hills behind our homes, and to just overall be mindful of their surroundings. And to run in the absolute opposite direction if they see anything resembling a snake and to let the first adult they see know.
Last night at dusk my daughter came tearing through the front door in borderline hysterics to let me know she just saw a snake. She was talking in that voice where you could tell she was doing everything in her power not to completely lose her shit. And where her eyes were as big as saucers because she didn't want to blink, lest the tears escape from her eyeballs.
I talked calmly to her to get her to, you know, relax a little bit and asked her to show me the snake. It was located across the street next door to the neighbor who'd updated her status only a few days prior, half on the front lawn and the face half on the sidewalk. My daughter had rode by it on her scooter. *shiver* The home belongs to a fortysomthing divorced dad who looks like he's in the kind of shape that he can take care of himself. And now that I've seen the snake, me, a responsible adult shut up you stop laughing I have to do something about it. I mean, have you any idea how many children live and play on our street? It's like an elementary school playground on that cul-de-sac.
I can't just leave it there and I'm not confident nor coordinated enough to trust myself to go toe to toe with a snake. I know myself and I would end up bitten and losing my foot from the ankle down. I figure, since the neighbor is a man - a man with ample tools in his garage - I will let him wrangle the rattlesnake. I knock on his door and he is so surprised to see me standing there.
See, I'm not super friendly with my neighbors. I mean, I wave hello and will have a brief chat if I'm outside, but I prefer to keep to myself. It is my belief that it can be all kinds of crappy to be too chummy with the neighbors. Your home is your place of peace, privacy, and a little anonymity. I don't need to be stuck next door to people knowing all my business. I have seen friends of mine live to regret the nightly beer or glass of wine in the garage or backyard with the people on their street. When those people are suddenly privy to much too personal family matters and, you know, everyone knows your business. No. Thank. You.
So I tell him "there's a rattlesnake in your yard". And plead with my eyes "kill it now please Jesus god". I have no problem with assigning gender roles between men and women. If women have to bear the pain of childbirth then the men can be in charge of killing the bugs and wrangling the wildlife. Only. Seems. Fair.
He grabbed the nearest shovel, took aim, and chopped its head off in one quick motion.
The End. of the snake