"Just don't tell my Supermodel Wife about this," I said to Bill as we drove back to the house.
I needed to give this one a few days to blow over before breaking the news to the wife. After all, we still had a two and a half hour drive home and I didn't need her worrying about this.
Bill (my way hip step-father-in-law) and I were helping my sister-in-law with some home improvements. Her husband Nick is serving a tour in Iraq, dodging IEDs, so this seemed like a meaningful and fitting way to celebrate Memorial Day.
And part of building the new fence in the back yard required us to make a trip to the local hardware store in Junction City. The trip was uneventful, just needed to pick up a few lag screws, washers and L-braces for the project.
But as we returned to my car, from across the small parking lot, we saw what looked like a thin shadow floating across the pavement toward rear passenger side of my car. As we came closer, we saw a rather large, thick black snake slithering toward the protection of my car.
It was about four feet long, about an inch in diameter in the middle and black as fresh tarmac.
There was no rattle, and it didn't have the triangular head of venomous snakes so I wasn't worried about being poisoned. I was content to let it crawl away, or if it didn't, I would just run over it when I pulled out of the parking space.
But Bill, who was on that side of the car, saw that the reptile had other ideas.
"He crawled up into you wheel well," Bill said.
Clerks from inside the store had seen the events and were now approaching with a broomstick.
"Was that another snake?" said the clerk with the 'Rachel' name tag. Evidently, this sort of thing was a regular occurrence.
The brave Rachel bent down to poke the handle of the broomstick under my car. But by now, Snakey (I had named him) had taken up residence inside the wheel cavity, or bumper, or my tailpipe, or someplace else out of sight but still in my car. There was nothing to do but go back and finish our projects.
"I know where I wouldn't be parking tonight," joked Bill. And he was right. The car would stay parked in the driveway, not the garage.
For the rest of the afternoon, I kept wondering if Snakey were still in my car. If so, where? My fear was that when we left for home, he would be coiled up on the floor when we put our 4-year-old in her seat in the back.
And during the two-and-a-half hour drive home I worried that as the temperature cooled during the night, the serpent might climb higher into the engine to seek warmth, there to be chewed up by the various pistons and belts of the car's mechanics. Am I going to wake up to the smell of rotting snake carcass on my way to work one morning?
But the biggest question I have is when will it be safe to tell my supermodel wife that she may have shared the car with a 4-foot long snake yesterday.
So to any of you biology experts, how long does a garden-variety snake go without eating? Could he still be in there? Could he have survived two hours at 75-mph?
Maybe I'll go to Midas for a quick brake inspection/snake removal.
tagged: snake, serpent, reptile, animals, Memorial Day, car