The bathroom remodel is still in progress but Toby the handyman called first thing this morning and said he wouldn't be here until this afternoon. Which, combined with the unseasonably warm weather, meant this should have been the perfect time to go out and do a little work in the front yard. See, when Toby's here, I take the dogs out back with me and if I try to go out front without them, they spend every minute barking hysterically as if to reassure me that they have not mysteriously disappeared or been dognapped or the like.
So, cheerfully leaving the dogs inside, I went out front and began raking, straightening the brick landscaping and weeding the lilies.
This is when the universe decided to smack me in the face. By which I, of course, mean "send a snake to kill me."
That's right, there was a snake in the lilies.
When did I see it, you might be wondering?
WHEN I PICKED IT UP!!!
That's right, I picked up a SNAKE.
WITH MY HAND!!!
Luckily, I was wearing garden gloves or Opie would have gotten a phone call from the emergency room in which the nurse said things like "seems to be in a catatonic state" and/or "may have had a heart attack."
In any case, the evil beast was apparently lurking under the dead leaves and when I grabbed a huge handful to put in the compost, I felt it wriggle.
What did I do?
The only thing anyone could do in such a situation....screamed profanity and flung the whole pile as far away from me as humanly possible.
Which was, apparently, a little shocking for the guy who lives across the street and just happened to be in his yard...which is upsetting for me because, although Opie and I can't ever seem to remember his name, he is the one guy in the neighborhood who has said we can take cover in his tornado shelter should the need arise.
With this in mind, I waved, pointed in the general direction of the flung about pile, and said "Sorry....snake."
Note to self: We might not be welcome in the shelter this spring.
But I digress...at this point, ever the devoted spouse, I decided to email Opie about my near death experience. And, in the interest of continued marital bliss, kindly gave him a list of things that he definitely should NOT say when he got home.
1. "It was probably just a little garter snake." Inaccurate. From what I saw, it was a cobra.
2. "I'm sure it wasn't poisonous." Cobras are poisonous. Plus I'm pretty sure I saw three inch fangs, dripping venom.
3. "Snakes are more scared of you then you are of them." First of all, that's not possible. Second, how could anyone possibly know the level of fear that a snake experiences? Did a scientist hook a snake up to some heart monitor and put it face-to-face with various humans? Did some parsel-mouth go out and interview a snake to test the veracity of the theory? Of course not.
Then I advised Opie that it would be wiser to say things like "That sounds like the worst thing to happen to anybody EVER." Or "What a rough day you've had...I brought you some candy." (I also mentioned he could feel free to substitute wine or diamonds for candy) or "How about a back rub?"
So, to clarify, it was NOT a calm morning, I did not spend any more time clearing the lilies and might never try to again, the universe is clearly conspiring against me and it's entirely possible we'll have to move.