© Cindy Beck, 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, turtle, snake, rattlesnake, wrangler, humorous writing, LDS humor, humor blog, funny, laugh)
A study done many years ago found that a fake turtle placed on the street caused drivers to stop their cars and get out, presumably to either help the turtle cross the street, or to wish it well. However, when a snake was placed on the road, people intentionally aimed for it, drove over it, backed up their cars, and drove over it again.
Can’t say that I blame them.
Normally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to run over a snake, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t invite one to my Bar Mitzvah, either. Mostly, because I’m not Jewish. But also because I’m not a guy. And then there’s the most important reason … snakes give me the whim-whams, and I don't want to be anywhere near them. Even in my car.
Therefore, I can think of no earthly reason why, when we were driving down the road and I saw a snake, that I felt an humanitarian urge to help it.
“Stop! Don’t hit it!” I yelled, causing my husband to slam on the brakes and thereby turning Corky Porky Pie, the dog, into a furry projectile in the back seat—that is, until his doggy harness caught and the impending rebound flung him back into place.
“Don’t hit what?” Russ asked frantically.
“That snake on the road!”
Russ raised his eyebrows. “You wanted me to stop for a snake? You almost had me roll the SUV, and send Corky through the windshield so we wouldn’t squash a ... a … reptile?”
Russ paused and leaned forward, peering through the front windshield. “You know you don’t like snakes. And I don’t even see one on the road.”
Okay, I’ll admit it; it did look like roadkill, so I decided to forgive Russ for not noticing it. I pointed at the snake through the window, then opened the car door and put one foot on the ground, intending to get out and move the critter. Until I realized I’d never herded a snake to safety before.
I put my foot back inside. “Ummm … what should I do to get it moving?”
Russ grinned. “You could always try picking it up by its rattles.”
“Very funny. I’m not trying to take it home for a pet, so I am not touching it. And it’s not a rattlesnake, either.”
Russ inclined his head toward the shoulder of the road. “Throw a few rocks at it.”
Three handfuls of gravel and four odd looks from passing motorists later, the snake hadn’t blinked an eye or flicked a forked tongue at me. Possibly because I was standing far, far away out of fear it would turn and slither up my pant leg.
That also might explain why my handfuls of gravel barely touched it.
“I give up,” I said getting back in the car. “Maybe it’s dead.”
And that’s when Russ showed what a really good guy he is. “Would you like me to help it off the road for you?”
Russ got out and walked toward the snake, slapping his hands together as if that’s what all snake wranglers do. The snake didn’t move one iota.
I leaned out the window and gave my most sage advice. “It's probably dead.”
Russ stopped three feet away from the reptile’s tail, and then he smacked his foot against the ground. The creature just laid there, looking like an evening snack for a vulture.
“Yup, it's probably dead,” Russ said, echoing my earlier sentiments, and reaching out with his foot to nudge it.
“Just in case, you might not want to do that. You’re not as fast as you used to be,” I called. Corky Porky yapped his agreement.
“Oh, sure I am. I’m just as quick—”
The snake whipped around and lunged for Russ with its nine-hundred foot long fangs.
Never, in all the history of mankind, has an old dude jumped so high, or hopped so fast. But I have to say, I was proud of the old geezer. No, not the snake … Russ. He’d managed to annoy the snake enough that it slithered off the road and into the dirt, and all without getting bit. What more can you ask from a not-as-fast-as-he-used-to-be snake wrangler?
I only wish I’d had a video camera with me.
What's playing in my head: Nothing, I'm too busy laughing at the memory of Russ hopping all over the road, trying to get away from that sssssssssnake.
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