Protruding from said small space at the base of the doors was a giant anaconda, I mean it was the size of the one that menaced Jennifer Lopez in Anaconda and more recently those actors you'd never heard of in Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid.
OK, maybe I exaggerated a little. I thought at first it was an earthworm. We'd had a long day of rain and the ground was saturated and that tends to drive earthworms to concrete or--in the rare case--ceramic tile.
The only thing that made me wonder about species was that it seemed to have the tiniest hint of a head. Earthworms are pretty much the same on both ends. Not that I could see both ends . The end without the head was still between my doors.
Since it was possibly a snake I decided not to pick it up with my hands and worried my cats might be about to discover it and pounce.
I turned to find those fierce predators were watching me from over the back of the sofa with timid eyes seeming to say: "It's a snake, you deal with it. We've got your back. From over here."
So, I started weighing options, flight not being actually viable.
- Kill it? It didn't seem to have the head of a pit viper meaning it was probably harmless and also beneficial for something. I'm not up on all of the things for which snakes are beneficial, but generally on Animal Planet they indicate you should override those Genesis instincts that man "shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Thy being snakes. Also killing it would probably make a mess and it was 10 minutes until the first new Daily Show in a week.
- Get a broom handle and try to loop the snake over that, get the door open and hurl broom and all into the night? Too complicated.
- Capture? What do you capture a snake in? Drinking glass? Yeah, right! Jar? Mop bucket!
So I put the mop bucket on the floor in front of the snake, and this tiny little forked tongue flicked out. OK, definitely not an earthworm.
I edged the bucket a little closer while readying the broom handle for a mild poke. The snake seemed to take notice of the bucket. For the first time since apparently slithering through the crack in my door it moved.
OH GOD! IT MOVED! IT'S A CONFIRMED SNAKE AND IT MOVED!
Apparently not wanting a ride in my bucket, it rather quickly turned around and went back through the crack in the door.
I guess they really are as scared of you as you are of them.
Having had enough of a mother#!%$^&*+$ snake in my mother#!%$^&*+$ den, I applied weather stripping in the form of duct tape, fixer of all ills. "Elegant," Christine would say later. She managed to sleep through the entire thing even though the bedroom door was open and I may have exclaimed aloud a few times: "There's a mother#!%$^&*+$ snake in my mother#!%$^&*+$ den."
"I didn't want a hideous pit viper getting in while we were asleep," I countered.
"It was probably a common garden snake."
"It wasn't in the garden."
Although hopefully that's where it is now, and I need to make a trip to Ace Hardware. I probably was ordered to address the weather stripping issue at some point, once upon a time, but I uh may have forgotten. What am I, Ty Pennington?