Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let Me Shoot It!

The Crime Scene
{Where the yellow tape should be}

Setting the stage:
Thursday morning- 11:46 a.m.--  I am still donning the “fresh out of bed” look,  we are way off school schedule because of some urgent things Jeff and I had to attend to earlier in the morning, the house is in disarray, complete with an explosion of dirty clothes in laundry room and unsupervised school work spread between two rooms, the breakfast dishes mixed in between and my bed is not made.  This could be a Thursday morning, oh, say, every 3-4 months, but THIS particular Thursday, a photographer was coming to photograph our home ... at 12:00.  14 minutes.  14 minutes couldn’t hold what I needed to do.  The scene is bad. My teeth have not been brushed.

Determined to put real clothes on and maybe some lipstick after brushing my teeth, I stop by way of the laundry room to hide what looked like a garage sale in its last hour, but then I hear excitement towards the back door and feet running down the stairs.  Then I hear, “It’s a snake!!!!  A BIG SNAKE!!!”  Then I hear a door slam and Brighton yelling while running, “LET ME SHOOT IT!!!”

While “ready house” and “ready self” are going off like sirens in my mind, 3 more things weave their way quickly through:
 1.  I truly don’t have time for extra excitement of any kind, much less a snake. A big snake, so they say.
 2.  Really.  How big is “big”?  I’ve seen their version of “big” with spiders.  I go in looking for tarantulas amidst shrieks, jumping and pointing feverishly at obscure places.  When I look, I have a hard time spotting it in the crevice on the baseboard.
3.   Lastly but not least important, Brighton wants to shoot it.  

The Weapon

I walk out the back door, barefoot, because time is of the essence.  Both kids are hot coal dancing around on the fireplace outside ~ Julia with a wide grin, Brighton with his BB gun chanting, “LET ME SHOOT IT!  LET ME SHOOT IT!”  I climbed up on the concrete counter and I found their description more than accurate.  It was big.  Absolutely too big to be in my backyard.  I hear Julia in the background going over their poisonous, non-poisonous mantras, getting them mixed up just like we all do, therefore, rendering the information useless and B is still passionately yelling every 10 seconds, “LET ME SHOOT IT!” while aiming the gun so close I thought he was going to touch the snake with the barrel. I said no because one, the BB gun would have been like using a fork to kill Jaws and two, it would have only sent Mr. Snake crawling and I wanted to know his whereabouts at all times.   Luckily for the snake, he was just in a difficult spot for killing.  I could not possibly swing anything at that angle with any force to make impact and, honestly, I wasn’t sure I could beat it to death anyway.  There was enough drama just looking at it.  I could not imagine the shrieking from my two if they watched me hack it with a hoe while it writhed and slithered.



The Desired Target 

Here is where a Type A personality like me shuts down.  There are positively too many things to do now in 11 minutes.  I begin to stare at the snake, unable to think.  Grab a hoe or the vacuum or a toothbrush?  So I start calling neighbors to see if they will tell me what to do.  I even sent the kids upstairs to get Emily.  I needed some support.  Or rather someone to make a decision.



Lipstick and toothpaste came back to mind, pulled me out of my inability zone, so I sent Emily back up, apologizing that I had sent for her and had the kids watch the snake from the fireplace just so we wouldn’t lose it.  I ran around the house hiding and stuffing and brushing and fluffing and straightening and dressing. I crank down the A/C.   Doorbell rings.

Through the backyard window,  “LET ME SHOOT IT!  LET ME SHOOT IT!”

Over my shoulder, back through the window, “NO!”

With strained calmness, I let the photographer in.  I tell him briefly our predicament.  With wide eyes, he decides to shoot the outside of the house first because we had the snake’s exact coordinates.  Notice here, he does NOT offer to kill it.  City boy.  In the meantime, Julia has left Brighton to be the watch guard with the BB gun and she does a little work on Google.  She discovers our backyard intruder is a Texas Rat Snake.  Not poisonous.  I relax a bit which also means I got distracted.

The photographer works and I try to stay one step ahead of him, readying the rooms.  He leaves.  I crank down the A/C some more.  Stress makes me hot and temporarily apathetic about our electricity bill.  While I prepare lunch, the kids check on the snake’s resting place and report to me he is gone.

Head hanging, B says, “You should have let me shoot it, Mom.”

Spreading peanut butter, I try to focus on the positive things about not killing the snake and the only thing I could come up with is that maybe we wouldn’t have rats in our yard.  I guess if they are not in the yard, there are less that can make a home in the dark places of our home.

“Mom!!!!” Julia yelled from upstairs and interrupted my conversation with myself.  “There are THREE BB holes in my bedroom window!!!!!”

I should have let him shoot it.

The Damage
{a.k.a. loss of all self-control}


TJ Wilson said...

there are so many things I liked about this post. Laughed out loud. But my fav -"City boy."

Jodie said...

That was a cute story and I would definitely consider that a BIG snake. I would have run for the hills.

andrea said...

hehehe, to what TJ said. Glad Julia knew what kind of scary snake that was. ewwww! So impressed you were going to kill it.

Elaine said...

You may not laugh out loud enough (Pericope III), but this had me hootin' and hollerin' and slappin' the sofa I was laughing so hard. Thanks for the belly laugh!