Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rescue Ranger Saves the Day...Again!

As I sit here nibbling the perfect Banshee battling bite, chocolate covered pretzels, a monthly miracle for me - a menstruating monster mama (sorry, I'm stuck on alliteration, it must be the chocolate) - I've come to realize two things; 1) I love my Rescue Ranger, and 2) as I'm getting sick to my stomach from overindulgence, I can screw up even the best of intentions.

Rescue Ranger?  Who is this and what the heck does he have to do with chocolate covered pretzels?  He's my neighborhood hero and has everything to do with this story.  First let me explain the snack.  This local friend often reads my blogs and yesterday noticed the mention of my notorious monthly nemesis.  He's also the owner of a candy store.  The idea of my munching on - God forbid - Fritos and M&Ms when the ultimate salty/sugar snack is at his disposal was too much of a temptation.  Before going home, he passed by my house and dropped off a bag of these wonderful treats.  Huzzah, my dearest neighbor!  These random acts of kindness are what make him and his family so endearing to my own.

Now it's time to explain how he earned the title of "Rescue Ranger". 

I don't mind snakes - as long as they're on my terms.  In other words, if someone hands a snake to me, I'll pet it; however I'd like to know first what kind of snake it is, if it bites, if it's friendly, etc.  I don't take kindly to being surprised by snakes particularly snakes in my own home.  Snakes have their habitats, that's where they need to stay...PERIOD.

One morning I was chatting on the phone with a friend while my dogs where outside playing.  The kids were at school and everything was quiet.  I usually keep my porch screen open so the dogs can come and go without interrupting me.  While I was talking, I noticed what I thought was dog pooh on the kitchen tile.  The dogs were still puppies and house training so when I reached down with a paper towel, IT MOVED!  IT SLITHERED UNDER MY PANTRY DOOR!! 

I screamed.  I hopped up and down.  I started hyperventilating.  I used the most impressive strings of 4-letter words I could possibly conjure up.  My friend on the other end of the phone was laughing at me.  I hung up on him.  I called my husband, who worked over 24 miles away, and demanded he leave his desk and capture the snake.  Nope.  He was going into a meeting.  I'd have to deal with it.  I cackled, cried, and laughed simultaneously like an insane woman.  Since new houses were still being built in our development, Eric suggested that I find a construction worker to help me.  Good idea.  I hung up on Eric and threw the dogs in the car.

Where the HELL were the construction workers?  It was only 9:30am?  Where were they?  I walked into framed houses, stared into the deserted manager's trailer, even pounded on three separate port-o-potties.  I had no shame.  There was a friggin' SNAKE IN MY PANTRY!  Then I saw his car, my neighbor was home..he'd help me...I pounded on his door..rang his doorbell...

"Hey Bri, what's goin' on?"

"There's a snake in my pantry!!"

"There is!  What kind of snake?"

"I don't know!  A brown snake.  It looks like pooh!"

"Did you put a towel under the pantry door?"

"What for?"

"So it doesn't get out and slither somewhere else in the house."

A look of utter devastation crossed my face..."I'll be right there, Bri."

Within moments he was in the house and checking out the pantry.  "There it is, Bri.  It's just a Garter Snake.  It's no big deal." 

He pulled it out with his hand and showed it to me in all it's pooh colored glory.  Knowing my boys loved reptiles and snakes, he asked if I wanted to save it for them until they got home from school.  Good Grief!  All of this for a piece of crap looking snake!  My first instinct was to throw it into the street but no, I guess we should save it for the boys.

"Ok, thanks."  I smiled as we placed it in a huge glass jar which held other bugs and specimens the boys had caught the day before.  They would be thrilled.  I gave my neighbor a bashful grin and huge hug.  From that moment on he's always been known to me as my personal "Rescue Ranger".

Oh, and the snake?  What happened to the snake my dear friends and blog readers ask?  This is where this morning's second realization comes into play.  Remember my ability to always screw up the best of intentions?  Well, I was watching the snake and was concerned that it might be cold sitting in the shade so I placed it in the sunshine.  When William and Austynn pulled the snake out, to my horror and their disappointment, I had accidentally overheated and cooked the snake.  Yes, that's right..after all the hullabaloo over catching it, the boys pulled out a pooh colored, dead snake.  D'oh, I screwed up again!