Spinster aunts, at midnight after a half a bot of rosé, are often inclined to sluice out to the back porch, wearing attractive headlamps, to find Western diamondback rattlesnakes hanging out by the door. The serpents wait like patience on a statue, apparently imagining that mice or hunks of filet mignon are about to come flying out of the house.
The situation is perturbing in the extreme, since the Western diamondback is, according to Texas Snakes, a Field Guide, responsible for “the majority of serious envenomations and most of the fatalities” incurred by snake-encountering Texans. Its status as the most frakkin dangerous snake in the state results from its vigorously high self-esteem, giant fangs, and gargantuan venom capacity.
I gazed about me, giving the air a hopeful sniff. Nope, just my luck. Why the snake-handling Pentecostals should have chosen this of all moments to make themselves scarce, I’ll never know.
Faced with an inconvenient paucity of deluded Christians, it was clear that I was on my own. So I enjoined the 3 1/2-foot specimen to move along by menacing it with a broom. I believe I also yelled, “Hey. Git along, now.”
The Western diamondback rattlesnake just laughed and cranked up the rattling to eleven.
I then got the bright idea of turning a water hose on it. When this tactic merely induced the snake to slither a few feet thither, then to coil up against a drainpipe from which tactically advantageous position it adamantly refused to budge, I gave up and went to bed. It appears that reptiles, unlike cats and forest fires, like water.
Speaking of brooms, have you seen that repellent TV commercial where the smiling blonde hottie dances around her sparkling kitchen making love to her Swiffer mop, while her old mop, cast in the role of jilted lover, mopes around stalking her? Women and their romantic, intimate relationships with cleaning supplies!
Excuse me, I’ve got a hot date with an old dishrag.