By Katie Compton Boyd
It was a rookie mistake buying an 8-year-old boy a very realistic rubber rattlesnake. I knew too, at the time, that its fangs might be plastic but this was going to bite me in the back end. I also felt compelled to warn my son’s Nana. Surprising old grandmothers can be perilous.
Still, I thought it would be funny to stick the rubber snake in the crawl space to trick my Ohioan hubby, who is not used to creepy crawlers and such.
That poor man. On our first date I drove him to Orton pond. I wasn’t being romantic watching the sun set, but instead I tossed chicken to a very large gator. He was horrified and got my meaning. I mean, I have no time for cads and made it clear.
Work, schedules, interference and called away the Buckeye hubby, and in his stead to get rid of creepy crawlies, I contacted a proper pest control professional. I had long since forgotten about the snake until I heard the tell-tale thud of a man’s head, along with a string of cuss words. Off he stomped, not amused at the rubber snake despite my running after him, profusely apologizing, and a few well hidden fits of laughter. I still had forgotten the darn rubber snake.
About a year later and another pest control visit. This time they sent a new man who had apparently been warned about the blonde troublemaker. This time, however, I remembered! I explained the rubber snake debacle and where it was. Two of them went into the crawl space and smiled, promising to retrieve the forsaken rubber terror.
Again – thuds, now two of them, and out they came both cussing.
Turns out, he reached for what he assumed to be the rubber snake. It was in fact not the rubber facsimile but the real thing and very unhappy at being grabbed after a big meal. I even had him pose for a picture with the real snake.
The rubber snake still sits unbothered.
I eventually cured my mice issue. I retrieved a discarded RC car and put googly eyes on it. Every once and a while I mash a button and it buzzes around unknowingly chasing some unwanted guests.
I also attained a cat who can best be described as a walking, breathing gargoyle. She chases anything and anyone who sets foot on the property. The cat gives most people a case of the heebie-jeebies. Never mind the mice.
I had still forgotten about the snake when a new cable wire was laid. Again, the familiar string of a working man’s cussing erupted from the back — and I knew.
I had yet again forgotten the rubber snake.