I've put off writing about this for a while because it's taken me some time to come to grips with what happened.
It was a beautiful Saturday. The Spouse was toiling away in the house doing laundry, ironing and general Saturday afternoon activities. At some point, she came in the living room and said, "I'm tired of this. I'm going outside and I'm going to landscape that area out back."
I gave some form of guttural grunt in reply. She gave me "the look" but it didn't work on me. I've become immune.
You see, I am not your regular manly man. I've got all the bits and pieces but somewhere along the way, I lost that genetic inclination to work outside and tell people that I enjoyed it. I really, really hate working outside.
Since I was born, I have secreted sweat from my pores with the slightest exertion. I sweat taking a walk. I sweat getting dressed. I sweat carrying groceries in from the car. I sweat taking a shower. Really, I do. I'm in there. The water's coming out of the shower head and I'm sweating along with it.
Lest you begin to talk about me, I'll have you know that I can sweat all day long but I do not emit an odor. I'm an odor-free sweater. Really! Ask The Spouse...she's long marvelled at my ability to be a "sweaty man" and not stink as a result of it. I'm pretty convinced that it has to do with my brilliance and magnificence.
So, I'm avoiding sweating on this beautiful Saturday by sitting on the couch reading. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was lying down on the couch reading. That's the best position for me to prevent unnecessary sweating.
After a bit of time had passed, my guilt began to gnaw at me. That was after I awoke from my non-sweat-inducing activity of napping. Napping is another activity that I can enjoy without having to sweat.
I wandered downstairs and walked out the back door to find my beautiful wife on her hands and knees laboring away at planting a rosebush in her newly landscaped area. She'd done a remarkable job. I distinctly remember sitting on the bench swing that's suspended from the deck rafters, looking at the results of her toil and marveling at the fact that she didn't appear to be sweating. I'd broken a sweat by simply walking downstairs and settling on the swing.
I may have made some remarks about her handiness or something. As soon as the first words fell from my mouth, I realized I'd made a critical error. She grasped onto that comment and followed it up with, "Why don't you come help me finish this up?" Gads! She had me!
My task was to pin the landscaping fabric to the ground. I got on my hands and knees and was busily pinning away when I heard The Spouse emit a noise that was part shriek, part howl, part scream, and part cuss. Since I know my wife is genetically predisposed to bump into things with her head or feet, I kept my head down and continued pinning.
It was upon hearing her make a shuddering noise and begin to say unintelligible gibberish that I finally turned around and looked. I looked up at her as she was wielding her broom like Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader in that brutal death scene. She looked back at me and said, "SNAKE!!!!"
People, you can pull my man card, you can call me any name you want to, but I am absolutely terrified by snakes. It is only within the last year that I can tolerate looking at them on the television. I've heard it all from well-meaning snake lovers. (Note: Always, always, always be suspicious of anyone who claims to "love" snakes. Something ain't right.)
"That poor little snake is more afraid of you than you are of it." Okay, I'm calling B.S. on that one! No one has a means to measure a snake's fear but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was absolutely more afraid of that snake than it was of me.
For instance, I didn't notice the snake crying uncontrollably. I didn't hear the snake cussing. I didn't see the snake dancing around like Muhammad Ali preparing to annihilate his next opponent. I didn't hear the snake calling on The Almighty and Ever-Loving Lord Jesus to strike him dead on that spot.
I didn't see or hear anything from that snake but I promise you The Spouse and the neighbors heard it all from me!
I looked at The Spouse and she had ended her Jedi moves with the broom. The snake, probably about 8-10" long, remained right were he was. This bad dude wasn't afraid of ANTHING! You can't watch The Spouse use a broom like a light saber and not come away wondering if she truly is a Jedi in training. You can't stand there and watch me go full-tilt bozo without taking a few steps back and preparing to run. This snake did. He just laid there. Looking.
In a moment that can only be defined as a "God Moment," I walked over to The Spouse, took the broom from her hands and attacked that snake! My biggest fear was that it would somehow get into our house.
I struck at the snake with the broom and IT STRUCK BACK! Normally, I would have run in the opposite direction with a trail of pee following behind me. But, because I was wrapped in the Shield of the Lord, I moved in a tad closer, brought the broom down behind the little bugger and swept him out toward the yard.
As I was doing that, I was yelling at The Spouse to get me a shovel! I was going all out ninja on this snake and I was going to chop his little venomous head off! Before she could head off to get the shovel, that little snake gathered his senses and took off like a shot. It headed straight for the new landscaping! I chased after it with broom poised for another attack. I think I was emitting some form of primal scream as I ran after it.
Like the spawn of Satan they are, that little devil slithered under a rock. I hit the rock with the broom. I stomped near it. I did everything I could think of to get that dude to come out and fight like a snake.
I waited for quite a while. Watching. Waiting. And, still, nothing. It had somehow escaped.
Once the adrenaline began to subside, The Spouse walked up to me and said, "What got into you?!" She had that proud look of a woman whose man had just fought off an attacker. There was a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. She was finally proud of me and, I think, she found me sexy.
I looked at her and said, "Hold on, I gotta go pee."