Well, you need a little background first. You need to understand the evil that regularly lurks waiting for me in the pool...
About a year ago, a month or so after our pool was complete, my husband was traveling and I was in charge of cleaning the pool's skimmer basket. There was torrential rain the night before. I tell you this because soon after the rain ceases a veritable orchestra begins. One frog begins with a tenuous chirp and in a matter of minutes the woods are filled with the cacophonous croaking and chirping of what sounds like at least a thousand frogs. Apparently, the increase in water makes conditions suitable for breeding so the males croak to attract female frogs for mating. Female frogs think croaking is very sexy. I think the croaking is very LOUD.
When we first moved to NC I envisioned the kids playing in the shallow creek behind the house. I fantasized about the hours they would spend with nets scooping frogs, and toads and minnows. It never even occurred to me that we had moved into a giant, all-you-can-eat buffet for SNAKES! Because you see, snakes just adore eating frogs. And based upon the racket the frogs were making there was no doubt the buffet was open for business. The really, really bad news is that when the buffet is open the snakes chase the frogs, and the frogs end up trying to escape into our swimming pool. Guess where the snakes end up?
I headed down to the pool with trepidation, and spent several minutes assessing the situation.
This is what s skimmer basket looks like. See the lid? You have to put your fingers in there and there's no way to see what's hiding in there waiting to get you...In order to get the lid off of the skimmer basket I had to stick my finger into a hole in the lid to pull it off. Of course you can't see through the lid to see if any unwanted visitors are in there with your finger. So essentially you are sticking your top two knuckles into a black hole with God-only-knows-what waiting to have a go your defenseless finger. As long as the pool pump is on it creates a bit of a whirlpool in the skimmer basket. It would be difficult for a snake to overcome the current and reach up to get me, but still... Stranger things have happened in the world according to me.
So this fine morning I tried everything before actually removing the lid. I stuck my eye right up to the hole to see if I could spot anything. Of course when you push your face up to the hole like that light can't get in, thus making it impossible to see. So I tried to pry the lid off with a stick, but the stick broke. I tried the handle of a rake, but it was too straight and the lid kept crashing down before I could see anything. At this point I had wasted a good 20 minutes dancing around the skimmer basket and accomplishing nothing. I was feeling more than a little silly at this point so I decided to just stick my finger in there and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the second I got my finger into that hole there was an ear splitting screech from some sort of construction going on across the street. I don't normally consider myself to be jumpy, but the timing was horrible. I flung the solid brass lid to the skimmer about 20 feet in the air above my head, and then had to duck and cover to avoid getting whacked as it returned to Earth. At this point I am on my back in the wet grass, fairly soggy, a brass skimmer cover laying roughly two feet from my head and feeling like a huge idiot.
I have to tell you that there actually was a snake (he was dead. But really? Does that make any difference) in the skimmer basket that morning. It was third we'd found in the pool.