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Monday, August 3, 2009

Remember that snake story I promised to tell you?

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.

37 comments:

TheKitchenWitch said...

GROSS-A-RAMA! You are a brave, brave girl, Kathy B!

Lindy said...

Why do male anythings think that croaking is sexy?

Were you given full disclosure on the possibility of the snakes prior to agreeing to the pool?

I don't know how you do it!

Juls said...

Oh my, I saw a snake in our backyard once that was literally about 3 inches long. I peed my pants, ran around screaming for about an hour, and was crying like a baby. I don't know why, but I'm deathly afraid of those things, even when they're smaller than a bug apparently.... So, I'm thinking you're very brave!

Young Mom/Wife said...

GROSS!! I hate snakes with a passion! Is there any way you can get a clear covering?

Jenni Jiggety said...

Eeeeeeeeek!

That would quickly become a job for one of the kids! LOL!

Hit 40 said...

I hate cleaning the shower drain. Hair accumulates in just under the drain cover too. Every few months, I put on some rubber gloves take a deep deep breath then quickly as possible pull out the hair plug into a waiting trash bag. The smell is just horrible. All the windows in the area get opened.

Aren't you glad that I shared today :-)

Gibby said...

Eeww!! Remind me to do a quick sweep of your pool before I settle in with my margarita. Wait, you do remember inviting me, right??

blueviolet said...

I know exactly what you're talking about! My skimmer basket was a nightmare and the japanese beetles filled it 3x a day every day.

We don't have a snake problem but we started to have wasps landing in the pool and drinking. That was no fun for swimming.

confused homemaker said...

Ewww!! I am not a fan of snakes, I can handle gardener snakes but still not a fan.

Kristina P. said...

I saw some TV show thing about a snake being in someone's toilet, and everytime I use the bathroom, I think about that.

I hope you do now too.

Bee and Rose said...

UGH...we always end up with frogs in the pool after it rains too.. and they are LOUD!!!

I have resorted to tying a thin rope around the lid and a thin rope on the basket handle...there ain't no way I will ever stick my hand in there again....I was greeted by a lovely (and poisonous) coral snake last week...Yikes!

LadyFi said...

Oh, that was funny! We have quite a few snakes here too. In fact, one slithered over my boot this morning. It was harmless.

Perhaps you could tie a string to the lid or wear gloves? Might make it less spooky when opening...

passions and soapboxes said...

Okay I want you to get your hubby's longest flathead screwdriver and use it to lift the lid. Put in in one hole and use leverage to lift it. Never use your fingers again. Water snakes are very poisonous NC.

the ungourmet said...

Ha! At least you always have something exciting to talk with your husband about everyday. My husband gets a little bored with my stories!

I can just picture you doing all of this! So funny! Hey, you should have hidden cameras everywhere around your house so that if something like this happens you can capture that special moment. ;0)

I hate snakes! I don't know if I can come swim at your house now!

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

Just throwing out an idea that I have NO IDEA if it would actually work...

Could you use a clothes hanger to grab the handle thingie to then just pull/lift it out enough to at least be able to see what the heck is in there?

We could make millions, you and I, if we could figure out a way to get it out without having to stick your hand in there!

ck said...

And you guys have fire ants too, don't you?

Kristen said...

haha this makes me laugh!! I'm glad he was dead and couldn't bite you though :) I was cleaning the grass around our volleyball net at our old house (when you mowed the lawn the grass accumulated) and I pulled it out and out popped a snake!

Jen said...

Oh I just love your stories. I just laughed so hard that I might have woken a child up. Oh well, it was worth it. I can just see the lid flying in the air.
Just wondering, did you scream too? I totally would have been screaming.

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't do snakes. I've got goosebumps!

Laoch of Chicago said...

This is why it is important to live in a big city!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

ugh..snakes nauseate me! Yuck!

bernthis said...

I've heard those male frogs before. Not sexy at all

The Good Cook said...

Oh, snakes... that's the worse. What did you do with the dead snake? I would have put the cover back on and waited for The Best Husband In The World to come home...

Susie said...

That is so gross!! I would have freaked out...each time!

Tsquared417 said...

You're my new hero!!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I just KNEW there was a reason I don't have a pool! You have just affirmed my decision to never have one...unless it comes with a cute cabana boy...hmm.. Now that's a thought ;-)

Pam said...

I have an irrational phobia of snakes. The day I see a snake in my yard, is the day I move. You are very brave.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

My husband would refuse to get a pool ever if he read this. I'm not such a hater when it comes to snakes, but I if there were spiders, I'd be filling in the pool.

Riddle Girl said...

You are a better woman than me. I would have just told my kids the pool was closed until daddy got home to get rid of the vermin and pests.
I love that the noise timing was so on point. I would have been so skiddish I would have landed IN the pool.

forever folding laundry said...

Snakes are horrible, awful, terrible creatures. Even when dead. This is exactly why such a job is only meant for a husband.

~Keri

ScoMan said...

Other than the abundance of snakes, it sounds like you live in a very beautiful area.

I'd love to have a chorus of frogs around. That's nature at its finest.

Zeemaid said...

dead or not... i wouldn't be going near the skimmer thingy again. i HATE snakes. If i even so much as knew the pools were attracting the snakes I think I'd seriously considering getting rid of the pool or deputizing my daughter into the snake removal duty. *L*

*shudders*

peewee said...

I am never ever ever never EVER EVER moving to NC now. NEVER. Sorry. Don't do snakes. LA is lookin' mighty good right about now. The worst we get is a stray cat!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Good thing you didn't bean yourself with the brass skimmer cover... :)

I don't think I would have gone near it again - you are a brave woman! ;)

msprimadonna67 said...

When I was a kid we lived out in the country. I was often in charge of cleaning out the skimmer basket--I totally remember that feeling of sticking my finger into the lid, not knowing what was underneath...yikes!

jesus said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.






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