With all the news about the escaped Cobra at the Bronx Zoo, the ladies over at Bitches on a Budget yesterday asked their Facebook fans how they feel about snakes.

I have some snake jewelry I love. My Native American birth sign is a snake. I always visit the reptile house at the zoo (although, god help the person who accidentally touches me while I’m in there). That being said, I’m terrified of snakes. TERRIFIED. When I was young, I stepped on one. Although I was no fan before that moment, I believe that incident prejudiced me against snakes forever. And before the naysayers start in, yes, I know some snakes are good. I’m generally live and let live with them, provided I don’t actually SEE them. If I see one, even a good fake one, I jump up on something and scream like a girl. I own that.

So you can imagine, I was less than thrilled to find a snake in my kitchen one summer evening a few years ago. Here’s what happened. I had been out to dinner and, after getting home, decided a DVD viewing was in order. To accompany that, a Diet Coke. I start walking into the kitchen, and see something in the corner right where the wall of the kitchen meets the wall of the living room. “What’s that rubber band doing on the floor?” I think to myself, and start to bend down to pick it up. And then I freeze. My heart jumps, and I yelp. Because what I see is not a rubber band. No, it’s the tail end of snake. This snake:

Now I start seriously freaking out. It’s alive. But how did it get in? The cat and dog are both ignoring it, so I’m thinking they don’t know it is there. There are only three things I am certain of at this point: First, the snake and I cannot both stay in the house, and since I pay the mortgage, the snake should be the one to leave . Second, if I don’t make a picture, no one is going to believe me. Third, if the dog and the cat figure out the snake is there, the chances of me staying and the snake leaving decrease significantly, at least for a while. So I corral the dog and the cat in the bathroom, and grab the camera out of the drawer to make the picture. All the while, I’m trying to figure out how this snake is getting out of the house.

At this time, I don’t know any of my neighbors, so asking them for help? Out of the question. I call the guy friend who lives closest to me. He’s out. I realize, it is going to be all on me. So I ring my friend Michelle, for moral support. She offers to come help me, but since she lives forty-five minutes away, this really isn’t an option. “Just stay on the phone with me while I get it out, OK?” I ask her.

My genius plan is to open the front door and sweep the snake towards it. By sweep, I mean me holding the tip of the broom handle and standing as far away from the bristles as I possibly can. And to (hopefully) give me a slight advantage, I’m going to throw a dish towel down over the snake. Confuse it. And here we go.

I throw the towel down on the snake and make a big sweep forward. The snake lunges out from under the towel and shoots forward. I scream like a girl and lob the towel down over it again. And I make another huge sweep towards the front door. Michelle’s squealing in sympathy with me over the phone. Finally, we’re by the front door and I make the third sweep,… and the snake gets stuck on the doormat just inside the open door. And he’s squirming and he’s angry and I just KNOW he’s about to dive for cover somewhere in the house and I’ll have to move.

I do the only thing that comes to mind. I flip the broom, holding at the bristled end now, with the handle pointing towards the front door. I use the handle to lift the doormat, and fling both it and the snake out the front door as far as I can. I see them both fall onto the driveway, and the snake slither away.

I slam the front door, and go back to the phone, as Michelle asks me “Did you lock the door?” Like an unlocked door was how the snake got inside in the first place. I said yes, hung up the phone with Michelle, and poured what is quite possibly the largest glass of wine I’ve ever had.

And that, my friends is how I managed to get the snake out of my house, without keeling over in a dead faint.