Like most Americans, apparently, when Snakes on a Plane hit theaters after months of hype, we were already tired of it and didn't bother making the trek out to see it. Tuesday night it aired on HBO, and we caught it then. It was entertaining enough, although it's definitely the kind of movie that's just as good on cable or DVD as in theaters.
This morning, I went out to check on the vegetable garden Maryelizabeth planted earlier this month, as I do most mornings, to see if it needed watering. A coachwhip, about four feet long, had gotten itself inextricably tangled in netting she put down to keep birds off the plants, wrapping it around itself and knocking over the support posts she used to keep the netting off the ground and above the plants. At first, I thought the snake was dead, but it turned out it had just realized it couldn't go anywhere so didn't bother trying to move until I tugged on the net.
Wearing my heavy fireplace gloves, I used a pair of scissors to cut through the net. The snake didn't want my help, and shook its tail ferociously, which may be a rattlesnake imitation coachwhips use as a defense. Their main defense is biting, though, and while they aren't venomous I still didn't want to start my day with a snakebite.
As I worked, it coiled the last three feet of itself around my left arm, the one holding onto it. It tried to snap at the scissors and my hand, but I was cutting from back to front and its head remained tangled. When there were just a few strands left around it, it began writhing furiously, trying to free itself of those, but it was still too tied up. I held it close to the head and removed a strand that had become trapped in its mouth, then sliced through the last few. It rewarded me by snapping at me some more. I tossed it over the fence, and it sped away, as coachwhips do, apparently none the worse for wear.
Samuel L. Jackson would mock me, I suppose, for not tasering it. But we like our snakes out here, and know they're not all as mean and vicious as the ones shown in the movie. Although this one, having spent an unknown number of hours snared in a web, would have been happy to chomp on someone, just out of general principle.
Just another day at the Flying M...