Kirsta Vance/Voices | Sneaky-snake scenario flames out

Kirsta Vance/Voices | Sneaky-snake scenario flames out

By KRISTA VANCE

Who knew Thomas was the devil dressed in accounting clothing?

On our most recent yard-waste pickup day, I noticed our bags had blown into the street.

I dragged them back to the curb, cursing Thomas for his inability to arrange the bags in such a fashion as to not be susceptible to the wind.

As I rearranged them, I noticed the branches were not the same length, which meant the bags wouldn't close properly. Although I hate nature, it was more important that the branches were even.

You can imagine my surprise when I spotted a snake wrapped around a branch. I, of course, like an incredibly fast ninja, took a quick closer look to confirm that it was, indeed, a snake.

I, too, asked myself "What is wrong with you? Why would you take a closer look?"

I can only assume most "normal" people wouldn't need confirmation and would just leave it to the yard-waste folks to handle.

But I'm not most "normal" people, so I looked, and good thing I did cuz in the time it took me to walk to the garden shed for the trimmers, I had the whole thing worked out.

When I was a kid, my Saturday afternoons were spent watching old war movies or Westerns with my dad. In one movie, a Two-Step snake (looking incredibly similar to the one in our yard waste bag) bit a soldier. Bite. Step. Ouch. Step. Dead.

I asked myself, "How did a Two-Step snake get in our yard waste bag?"

One word ... Thomas.

He had finally had it with my shenanigans. And this is what happened ...

Since I watch a lot of television, I know there are "businessmen" who perform "special orders," and Thomas finally placed one ... for "exotic coffee" (aka an exotic deadly snake) from Vietnam.

Everyone knows snakes and spiders sometimes find their way into bananas and grape containers, which is a great cover for other exotic animals that "accidently" end up in other types of shipments.

Of course, upon my untimely demise, there would be an inquiry. The authorities would conclude it was plain old bad luck, which is what Thomas was banking on ... but I knew differently.

Here is the truth ... as I know it.

The snake "found" its way into a bag of coffee, which sailed across the ocean and arrived on our porch.

The return label, Coffee to Die For, was obviously Thomas' fancy smancy coffee, so I ignored it.

Now, I didn't actually see him drink the coffee, but apparently, after the first sip he deemed it unworthy of his palette. Rather than throw it away, he placed the coffee bag on the garage floor, which at the time seemed odd, but now makes sense.

Because that's when the snake slithered free and into the yard waste bag (it was a trained snake.)

Thomas knew my Darwin Award-winning curiosity (aka doing something stupid to get yourself killed) would result in me sticking my head into the bag, and that would be the death of me. My life would be over in two steps. Would I have enough time to see it flash before my eyes? What if I didn't take any steps? Would it still work? Hard to say.

I'm sure you're wondering why it didn't bite Thomas. Like I said, it was a trained snake. When placing the order, Thomas had to send something of mine, so the snake would have my scent. (Totes explains how my Batgirl swimsuit went missing.)

This particular snake was artificially engineered with a special prosthetic olfactory system (so my ninja ears wouldn't hear its flickering tongue) that was programmed to recognize only my scent.

How could I conclude this was a possibility? Well, if my mind led me to this scenario then it's possible.

So ... I called the firemen.

Upon their arrival, I explained the situation. There were raised eyebrows and a quick game of rock, paper, scissors. The unlucky hot fireman proceeded with caution and quickly peeked into the bag. Much to my horror, he reached his bare hand into the bag, pulled out a gnarled branch and thrust it in my face. "This it?" he asked.

In my best Academy Award-winning performance, I answered, "Fellas, let's say we not mention this to Thomas. As a sign of goodwill, I have some exotic coffee to share."

I'm no fool ... I'm 100 percent positive that somewhere in our yard is a missing Two-Step snake waiting patiently for me to stick my head somewhere it doesn't belong.

Krista Vance, a former Champaign resident, now resides in Colorado.

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