My Personal Snake Saga Part Two: Ladies UnhingedMy Personal Snake Saga Part Two: Ladies Unhinged Hate snakes? Then this will give you the chills!
By Carol Martens
For those who are familiar with Jafra Cosmetics, you may find it interesting that I started using the product the week it came on the market in 1956. I became one of the youngest consultants in 1963, a manager around 1965 and as a manager I would hold training meetings. Around 1975 I put together a two day training seminar for about 30 women in my home. I didn’t know everyone because some of the guests were from other branches. The first day was terrific with great food, fellowship and special speakers including the founder of Jafra, Jan Day. After dinner Jan and a few others skipped the slumber party and went back to their homes for the night.
In the 70’s ladies wore 2 piece baby doll nighties, rollers in their hair and fuzzy slippers and liked doing facials together. With over 20 women spending the night, every bed, couch and back yard lounge was designated to someone and the rest found a place on the floor for their sleeping bags. About 10 pm things started winding down. Some were already in their bags, others in the bathrooms and a happy little group in the living room having a pow-wow.
Our three precious sons still lived at home so my husband decided to take them on a back pack trip so the ladies and I could have the house. My son Chris’s room was the middle room upstairs and off limits because it had his pet snakes in the aquarium. The ladies were not aware of this and yes, the two snakes were the ones I wrote about previously from Balboa Park only now they were bigger and angry from being in the aquarium. I went into the room to turn off the aquarium light and soon realized it had been pushed out of the hole and the snakes were missing! I just stood there in shock, feeling faint and wanting to die.
Wild scenarios flashed before my eyes. I think I said “Oh God” a dozen times in prayer unable to say anything else. After looking all over that room and unable to find them I wondered where they could now be in a house full of women. Finding both snakes was a must but something I couldn’t do alone. I thought it best to find a Christian friend to help me in case she died. She would go to heaven. I chose Dee who is now actually in heaven.
I called her aside and said, “Dee, there are two snakes loose in the house and I need your help.” The blood drained from her face and she became mute. After we prayed and pulled ourselves together we made a plan. We would walk around the house taking one room at a time looking in and under everything. We started upstairs in the room closest to Chris’s and didn’t find them there and headed to my office on the other side and found one of the gals already asleep on the floor in her bag. Knowing snakes like cozy places I told Dee to flip the top of her bag up so I could check it out with my flashlight. During our mission the gal woke up and asked us what we were doing and I lovingly said we were just making sure she was okay. We worked our way down my stairway and searched the family room, dining room and kitchen with no success.
We were so desperate we decided to take out the garbage and check it outside. (Looking back that was stupid) As we went out the front door the pow-wow ladies wanted to know where we were going.
“Just taking out the garbage” I said. They probably wondered why we were also carrying a broom and flashlight.
As we stepped out the front door we heard a blood curdling scream. I looked through the front window just in time to see Linda, who had been lying on the floor, levitate and then leap from one couch to the other right behind the other girls. I said to Dee,”We found one!” The handful of hysterical women passed us on their way out to the front yard. I found out later that while Linda was lying on the floor she had turned her head to the side and the snake was coiled up under the coffee table less than two feet away looking at her.
Anyway, Dee and I took a paper grocery bag and a broom and for 5 to 10 minutes we coaxed, wrangled and prodded the snake into the corner of the room. Every time I got him to go in the bag and tried to close it, he would stick his head out and I would drop the bag. It was a loud and ugly scene until the snake was captured and released in the backyard reservoir.
I called everyone together and with half of the gals upstairs looking down and the other half still out in the front yard I made the following announcement. “The good news is that we were able to find my son’s pet snake and release it into the reservoir. The bad news is there’s still another snake missing.” Well sir, all the ladies upstairs joined all the ladies in the front yard and like a herd of wild animals, they all ran out to the middle of the street screaming and jumping up and down in their fuzzy slippers and baby dolls. Did I mention I live in a quiet cull de sac and it was going on 11 p.m.?
I had the daunting task of finding the second 4-foot snake or no one will come back in the house. How would I explain all this to the cops if the neighbors complain about the noise? Dee is exhausted and fortunately I have a new volunteer, Kathleen. We continued our search throughout the house with no success and so we decided to start upstairs all over again. Remember the gal in the office on the floor in her bag? Now she’s really upset realizing I was checking for the snake in her bag. I think she was the first to have her husband come and get her because she wasn’t feeling well to start with and this finished her off.
We determined the snake wasn’t in Chris’s room either and made a more thorough search of the corner bedroom. As we were moving the furniture around we heard hissing coming from the corner and there he was all coiled up doing his rattlesnake interpretation. As Kathleen helped me capture the wild thing, she reminded me that she was in that room with the snake all that time in her bag on the floor! By some kind of a miracle she’s still my friend. I ran the snake-filled bag down the stairs and through the vacant house and released it in the same place as the first one. As I headed back to the house I soon realized some of the girls had come back in and barricaded the back door. Did they actually think a snake could open the door? I’ve decided that people do crazy things when they’re afraid or in shock.
Standing with Kathleen on the other side of the door I explained calmly that both snakes had been set free and would never think about coming back and that all was well. God as my witness, as they opened the door, they all screamed and headed back for the front yard. One of the snakes had slithered back up the 12 or more stairs from the reservoir right toward us on the patio. Warrior Kathleen took a nearby pitch fork and flung the snake back over the 8’ reservoir fence. Some things can never be explained!
By 1 a.m. calm was restored but no one would sleep outside and about five people went home and it’s safe to say that none of us got much sleep that night. The next morning Jan and the other ladies were obviously shocked to hear the trauma that had insued while they were gone. Believe it or not, many of them were able to laugh while sharing their experience. After breakfast we were able to finish our seminar and deemed it a success with a few exceptions. Many of my guests told me they would never forget that night and others said they would never come back here and they haven’t.
When my husband and sons returned I let them have it with both barrels. They found it humorous except for Chris. Chris was on the verge of tears because I had let his snakes go especially his favorite, Tame Guy. My final word was that there would never be another snake allowed in my home for as long as I lived which had just been shortened substantially! As you have probably already guessed, to this day snakes have been finding their way into my home, yard and life. A part three with an unbelievable climax is now in the making to bring you up to date. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying all your snake stories and comments and please keep them coming.
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