Seriously, you can not make this shit up.
Here’s what happened …
Just after lunch on Sunday, Andy was heading down to the pool to throw in some salt, a pretty regular thing to do.
I was inside vacuuming the stairs, which probably happens a little more regularly because who puts brown carpet on a thoroughfare? Annnnyway … all of a sudden I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn to see Andy signalling me to turn off the vacuum, while whipping his head back and forth in a very shifty manner.
“Listen, don’t panic.” he says.
Naturally I panic.
“I mean it, don’t panic but I’ve just been bitten by a snake.”
She’ll be right, nothing to panic about here …
Me: “STOP MOVING! I’ll call an ambulance.”
Andy: “No, you drive, it will be faster.”
Me: “Fuck. OK, I’ll get the kids in the car. STOP MOVING!”
Andy: “Don’t panic.”
Me: “What colour was it? What kind of snake was it?”
Andy: “It was brown, I think it was a brown snake.”
Me: “FUCK! STOP MOVING!”
Andy: “It was hanging off my toe, I flicked it into the pool yard – don’t let the kids out there.”
I grab the baby and run downstairs to tell the others to get in the car, in a very sweet and calm manner.
Me: “Come on kids, we’re going for a little drive, hop in the car. In we get, let’s go.”
Ivy: “But I’m only in my undies.”
Cael: “What? Where are we going?”
Me *huge ‘what panic’ smile plastered on my face*: “Just a drive. In we hop. Come on guys, doesn’t matter what you are wearing.”
They freeze – instantly suspicious. I can see Cael trying to work out what is going on, I NEVER talk in that sweet manner, particularly when it comes to getting the kids in the car. They are used to Roseanne Barr – who the hell is this Carol Brady woman?
Me: “That’s the way. In we hop.”
Cael *refusing to move*: “What’s going on? Why are you talking like that?”
I get the kids in, trying to speed the process is slowing me down, and I am all thumbs as I try to buckle them into their seats, still with the sweet face and voice. Cael looks like he suspects I’ve been the victim of an alien brain-switch.
Ruby, who is normally a great help when it comes to getting everyone in and buckled, is shopping with her grandma. Fuck.
Andy, the calmest snake bite victim you have ever seen, is now sitting in the front seat tying his own tourniquet and telling the kids that he cut his foot.
The drive …
OK, we are on the road. Snakeman Dundee has had some training in what to do in this situation through his job on the roads, and is calmly chatting to the kids about his ‘cut’.
Me the – world’s worse driver – is breathing deep and wondering if we did the right thing by not calling an ambulance.
The fuel light comes on. THE FUCKING FUEL LIGHT COMES ON! That’s right – we were going to fill up the day before but a stupid woman left her baby in the car at the supermarket and we were completely flustered.
Andy: “It’s alright, drop me at the door – we’ll make it that far. Then you can go and fill up, you don’t want to be stuck there with the kids. By the time you get back I should have been admitted.”
Me: “What? Oh my god, this is a nightmare. OK.”
Andy throws me his keycard and assures me that everything will be OK.
We do make it – I screech into emergency and my brave, calm husband hops out and admits himself to hospital. Seriously – who is this guy?
I quickly drive to the nearest servo, putting in just enough fuel to get me out of trouble and head back to the hospital. Finding a parking spot quickly, I go to get the kids out of the car when Ivy freaks right out.
Ivy: “I can’t go in, I am only wearing my undies.”
I look at the kids – Duke is wearing only a nappy, Cael is in a pair of board shorts, Ivy is in a pair of undies about two sizes too small. Nobody – including me – has any shoes.
Ok, I’ll call Andy and see what is going on.
No phone …
Of course – we ran out of the door with nothing. I have no baby bag, no phone, no nothing.
Me: “Come on Ivy, it will be OK, I’ll carry you.”
Ivy: “Everyone will see my boobies.”
Ivy, the most ‘always naked’ kid you have ever met, decides that NOW she is going to practice modesty.
I scrounge around the car and find one of Duke’s dirty t-shirts. Just to give you an idea, Duke wears size one – Ivy wears size six, but we squeeze her into it. She can’t move her arms, but the t-shirt comes just low enough to cover nipple and she seems OK with that. Coupled with the pair of hot pink sandals she has found in the back of the van, she is satisfied enough with her new ensemble of baby food covered midriff top, sandals and too small undies to now enter the hospital.
We run in and are shown straight through.
He looks fine. He is fine. The Doctor, who knows that we have not told the kids what happened, manages – in code – to explain that he will be closely monitored with blood tests every few hours that will dictate the course of action until they know exactly what they are dealing with.
The Snake Man …
I leave him and take the kids home. It is the worst. I feel ill – my poor husband has been bitten by a snake … which I realise is still in our backyard.
When we purchased this house, our sweet, elderly neighbour came over bearing a scribbled on piece of paper with the number of her trusted ‘snake man’ in case we ever needed it. I shuddered and put it on the fridge with the hope that I would never, ever have to use it.
I had to use it. I ripped off about 27kg of kid ‘art’ and found that scrap of paper next to the rates bill – which I still need to pay, that reminds me.
Anyway, Trevor came around – examined the territory and suspected that it was most likely a Whip Snake up where we live, but assured me that most bites were ‘dry bites’, which means no venom. He gave the kids a great talk about what to do if they ever saw a snake. They nodded, looking like they were paying attention before proceeding to talk to him about Minecraft and a Cassowary that Cael saw on an excursion last year. *sighs*
The patient …
The brave patient. He stayed in overnight and, thankfully, is completely fine.
Even though he made me go into the pool yard of the famed ‘flicked from toe’ snake to finish putting in the salt, I still picked him up on the morning of Australia Day.
I had to break the news that we’d run out of vegemite and there was a chance I’d be deported, but that was OK with him because during his last blood test he’d spoken to the nurse and got some good news.
Andy: “Now here’s a bogan question for you, can I drink beer today?”
Nurse: “I don’t see why not.”
… and all was at it should be in the world.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a snake?
PS: For a fun bit of weekend reading – why don’t you pop over to Maxabella Loves and jump down the Weekend Rewind rabbit hole with me … (NOT SNAKE HOLE).
This week’s guest host is the gorgeous Babs at Patchwork Cactus.