Thinking About Snakes, Air Conditioning and Elderly Relatives
We’re always looking for levity where we can find it, and this story from India’s Hindustan Times gave us pause yesterday:
“In a bizarre incident, 40 baby snakes emerged from an air-conditioner in a village in Meerut district.”
Suffice it to say that the way today’s HVAC systems are built preclude anything remotely like this from happening, but can you imagine? Luckily, the Meerut community survived, including the baby snakes who were retrained for careers outside the heating and air conditioning industry.
It reminds me of a story from one of my Air-Tro employees, who as a child used to visit his elderly aunt in Upper Michigan along with his younger brother. The brave lady gamely hosted these rambunctious little boys every summer for two arduous weeks, until the day she didn’t. In fact, she didn’t even send Christmas cards after that.
One glorious summer afternoon, they were playing in the forested area behind her home when our future HVAC technician and his sibling came across a garter snake.
“Wouldn’t it be cool to keep it as a pet?” he asked aloud.
His younger brother agreed enthusiastically, though both of them suspected their elderly aunt might not concur. Nevertheless, my future employee, age 8, ran and got a tube sock from his suitcase. After all, what wild animal wouldn’t enjoy being in a little boy’s tube sock for the night?
That evening, they tucked the snake into its temporary cotton home, courtesy of Hanes. They did not mention it to their aunt. After a fun evening of Adam-12 and some popcorn, they too retired to their beds.
First thing in the morning, they checked on their new reptilian friend.
The one snake …. had turned into at least 150 snakes.
The garter snake who they had named Pete after the great Adam-12 character Officer Pete Malloy was really Polly or Pamela or Patricia, as she had apparently delivered an entire passel of snake babies during the night. And the tube sock, once a secure and tightly woven home for their newest animal friend, was bursting. In fact, the small hole in the toe was now a convenient and well-used portal to the outside world for all curious garter snake offspring.
Suddenly the boys noticed there were snakes everywhere.
Snakes on the beanbag. Snakes on the shag carpet. Snakes on the bunk beds. Snakes on the desk and interwoven among the Hardy Boys mystery books their aunt had supplied for them as summer reading in the bookcase.
Our future Air-Tro HVAC technician screamed.
His little brother screamed.
They ran upstairs to tell their aunt.
And that was the end of any summer trips to Upper Michigan.
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