I’m breaking up with Tucson

I attended a conference in Tucson this week and while the conference went well – the Tucson experience did not. Getting to Tucson was the first issue. I hate driving – mostly because it’s boring so I asked DSR to ride down with me and then hitchhike home. He refused. It wasn’t a horrible drive but I did get a little punchy as I passed Picacho Peak and pondered, for quite some time, if the flat area just off the freeway was called the Picacho Peak Patio. I get bored. Anyway, as I got closer I noticed it was a really nice area leading up to the resort and I thought maybe the long drive was worth it and this will be a nice little getaway. However, as I rounded the corner and saw the actual resort I was a little concerned – it totally reminded me of the Overlook Hotel… in the desert.

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But that might be a cool thing so I continued on, checked in, parked the car, and lugged my suitcase to my room. It was a great room and since I was on the ground floor, I had a patio. I had to check out the patio… maybe after a long day of conferencing I could relax on my patio with a glass of wine. I opened the curtains and saw this sign. “Caution! Snakes and Wildlife Present!”

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Not only do they put a picture of a snake on the sign but it’s trying to bite your face off. I didn’t even go outside. Every morning I checked (from the safety of my room) to see if any snakes had made their way to my patio. They did not. However, on day three of my little getaway I walked out of my room and into the hallway and almost stepped on a scorpion. It was sitting (lurking) right outside my door – like it was waiting until I left so it could come in and clean the room. I wasn’t fooled. I put a flyer from the conference on top of it (I was wearing sandals) and stomped on it as hard as I could. And then I heard it scurrying under there. So I frantically stomped on it a whole bunch more and it scurried out from under the paper and into MY ROOM. As luck would have it (for the scorpion), it blended in perfectly with the carpet and it took me several seconds of spinning around in a panic in the entry way to find him. Then I had to find a killing device and since he was on the carpeted base board in the corner, my paper covering shoe stomping method wasn’t going to work (again). I find that hairspray works well in these situations, so I coated him with about 6 ounces of fragrance free hairspray. It didn’t kill him but he was stuck to the wall so I had a chance of killing him without all the scurrying. I still needed something that would get into the corner so I used the notepad holder conveniently provided by the hotel. I slammed it into the corner repeatedly while apologizing to the scorpion. “I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to die but I can’t have you in my room.”

I left a note for housekeeping – “Dead Scorpion” and an arrow pointing to the dead scorpion – so they could dispose of the remains and clean up my exterminating mess.

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I’m happy to report that when I returned to my room the mess and the deceased scorpion were gone but I was still freaked out and decided this is where shoes belong when you’re under attack from wildlife.

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I’m definitely requesting at least a fourth floor room if I return.

PS – I keep feeling things (hopefully imaginary) crawling on my feet while I write this.

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Snakes on a Blog

This post isn’t about a dream, this is about a waking nightmare!

Earlier this week, I stepped into the garage, hit the button to open the garage door, and saw this!

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Probably larger than life snake in our garage.

I wasn’t exactly sure what it was because we currently have a rope and bungi cord stuck in a tree out front and the first time I saw them, I thought they were a snake. So I walked through the garage as far away from the possible snake as I could and made it to the driveway. At that point I confirmed it was a snake but since it totally ignored me, I wasn’t sure it was alive. I’m pretty sure the scientific method for determining the health status of wild animals is throwing rocks at them, so I did that… but only small rocks because I didn’t want to accidentally hit it and make a squish. But first I took a picture (see above) and then cropped it, so it would look like I was closer and/or the snake was bigger. Then I threw the rocks at it and it didn’t move so I conlcuded it’s 1) got nerves of steel 2) a heavy sleeper or 3) dead. Since my testing did not result in any conclusive findings, I did what any responsible researcher would do and left my findings to be confirmed with a more qualified researcher. So, I trapped the would-be actor snake faking death in the nationally recognized dunno-if-it’s-dead-snake-trapping device (pictured below) and went to work but I did send a pictorial text to DSR so he could handle the situation when he got home.

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The containment device.

The non-snake-violated population would see this as an upside down trash can with two rocks on top.  It is actually a vermin certified, I don’t want to move it, in case it is alive and waiting to rear up and bite me, containment device. Snakes are sneaky like that.

This isn’t our first run in with desert dwelling belly rubbers… we had a snake in our backyard that escaped our brave screams by slithering under the house. We’re pretty sure it’s still there and growing to mammoth proportions. Maybe this is one her babies trying to make it on its own. Crap… now the mammoth snake is going to be mad and blame us. It will probably attack us in the night while we’re sleeping. (Sleeping = dreaming / See how I brought that story full cirlce?)

I wish nature would respect my boundaries… I’m thinking 10 miles from the property line is a respectful distance.

Update: The snake was in-fact dead. DSR saved us all with his 4 Iron and we can all sleep better knowing that… um, no, there’s no sleeping better. We live in the desert and these damn snakes think they have a right to warm up in our garage!