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An Unwelcome Guest

After a hard day on the job, I was ready to crash in front of the TV and watch a ballgame until it was time to go to bed. The Braves were playing the Padres that evening, and they had the lead, so I reclined my chair and laid the remote beside me on the floor. My very pregnant wife was over on the couch, trying to find a comfortable position to sit in, because her back was hurting. Tom Glavine was on the mound, and he was on fire! The Padres' bats were too slow for his fastball, and way too fast for his change-up.

I noticed my wife kept looking up at this ficus tree we had at the end of the couch, but I didn't think anything of it. Meanwhile, Glavine sat another one down and the Braves had Chipper up to bat. First pitch was low and outside. The next thing I knew, my wife had jumped up and was standing on the couch.

"I'm leaving you!" she cried.

God Almighty, I thought, What now?

"I'm leaving you if you don't get this snake out of our house!" She pointed at the tree, gagging, like she was about to throw up.

I turned to the TV, and sighed. I got up to look in the tree, pulling the fake branches apart. "There's no snake in here," I said, just before it poked his head out at me. The big black snake's tongue about touched my nose when it flicked it out.

I reached up and grabbed hold of the snake's tail and tried to pull it out of the tree, but it was no use. All six feet of it was wrapped around the fake tree trunk and most of the branches. I did manage to pull the tree out of the pot, as well as scatter moss from the base all over our living room floor.

My wife was losing her mind over in the kitchen, near the back door. When I finally got the snake unwrapped, it gave me the slip and slithered behind the couch.

After turning the couch over in the living room floor, the snake ran toward the kitchen, much to my wife's surprise. Luckily, I got a hand on it as it was side-winding across the linoleum.

"How did that thing get in the tree?" she asked.

"Probably in the moss," I said, "He's probably been in there the whole time.

Our entire house smelled like a skunk where the black snake had musked me as I struggled with it. Using my elbow, I opened the storm door and took the intruder outside. I turned it loose in the edge of the field, and as I walked back toward the house, my wife was on the porch, throwing the ficus tree over the rail into the front yard.

I have to hand it to the company that makes those trees; they are realistic. It fooled the snake, anyways.

As for my Braves, they won 11-1.

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