It began as an ordinary evening. I came home to my little apartment from teaching my 21 little second graders all day. I ate a rather mundane dinner because cooking for one - well - just bites. The inevitable pile of laundry was unfortunately calling my name so I slipped on my scrubs and added my work clothes to the pile. My phone rang and for a moment I was blissfully distracted by the voice of my tall and handsome man calling from Michigan. Well, reality again shouted that time was not reproducing itself while I chatted and laughed. So, I told him about my laundry plan for the night and we hung up so we could continue in a few minutes.
I lugged my rubbermaid tub over to the long shared laundry/storage room. I unlocked the storage locker that holds my detergent and quarter supply. As I'm dumping in half of the pile, I look down and notice a tail sticking out from under the washer. My heart races. I bend down and almost laugh out loud. A rubber snake tail. Haha nice joke people! I'm not dumb enough to fall for that. I shut the washer lid and go back to my apartment.
We chat again and laugh and before I know it. Darn. It's time to switch the wash to the dryer. So we hang up. I go into the laundry room again. Hmm. The tail is gone. Ha. That's right, go prank someone else Mr. Jokester. Ah well. Get those quarters out. Slide them in. One more load to go and I'm done!
Oh wait. The tail is under the dryer. No. It can't be. I look around - no one. I glance over to the recycle pile and spot a long piece of cardboard. I'm shaking so badly by this point that I can hardly hold it still. My plan is to poke the tail in question. I'm praying it doesn't move because I don't know what I'll do if it does. Just as I'm about to poke it, the outer door opens. I drop the cardboard like a hot potato and run for the laundry door. I open it only to stare at Creepy Guy from the 2nd floor. He looks at me and I summon everything in me to ask him to come check something for me. Creepy Guy follows me into the laundry room and I point at the tail under the dryer. I'm babbling by this point. Between Creepy Guy and the Tail - I'm freaked out.
Never in a million years did I ever expect what happened next...
Creepy Guy picks up the tail which, it turns out, was a whole snake. As he does so, the body curls around his hand and he kisses and croons saying, "Oh Pooky Pooky, I have missed you so much!". He then tells me how his little feller was missing for a few weeks.
Yes. Oh yes. That snake was indeed real and was evidently quite infatuated with the heat coming from the dryer which was why it rejected it's owners apartment for it's new cozy spot.
I finish my laundry and go back to my apartment for my very belated return call to Michigan. I relay the entire story complete with the appropriate hysteria and Mike just laughs and laughs. He was glad I was okay, but he said, "You gotta admit, that is one funny story!". After the fact, yes, I can definitely see the humor. But while I was scared out of my mind... not so much.
Anyway, you can be sure I never went in that laundry room without a full and complete corner to corner washer and dryer Snake Sweep.