23 June 2008

"Why'd it have to be snakes?" --Indiana Jones

Still on the cars/karma theme, I'll share one other true, freaky vignette:

Years ago, my car was in the shop and I picked up a rental Friday morning for the weekend. I drove this econobox to work and then home Friday night, enjoying the lovely tickaticka noise the engine made. Saturday, I drove it to take care of a number of errands (hardware store, cleaners, etc.) and then decided to pick up some Chinese take out. I got my Chinese take out (Ding How in Aspen Hill--what a fun name: Ding How!!) and came back to the car to find a snake curled up, sunning itself, on the driver's seat.

Here's the extra special bit: The car was locked. All the doors were locked. I always lock car doors and I knew I'd been locking this car ever since I'd picked it up Friday morning. [Cue the creepy music and the movie voice saying "We've traced the call! The call is coming from inside the house!"] That's right folks. I'd spent some amount of time tooling around in a car with a live snake in it. I was amazingly lucky that it decided not to announce itself by slithering over my feet while I was driving!

I must have stood there looking quite shocked for I don't know how long because a man came over to me in the parking lot and said, "Are you alright?"

Me: "Look! There's a snake in my car!"

Him: "You want me to get it?"

Me: "You want to get it?? I don't know what kind of snake that is. It may not be safe."

Him: "I come from Columbia in South America! There, they have 6 foot snakes that wrap around you and squeeze! This is nothing!"

I unlocked the car. He opened the door, grabbed the snake by its head and threw it into the grass at the side of the parking lot. I thanked him profusely and offered him money but he wouldn't take it--just happy to be of help.

I called the rental company (Enterprise, I believe) and told them what happened. The response? "Must have been the last customer who had the car... thought he'd be funny."

Yeah, a riot!

PS The snake was not the source of the tickaticka noise so, at least, I got to continue enjoying that.


Sean said...

Now that is great customer service. Not, I'm so sorry or someone to "feel your pain." Blaming the last customer saying he thought it would be funny is classic.

SingLikeSassy said...

Didya check for eggs and babies? shuddering in fear

J.M. Tewkesbury said...


And you continued to use the car after that?! What? Were you insane?!?!

Damn Enterprise. I'd've made 'em stick to their motto: "We pick you up."

Me: Hello, Enterprise? There's a snake in my car.

ENT: Oh.

Me: Y'all better get your sorry asses out here and bring me a new car, 'cause ain't no way, no how I'm getting back in this slithering sled. Mm-mm-mm.

Seriously, so not cool. *Shudder*

Bilbo said...

The snake may not have been the source of the enjoyable tickaticka noise, but had it hissed, you'd have probably cursed the radiator rather than expected a reptilian copilot. I don't suppose the rental company offered you any discount or anything...

brian said...

Ye gods, well done you for keeping your cool on that one.

Of course knowing me, I'd have had photos, video and been sending both to the rental car company to see how funny they thought it was.

lacochran said...

Sean: Well, the guy answering the phone did sound surprised and was sure to say "Wait a minute" and have me hold on while he shared the story with his co-workers. So, at least I provided some entertainment for them.

Singlikesassy: Ugh! I did a cursory and very nervous look around, yeah.

J.M. I tried to adopt the Columbian's attitude. This is nothing! :) Didn't quite work.

Bilbo: True. Actually, I told them I expected an adjustment to the bill before they could volunteer. They didn't argue.

Maybe I should have checked the "no snakes" box on my rental agreement?

Brian: These days I'd be documenting, too. At that point, I probably wasn't carrying a phone, much less one with a camera in it like I do now.

Besides, I had Kung Pao getting cold. Priorities! :)

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

The Samuel Jackson snakes on a plane comment is coming to my head.

The tickaticka noise would have creeped me out - however silly me would have shot the snake haha

GreenCanary said...

*laughing over tewkesbury's "slithering sled" comment*

Incidentally, had I seen a snake sitting on my front seat, all, "O hai! I'zssssss sssssssunnin' on yerzsssss ssssssseat," I would have peed my pants.

lacochran said...

CH 20210: You to Enterprise agent: "No, I'm pretty sure that hole was in the seat when I picked it up!"

Green: He did looked pretty content.

Bethany said...

Oh. My. GOD. Thank god for the Columbian, huh? I would have had an absolute panic attack, and there is no way I would have been able to get back in the car.

You are much braver than I am.

lacochran said...

Bethany: Apparently it turned out to be a garden variety snake. Literally.

Still, I agree--I didn't want to share my ride with it. :)

zandria said...

What??!! A snake curled up in your driver's seat? I guess it makes more sense, being a rental car, but it's freaky to think you might have been driving around with it!!

lacochran said...

Zandria: I know, right?!