Well...here is my new adventure in Boca Raton.
Here in South Florida, one hears constantly about the problem with pythons that have been bought as pets, and upon growing to a size that requires feeding them a pig instead of a mouse, were released into the Everglades. Every once in a while the newspapers report that one of these wonderful creatures was captured in a garage or patio or a garden.
Today I went to my fourth floor balcony with a new book expecting to enjoy the sun and the balmy 77 degrees, when I saw my wife with her binoculars playing her role of naturalist extraordinaire and iguana expert. A normal man would have made a u-turn and gone to read the book in the bathroom; but not me. I walked straight into the trap. My wife turned to me and asked: "Is this a python in the water?"
For those of you who don't know my wife; without glasses she is as blind as a bat, and with glasses she is not much better. As evidence to her poor sight; she married me. But here she was pointing to something moving in the water. I took the binoculars and looked. Sure enough, a dark thing was zigzagging on the shore of the canal. At one point it went underwater, and when it emerged again it seemed to be looking at some birds on the shore.
Given that children are known to fish in the area, I did what every good citizen would have done. No, I didn't lock myself in the bathroom. I called 911.
The courteous operator responded with the demeanor of someone used to hearing the most outrageous complaints. I played cool, and informed her of my sighting. "How long is it?" she wanted to know. I wondered whether to go to the tool cabinet, take the measuring tape and go down to measure it, until I remembered that I am terrified of garden variety snakes that are measured in inches, let alone ones measured in yards.
"BIG," I responded. "Very big."
"Would you mind escorting a sheriff when he arrives and showing him the location?" she asked.
"No problem," I responded, looking to walking towards a python as much as I look forward to root canal without anesthesia.
The sheriff arrived, and together we started walking towards the snake. Of course, the sheriff had a gun in his hand, I had a cell phone to protect me. I was ready to text message it to death.
We walked slowly. The iguanas were looking at us cautiously. The birds flew with a cacophony of sounds. We continued walking. We whispered words of encouragement to each other. From the balcony my heroic wife was screaming "to the left, more to the left."
And so it was that her guidance and my courage we found the very long rubber tube that was floating in the canal.
Like a chameleon, I changed colors, acquiring a reddish tint. I looked up at my wife and her binoculars; and had no choice but to tell the sheriff: "She made me call you."