Slight detour enroute to the hair salon.

It was the day of my hair appointment. I got into town early, and was wearing my white shorts, women’s black tunic, and the old pair of white sandals, with black toe and pink finger nails plainly visible, my long hair and purse. I stopped into the pharmacy to pick up some necessities.

As I was checking out, there was a commotion at the store’s front door… two male customers with phone-cameras, and two clerks, one with a long handle window squeegee. Apparently a 4-foot-long snake was tangled up in the folding automatic door, after attempting to enter the store. I stopped on my way out and asked the two clerks trying to keep it out, if I could help. “Oh my gosh, thank you Ma’am. We got it out of the door, but now it’s just hanging around right there, waiting for the right time to sneak back in. And it won’t go away. What do you suggest?”

After my experience with my “greeters” at home, I said to the one with the tool “please get me some ammonia.” “Yes, Ma’am.” And off she went, coming back in a minute with a fresh bottle. The other clerk and the two men just stood and watched while the following proceeded: I told the ladies that from experience at home, snakes hate the smell of ammonia and will move out. So I had her splash the ammonia around the front door area (but not on the snake itself.) She was a bit timid about it, thus I took over, and liberally applied it at the entire door sill, so the snake wouldn’t be tempted to go in. (Anyone would find it easy to see why snakes don’t like that smell – it’s awful!)

As soon as I finished pouring, our loitering reptilian friend got a snout full of the ammonia stench, and as I had predicted, didn’t particularly care for it. (S)he quickly decided to move on to somewhere else that didn’t stink, and started slithering across the sidewalk, zipping under a nearby trash can. So I applied more ammonia to the bottom of two sides of the can, leaving plenty of space for the snake to escape, and suggested that someone move the can. (I tried, but it was fastened down because of wind) to encourage the snake to vacate. And at that point I checked the time. It was nearly appointment time. I told them I had to leave and said “so long.”

They asked me “One more question, Ma’am: how on earth did you find out about ammonia?” I told them a trapper had given me that hint when we were trying to evict black snakes under a porch at home. “Thank you so much, Ma’am, couldn’t have done it without you.” “You’re quite welcome ladies, have a nice day.”

And I headed for my appointment.

2 thoughts on “Slight detour enroute to the hair salon.

  1. What a wonderful story. The best bit is they treated you as Ma’am throughout.

    Useful advice about ammonia as there are snakes where I live now, although I don’t expect to see them in town.

    Sue x


    1. I took a pic of the snake…it wasn’t like the black snakes I dealt with, it had green spots in its dark gray coat…but at least it wasn’t too aggressive.

      And it sure didn’t like the smell of ammonia!

      As for being addressed as female, yes, that was wonderful. Doesn’t happen 100 percent of the time, but 75% – plus is quite common.

      And the fact that I’m now in sandals (with painted nails), and will be for the rest of the summer, should help improve the odds!



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