Yesterday, I had to pick the kids up from school early because my son had a soccer game. Usually not a big deal, but since I was transporting other boys to the game, I needed to take the Great White Beast (a GMC Yukon) instead of my usual F-150.
The Great White Beast had been parked between our other car and the basketball hoop. If you know my husband, you know that he has near magical skills with parking large vehicles. Recall the position of our camper being within four inches of the side of our house on the first try countless times. I, however, park ultramarathon distances from the store because I need a space the size of Area 51 to “precisely” place the F-150. Still, I expect to see memes of the vehicle at haphazard angles to the parking lines.
As you can imagine, the F-150 was not in the optimal position for removing the Great White Beast from its pigeon hole because I had parked it. Having over-confidence in my ability to back out of the driveway and little concern for the grass, and possibly the tree and fire hydrant, I was prepared to exit the driveway in the Great White Beast without moving the F-150.
My husband, seeing the obvious obstacles, ran outside to warn me that I would not be able to perform my intended maneuver… since he was not able to do it the other day. Probably a good assessment.
His warning, however, led to a much greater problem.
When he darted outside with his distress signal, I lowered the passenger window of the Beast to hear him… allowing an actual wild beast to fling themselves from under the window cover and onto the dashboard.
My husband seeing the mayhem about to ensue dashed back inside, claiming he was supposed to be in a meeting. Ah, paying employment, that old excuse.
Leaving me in an enclosed space with a wiley critter and a ticking clock. The time I needed to get to school disappeared as quickly as my anxiety skyrocketed.
The crafty amphibian leapt around the dashboard, squeezing into the space between the windshield and the dashboard. Any attempt to sweep him humanely toward the great wide open led to him diving farther into the crevice.
The only way to remove him was to corral him and cup him in my _bare_ (shudder) hands. Despite the herpetologist aspirations of my progeny, the potential smears of salmonella from the infectious croaker paralyzed me.
Having been left to suffer the battle with this devious leaper by myself, I decided my best option was to leave the doors of the Great White Beast open and move the F-150, giving the critter time and space to escape without the potential for one of his leaps to land on me and get forever tangled in the ruffles on my shirt.
The F-150 moved to a safer location, I returned to the Great White Beast, hoping the bouncer had vacated the dashboard and returned to the swamp. No such luck.
The mighty ogre had attempted to commandeer the steering area. Positioning myself against the door frame, I reached into the animals’ striking range to gently shoo him toward the open door.
He decided this would be an appropriate time to retreat to that hidey-hole by the windshield.
Debating the safety of driving to school with the monster in the vehicle, I closed the doors and backed out of the driveway, the F-150, tree, and fire hydrant remaining unscathed. I prayed that the varmint remained in his hideout until my aspiring herpetologist could rescue me and the Great White Beast at school. I envisioned the critter flying at me ala Christmas Vacation squirrel causing vehicular mayhem on the streets and ruptured abdominal muscles for any first responders that came to our aid.
Upon arriving at the intersection from our subdivision to the main road, I had to wait several minutes for the traffic to clear. Each second had my heart racing as I expected the creature to seek vengeance for his capture by leaping at my face and injecting salmonella directly into my throat as soon as I jammed the gas to pull into traffic.
As the traffic surged and waned without enough space to insert the three-ton Great White Beast into the flow, the amphibian emerged from the crevice and surveyed the wide open dashboard, evaluating his options for escape or for disabling his captor. His emergences frequently matched with the widest opportunities for pulling onto the busy street.
As this point, I am still contemplating whether I can traverse the three miles to school under this duress. And what if the aspiring herpetologist is not able to clasp the amphibian with her usual acuity?
Then God sees my dire situation. A voice like one calling in the wilderness encourages the mini marauder to leap toward freedom on the passenger side and not into the fold of my shirt. Despite the best opportunity for putting the lumbering Great White Beast on the road, I flung open my door and sprinted around the vehicle, setting a personal 40M record. A slight wave of my hand behind the intruder, and he hurled himself to the pavement, releasing us both from our terrifying bond.
I did not have time to melt into a salmonella-free puddle of gooey relief.
At that time, the traffic also cleared, so the rest of the trip was spectacularly uneventful.
Picture attached of the salmonella-ridden frog. No dime available for size comparison, but a lot of ferocity is packed into that body.