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Johnny Cueto, An Old Metal Driver and A Snake in the Basement

Updated on June 23, 2012

Johnny Cueto, An Old Metal Driver and A Snake in the Basement

by Robb Hoff

June 23, 2012

I wasn't able to watch the Reds game until the bottom of the eighth due to work, and unfortunately had to miss an apparently dominating outing by Reds ace Johnny Cueto.

But as the game winds down with the Reds poised to snap a four-game losing streak, I have to recap the start of this day just to catch my own breath.

When I went downstairs to retrieve a work phone number this morning -- about a half hour before needing to leave for my son's Cal Ripken baseball tournament -- I saw a black snake's head and a few inches of its body on the third step from the bottom of the unfinished staircase.

I backed up the steps then shut the basement door. I tried to figure out the best way to go about this. I personally don't mind non-venomous snakes one bit, but I just can't have one in my basement.

So I went to the garage and grabbed the short snow shovel because it is more rigid plastic than the longer shovel. I then remembered my old metal driver that I no longer use since I bought a Ping-shafted one with a knock-off head several years back.

And I went about my business.

I thought I might be able to hold down the snake with the shovel edge and grab the snake close enough behind the head to not have it bite me. Then I could have carried the snake into the woods and released it there.

Unable to do that and lacking a more humane alternative, I did the next best thing.

It was brief. It made me somewhat sad. But I did what I had to do and was glad that I didn't get rid of the driver some years ago when I bought the driver I use now.

Besides, my son probably isn't destined for the diamond much longer, and he'll need a good driver before too much longer once he grows into the one I used on the snake (I've had the driver for over 30 years).

He also has a decent swing already, so the driver won't go wasted.

And neither will the snake -- which turned out to be about four feet long -- in the woods where I snow-shoveled its lifeless body.

Anyway, in the afterglow of the Reds shutout win over the Twins, I have to hearken back to The Snake by John Steinbeck.

I believe I first encountered The Snake in high school and was compelled by its allure. I don't recall any golf clubs involved, but I do remember the mystery of the unnamed woman and the arousal of her request to feed the rat to the rattlesnake.

At any rate, read what you will, but hopefully there soon will be this to read:

Reds Are N.L. Central Champs!


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