Now and then I check the local police reports in the paper to see how close we’re coming to Armageddon. Last week’s paper was mostly reassuring.
Police received a complaint about a loud parrot in the 1100 block of Gaviota Drive at 6:07 p.m.
Well, nobody likes a lot of squawking over dinner, and had I been on Gaviota Drive at that hour I might have called the cops myself.
A pair of Maui Jim sunglasses and $300 in quarters were reported stolen from a vehicle in the 400 block of Mountain Road.
I pity the fool who left those items in his car, and I empathize too, because I recently stepped on my own sunglasses while working in the yard and the bank won’t take my $300 worth of quarters unless I take them out of my mayonnaise jars and roll them up, so until I become industrious enough to do that they might as well be stolen.
But, as I say, nothing too alarming — until I got to the reptilian monster sightings on the following page:
“Rattlesnakes are being sighted throughout the city from Alta Laguna Boulevard to South Laguna….”
Hey, man, I live on Alta Laguna Boulevard.
I’ve hated snakes ever since the night in my grandmother’s house in Missouri when I encountered a big one on my way upstairs to bed. He was sticking to the wall above my head; he apparently liked the cool plaster. I was young, and it made an indelible impression on me.
My mom said a snake once came out of the kitchen sink faucet in that house, although I didn’t see that or I’d have become the world’s fastest human.
I also haven’t seen a rattlesnake yet — a statement I’d like to be able to make on my deathbed.
The South Laguna caller in the paper reported a sixfoot rattler in his backyard. If that’s an accurate size estimate we’re practically living in “The Land of the Lost.” That’s bad.
I know the snakes were here first. I know “ugly” is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve often been told they’re as scared of me as I am of them, but I don’t like the idea of walking out my back door into Jurassic Yard.
So until the season is over you’ll know me when you see me — I’ll be the only guy out walking his dog with a Louisville Slugger. I don’t want police receiving a complaint about a screaming dying venom victim obstructing traffic in the 2900 block of Alta Laguna Boulevard.
SHERWOOD KIRALY is a Laguna Beach resident. He has written four novels, three of which were critically acclaimed. His novel, “Diminished Capacity,” is now available in bookstores, and the film version is available on DVD.