Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Hiss and moan

Friday, August 30, 2019

Thereís a dead snake in my car, and I canít do anything about it for the rest of the week. A dead snake, you ask? Why canít you remove it if itís, you know, dead? Well, itís wrapped around my air conditioner motor, where it has been taunting me since last Tuesday.

Of course, I didnít know that last Tuesday. All I knew was my car emitted a loud grinding noise when I tried to run the AC. The sound was practically unnoticeable if I ran the AC on its lowest setting, so thatís what I did on the way to work. Then I rolled the windows down, unknowingly leaving the dead snake to rot in the hot sun all day.

For background, Gideon and I purchased this car brand-new in June. We bought an extended warranty in case the car malfunctioned, which made me feel pretty confident Iíd get the AC fixed at no cost. In fact, I called the dealership to set up an appointment to fix the AC the moment I got to work. We settled on early Saturday morning. Iím not a morning person, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get what you want.

Later that afternoon, I got in the car to head to Eureka Springs. Some disgusting smell had made its way in. I assumed a skunk sprayed outside and the scent got in because the windows were open. Somehow I continued believing this as the smell lingered for days. Gideon barely noticed the smell until I pointed it out, so I figured I was just going crazy. Oh well. It happens to the best of us, right?

Finally it was Saturday, the day of our appointment at the dealership. We were running late, it was raining too hard to roll the windows down and we got stuck behind a semi-truck on Highway 62 West. In hindsight, I should learn to recognize omens better. We made it to the dealership on time and an employee told us the work should be covered under warranty unless the damage came from nature.

How could something from the outdoors make my AC break? There was no way that could happen, right? I was floating on the highest cloud possible as they moved the car into the shop, convinced it would be a short repair. We were told it would take an hour and 15 minutes.

One hour later, an employee informed us a snake had crawled into the AC and died in there. She told us it would take more than three hours to remove the snake and assess the damage to the motor, so we needed to make another appointment. An hour after that, we left the dealership. By ďwe,Ē I mean me, Gideon and the dead snake.

I like to think I have good control of my temper, but I was steaming mad as we drove around Bentonville aimlessly. The rain pounded down harder. The dead snake aroma wafted through the cab of our tiny sedan. It wasnít supposed to happen like this, I thought. At some point, I became determined I could remove the snake myself. Gideon encouraged me to leave that up to the professionals. I acquiesced. The dead snake probably sighed in relief ĖĖ†its unwelcome stay at Samís Hotel would last longer than it ever could have expected.

Little does it know, the snake will be evicted this Saturday. We have a so-called appointment to repair the AC that afternoon. I am hoping to leave the dealership with a working AC motor this time. I am also hoping I will eventually forget the fact that snakes can crawl inside my car at any given time. Iím not the most squeamish person in the world, but who wants to drive around with that knowledge in the back of their mind?

The scariest part is the snake likely wasnít dead until I turned the car on that Tuesday morning. That means I shared my sedan with a live snake and inadvertently killed the little guy by turning on the AC.

Excuse me; Iíve got to sit still and scream on the inside for a few hours.