Pat Wooldridge was the only female employee out of 30 working in the Renegade golf course maintenance building. If she needed assistance with anything while the crew was working on the golf course, Tony, a mechanic, worked in the adjacent building. They were good friends, and would see each other in passing during the day.
On this particular day, when Pat went to her restroom, she ignored the stored supplies of paper towels, toilet paper, and cases of soda for the vending machine. She was thin enough to squeeze in and out of the little hallway without incident. When she shut the door, and flipped the light on, she heard a rattling noise she hadn’t heard before.
Pat stood perfectly still searching the soda cases and paper products for the source of the strange noise. Another rattling noise disclosed the location of a 12 inch baby rattlesnake at her feet.
Her scream and shouts for help were never heard by Tony, over the noise of grinding wheels sharpening mower blades. She was on her own. Pat froze as her heart beat pounded her chest. This little snake was too close for her to turn and run out the door, and there were no brooms or buckets to use as defensive weapons.
There were only cases of Coke in cardboard boxes with two inch sides. Never moving her eyes from the hissing, rattling little snake, Pat reached for a case of Coke and slowly removed one can one at a time, placing them on top of another case. She stopped only when the little snake would hiss and rattle again, fearful that it would try to strike at her and no one would know.
She’d hold her breath and watch to make sure the little snake didn’t strike, then nervously reach out to move another Coke can. Her anxiety grew knowing that little rattlesnakes can do some serious damage, because they aren’t able to control the venom they use like adults. So, this tiny thing could pack a punch.
Her plan was to take the empty box and cover the snake so she could get out. But she wasn’t sure it would be that easy. Turning the carton upside down, she held it in both hands and focused on the little snake. She was only going to get one shot, so it had to work before he bit her. Bending her knees slightly to get closer to the snake Pat slammed the box to the ground and covered it, opened the door and ran straight to the shop to find Tony.
When she got to the shop the reel grinder was so loud she had to get in his face. “Tony,” she said, “there’s a rattlesnake in the ladies bathroom and you’ve got to get it out of there . . . now!”
Tony turned off the reel grinder, chuckled and said, “Yeah, right! That’s a good one!”
White as a ghost, Pat had her hands on her hips glaring at Tony in a way he hadn’t experienced from this congenial lady. “Tony! I want that snake out of there now!
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I’m serious, and you’d better hurry. I’m not sure how long he’ll stay trapped.”
Tony rushed to the lady’s bathroom where Pat showed him the box covering the snake. Tony slid the box and snake out of the bathroom and across the lunchroom where he put a snake loop over it’s head and tightened it. Prepared to relocate the snake he turned to Pat and asked, “Are you going to be okay?”
“I just want to make sure that sucker is out of my bathroom or I’ll never use it again.