October 7, 2005

Of Snakebite ‘n’ Whiskey

I haven’t met Snake Shyam. When I do, would sure want to ask him about the following: “Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake”. The snakebite tip is credited to W C Fields, actor who was known for his eccentric outlook and verbal gags. Fields might not have had the reputation of our Shyam when it comes to knowing reptiles. But then the advice Fields gave carried much spirit. It was thoughtful of him to have suggested we carry our own snake, in case we find ourselves at some place where there are no native reptiles to bite us.
Hawaii is a case in point, they say. There are no snakes indigenous to the island, but South American boas and Burmese pythons are reported to have been spotted in Hawaii. Presumably, alien reptiles found their way to Hawaii as ’small snakes’ in the baggage of people who also brought their own whiskey, just as Fields had prescribed.

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