"Man sticks rattlesnake in mouth to prove a point."
(August 2007, Oregon) An amateur snake collector caught a 20-inch
rattlesnake on the highway. Three weeks later, his captive took its
revenge. The formerly fearless snake charmer admitted, "You can assume
alcohol was involved."
He had a six-pack under his belt, and was consuming what he described as "a
mixture of stupid stuff" at a barbecue. The calamity was precipitated when
he handed a beer to his ex, using the same hand that held the rattlesnake.
"Get that thing out of my face," she said.
He protested, "It's a nice snake. Nothing can happen. Watch!" Famous
last words. As they left his mouth, his fate was sealed.
One month later, still sore from muscle and nerve damage from the venom,
the 23-year-old admitted that he stuck the snake in his mouth to prove his
point. Instead, he disproved his point, for the snake bit him. He had no
time for embarrassment. In great pain and gasping for breath, he asked his
ex to drive him to the hospital. "She was the only one sober," he
He was unconscious by the time he arrived, his swollen tongue protruding
from his mouth. Physicians performed a tracheotomy to restore airflow to
his lungs, and administered antivenin. He was kept heavily sedated for
several days. When the swelling went down, "we let him wake up," his
The Poison Control Center sees about 50 snakebite victims a year.
Generally they are injected on the legs while hiking, or arms while
reaching under a rock. Few are bitten on the tongue.
His friends were blunt. "They were, like, what the heck were you thinking?"
His answer? "It's my own stupidity."
MEDIA REFERENCESS: (1),
"Snake got your tongue?"
"Anyone wanna do SNAKE SHOTS?"
"Effect of Alcohol on IQ Points"
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Submitted by: Alan Wiebe, Luke Reingardt, Robert Luckett, Sverker, Jim, Lasse Larkka, Wanda
Reference: The Oregonian, Associated Press, LiveScience.com