Monday, November 24, 2008

How to kill the Black Mamba

Should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to use the latrine in South Sudan at about 9.30 on a pitch-black evening and, upon crossing the compound, you shine your head torch to the right and find – approximately 12 inches from your bare, flip-flopped foot – the highly poisonous Black Mamba I will now give instructions on what to do.

1. Freeze and stare
2. Back away as quickly as possible out of striking distance while yelling: ‘Uhhh, snake! Quick!

3. Somebody! There’s a snake!’

4. Keep your head torch on the Black Mamba cause if that thing stays on the loose you’ll never sleep soundly again.
5. Sudanese staff should come running. Note, that is it only the women because the men don’t hear the screams for help due to a football game on tele.
6. One, particularly noble Sudanese nurse dressed only in a towel and bathing cap, named Selina (always make sure you have her around!!) will grab a large stick and will start hitting the snake on any part of it’s body that she can reach.
7. This will piss the snake off like nobody’s business so it will try to take off but feeling that it can’t get away will turn – intermittently, raise itself up to ½ it’s 4 ft height, puff out it’s hood and try to bite anything within striking distance.
8. Try to keep your head torch focused on it so Selina can keep bashing it and not get herself bit while you try to remain out of striking distance cause that thing is SCARY.
9. After enough bashing it will begin to give up and curl in on itself.
Selina will then finish it off by grinding it’s head into the dirt. You might not know this but that is the only complete way to kill a snake…crushing it’s head.
10. Then you and all the staff will stand around discussing how if you had been bitten you would be dead since its venom kills humans in 15 minutes. And, how we don’t have the Black Mambo anti-venom and how there’s no way a plane is going to reach you in time to medi-evac you.
11. Another brave nurse will pick up the now lifeless body and hurl it over the fence.
12. Last, but not least, after the general hulla-ba-loo the men will wander out from the dining hall looking confused saying things like: ‘huh? What’s going on?’

You do learn something every day, I tell you. Here's more from Wikipedia on our dead friend.


Stefan said...

Snakeblogging! What an inspired niche.

amazedlife said...

I love this story. Snakes are crazy scary. Please don't go out to the latrine in the middle of the night, other than that last pee before bed in gumboots... My MSF friends in Unity State said that most snake bites they see are women who go out to wee. A little Nido can with lid works perfectly as a chamber pot - empty and rinse it every morning :).

Erin said...

A cobra AND a black mamba in the same week! You are seriously in the bush. I had a teeny tiny, vaguely poisonous but not really, black-headed snake in the kitchen the other day. We Gots our Poisonous creatures in AZ but they are on a less scary scale.

Wunnovus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wunnovus said...

Wunnovus said...
Yikes, poor you. Time they upped your danger money. But I agree with amazedlife: please will you stop drinking liquid earlier in the day, make sure you wee before bed, or get yourself a chamber pot. Kx