From the category of “When Animals Fight Back!” comes a news story from Venezuela: A 29-year-old student zookeeper was strangled by a 10-foot python. It seems that the intern was working the nightshift and decided to mess around with the snake, who then bit him, suffocated him, and tried to eat him—a sensible interaction if you are a python.
Now, I’m certainly not saying that this guy deserved to be digested by a giant snake (although some might argue that taking a dangerous snake out without permission or supervision might earn him a nomination for a Darwin Award). What I am saying is that the killing of one human being by one snake in an isolated incident is instant news (just Google it for proof), but the killing of snakes by humans every day—to make Eva Longoria’s gauche python handbag or Jessica Simpson’s hideous tote—goes unnoticed.
And what’s more, the python was just doing what pythons do, on instinct. He saw prey, so he went into his strangle-and-swallow routine. You can’t possibly tell me that humans have a slaughter-and-make-into-purses instinct, can you? The python got beaten by the way, unlike Jessica Simpson, whom we just make fun of.
Let me hypothesize here. Maybe, just maybe, people are so fascinated by this kind of news story because they feel guilty for all the human-on-animal atrocities, and when something like this happens … well, maybe it’s a sign that sometimes the tables are turned, and it scares us.
Do you get what we mean now when we say that “payback is hell”?
Written by Amanda Schinke