Des’ree once sang: “we're living, we're living in a crazy maze… and we're fighting, we're fighting to rise above the haze… there are many theories, who's right and who's wrong?”
And these words came to mind when we heard about the story of a Florida man who tried to kiss a rattlesnake in the mouth.
Because, while, broadly, Des’ree’s words are correct – in such a chaotic world [cf. maze], who can truly say who is right and who is wrong, and who can truly predict outcomes in an unpredictable world – they are absolutely not correct when you are talking about kissing a rattlesnake on the mouth. You can predict with absolute certainly what will happen when you try to kiss a rattlesnake on the mouth, and you can say with absolute certainty that in terms of the rightness or wrongness of a decision, it has very much taken its coat off and settled down with tea and biscuits and today’s newspaper in the camp of the latter.
The unfortunate snake was found by a Mr Charles Goff, a resident of Putnam County, which lies in the north-eastern region of Florida, on Monday.
One day later, a neighbour, Ron Reinold, began playing with the snake.
"One boy said, 'I'm going to kiss it in the mouth,' and the snake bit him in the face," Mr Goff told Action News Jax. Ron was just acting silly, you know? I guess he said he could kiss the devil and get away with it, but evidently he didn't."
Mr Reinold was then airlifted to hospital, initially in a critical condition but is now recovering. The snake is believed to have escaped.
The BBC writes: “It is still not clear why Mr Reinold tried to kiss the rattlesnake.”
Let’s just run through this one more time. This, below, is a rattlesnake.
Now, we are no animal experts, but that does not look like an animal that wants to be kissed. In fact, we would go so far as to say that that is an animal that actively does not want to be kissed. It probably doesn’t really even want you to talk to it, even to discuss issues currently affecting rattlesnakes. It wants to be left alone.
But maybe it’s just that one that’s angry.
Maybe it has just had a bad day, it happens to us all.
Perhaps the others are friendly.
They’ll want a nice kiss on the mouth.