Little did I know that I, as a North Londoner, have been living with the threat of DEADLY KILLER probably EVIL, RABID snakes for years. These things are 8 foot long and can kill babies and may or may not be able to fly. Apparently it has gotten to the point where my own borough of Camden is talking about culling the slithering menace and I am only just hearing about it now.
Panic damn you!
Ok, I am being slightly alarmist here but that is because I have just read a load of news reports that are being massive dicks about the whole thing. Here is one such headline:
“Deadly eight-foot snakes that can kill cats and dogs invade London.” (http://travel.aol.co.uk/2014/05/10/deadly-eight-foot-snakes-found-london-regents-canal/)
Here is another one:
“Snakes capable of crushing small children to death at large in London” (http://www.independent.ie/world-news/snakes-capable-of-crushing-small-children-to-death-at-large-in-london-30262994.html)
A few points need to be made here.
– Yes the snakes (Aesculpian snakes to be precise) are DEADLY – but to rats and birds and so on. All carnivores are deadly in that they make other animals die. So you should also be afraid of DEADLY pussy cats and DEADLY little birdies and DEADLY moles, etc. (Especially moles, they just look weird.)
– They have invaded in the sense that they are not native to the UK. According to the newspaper reports, they originate from Yugoslavia which is no longer even a place. So they have been living here a while just getting on with things, although I am sure that still infuriates Daily Mail snake lovers.
– They live mostly on rats and small birds. Technically they can strangle small animals but as London is chock full of rats, why bother eating Mr Tiddles? As one paper pointed out – large snakes have been known to attack small dogs or babies but as this has never happened in London and after decades of them lurking around, I feel ok. Birds and rats have been known to attack kids too, so maybe this will balance out.
– The main concern about the babies being attacked comes from one quote from one person that I have seen repeated in several papers and online magazines (including the two above). They all use the exact same wording as if simply copied and pasted by some lazy bastard who can’t be arsed to do better research. Here is the copied and pasted quote:
‘Mum-of-three Sylvia Taylor, 33, told the Daily Star: “If they are capable of killing small animals then surely they could constrict small children?”‘
Great stuff. I have a degree in English and one part of my studies involved linguistic analysis. So having skilfully dissected the above statement I can reveal it is slightly misleading. She is actually asking a question not telling them something. Her hypothetical question is not answered but that doesn’t stop the question turning into an implication that is consequently used as a chilling headline.
I grew up in Asia and snakes are fine. Especially non-aggressive non-poisonous ones that eat rats. Leave them alone.
On the other hand I could be wrong! Be afraid! Think of the children! Next article: ‘Moody Geese from France are here to break your children’s legs.’