Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dangerous Jobs

Bizarro is brought to you today by Not Dead.

When I was young, I found the stereotypical flute-playing snake charmers of India to be fascinating. I figured that regardless of how good you are at it or how tame the snake is, it has got to be a dangerous job. Unless the snake is defanged, you're spending pretty much your entire day within striking distance of a cobra. It's like being Donald Trump's personal assistant.

Even creepier, though, are the religious hillbilly kooks who handle poisonous snakes because of a single line in the Bible that says something about safely handling serpents. The supposition is that if they have enough faith, God will protect them from the snake. What they don't realize is that modern translations of the Bible are not in all instances accurate. In ancient Hebrew, the word for "serpent" was very similar to the word for "scissors." We now know that the author was recommending safety with scissors, not playing with snakes.

I don't know if these serpent-handling cults still exist, most of the photos of them that you can find are from the early and mid-20th century. There are, however, newer cults that show their faith in god by safely handling scissors at their services.

Whatever you're handling today, be safe and don't run. Unless a snake is after you.


The Snake's Mommy said...

My python sneezes once in a rare while. She doesn't constrict at the same time, but what comes out of her mouth is, well, a mist of gross snake snot. Thanks for the funny comic tho. Added to my blog with a pointer to yours.

Iara said...

Actually, the passages about handling serpents without harm are in the New Testament, which was written in greek: "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:18); "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19). I'm from Brazil and I've never heard of those cults... Crazy stuff, but it still sounds better to me than those guys trying to convince me that, if I gave them money, God will make me very, very rich...

Anonymous said...

The BBC has your answer

Enjoy :)
Random UK fan

emme said...


want to know if these strips can be used as wallpics on facebook, with all due credit, of course! fact, i've tweeted a strip(link) earlier this morning.

user oriented culture is taking over many things and now this!. keep up the good work!

doug nicodemus said...

gsg - great sight gag

really entertaining, spot on

RSJ said...

In a related item to the serpents/scissors gag line, scholars have now found that the 'Mark of the Beast' recorded in the Book of Revelation is not '666' but '616.' Read on:

"Satanists, apocalypse watchers and heavy metal guitarists may have to adjust their demonic numerology after a recently deciphered ancient biblical text revealed that 666 is not the fabled Number of the Beast after all.

"A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, dating to the Third century, gives the more mundane 616 as the mark of the Antichrist."
-- "Beasts Real Mark Devalued to 616."

This reminds me of that old joke about the monk examing an early copy of the Bible in Greek and exclaiming "Oh, no, it was a mistranslation -- it says 'CELEBRATE'!"

Anonymous said...

RSJ, you made my day twice with that post.

VG said...

Snake Charmers still do exist in India. Some time ago a theatre director (Roysten Abel) thought of bringing together a 100 of them for an experimental production. The snakes were not a part of the production.

PS: Any one knows why I am supposed to type 'herse' for verification?