Spotted Snakes

During the various wars of the British Empire, a general was assigned to a new unit in India.  When he arrived at his new command, he was horrified.  The camp was in horrible condition and then men were even worse.  Even the best of them looked bedraggled and almost fearful all the time.

Finally, he called his adjutant. “What’s going on then?  This camp is in a horrible state.”

“Sir,” replied the adjutant.  “It’s the spotted snakes sir.”

“Spotted snakes?  What spotted snakes?”

“Sir.  The spotted snakes are all over the area.  They are small and vicious and not scared of man nor beast, sir.  One bite can put the strongest man in the hospital for weeks.”

“I will not have my camp controlled by spotted snakes.  Adjutant, gather the men.”

Once the entire command was gathered together, the general stood in front of them.  “I will show you how to deal with spotted snakes,” and he held up one that he had found.  The men gasped.

“Men.  You grab the snake just behind the head, so it can’t bite you.  Then you run your other hand just above the hand holding the snake.  You put your thumb just behind the head of the snake, grip tightly with your fingers, apply pressure with your thumb and… pop his head right off.”

The general demonstrated, making a satisfying popping sound as the snake’s head flew off.

Soon, the only sound you could hear all through the camp was the popping sound of spotted snakes heads flying off.  The men cheered up, the camp improved and the general was pleased.

Pop… pop… pop… all day and night.

Soon, the pops decreased as the men killed most of the spotted snakes in the camp and the surrounding countryside.  Finally, it was quite throughout the camp and everyone was in high spirits.

One morning the general was reviewing reports when the adjutant brought in two mauled soldiers.

He jumped up, “What happened to you men?”

“Spotted snakes sir.”

“Spotted snakes?  I thought I told you how to deal with spotted snakes.”

“Yes sir, you did.”

“Then how did spotted snakes do this to you?”

“Well sir.  We was out on maneuvers and me and my mate saw a spotted snake leaving the tent.  Well, sir, we did just what you said.  I grabbed the snake, just behind the head and I ran my thumb up behind the snakes head… and I realized I had my thumb up a tiger’s arse.”

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