Oh Python, My Python

Via Rishab Aiyar Ghosh‘s Facebook status message, I find this remarkable sentence in a BBC news item:

The victim told police he managed to reach his mobile phone from his pocket to raise the alarm when the python momentarily eased its grip after hauling him up a tree on Saturday evening.

If Hemingway was alive today, would he find in this the seed for a book called The Young Man and the Python? I mean, just think.

The fellow eventually “used his shirt to smother the snake’s head [to] prevent it from swallowing him”, and then “bit the snake on the tip of the tail” to get away. The only injury he suffered was an injury “on the lower lip of the mouth,” which leads me to suspect that there might be an amorous element to this. Maybe there’s a metaphor here about how love can stifle?

The story has an ambiguous ending, by the way. Cops came and rescued the man, and locked the python in a room. It escaped. The local police superintendent was quoted as saying: “We want to arrest the snake because any one of us could fall a victim.”

Imagine that. The cops find the snake after a long and arduous snakehunt, at which point the superintendent tells his lackey, “Arrest this snake.” The lackey whips out his handcuffs, looks the python over, and says, “But where do I put the handcuffs.” Then the snake leans in for a kiss.