I have used the term “meaner than a snake” on several occasions in description of those people who exhibit a well developed streak of meanness that occurs not often among humans. Those folks who have the ability to “out mean” a snake are not as rare as one might think. It is fortunate for us that these people do not have possession of anything resembling venom otherwise there may be additional dangers lurking for us beyond their ability to inject verbal poison into all of society.
Being an inquisitive type, I am bound to ask the question, is there anything meaner than a snake? Before I can ask that question, let’s examine the issue from the snake’s point of view.
First, the snake is generally considered the instrument by which Eve was enticed to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden and so screw up everything for the rest of us. I am confident that the snake’s part in the matter has given him a bad reputation from the very beginning. The universal quilt imparted on every snake that ever lived is, I am sure, a lot of the reason why one never ever sees a snake in a good mood. It’s true. There is no known record of a snake ever smiling or being anything other than just flat out ornery. In fact, a lot of them have developed particular talents of meanness in order to torment humans and other living things. Some of them can inject poison that can kill any living thing it manages to bite while others can squash a fellow so that he can’t breathe anymore. The ones that can’t do either are able to frown and look meaner than they really are.
Second, when that one snake got the best of Adam and Eve, the Almighty decided that all snakes would have to crawl around on their collective bellies all their lives. I am certain beyond doubt that that was sufficient reason to make anybody sour. As if that weren’t enough, The Almighty further decided that snakes and folks would never get along. It is a safe wager to say that there has never being anything resembling friendship between a man and a snake ever since.
Finally, given his inglorious beginnings and his eternal punishment, it is no wonder that Mr. Snake is meaner than anything else on earth. I still wonder whether there is anything that could actually be meaner than a snake. I decided to pose the question to the internet in hopes of finding an answer. I did see a website that had an apron for sale with the words “meaner than a striped snaked” emblazoned on the front. Could it be that there is a cook somewhere worthy of this dangerous honor? I hope I never meet anybody wearing such an apron. There was also a comment on the web that purported to declare that tequila, taken in quantity, can make one meaner than a striped snake. That is an idea whose validity I do not intend to explore.
I think it is safe to say that there is nothing on this earth meaner than a snake. Well…there is one possibility but fear for my life prevents disclosure.