First Aid Gimcrack style

Do you know what to do if someone you’re with is bitten by a snake? I guess it depends on whether or not you have gunpowder handy…..”Tie a string tight above the part, suck the wound, and caustic it as soon as you can. Or, for want of caustic, explode gunpowder in the wound.”


How about if your accident-prone friend has to be pulled half-drowned from a river?

“Human warmth is excellent, such as two big men being made to lie close up against him. Do not follow the ridiculous fashion of  hanging him up by his feet so the water may drain out of his mouth. Turn the patient on his side, excite the nostrils with snuff and the throat with a feather


Snuff has an interesting history. In the middle of the 17th century Tsar Michael 1 of Russia ordered that snuff takers should have their noses cut off, while smokers should have their lips slit, be whipped for the first offence, executed for the second. 


The Yanomami Indians use a hallucinogenic snuff called Yopo

“From now on you can order the original ready to go yopo snuff here. The snuff is 75% roasted cebil seeds powder + 25% very finely powdered snail shellsWarning! Sniffing 500mg at once is a crazy thing!



Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 8:52 am  Comments (37)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

37 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I never fully understood the snake up the nostrils thing but I have seen many pictures of people doing this on the internet. It can’t be comfortable.

    And does anyone really use snuff anymore? Seems like a lost vice.

  2. ‘Human warmth is excellent, such as two big men being made to lie close up against him.’

    God I hope I never drown…

    • Funny…. I was thinking of going swimming less than half an hour after eating….

      • I also have a sudden interest in reckless swimming… So long as there are no snakes.

  3. I’m surprised our tax-happy, cigarette-Nazi bureaucrats haven’t adopted Tsar Michael’s policy to make us stop smoking. Oh yeah, I forgot–there’s no money in that.

  4. I’m smoking as I write this… better come over and whip me then.

    The King

    • Maybe I’ll just whip your waxen effigy instead

  5. My nostrils are a bit depressed. Do you think I may have drowned?

    • Ask Dolce to blow into them 😉

  6. Is this where “cut off your nose to spite your face” comes from.

  7. The last time my nostrils got all excited, I had to give them a stern talking to. It’s not that I’m opposed to excitement per se, but it can be a bit unseemly when one’s nasal orifice is the thing shouting “Goal! You fucking star Alonso!” during the Champions League Final a few years ago.

  8. I kinda wish you hadn’t posted that first pic. I wonder how long it’s going to take to purge that image from my mind?

  9. Snail shells? Really? I’ll never look at my little bit of a garden the same way again.

  10. Suck the wound? I think I will pass on that one. I am all for sucking certain things but an open wound is not on the list.

  11. So does having half your nose missing make it easier or harder to pick?

  12. Ok, the snake picture really grosses me out.

    My great-grandmother snuffed all of her life. She lived to be 96. My great-uncle taught me to snuff when I was 16. I never took up the practice.

    I like the Tsar’s no smoking policy. i will submit it to my boss for approval.

    • So what’s it like to snuff? I can’t imagine snorting something up my nose… oh wait….

  13. Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow characterized the effects of that Yanamamo variety of snuff as, “Being shot out of a rifle barrel lined with baroque paintings and landing on a sea of electricity.”

    • I don’t think we’ll be seeing that line in any anti-drugs campaign in the near future

  14. What do you do if a snake gets caught in your nose after you’ve had it cut off for taking snuff? What’s the proper procedure for this situation?

  15. Aaaaatchooooo!

  16. I was going to book myself into the Gimcrack ….. I’m not so sure now …….*lights cigar and inhales deeply*

  17. thank goodness I wasen’t born in the 17th century I smoke like a storm trooper!

  18. Not for human consumption… so does that mean cats can hit the yobo all they want? Oooh, I know a certain kitty who’s going to go on a spirit journey tonight!

  19. uh oh…..I hope someone’s watching over Bernie in case it all goes horribly wrong on that “sea of electricity”

  20. Re the half drowned river victim – I have some life saving training tomorrow night – I must remember to pass on this tip to the group – we have some big men here.

  21. Do they want to practice on me?

  22. I am feeling only half human – does this mean I can snort 250gms of yopo?
    Strictly in the interests of increasing the sum total of human knowledge – – –

  23. okay, got it… don’t let snakes bite me on my boy parts. well, unless i have some yopo handy to ease the pain.

  24. if i get bit by a snake,
    just let me die
    before packing me with dynamite
    and blowing me to bits.

  25. I now go around with a peg holding my nose closed.

  26. “Cauterise?” Which Clint Eastwood movie was it where he was hit with an arrow, rammed the head through, then cut a groove in it, filled the groove with gunpowder and had a bimbo in a corset light it and finish the job? Outlaw Josie Wales?

    I always wanted to do that. If I had to, I mean. With a bimbo in a corset.

    • well, I do have the corset…. you’ll have to find your own bimbo though

  27. Given the tone of this set of posts High Plains Drifter would seem to fit the bill, even if it’s not the movie you mean… I wonder what was in his cheroot?

    The King

  28. yopo of course 😉

  29. Yes, and I am sure that ethnobotanists are the only ones who buy the yopo. And only non-humans use it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: