Not how you want to get intoxicated from the bottle.
A UK dad’s weed-whacking session went horribly awry after he was bit by a venomous snake in a bottle — which blistered his skin and caused his blood to literally curdle.
“I got the shock of my life when I realized I’d been bitten — and that it was venomous too,” Scotland’s Warren Soulsby, 25, told Kennedy News of his inadvertent “intoxication.”
“It’s a crazy story to tell and sometimes I have to whip out the pictures of my hand to get people to believe me.”
The horrific ordeal occurred in February last year while the highway maintenance worker was clearing shrubbery from street signs in Coldingham, Scottish Borders.
“We were called to go down there because the bushes and shrubbery had overgrown the street and speed limit signs,” recounted the Tranent, East Lothian native.
Things took a turn when the Scotsman spied a beer bottle along the road and decided to pick it up as he didn’t want to damage his weed-wacker.
Soulsby said he grabbed the vessel by the neck and was about to “toss it down the hill,” when suddenly he felt a “sharp pain” in the side of his left hand.
Initially thinking he’d pricked himself on a thorn bush, the Scot started walking back towards the van to grab a drink, whereupon he started feeling dizzy and sick.
That’s when he looked down to see two holes in his mitt “with blood dripping from both of them,” Soulsby recalled.
Despite the telltale signs of a snake bite, the road clearer didn’t put two and two together.
Soulsby spluttered “When I saw two puncture marks dripping with blood, I didn’t automatically think ‘snake’ because why would I? We’re in Scotland.”
It was only later that he learned that he’d been bitten by an adder, the UK’s only venomous snake, whose bite can be quite painful and cause inflammation, per Wildlifetrusts.org.
Soulsby suspected that he’d awoken an adder that was napping in the bottle to soak up the extra heat from the sun rays reflected through the glass.
He theorized that picking up the bottleneck caused it to jump out and latch onto his finger in mid-air like a real-life version of the snake in a nut can prank.
“It was just like a nip and then it’s just slithered away into the bushes,” Soulsby recalled.
Thankfully, a colleague noticed the marks, and seeing how quickly he fell ill, decided to drive the Scotsman to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. They had to stop two times on the way so Soulsby could throw up.
Upon arrival, doctors conducted a blood test, whereupon the Scot finally learned the cause of his discomfort.
“Within 10-15 minutes they said ‘Your blood is a bit out of sorts,’” the road worker recounted of the literal bloodcurdling saga. “They said my blood was twice as thick as it should be as there’s some kind of venom in there.”
Soulsby declared, “I was stunned, this was the first time a snake had been mentioned by doctors.”
Following the alarming diagnosis, doctors hooked Soulsby up to an IV.
“I was on a few painkillers and diazepam to keep me relaxed because I was panicking even though they told me it wasn’t deadly because I was healthy,” he said. “The way I was feeling was horrible.”
Accompanying photos show the patient’s bitten hand, which has a gaping swatch of flesh missing from the palm like a flaying victim.
In order to curb the venom spread, doctors had four motorbikes transport European adder antivenom to the hospital from Manchester.
This unique therapy involves inoculating a snake bite victim with venom milked from the culprit species like an envenomation vaccine.
Thankfully, this appeared to do the trick. After spending 72 hours in hospital, Soulsby was discharged, whereupon he stayed another day at home before going back to work that Monday.
In light of his accidental snake liquor saga, the envenomation victim is warning people to on trails when outdoors as “adders don’t like being disturbed.”
“If they’re disturbed and they can get away freely they will go away. They won’t go for you,” Soulsby warned. “The only reason this one went for me is that it only had one exit from that bottle and it just happened that my hand was in the way of that exit.”
Ultimately, the Scotsman doesn’t hold a grudge against the bottle viper. “I suppose I deserved it,” he said. “I woke one up during hibernation and it was really cranky — we’ve all been there.”