Snake Eggs?

When we lived in Logan, Utah there was a unique store which stocked everything. If they don't have it, you don't need it. Smithfield Implement, just north of Logan, sold a little envelope with a rattlesnake’s photo printed on it with large letters saying "Rattlesnake Eggs" and the warning, "Open at your own risk!" Inside is a bobby pin which has been spread apart and a rubber band with a button stretched between the ends of the open bobby pin. The button is wound and placed in the envelope. When the envelope is opened, the button unwinds and makes a frightening rattlesnake sound.

Rattle Snake Eggs

Snake button

During a 1974 sabbatical, we lived in Rome with our kids and were temporarily staying in a convent (while we were looking for a permanent place to live.) Unbeknownst to us, Chris had taken an envelope of rattlesnake eggs with him to Rome. While at Domus Mariae, Chris had "shared" his envelope with a nun. When she opened the envelope to see the eggs, she screamed, and then completely destroyed the envelope. She was furious and saw no humor in the event.

Recently I was in the Smithfield Implement store to purchase more "eggs" to replace those destroyed by the nun many years ago. My dear friend, Mike Bankhead, was standing there (completely unaware of the "eggs") and asked what they were. The cashier told him that it would be OK to look inside if he wanted to see for himself. Mike, who grew up in northern Utah and had frequent encounters with rattlesnakes as a youth, started to open the envelope when it made a huge buzzing sound. Mike threw the envelop 10 feet into the air and away from where he was standing and shouted (as loud as possible)


(I'm not certain if anyone in this conservative northern Utah town had ever heard that word before.)

After the adrenalin rush subsided, everyone in the store joined in laughing at the joke - especially Mike.

Mike & Bill - October 2017
Mike Bankhead & Bill Ramsey in Utah - October 2017

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