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Monday, August 30, 2010 

Practicing the Rattlesnake Escape. This is a trick I came up with in Florida in the 1980's doing snake shows -- and only sometimes performed because various employers thought it was a bit too dangerous. Gave it up entirely when I was responsible for kids. Basically it's Houdini's Mailbag, however I share the mailbag with a live in-tact rattlesnake. (Snake has it's fangs, hasn't been ":milked" etc.) Many of you know how the mailbag escape works, and I'll done it periodically with nonvenomous snakes to promote picture pitches. As with any animal "trick" there are behavioral components. On the human side, I sit in a chair while removing handcuffs and "escaping" from the locked bag. Snake is at my feet. Don't move the feet! Originally the behavior leveraged the idea that snakes like dark confined spaces and once placed in the bag have no reason to strike out defensively. Obviously the less defensive the snake to begin with, the better. Recently realized that I could leverage ambient temperature to further reduce risk. If the ambient temperature is around 95 degrees F in the bottom of the bag when the snake is placed at my feet before I'm handcuffed, my legs are no longer much of a hotspot. Fairly confident with the right rattlesnakes the "trick" is a whole lot safer than anyone would realize, and using a media projector to enlarge the live action on a 10' diagonal screen should be clearly visible in a blackout tent even from 60' away.

About me

  • I'm B.E.Trumble
  • From Everywhere, United States
  • Ben Trumble works in circus, carnival, and media relations
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