Tag Archives: snakes

When animals attack Shakira

Shakira loves animals. But nature is cruel! Earlier this year she was attacked by a sealion who, she reckons, mistook her BlackBerry for a fish. She escaped with only a small scrape to her hand but of course the whole thing could have been fatal. 

Then the other week she posted a picture of herself cosying up to a killer whale. It seems she’s learnt nothing. Worse, there was no sign of her on Facebook or Twitter for days afterwards. We were all very worried.

So for all our sakes I’ve gone through her videos to find out just how much animal danger she’s been putting herself in through the years.

The video for her very first single Estoy Aquí opens with a shot of a chicken. Perhaps you think that’s an innocuous sort of an animal. No – in 2011 a man was stabbed to death by a chicken in California.

No Creo finds her petting a dog on a lawn. Harmless enough? Think again. In 2008 a man was shot dead by a dog in Texas.

In Ojos Así we see a snake – it’s all set up to look like Shakira’s charming it but we never see them in the same shot. That’s probably best. Four years ago a Louisiana guitar enthusiast tripped over a snake and fell into a toilet.

In Whenever, Wherever of course she dances in the path of a horsey stampede. Oh Shakira. A few months ago a horse blew up a medical centre in Kentucky.

There’s a matador dream sequence in Te Dejo Madrid as Shakira runs – with scissors! – from a stock footage bull, before breaking to play the harmonica. Last year a spillage of bull semen on a Tennessee highway caused traffic delays of several hours.

Dia de Enero sees her hanging out with a flock of deadly GULLS. Only two weeks ago a gang of gulls stole a Greggs steak bake from a teenage girl in Kirkcaldy high street.

And so She Wolf. It’d be churlish to complain about this one when a) it’s one of the best pop videos of all time b) the wolf only pops up briefly and isn’t on set with Shakira c) it’s all about getting in touch with your inner animal anyway. Shakira’s inner animal is amazing. And besides, in a much more interesting story than that football one that’s always being trotted out, wolves once brought peace to the First World War trenches.


Monsters at Home: Mr. Noseybonk and the Mara

As 1982 Week continues, we’re going behind the scenes with two of the most feared telly creations of the era, because oh yes – they’re together at last. If you need a primer on either of them before we get going, click Play below…

WHAT DO THEY EAT Oh it’d be easy to assume the Mara’s always shoving the Fruit of Temptation in Noseybonk’s face. But no, not on their evenings off. Instead the Mara will offer Noseybonk a disclosing tablet. Noseybonk will accept it with a curious grin. He wil crunch away at it until the teeth in his perfect white head are as pink as newborn mice. And then how they’ll laugh.

HOW DO THEY SOCIALISE I do try, in ‘Monsters At Home’, to emphasise the carefree, fun times that go on behind the scenes. But there’s no two ways about it, the Mara and Noseybonk are unpopular, feared figures in their neighbourhood. Noseybonk’s banned from the garden centre after *that* incident and the Mara, who works part-time on Saturday in the tattoo parlour, just can’t seem to get along with anyone.

WHAT DO THEY DRINK The Mara enjoys a nice drop of snakebite and Noseybonk will have a snifter of anything.

WHAT DO THEY WATCH ON TELLY Delighting in chaos, and the madness and suffering of others, the Mara enjoys putting its foot up in front of the latest edition of Game For A Laugh. Noseybonk preferes something a little less harrowing, and titters along with Tenko.

WHAT DO THEY DO FOR FUN The Mara loves to play draughts. It flicks on the reverse mood lighting in the Dark Places Of The Inside, pops a Kate Bush tape in the hi-fi, and challenges Noseybonk to best it. Noseybonk looks up from his jigsaw. He surveys the board. His face bobs up and down approvingly. His blank eyes glint. Which leads us to:

HOW DO THEY REPRODUCE All that subtle Buddhist demon stuff, with the Mara propagating itself through tapping into people’s secret fears and desires in dreams – that’s just the day job, and physically it’s a snake like any other. So its true broodiness is expressed with a longing for a pronging from Noseybonk’s most impressive appendage, and a nice clutch of eggs to follow. Goodnight everyone!

If popstars were… Poisons

Nicole Scherzinger’s the latest popstar to sing about poison, but how does it compare to the greats of the canon? And which poison is she?

So many poisons, so little time

ABC – Poison Arrow

What’s it like?: Jauntily dramatic, with big drum crashes, dadfunk bass, ghostly piano, a deadpan spoken interlude and SOLO SAX. Pretty much perfect.

The lyrics?: The central conceit that Cupid’s arrow has been tainted is elegantly matched with a series of classic reversals: Right on the target but wide of the mark, what I thought was fire was only the spark, etc etc. Bonus points for no rhythm in cymbals, no tempo in drums.

What poison are they?: Something romantic and old-fashioned. A cyanide apple, but more Snow White than Alan Turing.


Culture Club – Church of the Poison Mind

What’s it like?: Well I suppose it’s got a good beat. Otherwise it’s a church with a wonky organ, wall-to-wall harmonica and a lot of unholy wailing all over the shop.

The lyrics? They work the ‘church’ side of the metaphor a lot more than the ‘poison’ one. There’s love will make you blind, but otherwise disappointing.

What poison are they? A Silk Cut dipped in poppers.

Alice Cooper – Poison

What’s it like?: Oh it’s a right old racket. But you know how it goes, don’t you.

The lyrics? Very impressive, from the opening Your cruel device onwards. The object of Alice’s affection has a call that’s like needles and pins, eyes that could kill with a look, and of course her lips are venomous poison which ends up running through Alice’s veins. Nicely sustained.

What poison is he?: Snakebite. By which I mean I’m sure Alice’d like to come off as something fanged and bitey and exotic, but he seems like such a gentle, humourous soul in reality that the classic UK cocktail of beer and cider would probably do.


Britney Spears – Toxic

What’s it like?: Strings that are woozy and swoopy, all at the same time. Croaky sex Mehitabel enthuses over gulpy descending bass with hilarious consequences. One of the best songs of all time.

The lyrics? It’s pretty much a direct sequel to the Alice Cooper song, to the extent that his your mouth, so hot/ your web, I’m caught/ your skin, so wet/ black lace, on sweat verse could be slipped right in here without anyone noticing. And as Britney ALSO fixates on the idea of her lover’s lips being a poison paradise, I suggest we consider this a classic ‘answer record’ to Alice, while we leave her salivating over the thought of a sip from the devil’s cup. WHATEVER THAT IS.

What poison is she?: Anything that’s going, I suspect. Dishwasher rinse-aid, a few too many Junior Disprins, an overdose of nutmeg. Whatever gets her there.


Nicole Scherzinger – Poison

What’s it like?: Like ejaculating over and over again while trying to bust a move on a crowded dancefloor with someone shouting at you over a pneumatic drill and a rave horn going off (brilliant).

The lyrics?: Finally, after decades of popstars serenading their poisonous lovers, Nicole positions herself as the toxic one. It’s her lips that are dripping venom, and her own bad girl power she’s itching to abuse. Otherwise the words are largely incomprehensible (Sexy little dirty screen? Stick to a stick?) but I think we can consider this a triumph.

What poison is she?: A heady mix of Formula One petrol fumes, Elnett hairspray, exciting cartoon poison bottles and the sticky patches you find on nightclub floors. All the good stuff.