I need the help of somebody with a long memory for these sorts of things (Carin, I may be looking squarely in your direction).

I seem to recall that several years ago, either police or wildlife type people issued a warning to citizens of a state that may or may not have been Florida asking that they please refrain from kissing the local raccoon population on the lips no matter how cute they think it is because neither raccoon bites nor rabies are overly pleasant. I thought this was on the blog here somewhere but I can’t find it, and I’m having about as much luck with Google. So did this actually happen or am I remembering something incorrectly? This is important, because I need to know whether this Floridiot here is raising a bar or firing a first shot.

Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said Austin Hatfield, 18, captured the 4-foot cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin, while swimming last week and kept it in a pillowcase at his girlfriend’s house, where he was bitten on the lip.

Friends told investigators Hatfield was trying to kiss the snake when it struck him.
Hatfield was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but his status was upgraded to good condition and officials said he is expected to make a full recovery.

They’re also hoping that he learned something and that one day they might be able to upgrade his mental status from duuuuuuuuuh to duh.

And because I know you’re all wondering, the answer to your question is no, Hatfield did not possess the proper permits allowing him to catch or keep cottonmouth snakes according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is now investigating.

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