Watch a Milwaukee man wearing a Slayer shirt get bit by a venomous snake (on purpose)
“Two bites! Nice!”
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The world may be roughly divided into dog and cat people, but there’s still a little room left over for snake people. (The less said about bird people, the better.) These serpent-obsessed folks can often be found toiling away in the margins of society, endlessly trying to convince others that snakes are harmless creatures, usually while en route to the nearest ren faire or board game night. Milwaukee resident Tim Friede is one of those snake people, and one that is receiving a fair amount of national (and international) press for his unusual hobby. You see, Friede isn’t just into venomous snakes—he’s into getting bit by venomous snakes. On purpose. Usually while wearing a Slayer T-shirt.
In a recent story for the U.K.’s Mail Online, Friede—who is described as a 45-year-old unemployed factory worker—claims to have built up an immunity to snake venom by injecting himself with diluted versions of the poison, and by subjecting himself to more than 100 bites from various venomous serpents. Of course, getting bit by a black mamba isn’t just something Friede does for kicks on a Wednesday night—no, he’s doing it for science, claiming his immunity could lead to the development of better anti-venoms. There’s even a name for it, “venom immunotherapy,” which makes it totally legit. Right?
Friede was also the subject of a terrific piece in the June 2013 issue of The Believer, “Mithradates of Fond du Lac,” in which writer Kent Russell hung out with Friede for a few days and watched as he went about his dangerous snake-bite-lifestyle ways. Thankfully, both author and subject made it out alive, even though they were surrounded by lethal creatures and hanging out in Fond du Lac.
Oh, and here’s a video of Friede wearing a Slayer shirt and getting bit—twice!—by a venomous snake, courtesy of HotSpot Media.