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Snake Juice: An Odd Pre-Game Ritual

While attending college at Frostburg State University in western Maryland, I worked at a restaurant for a couple of years that is owned by a pair of brothers, Bill and Gary Warn. Bill and Gary were the best bosses, and friends, that a guy could ask for. The first time you met them, they would pull you in for a big bear hug and offer you a beer. It's just how they lived.

Bill and Gary were also very…shall we say, rural. They had hysterical stories from their youth about pet goats, and about the time that they had purchased an old school bus to make crab runs down to the Chesapeake Bay. There was never a shortage of tall tales or laughter working at the Hen House Restaurant. There was also never a shortage of interesting things coming through that restaurant, including an interesting, alcoholic concoction that they lovingly referred to as "Snake Juice". According to Bill, Snake Juice was a unique blend of moonshine and snake venom that only their friend knew the proper recipe for. The snake venom was added because it, apparently, added flavor to the moonshine. Fortunately, the high alcohol content of said moonshine killed the poisonous ingredient in the venom, leaving only the…flavor. All I know is that it was clear, came in a gallon-sized milk jug, and (supposedly) would put hair on your chest.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I read about former Mariners and current Rockies minor league catcher Eliezer Alfonzo's odd pre-game ritual. According to this story , Alfonzo, prior to every game, drinks a bottle of "Snake Juice". I was floored! I quickly learned, however, that Alfonzo is not getting liquored up prior to every game. Instead, he drinks from a bottle of "semi-clear liquid" that features a large, dead snake floating in it. It's not a favorite ritual among his teammates who are, for obvious reasons, appalled every time it happens.

I'm not here to pass judgement on the guy. In fact, considering I have some limited experience with a version of Snake Juice, I almost feel a kinship with the backstop.

So, in the words of my dear friends Bill and Gary Warn, I'll just say one thing: Keep on keeping' on, Mr. Alfonzo.

While attending college at Frostburg State University in western Maryland, I worked at a restaurant for a couple of years that is owned by a pair of brothers, Bill and Gary Warn. Bill and Gary were the best bosses, and friends, that a guy could ask for. The first time you met them, they would pull you in for a big bear hug and offer you a beer. It's just how they lived.

Bill and Gary were also very…shall we say, rural. They had hysterical stories from their youth about pet goats, and about the time that they had purchased an old school bus to make crab runs down to the Chesapeake Bay. There was never a shortage of tall tales or laughter working at the Hen House Restaurant. There was also never a shortage of interesting things coming through that restaurant, including an interesting, alcoholic concoction that they lovingly referred to as "Snake Juice". According to Bill, Snake Juice was a unique blend of moonshine and snake venom that only their friend knew the proper recipe for. The snake venom was added because it, apparently, added flavor to the moonshine. Fortunately, the high alcohol content of said moonshine killed the poisonous ingredient in the venom, leaving only the…flavor. All I know is that it was clear, came in a gallon-sized milk jug, and (supposedly) would put hair on your chest.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I read about former Mariners and current Rockies minor league catcher Eliezer Alfonzo's odd pre-game ritual. According to this story , Alfonzo, prior to every game, drinks a bottle of "Snake Juice". I was floored! I quickly learned, however, that Alfonzo is not getting liquored up prior to every game. Instead, he drinks from a bottle of "semi-clear liquid" that features a large, dead snake floating in it. It's not a favorite ritual among his teammates who are, for obvious reasons, appalled every time it happens.

I'm not here to pass judgement on the guy. In fact, considering I have some limited experience with a version of Snake Juice, I almost feel a kinship with the backstop.

So, in the words of my dear friends Bill and Gary Warn, I'll just say one thing: Keep on keeping' on, Mr. Alfonzo.