You’ll never find this in any of those so called “comprehensive” medical reference books but the most effective way to cure incontinence is to be dive bombed by a pit viper.

Take my word for it.

Of course, it is much more effective if you don’t know a snake is falling on you until you hear a pronounced Whump! in the bottom of your boat and, just like that, there’s a large, agitated water moccasin laying alongside your foot.

That’s how it happened to me.

Snake dive bomb purist argue that the type of snake does not really matter in the bigger scheme of things, but I disagree. If it had been a small garter snake or a thin green snake laying there on my foot, the shock to my system would have been substantially less.

At the time, my buddy Charles and I were fishing a creek that cuts through the Congaree Swamp which, no kidding, is the oldest flood plain swamp on earth. People with sense avoid the place. The water is polluted with leeches, snapping turtles and alligators of every size – from ones that could take off a finger to ones that could take off with you. Legions of mosquitoes torment you constantly. They aren’t the only flying menaces. The bushes along the banks are covered with hornet nests that hang off them like some type of biologicals Christmas ornaments. Hornets are everywhere.

And snakes? Lord, but the snakes. They are on the banks. They are in the bushes right alongside the hornet nests. They are in the branches of trees. Zillions of them.

We had just paddled my old, wobbly canoe under a tree when our visitor dropped in on us from above. I’m guessing he was somewhere in the three foot long and three inches wide range. We sort of stared at each other a moment then adrenaline kicked in for both parties.

I yanked my leg up and said a few bad words. He took off for the front of the boat. Charles had his back to the action.

I hollered “Charles! There’s a moccasin in the boat and it is coming straight at you!”

Charles took the news badly.

On the plus side, I don’t think he’ll ever have to worry about incontinence again.

Charles swirled around in his seat which scared the snake. It doubled back and headed for me.

I grabbed my paddle and shooed it right back at Charles. I did not for a second consider sacrificing any part of my anatomy to a snake bite so that, Charles, my life-long friend and godfather to my son, may live. ‘To hell with Charles’ was my general mindset. Let him deal with the snake.

Charles, coward that he is, grabbed his paddle and shooed the snake right back at me. His unwillingness to sacrifice himself for his life-long friend and the godfather of his daughter says a lot about his character, but far be it for me to judge him.

We carried on like this for a few volleys. I believe I was leading 30 Love, when the snake stopped about mid-way between us. Unfortunately (depending on who you ask) it was facing me.

“Let’s see if we can’t slide it out of the boat,” I said.

Charles agreed. I suspect he did, because it wasn’t facing him.

Using our paddles. we tried to slide it up along the side of he boat and over. Right as it got to the top, instead of going over the side, it wriggled like a maniac and toppled back down to the bottom of the boat.

There it sat still as could be, which was a good thing, because it was still facing me.

Of course, the only mature, rational thing to do at that juncture was to criticize each other’s paddle handling skills. I must say we did an exceptionally good job at it. I thought the name calling was particularly effective if you graded primarily on creativity and viciousness.

We tried to slide the snake up and out again. Same result.

There the snake sat between us facing my way.

This bought of raving at each other was worse than the first.

I was in the middle of disparaging Charles’ entire lineage down to their DNA, when the snake up and rocketed forward. This time instead of making a U-turn, it kept coming. I swished with a paddle, but it dodged me. It got to my foot, stopped short and struck. I don’t know if this snake was exceptionally bad at aiming or not, but it missed my left foot by a good five inches and popped a tackle box next to it.

I will never be incontinent again.

I raised my paddle, but before I could bring in down, the snake struck again. It hit the tackle box another good one. What it had against Plano brand tackle boxes is anyone’s guess, but I will be eternally grateful.

This time I brought the blade of the paddle down on its head. I know most people are not snake fans and might not relate, but I hated killing it. So did Charles.

Snakes don’t fall into boats on purpose. This guy didn’t either. He was probably sleeping on a limb, saw us and fell out of the tree trying to get away from us. He ran from us again and again until he had no option but to defend himself against the gigantic things that wouldn’t go away.

I would have done the same thing.

On the way back to the landing, the back of the canoe got caught in a strong current and swept into a bunch of bushes.

Guess who is allergic to wasp stings?