Snake-Pits and Tarbabies

Back when I was in the client service business, we had an expression for accounts in which things could never go right — where problems would occur on a frequent basis, systems would fail, communications get misinterpreted and attempts to fix problems would just make the original problem even worse.

We used to refer to them as “snake-pit” accounts:  where no matter what you did, you’d just step on another snake.  Others in the trade termed them “tarbaby” accounts, where no matter how you tried to shake the problems off, you’d just get stickier and stickier.

Which leads us to this:

A crew member winding down production of Rust faces losing his arm after being bitten by a venomous spider, just weeks after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed the movie’s cinematographer.

While I think we all agree that it would be more fitting if Baldwin had been bitten by the spider, you have to feel a little sorry for not only this crew member, but the entire crew (including the dead one, of course) because after all, they were all just working stiffs trying to make a movie together, albeit for a loathsome reptile like Baldwin.

All in all, this production certainly qualifies as a snake-pit operation.


  1. Apparently Baldwin plays an outlaw on the run with his 13 year old grandson in 1880’s Kansas. Right…..
    Alec Baldwin — Action – Hero……. There’s a plot line sure to bring 10’s of viewers to the theater when this clusterfuck production gets released.

    Never invest in movies.

  2. Southwest Airlines had an anecdote about such a customer. The customer complained constantly about every flight and experience with her complaints reaching the VP of customer service or some lofty title. The Veep called Karen and invited her to try other airlines since she was perpetually unhappy with the service she received. When she balked and demanded free stuff from Southwest, the Veep read off the list of accommodations that the airline had made for her from upgrading, discounted or free flights and such. The Veep summed up with there is nothing else we can do to try to satisfy you, perhaps you’re unable to be satisfied. Then the Veep banned Karen from the airline. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and let go of an unprofitable customer


  3. Don’t know why this little missive brought a smile to my face, having dealt with foreign military snake pit sales a wee bit.

    Also clicked my brain to Le Carre’s character George Smiley and the existence of “the reptile fund” where things were paid from for activities that shall never see the light of day anywhere, much less in the press.

    We kind of need a reverse reptile fund to get rid of politicians who should not see the light of day any longer.

    By Jove! That is IT! A cold war against corruption and excesses by groups that think themselves above the law. Now whom would fund it, seeing we can’t tax or print money (well, the Chinese and Norks are pretty good at the latter)?

  4. Don’t you seditious colonials have something about cruel and unusual punishments in your constitution thingy? The spider has done nothing to deserve that…

  5. It would seem that Mr. Baldwin has opened a can of Bad Mo-Jo that he may have to deal with the rest of his life.

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