China’s snake tale

April 06, 2018

Moulamein’s Ian ‘China’ Gibson is renowned in his hometown as being a bit of a larrikin, and now his antics have been beamed across the world.

In what is arguably his best April Fool’s Day prank to date, the Moulamein farmer tried to fool his audience of family and friends that a tiger snake had crawled up the leg of his jeans while he was shearing.

His social media video was so convincing it was picked up by London’s Daily Mail and Australia’s 9Pickle websites.

It has also gone viral on social media through LADbible, and the rights to the video have been purchased by Viral Hog which means China can perhaps make a few dollars out of his gag.

‘‘It’s had something like nine million views now,’’ China told the Pastoral Times yesterday.

‘‘It just goes to show how scary Facebook can be, with 1.7 million views on Facebook alone.

‘‘I thought the video might go viral, but I thought ‘viral’ was 20,000 or 30,000 views.

‘‘I’ve now got something like 680 friend requests on Facebook — I don’t even know that many people!’’

China said he was initially unaware of the interest his prank video had generated, saying it was his son Rich who first noticed it had been shared so widely.

‘‘I took the young bloke and his girlfriend to a fishing comp and when we were having no luck, naturally they pulled their phones out.

‘‘After a little while we gave up fishing and just started watching the ‘views’ count and reading the comments.

‘‘I thought I might suck a few thousand in, but it just got carried away.’’

While China is a little overwhelmed by just how viral his video has gone, it does justify all the hard work he put into making it as realistic as possible.

‘‘I had to sound out of breath and a little worried, so I jogged up and down for a bit but then I pulled a hammy (hamstring).

‘‘Because the snake was dead I put a little bit of petrol in a beer can and pour it on him to make him wiggle.

‘‘I had an idea of what I was going to say but it was all ad lib, and before I started filming I went to take a mouthful of my beer and I took a swig of petrol instead. So I was in pain and I had a mouthful of petrol!’’

It was a chance run in with the tiger snake in his paddock that inspired China to make the video, and he said only a select few people knew about it for the week leading up to April Fool’s Day.

‘‘I actually ran over this snake in the header, so I threw it in the back of the ute with a glove finger and ring around it.

‘‘You get bored on a tractor and your mind starts to wander.

‘‘I showed the video to my two little mates — my mate’s children Amy and Chloe Wilson — and they did a really good job keeping it a secret for a week.’’

China has been a little reluctant to part with his viral video co-start, saying the reptile is currently taking up residence in his freezer.

‘‘I always keep a snake in the freezer, just so I can get someone (with a practical joke),’’ China said.

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