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Snake Oil Man

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picture credit -  quotes gram .com

 

 

In the 1800s conmen travelled the American west selling a worthless concoction that was supposed to cure everything, often they would have friends in the crowd who swore that they had been cured of some illness, they became known as the snake oil men.

By the time people realised that they had been conned snake oil man had already left town.

(  Real snake oil taken from Chinese water snakes is supposed to have some healing properties )

 

I got the inspiration from a joke about snake oil man I heard many years ago.

.

In a covered wagon he travelled west 
For every ailment he had a cure
His miracle oil he claimed was the best 
People he conned were the sick and the poor.

In remote towns he would set up his scam
Helped by two' friends' in the crowd for his trick
Who' volunteered' but were part of the sham
Arthur the cripple and poor sighted Mick.

But they were fed up of his trickery
And exposed him to the crowd in the town 
The conman shouted" Mick what can you see"?
Mick said "nothing, I heard Arthur fall down"

Snake oilman was speechless and he went pale
The townsfolk seized him and threw him in jail.



Written on 30th December 2018
















Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 2/14/2019 2:05:00 PM
Nice Poem Tom! I would be interested in including this poem in a book I am working on - to go with a beautifully restored Snake Oil wagon photo at the Draft Horse Classic. If interested, please email me: michaelpaiva23@gmail.com
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/14/2019 3:19:00 PM
Thank you Michael, have emailed you. Tom.
Date: 1/15/2019 10:06:00 AM
Hi Tom, it amazes me how people could be taken in by these people, then again, if you have some serious ailment, you might try anything. This is an excellent write Tom. He got what he deserved in the end. It is sad that even in this time there are people who try to cheat you out of your money. Have a wonderful Tuesday. Your friend always....Mike.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/16/2019 10:36:00 AM
Thank you Mike, these scoundrels offered false hope and they were desperate to try anything and you're right, even today they are still there many hiding behind computer screens. Tom.
Date: 1/6/2019 9:05:00 AM
Well, that's what happens when you lie and cheat. Nice sonnet, Tom. Hugs Eve~`*
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/6/2019 11:14:00 AM
Thank you Eve, sadly they're still around trying to fleece people. Tom.
Date: 1/4/2019 4:14:00 AM
- Such "medicine men / women" ... there were many ... (cheating and trickery) ... to make money ... but many believed in the miracle medicine .... a great story ... I think we find it today too ... just in another way - hugs // Anne-Lise :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/4/2019 5:35:00 AM
Thank you Sunshine, sadly you are right , they still prey on the weak and vulnerable usually behind a computer screen. Tom.
Date: 1/2/2019 4:53:00 PM
Tom, sneaky snake man got his comeuppance, not his tuppence!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/3/2019 2:50:00 AM
Haha love it Jean, happy new year to you and yours. Tom.
Date: 1/2/2019 2:03:00 PM
I love it! So there is some healing properties in snake oil...giggle!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/2/2019 2:41:00 PM
Well I was surprised too, apparently Chinese labourers working for the Pacific railroad used a concoction of water snake oil to ease aches and pains , not the stuff sold by the conmen. Tom.
Date: 1/1/2019 6:15:00 PM
Nice poem! I wonder if he got bail
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/2/2019 2:39:00 AM
Haha, no chance Timothy. Happy new year. Tom.
Date: 1/1/2019 1:51:00 PM
Amazingly, this type of thing did happen, Tom, and people in towns out West were taken in by the crafty salesman. Even though laws prohibiting the sale of worthless medications are in place, people now sue companies whose products don't deliver as promised. Very good selection of theme, my friend, and your well-penned sonnet reveals an important part of our history. Happy New Year, Tom! Love to you and your family, Carolyn (If you return to Florida, let me know.)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/1/2019 3:34:00 PM
They never went away, even today they con the old and vulnerable but always hiding behind a computer screen, they are the lowest of the low. I hope to return to Florida again and will certainly let you know when. I hope that you have a very happy new year too. Tom.
Date: 1/1/2019 9:48:00 AM
tom, come visit or when i'm in the US, let's meet...where?..happy new year!...huggs
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/1/2019 10:16:00 AM
Hi Nette, happy new year. Last august I was in Florida not sure yet when I'm going back but it's on the cards. Would be great to meet up, I know some on here have done so. Any red will do. Tom.
Date: 1/1/2019 8:26:00 AM
Thanks for the lesson.. Brilliant poem Tom and great inspiration.. Sadly, this has been happening since the beginning of time..
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/1/2019 9:16:00 AM
Thanks S.O., there is always someone out to rob you one way or another. The internet is a breeding ground for these lowlifes' who prey on others. Tom.
Date: 1/1/2019 12:28:00 AM
I have read about them, technology changes but it seems some people don't have goodness in their hearts, no matter the times.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/1/2019 1:35:00 AM
Thanks Arthur, there's always some out there prepared to steal from others rather than do an honest days work. Happy new year. Tom.
Date: 12/31/2018 12:12:00 PM
Amusing for nowadays but not for then my dear friend, Tom! Nicely written!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 3:26:00 PM
Thanks Demetrios, their lack of conscience and greed conned many, sadly they're even about today. Tom
Date: 12/31/2018 11:05:00 AM
good one, Tom. They were the early scammers of our time. Today they would be all over the internet!!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 3:22:00 PM
Thanks Andrea, you're right , they're all over the net now, scamming people and getting away with it. Tom
Date: 12/31/2018 8:15:00 AM
Hi Tom, You are such a great story teller. Sooner or later a man such as this will get found out about. Serves that "slickster" right. I enjoyed the read:-) Alexis
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 8:22:00 AM
Thanks Alexis, karma gets them in the end. Hope you have a happy new year. Tom..
Date: 12/31/2018 8:00:00 AM
Snake Oil Man! Snake Oil Man! I love this poem, and the term "snake oil man'. I cannot quit saying it, as it triggers something in the deep recesses of my mind. Maybe I lived back in the day? Thanks for a really funny story/poem Tom.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 8:02:00 AM
Thank you Caren, they were the smooth talking sales men who could sell a fridge to an eskimo.lol. Happy new year. Tom.
Date: 12/31/2018 7:37:00 AM
Hi Tom, A fun poem and well researched. Still lots of modern ones around though! Happy wishes, Jennifer.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 8:01:00 AM
Thanks Jennifer, you're right now they stay hidden behind screen on the net. Enjoy the celebrations. Tom.
Date: 12/31/2018 7:18:00 AM
A well deserved punishment for the snake oil man.. .good story Tom.
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nette onclaud
Date: 12/31/2018 2:24:00 PM
tom, i'm from the philippines--- come on over!..huggs
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 7:25:00 AM
Thank you Vijay, hope you and yours have a happy and healthy new year. Best wishes. Tom
Date: 12/31/2018 6:14:00 AM
what an enjoyable read so well handled, tom.. you are a man of surprises!... it's 4 hours to go before 2019 comes... let me greet you a happy new year! thanks for the friendship!...huggs
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/1/2019 2:32:00 AM
The mystery is solved, I always thought you were in the US, if I'm ever down that way I'll pop in (always keep a bottle of red wine handy lol)
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nette onclaud
Date: 12/31/2018 2:25:00 PM
tom, i;m from the philippines.. come on over!...huggs
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 6:57:00 AM
Thank you Nette, I'm curious , which country are you in, we have 11 hours to go. Hope you have a wonderful 2019. Tom.
Date: 12/31/2018 5:21:00 AM
I love this Tom. Your knowledge of history always amazes me. Thanks for the lessons. Great write! Been busy, I hope you had a nice Christmas and I wish you a very joyful and Happy New Year dear friend. Charlie
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 5:45:00 AM
Thank you Charlie, Christmas was hectic but I wouldn't have it any other way, hope you had a good one too. Best wishes for 2019, hope it brings good health and happiness to you and yours. Tom.
Date: 12/30/2018 7:55:00 PM
I love how this ended Tom! There were these ruthless people who profited off of someone who was in need of help and I think he deserved what he got! There are plenty of conmen and women on the internet now and we must be aware. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Have a great New Year my friend! : ) xxoo
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 2:57:00 AM
Thank you Connie, its sad when you hear of elderly folk with no family to look out for them getting conned by ruthless predators. Happy new year. Tom.
Date: 12/30/2018 6:40:00 PM
Shades of "The Duke and The Dauphin" from 'Huckleberry Finn.' Well-done, Tom! Happy 2019 to you! ~ Gershon
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/31/2018 2:59:00 AM
Thanks Gershon, it was a joke I heard years ago but not funny when people get conned for real. Hope it brings you all things good on 2019. Tom
Date: 12/30/2018 5:42:00 PM
Your wonderful story, Tom, gives it a touch of poetic justice...love it...Happy New Year...Harry
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/30/2018 6:03:00 PM
Thanks Harry, glad you enjoyed it. Happy new year to you as well. Regards. Tom.
Date: 12/30/2018 5:11:00 PM
I don't know the joke love the ending he couldn't avoid jail even though he was a slippery customer:-) hugs Jan xx
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/30/2018 5:20:00 PM
They should be strung up those that prey on the old and vulnerable sometimes scamming them out of their life savings.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/30/2018 5:18:00 PM
Thanks Jan, I'll see if I can find the joke and send it to you. Tom.
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 12/30/2018 5:15:00 PM
so many scammers around Tom another one today about fake Microsoft callers asking for money - can't believe people fall for it but they do:-( hugs Jan xx
Date: 12/30/2018 5:04:00 PM
Good story with justice after all :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/30/2018 5:07:00 PM
Thanks P.S. , it amazes me how even today people buy worthless cures off the internet that cause more harm than good. Tom.