Slitherin’ snake! Sydney supermarket surprise

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. browse / braʊz / (v.) – to look at different items in a store without being sure if one will buy anything

    I browsed through the books to see if there were any interesting titles.

  2. aisle / aɪl / (n.) – a long, narrow gap between rows of seats or shelves that people can walk along

    The soap is at the end of this aisle.

  3. nonvenomous / nɒnˈvɛn ə məs / (adj.) – having no poison that can be put into others by biting or stinging

    This spider is nonvenomous. Don’t worry.

  4. coincidentally / kəʊˌɪn sɪˈdɛn təl ɪ / (adv.) – by chance or luck and not in a manner that’s planned

    Coincidentally, both of my sons married women named Kate.

  5. slippery / ˈslɪp ə ri / (adj.) – having a wet or smooth surface that can cause people or things to slide

    The road is slippery because of the rain, so please drive carefully.


Read the text below.

Helaina Alati was browsing the spice aisle of an Australian supermarket when she came face to face with a huge snake.

The head of the 3-meter-long nonvenomous diamond python emerged through a space in a shelf above the spice jars in the Sydney store.

“I was in the spice aisle just looking for something to put on my chicken that night, so I didn’t initially see it because it was curled up way back behind the little jars of spices,” Alati said Aug. 18. “I kind of turned to my right and it poked its head out.”

Alati, who coincidentally is a trained snake catcher, said the snake’s head came to within 20 centimeters of her own.

“Thankfully, I have a background in snakes, so I was pretty calm about it. It definitely shocked me a little bit because I wasn’t expecting it,” she added.

Supermarket chain Woolworths confirmed in a statement that a “slippery and rare customer was spotted in the spice aisle” on the morning of Aug. 16 at its store in the suburb of Glenorie on Sydney’s northwest outskirts.

Alati said she used her phone to video the snake before reporting it to the supermarket staff. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Alati is a trained snake catcher, so she was calm about the incident. Do you think you could also stay calm if a similar situation happened to you? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Alati took a video of the snake before reporting it to the supermarket staff. Do you think this action was reasonable? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What safety precautions should the supermarket take to make sure that a similar incident won’t happen again in the future? Have you ever seen wild animals in stores or restaurants in your country? Discuss.
  • Do you think the supermarket will be affected by this snake incident at all (ex. it will become more popular/lose some customers)? If you were a customer, would you keep shopping there? Why or why not? Discuss.