New Delhi, India — The announcement by Chairman Ramalinga Raju that he had overstated by over $1 billion the assets of his company, Satyam Computer Services, an Indian outsourcing company that serves more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, has sent shock waves through one of India’s most important industries — snake charmers. “I lost my turban in Stayam stock and had to sell my cobras and switch to garter snakes,” said veteran charmer Baba “The Wild Man” Yaga. “Not even eunuchs are afraid of garter snakes. I may have to go back to sword swallowing until I can get a bailout.”
Less experienced snake charmers may not be able to weather the crisis. “I was hoping to use Satyam stock to pay off my student loan,” said Khan Chaka, a recent graduate of the Bombay School of Viper Control, Cosmetology and Truck Driving. “Now I must share a flute with a charmer who works nights and he never brushes or flosses. It really hurts my technique.”
The Indian government is not sympathetic to the plight of the snake charmers. “I hate snakes,” said India Jones, Minister of Tourist Attractions. “If they’re so charming, why don’t they use their flutes to convince employers to give them a good job, like cow washer or cow sitter or cow patty scooper?”
Ramalinga Raju could not be reached for comment. Fearing revenge by the charmers, he was said to be selling off his company plane, snakeskin boots and collection of Enron memorabilia to pay for cobra venom antidote, heavy-duty earplugs and chain-mail coveralls.