Page 76. " Didn’t you ever watch Sesame Street? "

 Sesame Street is a hugely popular American television programme for children, which has been running since 1969. It uses Muppets, cartoons, and live guest appearances to provide entertainment and educational content for children.


The official Sesame Street website.


A Sesame Street clip, teaching counting:


Page 90. " The Warden opened the bottle. “Rattlesnake venom "
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRattlesnake - Credit: Tigerhawkvok / Wikimedia Commons

 Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes native to North and South America. They are famous for their painful and dangerous venom, and their ‘rattle’, a sound caused by vibrating segments in the tail. It is thought that the snake uses this rattle as a warning to frighten away predators.

Rattlesnakes inject their venom through fangs into the prey’s bloodstream, causing swelling, excruciating pain, and internal bleeding. Some bites cause paralysis and can be fatal. The venom can be harvested and stored; it will remain toxic for a long time even in storage.


There are many stories of cosmetics that include snake venom, either to ‘plump up’ lips, or to relax facial muscles in a similar manner to Botox. In fact, this cosmetic ingredient is actually ‘Syn-ake’, a synthetic ingredient based on snake venom. The Warden, however, is using snake venom to turn cosmetics into a weapon, recalling the story of Kissin’ Kate, the outlaw who left a lipstick kiss-print on the bodies of her victims. This is one clue that there may be a link between the Warden and Kissin’ Kate. 


Below is a video about venomous snakes, showing how snake venom is harvested, and listing some of the symptoms of a venomous snake bite.