After being ignored by most people when he nailed his tongue to a wooden board, Rayo the Fakir sealed himself with a snake inside a glass "bottle," in which he toured Europe. By the time he emerged, a year later, the snake had died.
Life magazine reported that the year-long stunt almost didn't happen because city authorities in Linz filed a temporary injunction, citing the act as "counter to the dignity of man... liable to produce panic... and creating an unhealthy condition for the inhabitant of the bottle."
I'm guessing Rayo wasn't actually Indian. He just pretended to be an Indian fakir as part of his act. (Basically, he was the David Blaine of the early 1950s.) Also, I think his last name was spelled "Schmied," though a lot of papers reported it as "Schmidt."
Newsweek - Jan 12, 1953
Bottled Up: The Austrian Fakir, "Rayo," whose real name is Rudolf Schmied, plans to tour Europe for an entire year while sealed with his pet snake in this glass bottle. He'll practice yoga, massage himself with special oils, and subsist on vitamin tablets and glucose. He hopes to be in London for the Coronation. (Newsweek)
That Bob! "He's full of the old mick!" Huh? That expression summons up a mere two Google hits. I suspect it's a euphemism for "full of the old Nick," which in turn was a euphemism for "full of the Devil."
I regret that I cannot find a subtitled-in-English version of this Mexican film, where a mad scientist creates a formula that turns an extremely ugly woman into a beauty, as in the before-and-after pix below. But those of you who know Spanish--or who just want visuals--can enjoy the full movie.
So what was the winning name? It's a mystery for the ages. As this blogger says, "This car was widely shown and generated considerable publicity. Surprisingly, no one at S.C. Johnson & Son seems to remember the winning name to this day. 'I attempted to find out on numerous occasions during my career with Nash and American Motors -- writing the Johnson company and perusing newspapers and trade journals of the period,' says John A. Conde. 'Unfortunately, nothing turned up.'"
Please spend half a minute to contemplate the subtext of this imagery. A pagan housewife (prefiguring BEWITCHED?) performs black magic to seduce and beguile a priest, with hubby nowhere in sight. Happens in 1950s suburbia every Sunday.