Tipping The Scales
An exotic species of cobra shows up in Seattle and begins to infest. Hoping to make a bid to become a city councilman later in the year, Frasier uses his radio show to announce a “bounty” of one dollar for every dead cobra that citizens bring in to KACL. Hearing this, Martin quickly schemes to start actually breeding the pests in his bathroom as a steady source of income. Daphne soon stumbles upon the dangerous nest while cleaning, and after harshly berating Martin for nearly getting her bitten, she asks to get in on the action.
The two move the amateur hatchery into a larger space in the dank Elliott Bay Towers boiler room, bribing Tony the maintenance man for discreet access. Tony soon steals several eggs to set up his own brood of snakes at home, using the bounty to pay off gambling debts to his brutal bookie, who extorts Tony to learn the source of his sudden influx of cash, then goes into the reptile business for himself. Eventually, dozens of Seattlites are breeding, killing, and turning in their own dead snakes to KACL, forcing Frasier to pay thousands out of pocket without any actual reduction in the cobra population or boon to his reputation as a civic problem-solver.
Niles meanwhile is thrilled to take on a wave of new patients suffering from crippling ophidiophobia due to the pandemic, but listening to the endless stories of finding cobras in everyday places soon starts to take a toll on his own psyche, leaving him in a state of rigid paranoia until he ultimately purchases an expensive pet mongoose which lays waste to his office without finding a single snake. Caging the animal to bring it back to the breeder in disgust, Niles opens the trunk of his Mercedes and is sprung upon by a writhing curtain of fully grown cobras, collapsing in gaping horror while the mongoose watches safely from inside its cage.
When Frasier eventually gets wind of the out-of-control hatching scam and publicly cancels his bounty, the many amateur breeders throughout town empty their makeshift pens of the now-worthless serpents, leading to a city-wide infestation far worse than before his campaign. It later comes to light that the initial clutch of snakes arrived in Seattle on a mercantile ship of exotic teakwood furniture that Frasier himself ordered.