Shorty sees attractive female. Shorty's "desk-top commences to slowly lift"? Er, there's only one way to take that (...but I thought he was "Shorty"...!)
...ohhh, THAT kind of, ahem, "snake". And, ah, he was "scared stiff", rather than "aroused stiff". I get it now. Makes sense.
(From Slam Bradley -- "The Merrivale Mystery", Detective Comics #25, cover date March 1939 -- which, of course, was two issues before the debut of Batman!)
(No, I certainly don't own this issue, nor any Golden Age comic, at present. Images obtained online.)