I Ate A Pack of Dogs, A Flock of Crow But “Hold The Penis”

By John Francis  Carey
This one is timeless

Since I lived in China I have eaten dog.  But because I am a man, and a foolish one at that, I have eaten even more crow!

In China, my hosts took me to a very fine restaurant for a celebration. We had egg drop soup, lots of rice, some wonderful Chinese beer.  And during the meat course, one of my hosts announced that this is the best dog he ever had.

I felt like I had “Lassie” on my plate.   But only for a moment.

I had been inside China in a place where I was virtually the only (and the lonely) American for about two months when I realized, as the Chinese say, “I need to find my happy.” One of my Chinese friends actually said to me, “You lose your happy?”

So I did as I had done before in strange places, I set out to discover that there were wonderful people all around me.

My father taught me that, “Often in a new place or situation you’ll be terrified. When you get that feeling, dive in even further. Go native. Give up your inhibitions.”

Find your happy.

So that night, as I sliced and ate my Lassie, I asked a question about Chinese culture. Or two.

The first question was, “What kind of dog is the best dog?”

A gigantic discussion ensued among the Chinese.  Every man had an opinion on his favorite dog.  I figured I’d get an answer like, “The best dog is a poodle, grilled.” Or maybe “I like Basset Hound, stuffed with rice and baked.”

I didn’t get any answers like that.

The Most Honored Host proclaimed, “The best dog to eat is black dog.”

That’ll do-er.

Then I was fool enough to ask, “What is the strangest thing eaten in  China?”

Well, who from  China can tell? Nothing is strange to THEM. So I had to ask all kinds of probing questions about the various dishes and side dishes of Chinese cuisine.

I almost choked when one of my hosts raved about all the different kinds of Penis her Mom used to serve up. Ox penis, horse penis. “It make you strong,” she said.

A glass of deer penis juice amongst food on a table at the restaurant (Photo credit: Stefan Gates)

One of China’s famous penis eateries. Credit Rex Features


And they cook penis all kinds of ways. I kid you not.

Image result for china, penis restaurant, photos

My Vietnamese wife said she used to like it but you “can’t get good penis in America.”

A lot of women say that.

Recently the famed British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) sent the very stiff upper lip reporter Andrew Harding to the best little penis emporium inBeijing.  No fooling.

Image result for china, penis restaurant, photos

I’ve been there and the food is great.

But DO NOT go there until you have reached the “dive right in phase.”

And still, I can’t wait until I run into Harding and ask him, “Andrew, in Beijing, how was the penis?”

I digress.

The moral of this story is this: when living in a culture clash: dive right in.

I have now been with my Vietnamese wife so long that I will eat things out of the refrigerator without knowing what they are.

One morning I said to her, “That was great SPAM in the refrigerator. I ate it last night.”

She said there wasn’t any SPAM in the refrigerator. I decided not to ask what was missing.

One night I actually woke up at midnight and ate something in a plastic container even though I had no idea what it was. I didn’t care. Hunger, and diving right in, can do that to a man.

Now about eating crow.

When you screw up as often and as horribly as I do, you learn to eat crow. And this is a good thing for all of us to remember: Just apologize. Eat the crow and move on….

A version of this article appeared in The Washington Times…..


One of my friends with a Vietnamese wife has been acting so strangely that I asked my wife what is going on.

She said simply: “Vodoo.”

Asked: Is there a type of voodoo in Vietnam?

Answer:  “Apparently so.” (That’s the nice answer.) “YOU BETCHA!” is the other answer.

Many people in Vietnam believe that they can gain power by consuming certain animals. That’s why people (usually men) drink tiger wine – rice wine containing a tiger bone – and eat cat – cats are considered “little tigers”.

I went to the “pharmacist” at the Eden Center for instruction on this and the Old Ba (Grand Ma) always calls me “Darling Man.” Which is a nice way of saying “Moron White Guy.”

Here’s what I learned:

The more superstitious types believe in magic. For instance, a black dog (and it has to be totally black, even the tongue) can help repel ghosts. To use a dog to repel ghosts, you have to pour its blood around your house or garden or even bury a container of its blood, or its head, in your yard. Darling Man can tell you this is not very common, it’s just what he’s heard about.

Vietnam’s hill tribes, especially those near the Cambodian border, have the reputation of being the biggest practitioners of voodoo. There are stories about how the hill tribes have magic plants capable of eating live chickens and ducks. The tumeric-like bùa ngãi plant can be used to place bad luck curses on people. Another plant called bùa lẫu bang is said to be even more powerful. And that’s where Darling Man’s knowledge runs out. He helpfully says if you need to know more, you need to ask a “magic guy” from a hill tribe. Or go to Eden and find the pharmacist. Her name is Ba!

I’ve eaten dog and snake but hold the penis…..


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