–Story – Deep-Fried Dog’s Penis

Deep Fried Dog’s Penis

Years ago, when I still traveled extensively for the government, I made many trips to China.  It’s one of my favorite places.  Every city I went to was so dramatically different from every other city I’d been to.  The people were always happy, involved in their lives, always willing to share their joy and exuberance.  I never had much of a language barrier, but that was likely due to the fact that I nearly always had good translators, and many of the local people could speak a little English.

The best part of the experience for me was the shopping.  Not shopping at the big, ultra-modern malls, or even the larger supermarkets.  I loved going to the corner markets, or the outdoor stalls and talking with the owners and workers and getting a sense of what was there and what was valued.  The best part was always the food.  I love Chinese food, or as they call it, dinner.  A love for Chinese food started early and stayed strong.  I have never eaten anything bad in China.  That’s not true for all my coworkers though.

I was on a trip to China, and I don’t even remember what city.  One of the people I would be training met me at the airport and drove me to my hotel.  We struck an instant friendship during the short ride.

Over the next few days, I was busy setting up the training area, finding out what the students needed and wanted to learn, learning what the managers wanted their employees to learn, and blending that with what I needed to make sure the people learned before I left in a few weeks.  Like any job, the first few days was pure paperwork.  My manager friend always made certain that I took a break for lunch, although he didn’t usually.  One day, he poked his head into the training space as I was checking things out to be certain it would work the way I needed.

“Busy?” he asked.

I shook my head. “Not really.  Just final check of the computers.  What’s up?”

“Since it’s Friday, a group is going to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch.  Want to join us?”

“Sure, what time?”

“About fifteen minutes.  We’re going to walk over.”

The restaurant wasn’t far and I got a kick out of walking through the various neighborhoods.  Once seated, it was obvious the staff knew the group and treated them well.  The table was a large round one with seating for all of us and more.  A large lazy-Susan covered the center of the table leaving room at the edges for our plates, chopsticks, and glasses.

“Here’s what happens,” my friend said to me.  “We’ll order several things that are popular and they put them in the center.  We move the lazy-Susan around and you help yourself to whatever you like.  As the bowls are emptied, the staff will bring more.  You’ll have a small bowl of rice of your own by your plate and they’ll fill those as you empty them, too.  What would you like to drink?”

Fairly quickly, several small bowl were placed onto the turntable and we were all enjoying various delicious foods.  I was introduced to Chinese Watercress which turned into my favorite food of that trip.  Actually, it’s one of my favorite vegetables ever.  It’s a leafy green plant with a mildly peppery taste.  It grows in long stalks.  After it’s washed, it’s roughly chopped and sautéed in oil and garlic.  Tastes GREAT!  There was also a really good chicken dish in a savory sauce that was extremely popular.

“Hey!  Do you know P—-?” my friend asked suddenly.

I did.  He was not a very popular person on our team for various reasons.  The nicest description of him is he’s just a great big ole goofball.

At my nod, my friend continued. “He was here during the last trip two years ago.  We brought the whole team here.  See that chicken?  He scarfed down about four bowl of the stuff.  No one else got any.”

I nodded, not surprised. “Yeah, I’ve seen him eat a pound of fried bacon without batting an eye.”

My friend grinned.  “Well, he made several people unhappy at the way he was acting.  He actually would take the bowl off the turntable, dump it on his plate, and put the empty bowl back.  At the end of his fourth bowl, he asked what it was.”

I got suspicious at my friend’s grin.  “And?”

“One of the other manger’s looked over and said, Oh, that’s deep-fried dog’s penis in garlic sauce.”

I almost snorted water through my nose.  “You’re kidding, right?  What did he do?”

“He stopped eating.  Wouldn’t touch another bite.  I thought maybe he was going to be sick.  No one else batted an eyelash, just let him think it was true.”

I could only imagine how perturbed everyone had to be to allow the joke to continue like that.  I shook my head, chuckling softly.

“He ate at KFC for the rest of the trip.  Every meal, every time.  Turned down all offers to go to any other restaurants.”  My friend said it very blandly, but I couldn’t help myself and laughed loudly.

Several months later, during the Winter Holiday season, all the travelers were back in the office and it was crowded.  I was sitting in the break room editing a software manual the team was writing for one of the new packages when I heard P—- walk in talking to some newly hired employees.  He was “schooling” them in the pitfalls of international travel.

“You have to be very careful what you’re eating overseas, too.  You may not believe this, but one time in China they actually fed me deep-fried dog penis.”

I smiled as everyone “oohed” and groaned.  Then I said, “P—, it was just chicken in garlic sauce.”

“Oh, no,” he replied, “You weren’t there.  You don’t know what it was.”

“I was on the next trip.” I said.  “They told me all about it.  It was chicken.”

“No, no, no,” he said softly, disagreeing with me.

“Well, whatever, you must have enjoyed it.  You had four bowls.”

I looked back at the manual I was working on as the entire break room roared with laughter.  I was already planning what I would tell my friend when I emailed him the next morning.

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