Sunday, July 20, 2008


Quick. How many balls are in the jar?


It's a tiger phallus.

We're not in a museum. And the clear liquid is not formaldehyde. We're in a country shop near the Mekong River, and the preservative is good old ethanol. The Thais call this stuff "yadong"...local distilled alcohol (usually from sticky rice) plus, say, a snake, a venomous centipede, herbs, whatever.

Presumably, a sip is supposed to do your sex life good. Being scientifically-minded, I put this theory to the test. The results came out negative. Given the rarity of this particular item, who knows how long ago that phallus had been separated from its owner? After untold dilutions that would make a homeopath proud, one can only speculate on how many tiger molecules actually flit about in a shot glass.

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