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When I was 5 years old in Hong Kong, my father and I once went to buy some parts to fix my old Apple II. When we emerged from the subway station, we were greeted by a huge crowd in front of the computer shopping mall. Intrigued, we watched the spectacle.

A man was standing in the center, holding a huge 6 foot snake in his hand while people were shouting bids to buy parts of the snake (to make soup I presume). He gripped the snake right below the head, and it was hissing and writhing around enough to make me very nervous, because I managed to wriggle through to the front of the crowd.

It was like an auction. Bit by bit, the snakes were sold off to the highest bidder. My dad even bought a half foot of a rattlesnake, which I believe is pretty poisonous. Once they divided up all the snakes lengthwise, the snake peddler / auctioneer held up the first snake. It didn't look too pleased, whipping at the guy's legs for all its worth.

The guy then rolled back his tongue and bit the snake's head off, then spat it out to the side. The snake continued to whip around like crazy, then they proceeded to chop it up to order. The head was swept into the gutter. Nasty as it is, it was pretty fascinating to see this man continue to rip off the heads of various snakes with his teeth, some of the snakes being poisonous. I wonder if he has any holes in his tongue.

We had snake soup that night. I lost my appetite, and instead played Winter Games on the Apple II.

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