The Balinese people are a sweet, kind, artistically inclined populace. They paint, sculpt, carve wood, dance, and mass produce thousands of colorfully decorated penises for the tourist trade. Yes I said penises. I cant say I know for sure the cultural or religious significance of these ubiquitous phallic symbols. Nor do I know why foreign visitors need so many cock shaped bottle openers in various sizes and colors but nevertheless they hang prominently and sometimes quite realistically in the stalls of many local venders throughout Bali. Maybe it’s a fertility thing or maybe like in Imperial Rome they’re just meant to ward off bad luck and counter the “evil eye”, Kinnehora! Either way it’s quite a startling sight seeing pasty white tourists in beachwear and lobster red middle-aged Aussies shlepping down the main streets of Benspasar carrying a bottle of sunscreen in one hand and a bag of Balinese wooden dicks in the other.
Of course, CaptCliff with his non-stop creativity, custom pipe craftsmanship and entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t help but see a business opportunity. I decided to engage in peace pipe alchemy and thus fill an existing opening in the art marketplace. I would turn lewd Balinese bottle openers into one-of-a kind smoking pipes for my growing peace pipe collection in Atlanta. While the other foreign tourists and hotel guests were being relentlessly accosted by street vendors to buy cheap novelty items and tourista crapola that they really don’t need at open stalls and markets, I would relentlessly accost the same Balinese vendors and sell them the Chinese made fidget spinners I bought for $5 at a Sandy Springs garage sale the week before. Mission accomplished for 12 zillion rupiah ($35) to the first Balinese stall vendor I spoke with! I told him they were “one-of-a-kind” American fidget spinners…even tho there were 6 of them all exactly the same and they said “Made in Hong Kong” on the bottom of each box. My Australian muse Debbie prefers the word “bamboozled” or “swindled” to “accosted” but whatever….Then I bought a sample pack of small Balinese bottle opener penises from the same guy including a much larger anatomically correct black wood penis which I made him throw in for free at the end to sweeten the deal. My idea was to take my bag of Balinese dicks back to the resort hotel and figure out how to extract the cheap but firmly installed metal bottle opener part off the balls/”berry” end of the twig and berries item without causing a catastrophic injury to the wooden shaft. Breaking the shaft would have been somewhat akin to what can and does occur occasionally when acrobatically-inclined young people engage in excessively vigorous sex acts including the notorious “reverse cowboy” sexual intercourse position. Being a sex therapist as well as a legendary artiste ( solely in my own mind) I know that penises don’t actually break in two but wooden reproductions very possibly could. Luckily this is not my first rodeo in either arena so I knew what had to be done. Plus I am also a vasectomy survivor who went through the surgical procedure many years ago and suffered no ill effects besides recurrent PTSD nightmares involving my testicles and somebody else’s ginormous Freudian landscaping shears. Unfortunately I hadn’t thought to bring any of my specialized wooden penis bottle opener extractors or Black and Decker power tools on vacation with me. On the other hand, the housekeeping staff at the hotel have a standard policy of always asking guests, “Is there anything I can do to help you, sir?” I admit to hesitating for only about three seconds and then “plunging in” so to speak. The irony and “bent” humor of having a sweet earnest young man and innocent Balinese housekeeper named Saran fetch a pair of pliers and do battle with the metal end of a large black wood dick in front of the resort swimming pool and health spa was almost too much for me… so of course I filmed the whole thing for, well, posterity.
Here it is: