Stickman Readers' Submissions May 26th, 2004

Cobra Encounters

Back in the good ole days beginning in 1975, I made several trips to LOS to escape my miserable existence in Saudi Arabia. At that time, the Nana was the place to be. My buddies and I always hired a car and driver 24/7 for about $20 per day. And we always had the same driver named Boonsong. He was a likeable guy, and would always go the extra mile to keep us entertained. Some of the best Thai meals that I have experienced were with Boonsong and 20 or so taxi driver friends of his. They would fill several tables with every Thai dish imaginable, and would never let us pay for our share.

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One day my brother, Boonsong, and I rented a long tail boat and were exploring klongs that were off the beaten track. We pulled up to a wooden pier to get a cold Singha or maybe an Amarit. The place had a couple outdoor tables and a friendly mamasan. We noticed a concrete pit a few yards from where we sat drinking our beer. We ask mamasan, what was in the pit. She said snake…you want to see. Sure.. Heck yeah!! Well she took her long stick, reached down in the pit and flipped one out on the grass a few feet away from us. She did her tricks of allowing the Cobra to rise up in the attack position, and she would reach around behind the Cobra, and smack the back of his head, and then laugh loudly.

We were enjoying her show, and then noticed another pit a few feet away. We ask “More Snakes? “. We walked over to the pit and it contained a single Mongoose. (Or according to Cent …Pang Pawn). We had read somewhere that a Mongoose would always win a fight with a Cobra. We said something to the effect, “It would be fun to see them fight!”. Mamasan says “Can Do!!“.

Well, the deal was you bought the snake for 100 Baht (about $5 at the time), and Mamasan would put the snake in the pit with the Mongoose, and the show would begin. My brother and I figured that one snake against the Mongoose was not a fair fight, so we ask if we can put two in the pit. “Can Do” .. says Mamasan.

The action begins, and the Mongoose positioned himself so that one snake was always behind the other one. He was lightning fast and knew all the right moves. In a couple minutes of very intense warfare, the Mongoose defeated the two Cobras.

Back on the long tail boat, we say to Boonsong… “Yeah.. too bad you couldn’t eat the snake after paying the $5. Boonsong says “Can Do!!”. He goes on to explain to us, that if you drink the blood of the Cobra, it will make you VERY strong, and you will have much Sanuk with your TGF. Well, we decided that while we were on the subject of snakes, why not!!

After driving into a remote area, we came upon an open air bar with a bit of a twist. There were wooden cages all along one wall filled with cobra. It was actually kinda of eerie, and I did not feel too comfortable, as I felt like there could a Cobra under the table or anywhere. There were no Farangs there except for my brother and myself.

After some discussion, we learned that we could have snake soup, or we could drink the blood straight or we could mix it with some Cognac. It was a bit much for me, but my brother stepped up to take his drink. He picked out the meanest looking Cobra in the bunch. They kill the snake, hang it up on a hook, and drain the blood into the drink, threw in the Cognac. Then of course, they cut the snakes heart out, and chopped it up and threw that in the drink.

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They set the drink in front of my brother, and he downed it in one gulp. We took our Singha and headed back to the hotel. My brother’s heart beat like crazy for a couple days, and he says it definitely did as Boonsong advertised. Who needs Viagra, when you can get Cobra blood!!

I was in Bangkok this year, and I ask a couple times about snakes, but got mostly blank looks. Anyone know if this sort of entertainment is still available in the LOS. Heck, I might muster up the courage on my next trip.

Stickman's thoughts:

I'm sure it is still available somewhere, but when it comes to snakes, I really do threaten breaking the 100m sprinting record. If I see a snake, I'm outta there!

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