It was probably inevitable. When there is money to be made in China, strike while the iron is still hot.
No sooner had the video segment of intrepid Chinese reporter Ye Yunfeng and an entire Chinese village mistaking a soft rubber, double-ended sex toy for a mystical taisui mushroom gone viral around the world did a cellphone video appear of a street hawker attempting to sell the same sex toy as the magic mushroom.
This new video, apparently uploaded Wednesday onto the Chinese video-sharing site 56.com, shows a street cleaner – probably moonlighting as hawker – sitting next to a makeshift spread of sex toys on an unidentified city sidewalk.
The man is trying to pass the rubber sex toys as taisui mushrooms – the fungus of legend that the First Emperor of China so desperately sought as a longevity drug.
Ever the salesman, the hawker even has printed literature for his prospective customers, introducing the health benefits of the mushrooms along with Ye Yunfeng’s original viral-status “Xi’an Up Close” TV segment playing on loop on his portable DVD player.
To top it off, his asking price for these soiled sex-toys-posing-as-path-to-longevity? The equivalent of $2,800.
“It’s on the news. How can it be fake?” the hawker snapped back without a hint of irony when asked by the crowd how the mushrooms could be real.
One has to admire his audacity. He’s even got extras taisuis floating in a bucket of water next to him. You know, to keep them fresh.