Don't ask what he's drinking
This story comes with an explicit advisory: anyone with a sense of seemliness please, please don't read on.
Okay. You were warned.
There's an old saying about being immature, stupid and... Well that's how Blenheim man Anthony Walsh described himself at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival on Saturday after downing a shot of stallion protein. That's fancy talk for horse semen.
The event has gained notoriety over the last two years after it started offering shots of the good stuff to festival-goers and surprisingly the stall has become one of the most popular.
Not everyone is willing to cough up $10 for the pleasure but plenty are willing to watch others take one for the team.
Particularly game party-goers can kneel and have a syringe of protein shot blasted into their mouth and face.
Even the mayor of Hokitika, Maureen Pugh, didn't shy away from the stallion juice.
Mr Walsh, a vineyard worker in Blenheim, was attending his third Hokitika Wildfoods Festival on Saturday.
The protein shot was definitely the craziest thing yet, the 24-year-old said.
"I don't like calling it horse semen. I just call it milkshake because that's what it tastes like."
Mr Walsh, originally from Palmerston North, hadn't planned on trying the equestrian smoothie, he said.
"It was a blend of people urging me to do it and the girls I was with paying for it. Then the guy [stall holder] said `take a knee' so I did."
The taste wasn't that bad, he said. "I thought it would be creamy and curdled. The grossest part was it hitting me in the face."
The stall had a microscope so punters could see the live semen, he said.
"I didn't look in," he said. "That would have freaked me out."
The 23rd Wildfoods Festival had other delicacies on offer, including mountain oysters (sheep's testicles), live huhu grubs and grasshoppers.
That's where Mr Walsh draws the line.
"I can't eat live things," he said. "Although I suppose the protein shot is live. The food is a drawcard for some people but I mainly go for the social event."
Mr Walsh, who convinced two friends from the North Island to attend, said they might go again next year.
"They couldn't get over how friendly everybody was and all the different costumes."
About 12,000 people attended this year's instalment, which saw the festival host its first wedding. A Christchurch couple tied the knot in the main tent.
Pugh described the event as Hokitika's version of the Rugby Sevens – although event manager Mike Keenan said Hokitika came first.
Mr Keenan hadn't tried the stallion protein shot, he said.
"They don't pay me enough."
- The Marlborough Express
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