There are many things that make me very happy to be a heathen atheist – celibacy, promise rings, creationism, the Westboro Baptist Church and the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. I did a post a while ago about this insane procession of devotees to the Chinese Nine Emperor Gods that happens in Phuket, Thailand every year. Medical staff stand by to pierce a devotee’s cheeks with what looks like an ice pick, and also looks very painful (see the video below), before stuffing the subsequent hole with whatever crazy shit they brought with them in order to please the gods – an AK, swords, wrenches, hubcaps, dominos and the list goes on. And then there are the guys who lick axes and swords so that they bleed all over themselves, and the guys who wrap their naked torsos in barbed wire. It’s funny that I can handle giving birth, with all the hours of blood and pain that entails, but looking at these pictures and watching the video of the actual piercing makes my fucking skin crawl!