It's News Year's Eve, you're eating and drinking in Kyrgyzstan, and you want to make a dick joke, as one does after a few shots of fermented mare's milk.
If you venture down this seemingly benign road, just make sure that said dick joke doesn't involve a national dish, because it could land you in the big house, or, at the very least, get you deported from the country.
This is exactly what happened to Scotsman Michael McFeat after a New Year's Eve feast where chuchuk, a traditional Kyrgyzstan horse sausage, was being served. Chuchuk—like every other tubed meat on the planet—definitely has a phallic appearance, but, to be clear, is not actually a horse's penis.
But this didn't stop ol' Mike McFeat from going there. Not content cracking this joke to just his mess hall buddies, the Scottish miner took to Facebook to share his discerning analogy: "The Kyrgyz people queuing out of the door for there special delicacy the horses penis!!!," he mused.
Eventually, fellow miners caught wind of McFeat's off-colour Facebook post and were so offended that they held a brief strike at the mine, according to Russia Today, which also reported that the Kyrgyz miners even sent letters to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General's Office and the National Security Committee, "demanding that McFeat brought to justice for insulting their national dignity."
The gold mine, owned by Canadian mining company Centerra Gold, accounts for approximately 10 percent of Kyrgyzstan's economy, and it didn't take long before the authorities got involved.
Hours later, McFeat was arrested at the Manas airport, suspected of trying to flee the country, and eventually charged under the country's hate speech provisions. McFeat was looking at anywhere from three to five years in prison for making fun of Kyrgyzstan's national sausage dish.
Shortly thereafter, McFeat deleted the initial post and wrote an apology to the people of Kyrgyzstan on Facebook. "I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely appologise for the comment I made on here about the kygyz people and horse's penis," McFeat wrote. "I truly never meant to offened anyone and im truly sorry as it was never my intension. I would also like to say the people in the picture had absolutely nothing to do with it. again im very very sorry [sic]."
Luckily for the accused, the judge in this case was merciful and opted for deportation instead of jail time for McFeat, the BBC reported, showing that, once again, national dishes are no laughing matter.