Stories From The Pong
Friday night I was in "The Thai Room" restaurant having dinner with my teeruk when I noticed 4 burly teenagers outside the restaurant. Do to my many years of police duty they immediately caught my attention as possible troublemakers. They put their heads together and had a hushed conference while pointing at the Thai lady that sells shirts and silver earrings along side the Pharmacy. While waiting for my bill and being suspicious already I was keeping a watch on them when they all moved in front of the lady vendor. If dawned on me that I was watching a classic "distract the vendor" con game going down right in front of my eyes. While three of them pulled out a piece of paper and crowded around the helpless little Thai lady ,who was sitting down, the forth one of them moved behind the others toward her display of silver and earrings. While three of them were talking loudly and waving their arms around in front of the frightened vendor, blocking her view, the forth one, that she could not see, began fingering her display of earrings and I thought he was going to grab some, but he spotted her cigar box that she kept cash in to make change that was on top of her display table. The forth one quickly looked left and right and quick as a flash he took her money from the cigar box and stuffed it up his shirt front. Forgetting where I was, that I wasn't a cop anymore, and there were 4 big guys to contend with, I jumped out of my seat and was out the door before thinking about it. I grabbed the thief by has arm and grabbed the money out of the front of his shirt. They all started yelling and making a commotion and it turns out they were Russians so I gave them a couple of "Yab Vas" (Russian for F… You) that caught their attention and they must have thought how on earth did they run into a Russian cop "On the pong". The thief was yelling that it was his money and I told him "bullshit" I watched the whole incident from right over there and he went a slight pale green and started trying to pull away from my grip. By this time with all the commotion and as is normal "on the pong" a crowd of Thai by-standers had gathered. Finally realizing the situation I had found myself in and not wanting to spend the rest of the evening at the cop house I devised a plan to give these Russian thieves a lesson in Thai justice….. so I pointed at them and yelled in Thai to the gathering crowd that these 4 Russian jerks were thieves and had stolen this vendors money. The second hand on my watch swept around for a couple seconds when one of the by-standers yelled "hit the Kamoy" and all hell broke out. These Russian thieves were about to get a lesson in "Thai pack mentality". Now the Russians where well built youths but they were no match for the howling pack of bouncers, doormen and other people just there for the fun of pouncing on some farang kamoys. The last I saw of the thieves they were running down "the pong II" making the turn at the corner bar with a pack of Thais chasing them. I gave the vendor back her money and advised her that it might be a good idea to keep her cigar box under the table or better yet keep her money in her pockets. I was glad to think that this time the "pack of doormen kicking farang" were doing it for a good reason this time and that some Russian jerks will think twice about stealing "while on the pong".
Early Friday evening July 4th one of the electrical boxes that loads of vendors on "The Pong" connect into for their electricity caught fire. The resulting fire produced clouds of black smoke and a nice sparking electricity show. It went out on it's own but caused a minor panic among the nearby vendors. Panicked vendors pleaded with employees of "Derby King" a restaurant next to where the box was located to use the restaurant's fire extinguisher on the fire but employees refused because "If we use it we will have to pay to have it refilled". Talk about being stupid, they were just lucky the fire went out on it's own and did not spread to the restaurant because if it did it would have been too large a fire to put out with "Their" extinguisher. So just a word of wise to check your favorite watering hole and see if it has a rear exit and if it is like most and does not have a rear exit it might be a good idea to change your favorite seat to one near the front door.
Wow, with all of this excitement I had better get back down to the Pong some time soon.