Readers' Submissions

Incountry #13



Rarely do I take a motorcycle taxi. I have this idea that the drivers all have a death wish that is accentuated by Ya Ba.

I had been in a taxi without AC stuck in Bangkok traffic. No beer, no cigarettes and sweltering heat for an hour was enough for me. I paid the meter and bounded out on the street to find a wired kid on a scooter.

We sped in and out of traffic and I finally closed my eyes and held on thinking the cool breeze from going 60 mph between grid locked autos would be my last pleasure in life.

Finally he made the turn to Soi Nana and as I was thinking I had it made when he started skidding on some discarded banana peels, rotting vegetables, parts of squid and a pair of leather ladyboy panties covered in KY jelly that had been thrown in the street.

The midget from Voodoo was coming to work and was directly in our line of flight because we were now airborne.

I could see the look of fear in her eyes as her short little legs tried to carry her out of danger. She ran into Pan from Rainbow 4 who was putting on her makeup, talking on her pink teddy bear cell phone and trying to pull the G string out of her behind all at the same time.

If the elephant had not been trying to grab a banana it would have been curtains for all of us. Luckily the elephant caught the brunt of the front wheel impact and sent us careening over the lady selling deep fried insects and we bounced off of the tattooed bicep of an SAS lad who didn’t seem to notice and we careened up one flight of the escalator that was not working into the arms of thirteen ladies who said I was a handsome man and must be in a great hurry to get into their bar.

Experiencing the first symptoms of shock I paid the motorcycle kid not out of a feeling of debt but in the same way I made an offering at the Wat.

Two ladyboys dragged me around the interior of Nana for the ten minutes it took me to gain complete consciousness slapping me with cold wet noodles and I ended up at the Cathouse.

I paid the 300 baht for the all you could drink happy hour knowing ten beers would be gone in ten minutes.

As I sat there I confided in an older gentleman with white long hair and a beard how fortunate I had been to avoid death. I knew because of his location he had watched my Evil Kinevel ride which had been the equivalent to jumping over 20 trucks on fire. He laughed. I was a little peeved at his reaction. I asked him point blank if he had not seen me almost die and why he thought it was funny.

He looked around to make sure we were not closely observed and replied to me in a whisper you died on May 10, 2005.

“You are quite mistaken, that is the date I arrived in Thailand.”

He just smiled and said, “I have told you too much already.”

I summoned the waitress and paid another 300 Baht for his happy hour fee and told him to drink up. A wide infectious grin spread on his face reminiscent of Santa Clause and he said, “they told me you were special.”

“Who told you?”

“The elders.”

“Who are the elders.”

He, on his fifth beer and was beginning to unwind like I had given him a week at Gitmo on truth serum.

“You are from the planet Tralfamadore.”

“You mean that place Vonnegut used to write about before he went PC?”

“Damn, I told them the memory wipe left many things to be desired. Yes some of the dieees still have vague memories of the mother planet.”

“What’s a dieee?”

“A person who has died and you don’t really have to be a brain trust to figure that one out. You don’t have to worry about dieing. You already died on May 10, 2005.”

“Ya, ya I know you already told me that but if I am dead why am I here enjoying life?”

“If the male members of the Tralfamadore society have lived exemplary lives are sent to heaven when they die. Thailand is male heaven of our planet? Well to be completely accurate there are different levels of heaven.”

“What does that mean?”

“If you have been moderately good you are sent to Bangkok. If you have been especially good you are sent to Chiang Mai and if you are a Saint you are sent to Pattaya.”

“Why is that?”

“In their wisdom the elders of Tralfamadore, like most people, genuinely like people who are moderately good and even like people who are especially good but they bear a small resentment to people who are Saints. There is certainly nothing that can be said in the negative about Saints but sometimes Saints are a little too much to bear.”

“Well that’s nice and all but why send them to Pattaya?”

“Simple, no one, not even a Saint stays a Saint in Pattaya for more than a few hours. The elders figure the Saints deserve a little fun too.”

“What happens to the people who are not good?”

“I shouldn’t discuss that.”

“What happens to the really bad people? I mean, is there anyone on Tralfamadore who was an Adolph Hitler?”

“Oh yes, there was, “Billy boy” he was the worst blackguard in the history of the planet.”

“My God what happened to him?”

“You don’t really want to know.”

“Yes I do, have another beer.”

The old gentleman’s eyes were beginning to wander as the bar girls filed in for the evening shift and I knew I only could hold his attention for a minute more. “Tell me where is Billy boy?”

“The elders married him to Hillary Clinton.”

“Oh my God, that would be fitting punishment for Hitler.”

“Worse than that, do you remember his secretary of state Madeline Albright? And for a fun night we arranged dinner with Margaret Thatcher.”

“Damn, you guys are rough.”

I looked down into the Nana courtyard to see if the midget had scored yet and when I turned back he was almost gone. All that remained of him was a fine mist of beer fumes. I asked the my last question of the fumes. Is she going to be President?

“No“, the air replied “not even Billy boy deserves that.”

I tried one more question as he turned into vapors, Where are the bad women from Trafalgamore sent?”

The heavens seemed to echo with a combination of thunder and laughter as a monsoon rain started to flicker the neon in Nana Plaza.

I looked down again and the midget was gone. The white haired gentleman was gone. I saw two matronly Caucasian women struggling with umbrellas while passing out leaflets about the dangers of the naughty life in Thailand.

I was left with a lot of questions and a few answers. Perhaps I will run into him again. But at least now you know. When you see an old Farang swilling large quantities of beer and whiskey, smoking a Cuban cigar with a 20 year old maiden from Isaan on his arm defying all the laws of nature and medical logic you will know. He is in the heaven of the planet Tralfamadore. He is not human and is not subject to the same laws of nature that effect you. Don’t try and imitate his behavior it could lead to serious injury.

Stickman's thoughts:

Like I have said before, you don't lead a boring life.