Extracts From The Diary of Dr J A Earnshawe (Part 7)
A Police Cell, Bangkok. Thursday 24th March 2005
I couldn’t see. I had been kidnapped by some kind of crazy religious cult. I’d lost my trousers for the second day in a row. I was surrounded by hundreds of men – all in bed. Not connected to this last fact, I had a huge erection. Yet things weren’t that bad really – at least I’d managed to get my Friar Tuck outfit for this evening’s Fancy Dress Ball.
To my surprise, my escape presented little difficulty. I found that the door to the dormitory wasn’t even locked, and looking out across the lawn, I saw that the main gates remained wide open. For some reason security was very lax. I ran back and shook as many of my fellow prisoners as I could – but it was no good. As I urged them to join me in my escape, they either could not be roused or just stared at me in blankly. No doubt they had already been brain-washed into obedient zombies – unable to think for themselves and conditioned into complete helplessness. It made me only the more determined to get out now while my brain was still as sharp as a razor.
Within minutes, I was back out on the street and heading for the Skytrain. In contrast to my outbound journey, I was treated with the greatest of respect and kindness on my return. Many wais were presented to me, and, in spite of the crowds, I was not bustled around at all. Immediately upon entering the packed train someone sitting near the door jumped up and offered me their seat with a friendly smile.
But as I sat down, the strange arousal that began in the dormitory continued to reek havoc in the lower regions of my torso. Perhaps it was the friction of robe, perhaps the vibration of the train, or maybe a result of the pretty women that were standing close by – I didn’t really know it’s cause – but what was absolutely certain was that that people were now looking towards me with great curiosity as I tried discreetly to cover my embarrassment with my hands.
No matter how many ways I tried to distract myself, I just could not keep myself under control. I tried to think of something horrible and disgusting., but nothing seemed to work – not even the one that is usually most effective – the image of my dear sister Grissel. When I stood up at my stop I tried to grab the overhead hand rail, but the train lurched forward. I stretched out my arms to stop myself falling and suddenly exposed the enormous orange tent I had erected during the journey. My fellow passengers looked towards me in absolute horror. Many of those who didn’t appear to want to leave at that particular stop seemed to decide to hurry off, and equally as many who appeared to be ready to leave came running back on again as they saw me attempting to disembark. This rushing backwards and forwards of so many people caused great chaos, and I only just managed to get off the train before the automatic doors closed.
I found my best strategy was to walk a little hunched over so as not to show the disconcerting bulge so obviously. When I got to the shop where I had originally purchased the counterfeit ‘eyesight pills,’ I had built up so much anger that I quite forgot the excited state in my lower regions, and instead of crouching over, I walked up to the counter erectly and shouted in a firm clear voice, ‘THEY DO NOT WORK – THINGS DON’T APPEAR BIGGER.’ I pointed to my eyes, but of course, they had focussed at something a little lower down.
Imagine my surprise, when instead of apologising to me and refunding my money, the assistants simply gasped and ran out of the shop. I gave chase, but they hastily made off down the road, in the process flattening a poor gentleman who was walking towards them, before disappearing into the little brick shelter on the corner.
Instead of pursuing them further, I stopped to help the upended chap to his feet. He smelled rather strongly of alcohol, in fact he was holding on tightly to an empty glass with both hands, trying to drain the last invisible dregs It proved to be quite struggle to get him upright and even a greater struggle to maintain him in that position.
‘Strewth.’ he said.
‘Foreskin!’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s so good to see a friendly face at last!’
We spontaneously hugged one another. ‘Careful John mate, you really are pleased to see me,’ he remarked, looking down at my now permanently inflated appendage.
‘Joined a monastery ‘ave you – but still can’t help chasin’ the sheila’s I see?’
‘Yes, I was trapped in a religious order of some kind – but I escaped. I was only in pursuit of those ladies to try and obtain some satisfaction from them after they did not keep their promise, and I believe they were the cause of this.’ I discreetly indicated the engorged sceptre of my passion.
‘You know what they say when you get to our age mate, there are three golden rules: never trust a fart, never walk past a toilet, and never waste a stiffy. Anyway me old mate, where you off to now?’
‘I want to go to the Masquerade Ball in our hotel.’
‘Yes, I believe so, but I’m having problems seeing clearly at the moment.’
‘They say too much of what you get up to does make you go blind. I’ll take you to the Angels mate, might join you in ‘aving a sheila myself tonight. You couldn’t help me out with a couple of drinkin’ vouchers could ya? Purple ones if you can.’
‘Certainly, my dear Foreskin, but are you sure you haven’t had quite enough?’
‘An Aussie is always sure he hasn’t had enough mate.’
We made our way to the hotel. Foreskin had lost the use of his legs and I had lost the use of my eyes, but together we were a formidable team, and began to make steady progress. We occasionally fell to the ground, but made the best of our tumbles to take a rest and recover our energy. As a bonus, we found to our amusement that passers-by were throwing coins into the empty glass Foreskin clutched in front of him – treating us as though we were two beggars in the gutter. I believe we probably looked far less respectable than that.
Before long we got to the Hotel. Foreskin paid the doorman from the coins he had collected and then they ink-stamped his hand, but I was just given a respectful wai and beckoned to walk in for free. As I entered the semi-darkness, among the flashing coloured lights and din from the huge speakers blasting around me, I couldn’t see an inch in front of me. Slowly, as my eyes adjusted to the light, the first thing I encountered, immediately in front of me was Cummings and Walker, in ordinary casual dress, laughing at me like a couple of silly school boys.
‘Sorry old boy, I promise you that everyone did come in their Robin Hood outfits – but you’ll never guess what happened? The Sheriff of Nottingham came in! So obviously, we all disappeared quick and came back in disguise.’
Cummings didn’t appear to be very sorry at all. He had a lady on each of his knees and seemed in very high spirits.
‘The Sheriff of Nottingham?’ I said angrily.
‘It’s the absolute truth, isn’t it Walker?’
Walker was so inebriated he could hardly string a sentence together.
‘Itsh the absholute tooth man.’
Cummings looked around and then pointed to his left. ‘There the Sheriff at the bar – if you don’t believe me ask him – but just be careful he doesn’t grab you and stick you in the dungeon.’
The silly giggles of Cummings and Walker followed me to the bar where I could just make out a figure with a face that looked as if it had been carved out of mahogany, with emerald green eyes and gold teeth, wearing a cranberry red crocodile suit, Paloma Picasso jewellery, South of France grapevine brocade belt, tricorner pirate hat, crushed Bird of Paradise feather vest and clutching a Yves St Laurent cigarette holder and with petrified chicken testicles dangling from each.
‘Excuse me sir,’ I said to him, ‘by any chance are you the Sheriff of Nottingham?’
He said, ‘I am from the dark side of the Torndule galaxy in the fourth spiral of the Gorndorf nebula arm. My stay on Earth will be short but your name is on the list. The moment of our meeting in an altered state of immolation for you and time-space hiccup for me will be your moment of glory. You can not prepare for this, only accept. No need to wash my feet. Just follow the others. Don't worry that your public embarrassments and bleatings of the past will be held against you. Nothing will be held against you. Nothing you did in your tiresome mammalian sojourn on earth counted. You are now a part of me. And I am stardust. Just follow.’
‘So I take it that you are not the Sheriff of Nottingham then?’ I said.
‘So much to tell you, so little time. Note taking by you would eliminate repeat questions and honour us both.’
I went straight back to Cummings and bellowed. ‘You cad sir, you’ve played another katoey on me,’
‘That’s not Katoey – it’s an American.’
‘That is obvious, which means that I am the only idiot in this place in fancy dress. You played another katoey on me. Just like when I arrived here – you paid a person to go to my room and undress. Well I’m just not putting up with this humiliation any longer.’
Cummings could see the anger in my voice, and he wisely exchanged his mischievous attitude for a more placatory tone. ‘But what katoey was that old boy?’
‘You know very well Cummings,’ I said ‘The practical joke you played on me when I first arrived …’ my voice tailed off as I became aware of a remarkable coincidence. Among the crowd of people circling our group and enjoying the spectacle of our confrontation, was that very girl. It was definitely her; arms folded, and smiling towards us.’
‘That’s the one!’ I shouted, pointing directly at her, ‘That’s the katoey you sent to my room.’
Cummings looked round and slowly studied the girl with the his characteristic leer. ‘No,’ he said confidently, ‘I don’t believe this young lady could possibly be a katoey.’ Then addressing the girl directly he said,
‘This man is saying you are a katoey – that can’t be right, can it my dear?’
‘Him know I not katoey’ she replied, ‘he see me with no clothes on inside his bed.’
‘Really? Is that true Earnshawe?’ He asked, turning to me and grinning, then back again to the girl, addressing her in the patronising tone of a schoolmaster reprimanding a naughty pupil, ‘Surely not – not Dr Earnshawe! He would never do such a thing, what a wicked suggestion young lady!’
She looked confused and made no reply. Cummings then reached out and took her hand, drew her towards him and spoke to her in his friendly, seductive voice. ‘What’s your name my dear?’
‘My name Nok.’ she told him. ‘I little bird and fly away from big man because he do not want me. You ask him if it true. I want stay with him – but he run from me so I fly away.’
‘Is that true old boy. Did you let this poor little girl down so badly?’
I moved closer to her and asked, ‘Do you mean you weren’t paid to go up to my room by this man?’
‘No it not true I never see him before. I go with you to room because I think you want me go with you – and you a big hansom man for me. No one pay me to go with you.’
I was now so close to her that I could smell her perfume. I couldn’t help thinking how so very petite and beautiful she was. Her big brown eyes were dashed with tears of rage, and her scarlet lips quivered in pitiful anger.
For perhaps a split second nothing happened at all. Then suddenly the disco music stopped dead in mid chord. It was as if everyone in the room was waiting, holding their breath. Then, suddenly, the Last Post sounded, and Judgement Day came upon us. Bonfires burst out in all parts of the Empire. A great wind seemed to blow across the globe. At the same time I became aware of a sledge hammer striking at the back of my neck. Deep down in my abdomen, a fist rose up to punch me hard in the throat. My ears rang, my eyeballs rotated, and within my chest, a madman was performing triple back somersaults.
Just as I thought that I should to mention to my companions that they may need to call me an ambulance, everything suddenly became calm. The wind dropped. The music struck up again, and everyone began to behave as if nothing had happened.
Somewhere I could hear Cummings’ voice, ‘She’s really got the hots for you old boy.’
But I couldn’t respond. I was conscious of a great peace. A new life seemed to burgeon within me.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder. ‘Please sir – come reception – policeman – he want speak to you now.’
Foreskin helped me out to reception and every single person in the disco seemed to follow us, excited in the anticipation of what going to happen next. A number of brown suited gentleman, and the two ladies from the chemist, were waiting in the foyer of the hotel.
The most senior looking of the group addressed me directly, ‘Mr Earnshawe?’
‘Doctor.’ I said, correcting him at once.
‘No, I policeman, Mr Earnshawe. I come arrest you , for impersonating of monk and indecent sexually in pharmacy.’
Gasps rang out among the spectators. Then it went deathly quiet. ‘My God!’ I heard Cummings whisper.
I should have been devastated. But for some reason I just didn’t care. Nothing seemed real anymore.
‘This vely selious charge.’ the senior officer said gravely. ‘You go many years in plison. But if pay fine now to me – and compensation to ladies – then it all over, no ploblem.’
Foreskin whispered, ‘Everything’s going to be OK mate – just slip him a few brown drinkin’ vouchers and we’ll get right back to the party.’
‘Thank you for your kind advice Foreskin.’ I felt very humbled at that moment. There is no doubt that the Australian is a proud product of her Mother Country – perhaps a rough diamond at times – but endowed with a heart of gold.
Everyone was breaking out into smiles of relief and laughter. I heard Cummings call out, ‘If you need a couple of notes Earnshawe I’ll help you out.’
As for me, I knew what I had to do. There was really no decision to make. I turned to the senior officer and said firmly, ‘I understand what you are suggesting to me sir is nothing less than a bribe. I shall not pay you a single penny. I am an Englishman, and as an Englishman, I believe the law in our Empire will always be scrupulously administered. As long as those exist who have the absolute confidence and respect for the legal process, a man will always be innocent until it is proved otherwise in a court of law.’
The junior officers looked backwards and forwards to one another in bewilderment. In contrast, the half grin of the senior officer did not change throughout my address. He casually nodded towards his men, pointed to the side of his head, and said to them, ‘Phra Falang ting tong.’
Without any more exchanges between us, I was roughly put into handcuffs and marched briskly towards the waiting van. My audience, which had now swelled to hundreds, broke out into spontaneous cheering and applause as I was led away to my fate.
But there was still one last scene to be played out. Ahead, I saw the beautiful vision of little Nok, standing watching me in the doorway as I was led towards her. In an uncharacteristic fit of bravado, no doubt spurred on by my pitiful circumstances, I whispered to her as I passed; ’Meet me here tomorrow at 8.’
I turned just in time to see her nod before I was bundled into the back of the van.
Although I am presently confined in a police cell, now that I have met woman of my dreams my pleasure is unspeakable. It now only remains for me to wish that my future gratitude in good fortune will eventually exceed my present submission in adversity.
Anyway the beds are a lot softer in here than they were in that wretched monkery.
J A Earnshawe BSc PhD
This is a quite superb series, beautifully crafted.