Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 175
• Intercontinental Pudong Shanghai
• Jiang Tian Hotel
• Novotel Atlantis Shanghai
• Pudong Shangri-La
THERE WAS AN AUTO ACCIDENT
Place: Blackdog Bakery, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts–USA
Season: Winter–Dec. 16
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Ken: Hi John, How are you doing?
Ken: Hey, seen my new boat?
John: Yeah, she looks nice–going yachting?
Ken: No, I'm gonna chase scallops. Bay scallop landings are up over last year–over 9000 bushels landed in the first two months of the season. My wife gave me some wool socks from Nepal, and I got a complete engine overhaul–I'm goin' scallopin'.
Ken: Yeah, Nepal man–these socks are about half an inch thick and so warm I have to put them on in the truck. If I put them on in the house my feet burst into flames. They are made from the testicle hairs on yaks.
Ken: Yaks man. Hey, it stands to reason. If you were a yak wandering around on Mount Everest with your private parts hanging down wouldn't you want the warmest hairs on your nuts? These Nepalese socks are made from yak testicle hairs. I mean when you have it explained to you it makes perfect sense.
John: Who told you this?
Ken: That guy Dana.
John: Well, you might want to consider the source on that. Dana's pilot light is on low and he couldn't find his feet with a flashlight. Last July at the Tisbury Agricultural Fair he tried to auction off mason jars full of his belly button lint to buy a prosthetic leg for his pet goose named Pogo.
Ken: Listen, John–could I ask you a question?
Ken: Well, yesterday I was fishing with my son down at Menemsha early in the morning and Dana showed up.
Ken: Well, nothing; it's just kind of pitiful is all. The old guy is all stooped, and bent up, and twisted, and half blind; and he has to creep and crawl around because of his age and infirmities.
John: Yeah, I know. I know him. We all know him.
Ken: Ok, well anyway: getting out of the car he kinda fell down, and we had to help him up. It was sad. He didn't say much. I think he expects to fall down. Then, stumbling across the beach to his boat he fell again. You talk about him not being able to find his feet with a flashlight. We put him in the boat and it took him two minutes to find the oarlocks with the oars. What gives with that guy? He shouldn't be anywhere near the water or messing around with boats.
John: What gives with him is that we all love that guy and we all look after him. Just keep on doing what you are doing. Keep an eye on him. He lead a life of love, and good deeds, and good thoughts, and sacrifice and now it is our turn to protect him.
Ken: What's his story?
John: Well, Dana and his wife and kids lived in Thailand. He and his wife had a two year old daughter, and a three year old daughter, and a four year old daughter. Looked like carbon copies of the wife. Cutest kids you could imagine. Big little girl heads, and Asian faces, and of course mom had their black hair sticking out and tied up with ribbons. Mom was pretty cute too. Dana was crazy about those girls. Said he had notified the United Nations that there was no longer any need for additional daughters to be born because the three cutest daughters in the history of the universe had been born to him and his wife. Family was a picture of happiness and love. Bonded. Mated in a primal familial way that defies description.
One day the wife and the daughters were driving home during the Songkran festival and there was an auto accident and all four of them were killed.
Ken: What's the Songkran Festival?
John: Well, what is used to be, and what it is supposed to be are no longer important. What is important now is what it has become. What it is now is a National Leaving of the Senses that has people throwing water and powder at each other.
Ken: How could throwing water cause auto accidents?
John: Imagine you are going by on a motorbike and somebody throws a bucket of water in your face. Do you suppose there might be the chance of losing control of your bike?
Ken: Oh yeah.
John: And if you are losing control of your vehicle do you suppose that might cause other drivers in other vehicles in close proximity to you to lose control of their vehicles?
John: Ok, that is what happened to Dana's wife and his three daughters. Somebody else had lost control of their vehicle and they crossed over into his wife's lane. The only good news is that Dana's wife named Poom and his daughters named Nut and Bom and Pawp died instantly.
Ken: Why does Thailand allow this?
John: Well, a better question would be when will it stop?
Ken: OK, when?
John: Well, probably not for a long while because now during the Songkran holidays people leave the country, or leave the big cites and go to more civil rural areas, or hide out in upscale hotels, or just hide out in their homes. So the upper class, and the middle class, and the expats practice defensive living and either leave the country or hide out. Royal family members, government heads, police chiefs, celebrities, and politicians are not going to be found at the morgue.
Ken: That just leaves the poor people and the tourists.
John: Bingo–and as long as it is the poor and the powerless that are getting killed on the Kingdom's highways nobody really cares.
Ken: So nothing will change with this national cultural Buddhist holiday until someone really important dies and that will probably not happen.
Ken: So what happened to Dana?
John: Well, after he went to the morgue to identify the bodies, and after he went through the funeral ceremonies with the monks, and after he scattered the ashes of his wife and his daughters; he kind of lost his bearings. He went to a faraway place in his mind. Eventually ended up back here.
John: Yes, it is sad but it also gives us an opportunity to show love. Keep an eye out for the guy.
Ken: So it is really a story about the Songkran festival?
John: No, it is a story about love.
His wife and daughters?