Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 209

  • Written by Dana
  • May 16th, 2009
  • 8 min read


BIG BERTHA

Greetings and attention Stickman dudes:

Dana here from Dana Central with a little confession to make. Not a big confession. It is not like I have committed a big crime or anything, but I am a stickler for total honesty and lately I have not been 150% honest. To wit: you would have noticed if you had flim flammed my modem, or back tracked my server signals, or been deleting the Ipodian confluence that for the last seven months my dispatches to the Internet have not been coming from Boston.

That's right slack jawed readers: a new day has dawned. Yes newbies and genital rash heroes: the luck of the stupid and geography have combined in happy serendipitous copulatory historical pleasure to give me one more stab at manly dignity before I die. You guessed it. My dispatches have been emanating from the KOL (Kingdom of Love).


More specifically, they have been coming from the heart of Bangkok. That's right Kingdom kats and KOL kittens, I won the Massachusetts lottery seven months ago, and got out of the States faster than prunes leave an old lady. What have I been doing? Gettin' situated that's what. I bought a wall enclosed property on one of those side sois up near Washington Square and then brought in three hundred Portuguese and Algerian workers from old Aramco contracts near Jeddha.

After that it was just engineered drawings, leasing heavy equipment, foreman meetings, and the dispatching with extreme prejudice of any Thais wearing uniforms, or sneers, or badges, or holding clipboards.


First order of business? We bulldozed the existing house, bulldozed the surrounding wall, leveled the ground, and hauled the trash. Then we set up toilets, food and drink vendors, perimeter security, and an air conditioned contractor office with a communications center. The ground was then criss cross ploughed; filled with jellied gasoline, and set on fire. Any flip floppers that survived were killed by village kids with crude but heavy striking tools. Really productive urban urchins were rewarded with ice cream cones and imported wrist rockets. I hate snakes.


Then the fun stuff. The first to go up was the exterior wall. Twelve feet high and of standard cinder block construction with steel tiger spikes on top. At a distance of fifteen feet there was a second wall constructed inside the first wall. Identical construction and wall top spikes except I had the spikes on the second wall painted black so that from the house it looks like decorative iron work instead of flesh slicing and flesh impaling metal. So the property perimeter was seventy five yards on a side with two identical twelve foot walls one inside the other and each topped with cutting edges.


In between the two walls? Concertina wire. Rolls of it. Rolls of concertina style razor wire. Sweet Jesus on a cracker I do not know what gives me more pleasure; making love to my teeruk or dreaming about my rolls and rolls and thousands and thousands of feet of sun glinty flesh cutting razor wire.

What if some Thai punk manages to get over both walls and inside the property? Get serious. That is like asking me if I am going to be six feet tall tomorrow. It is not going to happen. However, caution is the wise man's companion so I have one and two foot high trip wires that run at the base of the inside wall in the lawn; as well as vibration ground alarms, and motion alarm beams. If anything is triggered it better be by a falling leaf; anyone else is liable to be making the acquaintance of Big Bertha.


Now the house. It is a three story hacienda style house one hundred feet on a side. Because it is a hacienda design the center of the house plot plan is empty. That's right; open courtyard and open roof. Can you feel the excitement? That is where I have Big Bertha. Custom designed and built in England: then broken down into pieces and imported to the Kingdom as invoice described construction equipment; it is a huge trebuchet. Trebuchet is a French (fxxx the French) word for catapult, one of those Medieval military siege machines that could throw big rocks at castle walls. Big Bertha can throw up to three hundred pounds completely out of the soi. And I mean completely out of the soi in arcing shots of space program wonder. She's no dribbler, she's a shooter.


None of the neighbors, or the construction workers, or my girlfriend(s), or any delivery people have ever seen it work. No one has the slightest idea what it is. I have it painted yellow and silver and black and covered with flags and ribbons and bits of aluminum foil and little mirrors and other 60's America art happening junk. If anyone asks I tell them it is a work of modern sculpture from America. All farangs are crazy so this makes complete unchallenged sense to the Thais. I let the girlfriend hang the wash on it, I let the neighbor kids climb it, and I have orchids and ivy all over it.


"Nothing disguises like familiarity." – Chinese general One Hung Low.


Have I used it yet? Yes I have. Twice. Twice my teeruk has been surprised to have me give her an envelope with ten thousand baht and suggest that now would be a good time for her to take a trip to her village for a few days. Then it was just gut wrenching work. The first time I found two bodies between the walls caught up in the concertina wire, and the second time a nightly inspection had found one thief impaled on the spikes of the inside wall. He had tried to roll over using the mattress trick but it did not work. The spikes went right through the mattress and right through him.


Honk if you love anti human being technology. Some Thais have an economic theory regarding redistribution of wealth that includes taking money and property from foreigners and giving it to themselves. I do not subscribe to that economic theory. My economic theory is more Hobbsian in nature. To wit: life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish," etc. and what is mine is mine. Try and take my money, and my property, and my peace of mind from me. Go ahead. Try.


Anyway, a kitchen knife duct taped to a broom handle stopped the various moanings and then the hard work began. I have a gantry crane that runs along the tops of the walls and all of the necessary wire cutting and wire handling equipment, but still it is close hot work with little room for error. Concertina wire is a little like a Pattaya boulevard cruiser. It just loves everybody, and would love to hook up with whomever is closest. In addition: I have a myocardial infarction on the posterior of my heart, sub par ejection fraction, occluded arteries, and problems from the waist down with my feet, ankles, legs and knees. So recovering, and transferring, and installing the bodies in the water buffalo leather throwing pouch on Big Bertha's fifty foot oak throwing arm was just really hard hard work. Hey, I am supposed to be retired.


Funny note: the guys in England who designed and built the Medieval throwing machine made up a little bronze plaque they affixed to the greenheart crossbeam that says:


"Big Bertha's My Name,
Karma Delivery Is My Game."


Anyway, the trebuchet counter weight attached to the throwing arm is of so many tens of thousands of pounds that there is no way I can hand crank it down with a winch. So I simply hook the wire up to the front of the truck and back it across the lawn until something squeals. Then I apply the parking brake, put chocks under the wheels, and start for the house. It is kind of a nervous walk across the lawn, and believe me when I tell you I stay away from the wire. The car is making awkward spooky sounds as it lunges against the wheel chocks, and the wire is vibrating like a piano wire that has just been struck with a tuning fork. In fact the potential energy in the wire must throw out a frequency of sound I can not hear because every time I do this the dogs all around the perimeter wall in the neighborhood start barking and whining and wailing and woofing and jumping against the wall.

Anyway, the next step is to transfer the wire tension from the car to the trigger pin. And "PULL". Thai punks who had no respect for me, and felt that they had a right to terror and plunder, leave the center of the house like projectile vomit leaving a rugby fan. I tell ya; the explosive force of the machine followed by the retributive arc of flying dead scum makes your heart sing. I am retired to the Land of Smiles and nothing makes me smile more than to spend the night removing a body from concertina wire or spikes and sending it on it's karma way. God I love Thailand.


So if you are wandering about one night near my house or one soi over in any direction by yourself, or in the company of friends, or with your arm around one of God's mistresses, or with your elderly parents who have flown in to sample exotic smiling Siam; and all of a sudden a silent blood spraying body goes flailing by, or streaking over, or smashes through a plate glass window: it's me throwing out the trash. I'm up and I'm happy and I'm really really tired. Come on by and we'll have a drink. I'm retired to Thailand. I love it here.


Sincerely yours,
Dana (aka "PULL")

P.S. — If you do come by one night for a drink ask for my latest drink invention: the Bangkok Throw. It is similar to the Singapore Sling only with a few drops of blood on top.



Stickman's thoughts:

It's nice to see 'the Dana of old' well and truly back.