Loaded in Issue #13 October 12, 2013
Call me Cynical
Editor’s Note: My office was inundated with complaints about last month’s piece “Why your Thai wife married you, By Dr. I.B. Diagnostic. One complainant called the rant cynical… and the other said it was filled with cynicism. These two complaints alarmed our editorial staff for two reasons… first we weren’t sure if two complaints was the sum of our readership and second the complaints came from two men who speak English as a second language… We Americans, well some of us, can appreciate the effort it takes to grovel around in text books to learn a second language just so you can communicate with a neighbor but twenty miles away in Belgium or a neighbor one hundred miles away in Germany. That takes some effort…. So to our way of thinking we were most impressed because we know that a man who bothers to make a complaint in a language he was not born to speak is the same man who has a serious complaint… not that we really care how mad he got but the fear of losing our total readership of two persons sprung us to action. We went looking for the cynical author; Doctor I. B. Agnostic, with an ambition to change his attitude in any new rants written in reference to matrimony.
We did find him and as much as I would like to say we found him after a long arduous search that included subpoenaing our own National Security Agency for his address and a possible list of his last twenty emails, I cannot. We found Doctor Agnostic sitting in the same computer Café as we and at a laptop within the environment of our own editorial staff. He was drinking our coffee. (He was that close… a silly reminder that he is our editorial staff.)
It was simple for the rest of us to lean to the right to a position front and center of his screen and to see for ourselves that the Doctor was at that moment frantically pulling from his word inventory every metaphor, adjective, noun and pronoun available for use on a new rant intended to lift him back into our favor. He had somehow learned we were looking for him and that we were most anxious to hang his head from a lamppost for the crime of Cynicism.
Please accept as voluntary the following recant from the good Doctor I.B. Agnostic.
My last month’s Rant entitled: “Why your Thai wife married you” was a bit cynical for sure, especially when compared to my earlier works where humor reined supreme. If I may offer as a feeble excuse the following statement that you may quote. “Cynicism must surely follow humor when humor simply reports one folly after another but makes no amends to correct for bad behavior. “ I have no idea what that means but am most concerned that it sounds profound.
As a rejoinder I continue, I am making every effort to recover my humour and to that end I am going this afternoon where it has been reported that all the girls are at this very moment very beautiful, are buying drinks for all farangs; ugly or not, and they are reportedly littering the highway with cash.
I leave you with the following contribution: a rant of fiction that I wrote moments ago in an effort to redeem myself.
561, 558, 561, 565
Loaded in Issue #13 October 12, 2013
My Buddy the Incarcerated Monk
By Dr. I.B. Agnostic
One morning I heard from my wife that my good Thai friend had been remanded to the village temple. Not understanding the particulars I drove to the village to find out what happened to my friend.
I found him out back of the temple in a little garden of sorts. I almost didn’t recognize him when I peeked around back in the direction of the frolicking noises. He was looking every bit the monk; dressed and shaved for the role. He smiled at me and waved me over.
We spent the morning together. It took that long for me to pantomime, slur my Thai and for him to understand my attempts to speak his language but finally I understood what had happened.
It had all started the day before when he got so mad at his sixteen year old daughter that he decided to kill her right there and then. He dashed upstairs for his gun while his daughter ran out of the house. With his revolver in hand he gave chase trying to load at the same time. He said he dropped a few bullets before he got one in the cylinder and then because the gun was so rusted it wouldn’t fire. His daughter made good her escape.
The village monks heard about my friend’s anger and remanded him to the temple for a cooling off period and here he was. I wasn’t sure how a monk can insist that a villager become a monk but that was not for me to decide. I would try to understand.
That’s why I kept tabs on my buddy and made several trips back to the village to check on him during his six months of incarceration…. And then I understood.
Monks walk barefooted out of the temple early each morning and into the village where they beg for their food. The villagers who chose to participate take their donations of food directly from their stoves to the street where they place portions into the monk’s beggar bowl. After walking through the village the Monks return to the temple where they eat from the beggar bowl before giving what they have left to real beggars who are visiting the temple. If a monk eats everything from this bowl there will be nothing left for the beggars.
My friend did not have to beg for his food. In his case the monks insisted that his wife cook the family meal at home and bring it to the temple where she was expected to present the dinner to her husband. Then she had to watch while her husband ate his fill before giving her what was left and she in turn gave what was left to the beggars.
As a new student to these ways I was uncomfortable until I saw the affect it had on the family…Husband and wife became close again as was the monks plan.
I haven’t seen the daughter since but I learned she was walking the straight and narrow at a safe distance.
521 Words 536, 528, 547, 536, 544, 527, 515
Posted on #13
Food for Thought European Papaya Salad
By Yu Tensil
What if Papayas grew naturally in Germany? Would the Germans spread mats on the floor and sit around stuffing sliced and diced papaya salad between their teeth whilst crying happy tears?
What if the Papayas grew in Germany and the Chili grew only in France alongside grapes. What would happen next? Would the Germans like the French? Would the Germans stop making automobiles?
67 words 68
In the Western world food such as eggs, toast and sausage hint of breakfast. Lunch is most often a sandwich with fries and dinner can led off with an appetizer and wine leading into a roast with potatoes and gravy, beans, salad and a nice sweet desert. A person can pretty well tell what time it is by what he and his friends are eating….
What time is it when your wife is eating Papaya salad?
I have been wondering why my wife went to the trouble of learning English. Before she spoke English I was always assured of the same answer to any question. Now that she speaks English I can ask any question and am assured of the same answer in English, “It’s up to you.”
Fluent is fluent
Contributed by Brevard Butterlips
Sometimes if I listen carefully I can understand a Scotsman or a Welshman if he speaks slowly. I can understand London English, German English, Dutch, French, Swedish and Norwegian English. I can even understand a Thai who proudly uses their English on me and I have noticed that Thais can understand all the English’s spoken to them from all over the world…. But when I attempt to speak Thai none of my Thai listeners have the foggiest. Why is that?
I almost ran off the road. I had come up behind a school bus on a small country road. It was raining and because I couldn’t pass I took the time to look around and that is when I saw the kids on the roof! I hadn’t noticed them until one of the kids stood up and walked from the outside edge of the roof toward the front where he sat down next to what I imagined was his friend. I was amazed and went for my camera but almost drove off the road a second time. I decided to relax and to enjoy driving in the rain.
I noticed that no girls were on the roof. They were tucked in nice and dry on seats designed for that purpose. The bus wasn’t going more about 40 kilometers an hour. The road was straight and level. I was impressed in two major ways.
The boys seemed oblivious to the rain and they moved with a grace and confidence I have only seen in gymnasts back home and the driver was making twice the income by loading the boys on top.
214 Words 193
By Bobby Gravely
Funerals back home are too expensive for me. I don’t like to spend money when I can’t see the results so I’m not going back home to be buried. I’m going to get it done right here in Thailand.
Burial is by cremation. No way around it, but unlike in America the Thai family remain after the service to celebrate the cremation which starts immediately after the service: The deceased is placed in the crematorium by family members, the heavy steel crematorium door is closed behind the deceased by another family member, within seconds, another family member fires a rocket that swooshes along fifty meters of taunt wire and through the crematorium door where it explodes immediately. The explosion sends the deceased on his way.
At the instant of explosion family members throw candy and coin high into the air with a big whoop. The whoop and the happy noises the kids make scrambling after the candy and coin at that most precise moment help move the sad emotion of losing a friend over to the emotions of watching happy kids of the future. The deceased slip away while everyone is happily distracted.
That’s it… from start to finish it is a family affair… the family prepared the deceased, watched over the deceased, held a service for the deceased, cremated the deceased and cleaned up afterward… no funeral Home expenses.
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