Rabu, 28 Desember 2011
JAI YEN MAI by Peter Nolan Smith
“We do. You not worry. You not call the police?”“No.” Calling the police meant paying sin-bon or bribes without any guarantee of satisfaction.“Good.” The Thais liked keeping the police in the dark. “Lam-Luat no know. Good.”My farang friends asked, “What happened to you?”I explained the situation, but changed the story to say that my assailant was an 80 year-old man.“Really?”“Some of these geezers are wiry and fast.”“What are you going to do?”“Nothing as long as he drives slower in the neighborhood.”Doing nothing felt funny. George W Bush wouldn’t do nothing, but the Pentagon wasn’t in my back pocket. Nothing seemed wrong, especially when the skinhead lout drove by my house every day with a pit bull in the back. At least he was going slower.I spent a week doing push-ups. It was a waste of time.I was no longer a fighter, but I am vicious and spotted a cluster of red ants in my mango tree. Normally I would have sprayed the swarming tentacles with a pesticide since mot-daeng are wicked biters. This time I went into the kitchen and brought out a pot of honey.“Winnie the Pooh.” My daughter called out as I coated the leaves with the sweet sticky honey.My wife took one look and said, “Gae-kaen.”I nodded my head and waited for the ants to gather their clan.Red ants swarmed over the leaves to get at the honey. Within an hour the branch bent under their weight. By dark they numbered in the thousands, thanks to my attentive resupply of honey. My daughter's mother was watching a Thai soap opera. She only had eyes for the TV. I drove around the block. The pick-up truck was parked on the street.I returned to the mango tree and coaxed the red ants into a paper bag. It actually felt heavy and then I dressed in black. Camouflage for the night. I crossed through the backyards of several abandoned house to the adjacent street. No dogs barked out a warning. The skinhead’s truck was sheltered under a tree. I snuck up to the driver’s door. A dollop of honey on the door handle. Another under the door. I checked the street and uplifted the bag . A little too fast, because more ants fell on me than the door.Thousands of them sought my flesh.Hundreds of them found it.I threw down the bag and ran into the darkness. They bite me everywhere.My daughter's mother spotted the welts. “Gae-kaen.”Revenge was always best served cold.Especially with red ants on hand.