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8
Nov 01
Thu

Bangkok

So, there I was today watching a couple of little kids rumbling with each other in the park, watching a bunch of schoolkids grabbing lunch from Westfield… and I realise that after this Friday, my third year of uni is over. I hand in the 64 page research design document I’ve been slaving on and that’s it. (I have no exams, woohoo!) It’s a little depressing, I guess it’s something that depresses everyone – growing up in general – but life must go on. This post, however, isn’t about growing up. When I saw the little kids going at it with each other, I remembered this incident in school…

It was back in Year 8 when we were still tiny. We always used to get into brawls amongst ourselves to keep amused throughout lunch. It kept getting us into trouble everytime a teacher went past, but since each time it was a different teacher, we just kept attacking each other (punching, kicking, tackling, strangling, ferocious slaps that left angry red marks on legs, chinese burns, nipple gripples, etc., it was all there). I had a friend, let’s just call him Pip. Back then he was overweight, missing a neck and seemingly waddled around. Easy target. Even so, nature still provides the most vulnerable of animals with some sort of defence mechanism. So what did he do when there were people picking on him that were twice his size? Hit em back, naturally. Hit em back where no self-respecting boxer would hit. No, hit em back where no self-respecting man would hit. And it was effective.

In the interests of the Geneva Convention, we made him warn us whenever he was going to pull that stunt. The, uh… “safe word”, he’d yell out when he’d had enough off people laying
into him was “Bangkok!” (or derivations of it, eg: “Now departing for Bangkok!”). Upon yelling that word, people would vacate his vicinity like illegal boat people from a ship about to be boarded by the Australian navy, lest they feel the pain. From a safe distance we’d then resume the attack with verbal comments about his questionable sexuality. We were so mature for 13/14 year olds :).

Anyway, one day we were having lunch in the place that was our area for the six years we were at the school, when this rather large-sized Year 12 guy wandered in. I don’t know how it eventuated, but things led to an exchange of bag outs. Pip was sitting down, and the Year 12 was standing up. When Pip ended up paying the guy out for his prowess in squash (he was the school champion). The Year 12 guy took particular offense and gave him a swift knock on the head. Pip wasn’t
happy. He cleared his throat and asked, “Hey, have you ever been to Bangkok?” The guy stopped, bewildered by the inexplicable change of subject. The rest of us, however, froze. What happened next was a scene from a Hong Kong-made action movie. Slow-mo, with action replays from multiple angles.

We all immediately knew what was going on. The year 12 guy didn’t. The year 12 guy was twice the size of Pip, and in a valiant attempt to prevent serious injury occurring to both parties involved, I screamed out, “Coverrrrr yoooouuurrrrr diiiiick–“

But it was too late. The year 12 guy’s face barely had time to register a quizzical expression at my comment, before the sickening sound of fist on flesh slapped out. Totally unexpected, it was a perfect hit like never before. Quizzical turned to abject horror, followed immediately by one of ultimate pain.

The guy instantly doubled over, clutching his crotch, shuddering convulsively. We all stood there, stunned, and a few people started gathering around to see what the commotion was about. If I was Pip, I would’ve ran the hell out of there. But he didn’t, he stayed there, I speculate it was to admire his “handiwork”. After a few seconds of moaning, spluttering, muttered profanities, clutching and coughing, he recovered enough to lift his torso above the 3:30 position. He shot out one hand and grabbed Pip around the neck and squeezed his throat. The other hand hit Pip in the chest, ramming him hard into the wall behind. Pip started gargling.

Fortunately for Pip, the pain was just too intense for the poor guy, who needed both hands to tend to his troubles. He let go and doubled over again. Still very much in a world of pain he hobbled off for the bathroom. The rest of us
made a discreet exit.

To this day I regard him lucky that his pre-emptive strike was so devastating, because had the hit been not so dead center, I’m sure Pip would be rolling around in a wheelchair today. He stopped with his low blows soon after that when everyone henceforth declared it very much against the “rules of engagement”.

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