In the American Indian Wars of the 1800's smallpox was cleverly introduced into the unsuspecting American Indian population via gifts of tainted blankets. But, long before that, bubonic plague was literally hurled at retreating enemies by catapulting infected bodies into their midst. And, waterholes have been poisoned ... right and left ... so many times that it's impossible to keep their body count separate from those who died from conventional war wounds. Upstream rivers have been the source of so much unwanted foulness that no one ever lifts their cup from its lower regions.
"Yes ... we are waiting ... what are you getting at?"
My last issue of the Weekly World News is dated September 11, 2001! It was mailed from their Lantana, Florida, office ... in an envelope that carried the return address of American Media.
"Oh, My God! Anthrax!"
I'm not sure. Certainly there is no indication from the cover story,1 or from anything in its inner pages,2,3 to suggest a 'Trojan Horse' has made its way into the Gore Vidal suite. Though the crossword puzzle in that issue suggests that someone knew something: 8 Across: Suicidal plot; 49 Across: Fiery crime.
Roughly, there are ten ways for Christians to make it into Hell.
But, according to the exhaustive Internet link-host Islaam.com, there are a few additional things that Muslims have to worry about before they are assured that eternal comfy spot under one of Allah's shade trees ... yes, some other cautions they must mind before banking on that never ending line of twittering young virgins dropping dates their way. In this article entitled "The Evil Deeds That Lead One To Hell", Dr. Umar Al-Ashqar points out the worldly things to avoid ... one slip and that downside orifice of yours will be the home for nasty hornets and always-hot briquettes:
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah have mercy on him, was asked: "What are the deeds of the people of Hell, and what are the deeds of the people of Paradise?"
He replied: "The deeds of the people of Hell are:
" ... The people of Hell are five: the weak who lack the power to (avoid evil); the (carefree) who pursue (everything irrespective of whether it is good or evil) and who have no concern for their families and their wealth; the dishonest people whose greed cannot be concealed even in the case of minor things; and those who betray you, morning and evening, with regard to your family and your property. He also mentioned misers, liars, and those who are in the habit of abusing people and using obscene, foul language." [Muslim, 4/1297, no. 2865]
Once in Hell, Saeed al Qahtani picks up the story with his "The Least Torture For Those In The Hell":
The Least Torture for Those in the Hell
"The least torture in the Hell on the Day of Judgment is that of a man whose foot sole is laid on a live coal which causes his brain to boil just like a boiler." [Bukhari and Muslim]
"Fire holds some to their ankle bones, some to their knees, some to their waists, and some up to their collarbones." [Muslim]
1 Bush clone.
2 Gay Guardian Angels.
During his ordeal in the torture-chamber, Euplius kept annoying those who were doing the work by reading out appropriate passages of scripture. So they hung the book around his neck and cut off his head.
This morning both the Bangkok Post and the Bangkok Daily News carry front-page photographs of Thai Muslims protesting against the US-led attacks on Afghanistan. The News also allows a picture of what appears to be someone who has fallen from the sky ... a faulty parachute?
Though most of the world's great superstitions2 continue to scream and stamp their little feet at everything they don't like, the International Flat Earth Society has been strangely silent of late. As everything around them suggests that their own beliefs may be false ... can it be that others, as well, might start to question their long held childish faiths? Will they, too, look up and say: "Hey, there's nothing up there!"
"Hey, don't fuck with my God ... I'll kill you, mother fucker!"
I guess not.
Traffic on the Oriental Queen remains light. And, a commuter boat carries more tires than people.
1 As promised, a pure palindrome ... and, I must add, a binary one. For users of zodio-centric calendaric shorthand, yours is very near: 10 November 01 (10/11/01).
2 Christians, Palmists, Muslims, Water-Diviners, Confucians, Tarot-Cardists, Jews, Knock-on-Wooders, Hindus, Salt-over-the-Shoulderists, Taoists, Tea-leaf-Readers and other Cultists-of-the-Strange.
PS To be fair, The Oriental Queen normally returns from its day trip to Ayutthaya with a lot more passengers than it left with. Those that elect to go by bus in the morning, and return by boat in the afternoon, are usually far more than the other way around.
Amico and Amelio, or Amyas and Amylion, were two French boys who met in Italy and loved each other dearly. Having been baptized by the pope, they returned to France and lived in the court of Charlemagne. Amico caught leprosy, and Amelio had a vision according to which, if he cut his children's heads off and sprinkled his friend's body with the blood, he would get well. Angelo then followed the heavenly instructions; Amico did get well; and the children were restored to life – no one knows how – but they always had a red scar around their necks. The extreme friends died together in battle, and in the vicinity of Milan they are honored as holy martyrs – no one knows why.
ALIMAK is fast winding up his work here at The Oriental.
Two of October 12th's big Asian 'weeklies' have 'profiles' of people in the news. One is of the new spokesperson for Chivas Regal; the other is of one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar, spokesperson of the Taliban.2
1 The more you know about these superstitious people the more you have to worry that they are more than just plain crazy; they are really mean.
2 Which one are they running to? Your choice?
"THE WORLD WILL GO ON AND WE ARE OBLIGED to give our best, by keeping up our spirits and our sensible, constructive pursuits ..."1
"PRETTY GIRLS ... IN & OUT SERVICE"2
The ALIMAK withdrawal is almost total.
1 A French " ... ARISTOCRATIC HEIRESS, 33/5'8" ... exquisite, dark-haired beauty (who) resides in and outside of France, speaks fluent French, English, Italian, German and Dutch and manages a large international family heritage. Her performance is public and receives high estimation – thus, she seeks a parity life companion/husband of equal convictions, he must not necessarily be of aristocratic descent, yet of thorough nobility of heart!! Although committed to life and its demanding requests, she intrigues with disarming subtle wit, with instantly trustworthy endearment and does not at all neglect her personal needs and requirements, such as enjoying the unspectacular private issues. She is the ULTIMATE for a noble man & ONLY FOR MARRIAGE!" [one of two current offerings from the house of Gabriele Thiers-Bense, Str. 5, Otto-Heilmann, Munich-Grunwald 82031, Germany]
2 59 Sukhumvit 21 Road, Tel: 02-7195897. [one of many advertisements in the Entertainment section of the Bangkok Post]
My daughter, Annie, arrived in Bangkok early this morning. She flew here from Seattle on Northwest Airlines, with one change of planes at Tokyo's Narita airport. She will be here for about 10 days ... more, if I can convince her to stay longer. The security surrounding both of her flights was intense.1
Incidentally, Watcharee and I have not been on a flight since early July, when we returned to Bangkok from Florida. We were going to go to Florida later this month for a corkscrew meeting, but the September 11th events changed our minds ... Watcharee does not like to fly even in the best of times; and, what with planes all over the world becoming insurance 'write-offs', she is pretty firm in rooting us here in Thailand for the indefinite future.
Anyway, I haven't seen Annie for months and months ... not since all of us were in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland together, last June.
Oh, ALIMAK's great machine is finally gone! Completely. Just a few of his people left behind to sweep up the odd dropped nut and bolt.
Yesterday's reportage kept me from bringing you NEWNES. Let me backtrack one day:
Coming again to today:
The Bishop of Todi was exceedingly expert at casting out devils, ridding the sufferer of a greater quantity of them at a time than any psychiatrist or saint of his day.
Good news: starting tomorrow Annie will post at least one of her photos here on my journal. My stuff has become so tired; it will be a refreshing change for everyone.
Today the three of us are going over to Robinson's to do some shopping ... followed by lunch ... and perhaps a session at White Shirts.
1 Airport security at Narita has always been comprehensive. It's only in America where check-in security has been perfunctory at best.
Dear reader, we are in such a hurry today. Here are just a few snaps of the girls ... and Annie's room. Also, the view from her room.
Dear reader, for the next few days we are going to shift our Mavica spotlight from Si Quey's Place to the Mambo Club. Instead of chopped-off limbs, pickled babies, blown apart innards, and burned torsos, Annie's camera will take you to on a tour around some of the most beautiful lady-boy-parts in Bangkok. Long time readers of this journal will surely remember our previous visits to the Calypso Cabaret (last year in March and July) and The Mambo (two months ago). But, dear reader, these pictures ... the ones that you see right here ... are all new; none older than last night.
Ready? Let's start!
1 NEWNES doesn't say ... and, of course, Wescott is only concerned with the Christian cons ... but we are again approaching that anniversary when the one-eyed mullahs pretend to celebrate Mohammed's float into heaven. Not quite as brazen as Jesus ... Mohammed's fleece did not hinge on any claim that he actually sprang from Allah's crotch juice ... his particular swindle played on the belief that he was Allah's big mouthpiece on earth. And, like with most long enduring and highly profitable fiddles, his magic, too, lay in series of bewildering messages to a simple sand-based people.
2 Today BBC service is available even in The Oriental.
Yesterday my friend, Robin Weaver,1 almost cut his finger off. Only the bone kept the razor sharp blade in his Leatherman WaveTM from severing the whole thing from his hand. Hey, just take another look at one of my Si Quey exhibits to see just what horrific damage can be done when blades and fingers dance too close.
On a more cosmic note, Stephen Hawking says the human race is likely to be wiped out by a doomsday virus before this millennium ends unless it starts to colonize space. In a Daily Telegraph2 article the Lucasian professor of mathematics (Cambridge University) said, "I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet."
Yesterday the Bangkok Post shocked its readers with the story about a powerful local monk who had allowed his head to be turned by the comforts and the temptations of the flesh. Today that same paper is worrying us about anthrax in our midst. As with Rep. Gary Condit of Modesto, roiling black clouds for most of us has brought a surprisingly silver lining for another.3
Yes, dear reader, "anthrax in our midst"! This morning I received a letter/package from American Media, Inc., 5401 N. W. Broken Sound Boulevard, Boca Raton, FL 33487-3589. But, it only contained my October 9th issue of WWN.4 Obviously sent from its mailrooms during more halcyon days ... days when the only sound at +3589 was the wheeze of old men wheeling carts from postal bags to sorting tables.
But, the 'girls' at the Mambo continue to dance on.5
1 Stephani's husband.
2 The Daily Telegraph (London) is the same newspaper that, a generation ago, told its readers how an English family-holiday was spoiled by Europe's destruction.
3 Pushed to the fringe of the news, both are probably hoping for the 'worst'.
4 What happened to my September 18, 25 and October 2 copies? The last issue of WWN that I received, before this, was dated September 11th.
5 Some scholarship suggests that V. Mary was a 'ladyboy'. That would explain much.
PS In this clandestine shot ... using a powerful telephoto lens, under difficult available-light conditons ... Noi's husband is seen cutting something.
PPS This previously unpublished photograph from the Si Quey archives shows a man in terrible shape.
Wescott, surprisingly,1 gives us very little about the man. As the author of one of the four Gospels ... sharing proprietary positions with Matthew, Mark and John ... Luke receives just one paragraph. Meanwhile, immediate neighbors, Hedwig of Wednesday2 and Peter of Alcantara (tomorrow) each get far more room.
The author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles was a doctor, perhaps a ship's doctor. He was not a Jew. It has always been believed that he was an artist and painted portraits of Our Lord and His mother. He is the particular saint of painters. His emblem is the winged ox.
I am amazed that my mail made it. Yesterday my October 9th issue of the World Weekly News was delivered in an envelope clearly marked with the most infamous return address in all the USA: American Media, Inc., Boca Raton, FL 33487-3589. According to today's front page in the Bangkok Post, all "letters and packages from foreign countries ... are to be closely inspected." Yes, dear reader, Bangkok, too, is under siege. Here is a partial list of addresses that received letters "leaking a suspicious white powdery substance":
Despite being targeted by bioterrorists, publishers were still able to rush their gory pictures into print.
What would have been in full-face 48-point bold-font during cheerier times gets brief mention today. To think that the ozone hole over Antarctica was once our biggest worry.
And, the continued fall in the price of DRAM 128-Mb CHIPS hardly registers anywhere, save for a tiny blip on the Asian-Pacific Spot Price ICIS-LOR index chart.
And, the 'girls' dance on ...
1 Surprisingly? Perhaps not. For December 25th Wescott leaves us with just "OUR LORD'S BIRTHDAY" ... unaccompanied by any explanation of who he was or what he did. Does Wescott assume that some of his characters are so important that the less said about them the better; and that those with minor parts in the play need more of his attention? We just don't know. Look at ADO (December 16th). Given even fewer words than today's LUKE ... and, yet, who has ever heard of him! FRANCIS OF ASSISI ... well, Wescott spent nearly six pages on him. It's anyone's call!
2 Covered here last year.
The life of this important Franciscan of the Counter-Reformation shows the immediate influence of the Society of Jesus upon other orders. He was the link between St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Teresa – the former's admirer and imitator, the latter's adviser. Many of her reforms of the Carmelites appear to have been suggested by him. A splendid star hung over Avila when they met and indeed it was a great occasion in mystic diplomacy, in European history as well as that of heaven – one of the events, no doubt, which turned the Renaissance to tragedy. We are told that the ardent friar himself sometimes hung in the air with a star's brilliance; and on one of his journeys, when he had to spend the night in a roofless building, the falling snow hardened in a roof over his head.
"Enough of the damn books ... what's happening in Bangkok?"
Here's a little something left over from Si Quey's; I'm not sure what happened to this old woman (I think it's a woman) ... but, it sure was awful.
Far brighter, these little bits are part of the encore from the 'girls' ...
Meanwhile Annie and Watcharee sort out the Spa menu.
Outside it is raining.
1 While still in high school, your journalist conducted a foolish chemistry experiment ... using a small hunk of pure sodium ... which totally destroyed a porcelain toilet. A couple of years ago the management committee at Corkscrew-Balloon toyed with the idea of announcing the winner of the Denise Look-Alike Contest on the 192nd anniversary of Davy's public announcement of his discovery of sodium. For reasons that I no longer remember we did not do this.
2 One of the suites here at The Oriental is named for John Le Carre. Before moving to Gore Vidal, that was my home.
Next: Part V