How to become a lifeless prick!
by Garth Hattan
Last time around I promised ya'll a to-be-continued survivor's guide for riding out the day's events here in this not so carefully camouflaged loony bin we inmates so lovingly call home Bangkwang Central Prison. Well, for those of you who've been teetering on the edge of your collective seats, bums numbed in anxious anticipation, impatiently biding your time till you could scamper out and pick up this mag, tough shit, mate. I lied. Because I'm a hardened criminal honing my outlaw skills in the most notorious gaol in Southeast Asia, and because I damn well feel like it, I'm gonna stiff you out of what I'd promised. No hard feelings, okay?
Like I care.
Now, if you really were awaiting Part 2 of the daily Bangkwang routine, your expectancy levels peaking every bit as powerfully as the effects of that whole mushroom omelet you inhaled to impress some cute, blonde, Dutch thing at the last Full Moon Party, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Damn, what a lifeless prick!"
Yeah, whatever. But I tell ya, after having endured such a long, strange trip, I should have a Master's Degree in Prickology. Some of the following ought to help you understand why.
First of all, who wouldn't be a complete prick, having sweated out eight miserable years in this prison's sweltering, no-fan heat - and not once having had a cool, refreshing swim? I mean, envision having fulfilled your life's mission to vacation at Ao Chaweng on Samui, and upon arrival some know-it-all shrieks, "You! You! You! The beach is closed!" before you even get a toe in the water. Wouldn't that adjust your attitude more than a little bit?
And for the novices in Siam who don't fully grasp the significance of the "You! You! You!" on this mag's cover, in case you haven't noticed, this is the way Thais incessantly address you. They actually believe it's normal. Well, eight years on I'm ready to crack some heads any time I hear it even when they're not bellowing in my general direction.
Along the way there've been subtle nuances which generally indicate you're becoming a loathsome prick. However, if you recall the scene in Dumb and Dumber when Jeff Daniels has a violent bowel evacuation in an unflushable toilet the words "sustained explosion" come to mind it may help you to comprehend the complete and utter lack of subtlety when you're having a morning squat here in the downstairs toilets, which are open-air and only separated by a low tile divider, and just as you've somewhat cleared your mind and begun to fool yourself that it might turn out to be a better-than-average day never happens! some disgusting native hunkers down right beside you and commences his deafening and suffocating Jeff Daniels' impression. Verbatim.
This will definitely throw you off your game, and when you're ready to go again that night in the cell really ready after being put off all day by acute nausea you'll invariably find yourself desperately crossing your legs and turning pale green cause some inconsiderate wanker is crouching just out of sight having a none-too-leisurely rocket polish.
Oh, and by the way, should I even bother saying what a savage prick you'll become after going without sex for eight years. Nah, I won't go into it just now. That would be an entire column in itself. But I will tell you that it can certainly contribute to your rage. That, and having Lee Evans' show "Strange Brew" inexplicably banished from 95.5 FM. C'mon people, get with the program; Lee's the best show in town. Guess I'm gonna hafta go down there and tear shit up and knock shit down till "The Brew" is back in business.
On psychoanalyzing the matter for all of 20 seconds, I can say that my violent streak is due to the cumulative effect of doing hard time here. All through high school I maybe got in two fights. In my first year in Bangkwang I must've been in, like, 10. That's a radical change, because if you'd ever cruised the beach in Southern California, I was one of those lover-not-a-fighter surfers who'd be preaching the pacifist gospel of "Mellow out, dudes!" at the first glimmer of an altercation. Not anymore. In fact, I've actually grown to appreciate the aggro of hammering some fellow inmate who's pissed me off.
And to think some brain-dead bonehead (he's a magician in like, his late 30's, whose mom is no doubt continually begging him to tear down those damn Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner posters), actually wrote in to whine that in a previous article I'd been complaining about cohabiting with 900 murderers. There's a considerable difference, Merlin, between complaining and indiscriminate bitch-slapping. Now go feed your bunny!
Anyway, I shouldn't claim to have "grown" into anything. I guess devolved would be the operative verb here. Although realizing this doesn't make me any less of a prick, it does say something, though, about the local penal system.
Perhaps they ought to consider some serious changes. After all, there are just way too many pricks running around, ya know?
Building-2 (Now Released on Transfer Treaty)