God’s Hitmen in Phnom PenhNovember 6, 2006
Okay I admit it; most of the time I have a lukewarm relationship with God, occasionally turning to disrespectful. For example, I usually work on the Sabbath and last Tuesday I was totally coveting my neighbour’s wife’s ass, but I did not expect The Lord Our God to take a contract out on me, via his evangelical NGO representation in Cambodia.
The other morning I awoke some what earlier than normal and decided to head out of the house and go to my usual Khmer pavement cafe for bai suh ch’rook and cafe tuk och. As I was driving out of the house I pulled into the light early morning traffic and had to suddenly accelerate out of the way of a shiny new NGO Ford XLT White Pickup (license plate 2-006) with the bright orange NGO logo emblazoned all over it that was driving wildly up Sothearos Boulevard, very fast, weaving in and out of on coming traffic and leaning on the horn from Wat Svaypapay to the Viet Nam monument. Every time that I thought I had got away from it, the man behind the wheel pulled some crazed driving stunt that was reminiscent of a retarded chimpanzee on crack in charge of a car. No, the one thing that I did not expect was divine assassins armed with a pickup truck.
I managed to lose the holy rolling hitmen only by swerving down a side road to my chosen Rice Shack?. Once ensconced at my usual table (with my back to the wall keeping a wary eye out for Baptist Body Snatchers or Evangelical Executioners. Feeling secure in my usual haunt, I turned my attention to the Cambodia (rarely) Daily (almost) – as is my usual morning routine.
Angelina Jolie was still bouncing around in the News, maybe she will sue somebody, maybe somebody would sue her back; however, I seem to have lost interest in the whole affair after the first five minutes sometime last week. The body of alleged police officer/paedophile Donald Ramirez was shipped home, so what, good riddance. There are logging problems in Ratanakkiri – which surprised me, I thought that most of the forest had already been stolen – guess there were still a few saplings left to harvest.
And of course, we have now passed the deadline for all motorcycles to be fitted with wing mirrors. This is as much nonsense as I have ever seen. Just because they have to be fitted, does not mean that they have to be used – by used of course I mean used to look behind you, not used to check your makeup or comb your hair. Shops selling motorcycle accessories have been reported as saying that they are not selling any more wing mirrors than before. All this latest piece of legislation will produce is a temporary increase in the amount of ‘tea money’ collected by the ever increasingly obese Khmer traffic police. I say temporary because after a month or so everyone will forget about the law and following it (case in point Streets 51 and 63 are back to effectively being two-way streets). I believe it was Edmund Burke, a 18th Century statesman, political thinker and part-time drunkard, who made the point: ”Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”
The thing that annoys me most about this sort of pointless, wasteful, legislation is the fact that so many people seem to think that it is a good thing; it is like they think stupidity can be regulated against; what are those people called again? Oh yes, NGO employees.
The views in this column are entirely those of Lord Playboy (of Phnom Penh, Sonteipheap and that muddy patch of ground next to the school) they are in no way are representative of Khmer440, its editors, staff, or shoeshine gimp, of any Ministry of the Royal Government of Cambodia who employs Lord Playboy, any relatives of the Siam Reap Moto mafia, or the cute little Laotian woman who sells stolen mobile phones back to expatriates. Damn, things will be different when I am running the Country.