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Warily, I eyed the Siamese.

His motives were inscrutable; his face an expressionless mask, betraying neither thought nor emotion. I found myself envisaging, with perfect clarity, a scene from his youth: a boy of about six years, steering a bicycle through a ramshackle waterfront market, where braying peddlers hawked dried salt fish, incense, amulets, statues of gods, charm bracelets; where gamblers tossed mah jongg tiles along a rotting pier; where junk ships, manned by knife-brandishing privateers, bobbed in the harbor beyond. The scent of galanga and coconut milk would have hung thick in the midday air; I could picture the great hissing steam-clouds, billowing above cauldrons filled with boiling squid, and I could hear the hellish din bamboo pipes and clattering drums; prayers howling out of the quayside pagoda; the cries of sailors, monks, the insane, the dying. What scheme had brought this child of the East who had learned ancient spells at the feet of sages, who had tossed smooth stones into a smoldering rice-fire, in a mountaintop monastery, above a glassy lake, where red-robed priest-boys steered a gondola stacked with jade and opal into a secret cave, hard by a hidden cove what designs churned in his mind, what plan, what plot, had this Sphinx of Bangkok carried with him to our Occidental shores?

"One thirty-five, please," he said again. "Would you like a bag?"

I stepped back, and peered with all the menace I could muster into those dead triangle-eyes. What was he driving at? What was his angle?

Date Written: April 14, 2004
Author: Craig Lewis
Average Vote: 3.75

Comments:
04/19/2004 Will Disney: this one is evocative of something!
04/19/2004 qualcomm (3): problem with this is, you can see the fucking punchline from a mile away, making the red herring second graf most tiresome.
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony (4): I don't know. I liked it. The second paragraph is pretty funny on its own. Also makes me hungry for salt fish.
04/19/2004 John Slocum (4): Being a stupid cunt myself, I couldn't see the punchline coming a mile away. It's a little bit of a cheap joke, but a funny cheap joke and the 2nd paragraph is writing I enjoyed. Agree with Pony about the 2nd paragraph on it's own, but enjoyed it as is.
04/19/2004 Jon Matza (4): What punchline, Lerpa? I thought this was pretty funny all the way through. I call for your execution.
04/19/2004 qualcomm: matza: the man is called a siamese at the beginning. with no other info about him given to the reader, the narrator launches into a description of a quaint, mysterious siamese seaside scene. "where are we," any reader worth his salt wonders. "who is this mysterious man from siam, and what black secrets does he harbor?" then it turns out the "siamese" is just some chink cashier and we're in modern, regular times. that's the punchline, and i saw something very much along those lines coming. asshole.
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony: Matza, I believe The Lerpa is right, at least about there being a very definite and intentional punchline. I nevertheless second your motion for his immediate and merciful execution.
04/19/2004 qualcomm: but i feel fine
04/19/2004 Maxwell Demon: Ive never had Peking The Lerpa-Ill bet its greasy.
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony: In fact, I think his greasy and somewhat alkaline blood would react unfavorably with the Hoisin.
04/19/2004 qualcomm: not that you would know, since i retain all rights, privileges, and control of...... The Lerpa
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony: The Lerpa, I think you're confusing "knowledge of" with "ownership of". That's okay, it's a common mistake...Oh wait--It's not! Of course "The Lerpa" belongs to you, but I can't believe you suggested I read that critically flawed Ayn Rand-John Galt robot-capitalist nonsense. I think maybe there's something you need to hear--something you knew once, but have obviously forgotten.
04/19/2004 Maxwell Demon: I think The Lerpa needs to take a long, hard look at himself, and that he creates his own sauce when cooked.
04/19/2004 qualcomm: pony: interesting that you rankled so much against my calling you a commie last week, yet you use the word "capitalist" as a pejorative in your below comment. you fucking pinko. but seriously, while i am not an objectivist, your prisoner's dilemma doesn't prove any kind of flaw in Ayn's logic. and, i can't access your second link at my office.
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony: Whoa whoa whoa. If you look carefully, I used the phrase "robot-capitalist" as a pejorative. Referring to the sort of knee-jerk (and kind of adolescent!) responses to liberty and whatnot in the excerpt from Atlas Shrugged. And I admit that the John Galt speech read all by itself probably lacks a certain context that I'm ignoring because I haven't read the whole book. I don't actually plan to! But taken all by itself, it reads at best as the consequence of an elitist and oversimplified view of human civilization, and at worst, a complex but totally transparent justification for greed. Booo! I brought up the Prisoner's Dilemma to point out that there are some economic situations where cooperation, even cooperation with the lamest of the dumb old troglodytes can be beneficial to even the smartest and most "noble" capitalist. Like the bees!! This John Galt fellow seems totally unwilling to admit even that; he's so happy that he's won the game he never bothered to tell anyone he was playing. So F him, and F his puppeteer. I'm sure that smarter folks than me have made great counter arguments, so I'm not saying that I'm the final word on Ayn Rand or nothin'. These are just my thoughts after readin' the bit I read. As for my second link, it's worth waiting for. It will remind you what it's really all about, and set you back on the path of honor and righteousness. That also goes for those of you who Googled "John Galt" + "Ayn Rand" + "Salt Fish" and ended up here.
04/19/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Good lord, Pony. I can't believe you cite the "Eeb Plebnista" in an arguement against robot capitalism. It was the robot capitalists who rebuilt Earth after the holocaust in 2095! What the hell?! Besides, doesn't the "prisoner's dilemma" only work in theory? And that is on a statistical average? Tall words!
04/19/2004 Mr. Pony: Well, I may just be a simple country boy, but I reckon that there are more important things than being a self-assured narcissistic greedy bastard. Also, that it's delusional to believe that you can reach a position of power and influence without manipulating people at all levels of society with some skill. It's a "team" effort! Again, I say, look at the bees! Whether you're out for yourself, or the species as a whole, I say cooperation is the way to go! More specifically, "enlightened, self-interested cooperation"! And true, the Prisoner's Dilemma doesn't always work, but the point is, it works sometimes. What kind of idiot would strip himself of his pawns? John Galt, that's who! (again, haven't read the book. don't intend to. my words are probably wrong.) As for the robot thing, I wasn't talking about the actual Robot Capitalists [may they reign until the end of time]. A better word to have used would have been "automatic".
04/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Once again The Lerpa skulks away.
04/20/2004 Dylan Danko (4): Yes this one was funny. Do I need to use the word lerpooshy again?
04/20/2004 qualcomm: i didn't skulk, you cunt. now apologize for your short yesterday
04/20/2004 qualcomm: this was funny like Toxic is good.
04/20/2004 Dylan Danko: I meant slithered. Oh and yes I'm sorry. Have to agree with you although it should be said, your specific criticism made no sense. Clotted-cream is very tasty.
04/20/2004 qualcomm: yeah i was too lazy and scared to cry rip-off, as snow did.
04/20/2004 Dylan Danko: By the way, did Slocum throw you a solid last night?
04/20/2004 qualcomm: he didn't pick up, and i chose a substandard portuguese wine.
04/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Slocum take note. Our vinous needs must be met at all times. Not just when you feel like it.
04/20/2004 John Slocum: I rang back instantly and left message, cunt.
04/21/2004 scoop (4): This is wonderfully written but poorly constructed. What The Lerpa said about the red-herring graf. I think it would've been better if you let us in on the gag that we all probably saw coming anyway.
04/21/2004 Dylan Danko: So, when are we executing The Lerpa? Matza? Thoughts?
04/21/2004 qualcomm: by "we" you mean all you utility players?
04/21/2004 Dylan Danko: Matza, The Lerpa just called you a utility player.
04/21/2004 Jon Matza: Yes, very provocative.
04/21/2004 Craig Lewis: The Lerpa: this short is just so-so, but "Toxic" really is great.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Lewis, you'll be pleased to know that the Toxic debate lasted a good hour last night at Pete's. The Lerpa was outnumbered and as usual lost ignominiously.
04/22/2004 Ewan Snow: Were you at Pete's with a gaggle of retarded pubescent girls (as usual)?
04/22/2004 scoop: Is your brain still marinated in whiskey, Danko? The outnumbered forces of goodness and light won a glorious victory over the dark forces of Relativisim in the Battle of Toxic.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Yes Ewan. With the exception of The Lerpa's boyfriend who just posted below.
04/22/2004 scoop: Manfriend, asshole, I'm a man.
04/22/2004 qualcomm: how were we outnumbered? i thought pony maintained neutrality. that's two well-thought-out arguments by me and scoop against one by kunichika, and your half-argument, which, if i remember correctly, consisted of repeating over and over, "Ughhhh, Bollywood strings, ughh, Bollywood strings, ughhh...."
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Not yet, but when I'm done with you you will be.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: The Lerpa: I am repeating out loud your words below in a whiny high-pitched kike voice while rubbing my nipples. Did you adjust the bridge of your glasses with satisfaction after you wrote that?
04/22/2004 qualcomm: self-satisfaction, danko.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: The Lerpa is just a yenta at heart.
04/22/2004 qualcomm: "oh, oh, i'm so musically refined, i can find something to like even in a britney spears song. oh, oh, i'm so well-rounded and open-minded. oh, oh!"
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Did you cum yet?
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Make sure you give Scoop fair warning so he can close his eyes.
04/22/2004 qualcomm: Make sure to continue consuming vapid music-by-committee.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: You mean cabal.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Oh! oh! I'm so high minded. All my opinions conform to strict intellectualizations that make me so much smarter than everyone else! Seacrest, OUT!
04/22/2004 qualcomm: my intellectualizations don't make me smarter than everyone, they just prove that i am. stupid.
04/22/2004 scoop: No, Danko, I'm pretty sure I'm a man. I have hair on my wiener. I just checked. And as for the cum thing, that's just silly. We work in two totally differnt parts of the city. So it's impossible that I would be doing anything to The Lerpas genitals, manually or orally, in order to make it spurt its reproductive fluids.
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: The Lerpa: They prove nothing but your own lerpooshiness. Scoop, my apologies. You obviously have nothing to do with The Lerpa's genitals if you think that it has "reproductive fluids."
04/22/2004 Dylan Danko: Boy, this was fun lads! I needed that. Thanks.
04/22/2004 Mr. Pony: You have hair on your wiener?
04/22/2004 qualcomm: pony's more evolved (asian) than scoop.
04/22/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: but there's hair actually on the weiner?
04/22/2004 Mr. Pony: Gosh, or something!
04/22/2004 scoop: Ahhh, who am I kidding. I actually have a little weiner on all that hair.
04/22/2004 Mr. Pony: Everything's relative?
05/22/2004 TheBuyer (3): Does this discussion represent the reason the CLewis has vanished or is it just actually the reason? Also, I thought it was kind of funny, but once again The Lerpa - sigh - is correct.
07/19/2004 scoop: What's Lerpa?
01/17/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4):