It's starless and moonless and colder than a mamasan's tit in a brass bra as the great silver bird stuffed with five hundred beating hearts starts dropping like a stone over Krung Thep . Everyone is asleep; drugged by too much to eat, and too much to drink, and too many boring movies, and too many air miles--the narcotics of the rich; flying coach and business class and first class and complaining, while people down below are tipping over rocks looking for grubs to eat. I'm not sleepy though. I'm calculating! This 747 has 6 million parts and 171 miles of wiring but the only thing I care about is Rosco the Great Dane who is riding shotgun in the baggage compartment. About now he should be feeling poorly. His stomach is full of condoms stuffed with powder so pure it's like jet fuel. Mainlining this stuff is going to make swallowing fistfulls of yaa baa look like eating balls of sticky rice! All condoms double socked but one--one I made him swallow that had a hole in it. And full of rat poison. By pet baggage pick-up time, he will either be dead or will have heaved up all the condoms full of narcotics in his traveling case. It's a question of timing and luck. Some big dogs are heavers--some just moan, kick, and die. If he has heaved when I get to his cage, I won't claim him. I'll just disappear like a katoey with a farangs wallet. If he is dead though, I'll claim him and take him with me. In Boston, before I took him to baggage for pets; I first took him into the airport men's room and gave him his food dish with a special menu. One third dog food, one third water, and one third portland cement. I buried little broken bits of his favorite doggie treats in the mix to get his mind off the taste of the cement. In his gut the water will blend with the dry portland mix and form a cap of cement at the top of his stomach. If he is a heaver, this cement cap should keep the condoms down. This was my mom's idea. Always listen to your mother. Men's room conversation---
Me: I love you Rosco but you ain't paying the bills and baby needs new shoes. Just look at this as your contribution to the greater good. Me! Or, I should say; Mom and I.
After I pickup my shredded newspaper filled backpack at the luggage carrousel in Bangkok , I go to pet pickup and am informed that Rosco is hard as a carp. Dead as a doornail. And he hasn't coughed up the game. Excellent. Just papers to fill out and I put his carcass on the top of a luggage cart and head for the curb. A live Great Dane on a leash is a big dog. Hell, they look like small ponies. But a dead Great Dane filling up with gases and his legs sticking straight out from rigor mortis on top of a luggage cart is REALLY big. No one in the taxi line says a thing. The taxi driver doesn't say a thing. When we get into the city, I direct the cab to the soi 1 underpass near the bars and the train tracks--pull my luggage out including Rosco--and pay the taxi extra so he'll screw. Empty out the newspaper stuffed backpack, cut Rosco's leg joints, stuff him into the pack, and get a motorcycle taxi to the Nana. Check in and up to the fourth floor which is Nan 's floor. Mom used to act as the runner but now we use a trusted maid. Mom has a bladder control problem and always smells like urine. Even filthy scum drug fences don't like runners who smell like urine. Once inside my room I cut open Rosco and take out the narcotics. I clean the stuffed condoms in the toilet bowl and check for bubbles. Nan is a day maid who will make the pickup tomorrow around noon. Rosco will go back out tonight and get dumped over the construction site wall opposite the Marriot. In the past I used to empty out a bottle of Spring water from the minibar and get a quart of petrol at the corner gas station--wrap the dogs in petrol soaked sheets--set fire to them and then heave them over the fence. But I'm short and the fence is kinda high and one night I had a flaming dog carcass fall back on top of me. What a postcard that would have made! This whole dodge was mom's idea in the first place so she is to blame for my new 'no eyebrows' look. Bargirl conversation---
Bargirl: Did you pluck your eyebrows?
Me: No honey, I had a flaming dog fall on me!
Some things are not translatable. We used to torch the dogs, Mom and I, to destroy any prints. My mother was a nutcase about fingerprints. Early on, when I was green and coming up in the family business and we were disposing of a cute little mule beagle, I remember this conversation--
Me: But Mom, how can you leave prints on a dog?
Mom: Shutup and light the match.
So if you were walking down soi 4 at night five or six years ago; and you got hit in the face by a flying, flaming beagle--don't blame me. Blame Mom. She was a small woman but she could grenade toss flaming dogs out of 10th floor hotel windows like a 20 year old paratrooper. God, those were the days. Ah, memories. Anyway, it is just me now. Mom is retired and hates the constant travel. I've made a few changes. Bigger dogs and no more torching--but basically it is the same deal. It used to be that getting stoned on ganja or jazzed on yaa baa or liquored up with mom, and then heaving a flaming beagle or chihuahau out of a top floor Nana hotel room was part of the fun. A comedic highlight that became part of family lore and storytelling. Back then when we were using chihuahuas, beagles, terriers, and daschunds as canine mules we were bringing in three at a time. One trip per month--three dogs per trip--36 dogs per year. The airlines thought we were dog lovers. Yeah, love'em and heav'em. But at least you got some practise. I once saw mom clear the pool at the Nana with a flaming chihuahau. But you had to plan for it. You had to have a running path in the hotel room. You couldn't just stand at the window and wing them--you needed momentum. Think Olympic discus throw for small mammals. So it was up against the wall with the King size bed and clear the furniture. Picture this: Me and mom fuckin' hammered, jazzed, and disoriented on ganja, yaa baa, and Klosters. Both half-naked, sweating like pigs, staggering like soi dogs in the noonday sun, and laughing like hyenas. One of us really, really short and the other much shorter; bent over double trying to lift the king size bed up against the wall. Usually this went well. Sometimes this went very badly and became a near-death experience. In case the picture of a king sized bed falling on a mother and a son amuses you, let me tell you there was nothing funny about it. It would turn your average yaa baa, alcohol, flaming dog party into a yaa baa, alcohol, flaming dog, PANIC party! First would come the awful realization, then the rush of air, the crashing sound, the crushing weight, and then the terrible darkness. Over the years mom and I learned to scramble like squirrels in front of the headlights of a car. If I live to be a 100 years old I'll never forget the words,
Run, son. Run!
Once the floor was cleared the thrower would stand at the hotel room hall door with the 'evidence' in his/her hand, the other would light the match. Then it is run across the room and grenade toss out the window. Mom was always better at this than me. I am missing three fingers on my right hand due to a tragic masturbation accident. Misjudgements on the runup meant unfortunate smashups with the aluminum window frame. Flaming dog 'bounce-back' was always a problem. Sometimes as the canine 'evidence' would leave the window mom would lean out and shout INCOMING in case there were any vets walking down soi 4. This used to make her laugh so hard she would have bladder control problems. Ah, mom. What a kidder. But those days are gone now. Now with the move to bigger stomach capacity that has all changed. I don't care how big and strong you are, you aren't grenade tossing a 100 pound Great Dane. They just drop like bombs onto the car park below and usually take out a couple of freelancers. I know. I tried. So now it is just hard work and no partying. Carry the dog out through the lobby, down the parking lot, around the corner, through the Rajah hotel parking lot, and then--well, you know. Work. Work. Work. Don't envy me because I am an international drug smuggler. I wasn't smart enough to get into medical school and I didn't have the organizational skills to be a pimp. You do what you know. It's a small business. We aren't taking packtrains of ephedrine products out of or sponsoring streams of Spanish woman with dubious suitcases landing in Miami; but it has always been a steady little earner. I have always been a saver and man of moderate appetites--so another 40 Great Danes should clear me for retirement. I never successfully mated so there are no little Danas or Danessas to continue the family business. Too bad, you meet a lot of nice people in dog pounds. Mom wants us to retire together in Ko Samui but I am partial to Bali --post terrorist bombing real estate values look attractive. You've got to adapt. We'll see.
Nan makes the pickup on time and makes the connection with Omar the Indian who owns the five floor gut job around the corner on Sukhimvit. Two days later the crisp, multiple series US$100 bills are in the cut-out foam seat of my hotel room chair. I have been cheated on the total but it is enough. I'm clean, Rosco's a dead witness, and there are no live witnesses. Nobody saw anybody do anything! I loupe the bills and they are genuine. It looks like Omar wants to do more business. As soon as I proofread the bills; I pack and scram. I'm out of the hotel in 15 minutes--cash all the way--and no prints behind. Honk if you love the third world.
A quick trip to JP Travel around the corner to pick up my airline tickets, and then I am off to Ko Samui for a three week holiday. Mom is flying in and I'll have plenty of money to be able to show her a good time. I try to be a good son.
© Dana. All rights reserved by the author.