Ask and You Shall Receive

19 Jul

On my third day in Bangkok, I decided it was time for me to start trying to act like a grown-up and buy me some food for my apartment. So I went to a big supermarket nearby. My motivation to buy anything waned as I walked down the isles of outrageously expensive groceries. Most of the food was imported from the United States, and therefore was super-pricey. “WTF?” I protested to myself. “I’m not buying any of this stuff!” As I made my way down the appliance isle toward the exit, I felt a strong urge to be indulged with some form of comical relief. The prices of all these Corn Flakes and Wheat Thins and Jiffy Peanut Butters were way too serious for my current state of lightness. I summoned the universe to deliver a laugh-inducing angel immediately. As the saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive,” I stumbled upon a vacuum cleaner that was packaged up in a big box. The front of the box displayed a black and red machine that looked a lot like R2D2 from Star Wars. That machine was obviously the vacuum cleaner. Directly above the machine was a man’s arm flexing an enormous bicep. Only his left bulging chest muscle was in view, and his eyes were half-shut, suggesting that he was getting an orgasm just by gawking at his own perfectly sculpted arm. Next to his clenched fist were three words: Wet, Dry, Blow. Ok…that kind of stuff is funny. As I was chuckling out loud to myelf, I whipped out my camera phone and took a photo of the picture. Moments after, an omnipresent voice from the supermarket heavens spoke to me over a loudspeaker: Please do not take photographs of the merchandise. Then I looked up, still grinning with amusement, and saw three Thai male Earthlings in supermarket staff uniform, sending me daggers of disapproving glare. Shit just got real! It was a pretty hard-core stand-off. I was surrounded on all sides. The four of us were all frozen stiff, just like the cowboys in the Western films who stare each other down during a gun duel. It was time to leave the store. I parted the sea of reproach by diffusing a friendly smile toward my counterparts, put my palms together and apologized to the three gentlemen for having taken a photo. Their faces softened into quirky smiles of acceptance. I strolled outside and thanked the universe for sending the envoy of laughter into a random and quite arbitrary situation. Those boring moments in life seem to have the most potential for exposing that itty-bitty thing we call joy. Ask for it, and you shall receive.

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