A True Story
Once upon a time there were some greedy, corrupt cops, some rich, drunk drivers and some Issan cabbies, who plied their trade on the streets of Bangkok.
One day, the greedy, corrupt cops, upon hearing about all the death and mayhem on the roads caused by the rich, drunk drivers when they got behind the wheels of their cars in the small hours, decided it was high time to take some remedial action.
So they hit upon the idea of setting up road blocks at strategic places along Bangkok’s highways so that they could stop and arrest the unsuspecting drunks.
‘What a great idea, they said to each other, not only can earn the public’s respect by protecting them from these dangerous , selfish drivers, but we can also make a tidy little sum on the side if the drunks wish to avoid being incarcerated in clink overnight.’
The road blocks were duly put in place and the poor unsuspecting drunk drivers fell headlong into the traps set up by the diligent, ‘to serve and protect’, policemen.
Not wishing to suffer the indignity of spending a night in one of Bangkok’s notorious holding cells, the rich DUI’s were only too willing to shell out large bungs to be let off with a warning and a request to drive very carefully for the remainder of their journey home.
However, some extra diligent policemen, refused to be tempted by corruption and insisted on keeping the DUI’s in custody until such time as they had sobered up.
This extortion and disruption to their nightly revelling didn’t go down at all well with the rich and selfish drunk drivers, so they hatched up a devious plan to thwart the evil intentions of the corrupt cops.
Knowing that every Issan cab driver in Bangkok hated all policemen, the rich drunk drivers decided to approach the cabbies to make an alliance with them that would stop the cops in their tracks.
The Issan cabbies welcomed the approaches from the drunk drivers, as they detested the cops who had been mercilessly exhorting them for generations. So when the drunk drivers told them about their devious plan that would benefit both the Issan cabbies, and the drunk drivers, they immediately signed up for ‘the ride’.
It came to pass that the Issan cabbies agreed to park up about 300 meters before the police road blocks, and when the drunk drivers made their drunken way home, they would stop next to the line of cabs, move over into the passenger seat and let an Issan cab driver, drive them through the road block.
The Issan cabby would park up, 300 metres from the other side of the road block, hand the keys back to the drunken driver, and then walk back through the road block to his waiting cab – pocketing of course – the price of a cab fare.
There was much gnashing and wailing of teeth when the cops arrest rates started to plummet, and they yelled ‘foul play’ to anyone who would listen.
‘How dare these drunken drivers deprive us of our tea money?’ they shouted to the press. ‘It’s just not fair!’
In an effort to recover their valuable source of income, the hard-done by cops examined the road traffic laws in microscopic detail to see whether Issan cabbies who offer such a service could be punished. But as the Issan cab drivers aren’t drunk, it wasn’t clear to see how the police might punish them.
They concluded that there would only be legal grounds for prosecution if they actually caught the drunk driver and the cabbie in the act of making the deal. They could then claim the cab driver was knowingly permitting the drunk driver to take control of a motor vehicle, and commit a crime.
But that kind of risky under-cover activity would require a great deal of legwork, and Bangkok’s finest are not exactly famous for exerting too much energy.
They are all too unfit from a lifetime of drinking to do anything like that!
That, ladies and gents – is a true story. If you don’t believe me, read the local press.