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Terror in the Central Market
1999-06-08 21:12:58


Pigdog in Cambodia
 
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
-- H.L. Mencken

 

An innocent trip to the Central Market resulted in a severe attack of arachnophobia (and a meal) when a depraved street kid set her vicious pet spider on an unsuspecting shopper.

The shopper, yours truly, was selecting a new book when his arm and heartstrings were tugged by a doe-eyed beggar child. With my wallet out to pay for the book, I couldn't really ignore the malnourished youngster and I gave her a few hundred riel.

Turning back to complete my purchase, the tugging on my arm continued so I turned round to see the child giggling from a safe distance and a gut-twistingly evil spider on my arm. It was black and hairy and its fangs were dripping with poison. Its mesmerising movement was taking it up my armÖ towards my face!

I must have mumbled some confused, high-pitched babble in my panic, but it quickly became clear that the devious arachnid was in cahoots with that sly beggar-girl vermin and I had better watch my wallet while fending off the eight-legged monster. I braced for a sideways sweep of my free arm that would knock it off and simultaneously project it into stamping distance, but the urchin deftly picked it off me and ran off with it, no doubt to scare the pants off some other foreigner. My wits slowly returned.

Everyone nearby was looking. The woman I'd been buying the book from shouted something stern at the child which seemed to satisfy everyone: The event was over, so checking that my wallet was in place, which it was, I headed to the Foreign Correspondent's Club for a restorative.

The next time I went to that market there were stalls selling the same hairy buggers deep fried in batter. I savoured a moment of satisfaction knowing what fate had claimed the savage beast and allowed myself a fiendish cackle. Deep-fried hairy spider tastes of fishy cauliflower, and apart from the crunchy exoskeleton, is soft like Mr Whippy.

Oliver

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

cabin@pigdog.org


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