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SCUBA-L  August 1999, Week 4

SCUBA-L August 1999, Week 4

Subject:

Re: The Duel

From:

Ed Graves <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 25 Aug 1999 08:39:25 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (175 lines)

The Pictures Man!  Where are the damn pictures?
 
--- Bjorn Vang Jensen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I think is safe to say that Raffles will never be
> the same. That famous
> Grande Dame of Asian Hotels has seen British
> colonialists nursing hangovers
> with jasmine tea, keeping their malaria in check
> with gin & tonics, and a
> tiger shot under the billiard table after soiling
> the carpets with dirty
> paw-prints. It survived 3 years of Japanese
> brutality, played host to the
> crowned heads and movie stars of the world on
> occasions too numerous to
> mention, and, when everyone had written it of as a
> has-been hotel, emerged
> like a Phoenix from the ashes after extensive
> restoration that lasted 3
> years and ended in 1991.
>
> Only to suffer this: A ferocious duel, a truly
> titanic life-and-death
> struggle fought with every means at the combatants'
> disposal, in the most
> hallowed of Asian bars, the Long Bar.
>
> With discarded peanut shells crunching underfoot and
> screaming waitresses in
> tantalizing cheongsams fleeing in terror, Jean-Marc
> of the Vitoux Tribe and
> Giovanni the Mad Pisan Professor left the Long Bar
> in a state that had the
> duty manager frantically thumbing his Little Black
> Book for the phone number
> of the company that performed the last restoration!
>
> Pistols were considered but abandoned as too
> wimpish, with Bob, Strike and
> myself asserting firmly that we had not come this
> far to see a duel that
> could conceivably be over in the blink of an eye.
> Giovanni contended that
> with 3 small children in the Vitoux Tribe, J-M was
> unfairly advantaged in
> any duel that involved poking people with sharp
> objects, but we held our
> ground, reminding Giovanni that it was he who
> suggested swords in the first
> place, and pointing out that warding off students
> and Italian motorists in
> his everyday life would put him on at least an even
> footing! This was our
> first taste of that time-tested Italian
> battle-tactic, the Back-Track.
>
> But a regrettable and unforeseen shortage of swords
> in Raffles, and a desire
> for even closer and bloodier combat, threatened to
> wreck the event entirely,
> until Strike remembered a wild night in Vientiane,
> where his shipmates,
> after being refused anything other than Laotian
> whisky, took advantage of
> the local cooking implements and subdued the
> natives: So we innocently
> placed an order for Kebabs to go with our Gin
> Slings, and having thus
> secured suitable close-quarter weapons, we settled
> back in the rattan chairs
> to watch the carnage unfold.
>
> Giovanni, self-proclaimed master swordsman, came on
> strongly, no doubt in
> the hope of scoring a quick win against an
> unprepared opponent (another
> Italian specialty). But JM was prepared
> (historically quite unusual for the
> French in these situations), and jumped for the old
> ceiling fan, swinging
> wildly from side to side to avoid Giovanni's wild
> thrusts. Spying an
> opportunity. Giovanni grabbed a pitcher of Singapore
> Gin Sling from a nearby
> table and hurled it at JM. The pitcher shattered
> against the ceiling, and JM
> fell to the floor dripping blood from a nasty gash
> on the head.
>
> Or so we thought. Cleverly taking advantage of the
> resemblance of Singapore
> Gin Sling to red, sticky blood, JM feigned
> unconsciousness until Giovanni
> closed in for the kill, when he caught the Pisan in
> a foot sweep straight
> out of a Bruce Lee movie. Crashing to the floor and
> taking a potted palm
> with him, Giovanni fought to regain control, a fight
> made difficult by the
> masses of spent peanut shells littering the floor of
> the Long Bar and now
> embedding themselves mercilessly into his sensitive,
> Latin skin.
>
> With a very un-French sense of fair play, JM
> graciously stepped back to
> allow the struggling Professor to regain his
> footing, and the two
> adversaries faced each other across the very rattan
> chair arrangement in
> which Bob, Strike and I were sitting. Sensing that
> relocating would be a
> wise move on our part, we repaired to the bar
> itself, where we took
> advantage of the confusion to secure an area right
> behind the famous Gin
> Sling tap. The barman, one Ho-On-Knee from the name
> on his badge, had taken
> refuge in the beer cooler, from where he
> teeth-chatteringly observed the
> disaster being visited upon his workplace, no doubt
> wondering which demons
> he had offended to bring down these kebab-wielding
> gwailos on his humble
> bar.
>
> A quick feint to the left fooled Giovanni, and JM
> swung to the right,
> catching Giovanni with his back turned and on the
> retreat (another
> traditional Italian battle-maneuver), running his
> skewer straight through
> the Pisan's right sleeve, 50 centimeters of cold,
> unforgiving, beef-smelling
> steel pinning him to the wall. Thus deprived of the
> use of his fighting arm,
> and now facing the wall, Giovanni quickly shifted
> his weapon to his left
> hand, but too late, for the outcome had already been
> determined. A broom
> carelessly left in the corner after a
> peanut-shell-sweeping session earlier
> provided JM with a replacement weapon, with which he
> decisively whacked
> Giovanni over his left hand, forcing the skewer to
> clatter to the floor. JM
> bent down, snatched Giovanni's skewer from the
> ground, and deftly ran it
> through Giovanni's left sleeve, irrevocably pinning
> the Italian to the wall
> and in a highly compromising position.
>
> Regrettably, just as JM picked up a jar of mustard
> from a nearby table, and
> with a lewd grin proceeded to slowly lubricate the
> outer 20 inches of the
> broomstick, Singapore's Finest finally arrived, and
> a semblance of order was
> restored. Strike, Bob and I crawled out from our
> hiding place behind the
> bar, having completely drained the Gin Sling tap,
> and disappeared unseen
> into the night. No doubt, Changi Prison will be a
> more amusing place for the
> coming 20 or 30 years.
>
> So let it be written, so let it be done :-)
>
> Bjorn
>
 
__________________________________________________
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