Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jail Tats on Tots

I was born and raised for a short time in Khamti, a Burmese prison.

At an embassy dinner, the ruler at the time told a joke that went some thing like, “Are you familiar with the joke about the American, Englishman, and Burmese who had a bragging competition? The first one boasted about how an American swam across the English Channel without any arms, the second boasted about how an Englishman climbed Mt. Everest without any feet, and the third one WON the contest when he boasted that Burma is being ruled by dictator with NO brain.” Nobody was supposed to laugh, if they knew what was best for them. But Dad, lost in translation, thought the punch line was, “What, and give up show business?!" He let out a belly laugh. Everybody else just stared at him.

We made our escape from Khamti, when I was about six, when father essentially duped a guard when he said, “Hey, look over there,” and stuck a homemade knife into his neck--and off we went in the tunnel he had dug while on laundry duty.

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