Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
6

My eldest. Annie, 9, appears to have won the 'Kindest Girl in the Class Award', Matthew, coming on 7, is playing the part of Joseph and singing with the Mother of God in the primary school Nativity Play, and my bleating youngest is playing the 'Third Sheep' with cute aplomb. So which of them murdered my %$£*@@ pineapple!




Whoever did it used the dagger, which I had used the previous day for slicing chillies and green papaya for a Thai som tam.

The suspects' dark side


Do my kids have a dark side? I investigated. 

Suspect one Annie, 9, was a cool customer. 

‘Come on daddy. How can it be me with my school record.
‘Besides,” she added, “You know what the boys are like.”

I did, but I was not taken in.  A month or so before on Halloween I had seen their dark side.

Matthew, 6, as usual blamed his sister.



Matthew: Almost am angel

Archie apologised straight away. But he apologises for everything. His big sister calls him 'Collateral damage'. Then he asked: 'Is it Christmas tomorrow?'  

But as I said. Archie is always apologising. Not just for what he has just done, but also for what he is going to do. 

His crimes so far have included swinging on my bedroom door bringing it off its hinges with a little help from his brother, putting green slime in Annie’s bed and many things with slugs, snails and spiders and even dead wildlife in the house.

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(His role as 3rd sheep shows he has only marginally better Thespian qualities than me, At prep school I also had a non-speaking part as the dead body of Julius Caesar while Mark Antony delivered his ‘I come not to bury Caesar but to praise him’ speech.

My stage directions were along the lines of don't speak, don't move, don't breathe! I was gagged!

I was not going to miss my five minutes of fame. I developed an itchy nose, which I duly scratched from under the sheet which covered me. 

It added what I like to think was a comedic element to a boring play which did not even seem to me to be in English. At the age of 11 I was not yet hooked on Shakespeare)
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Archie plays on his cuteness and has an exotic taste in women far beyond the ken of a normal 4-year-old, and holds court with them at Pirates Playschool at the weekend. He’s not as innocent as he looks.


I told the kids I was investigating Thai style and told Matthew to take a bite out of an apple I had in my hand. He had a bite before falling asleep so I took it from his tiny hand and rushed down  and placed it in the murder scene.

The following morning I had them at their weakest. At the crack of 06.45 I had them all out of their beds.

Matthew spent the usual 20 minutes zombie like looking for his socks, trousers, school sweatshirt, socks and shoes which as usual he had distributed throughout every room of the house, then as he came from brushing his teeth and washing his face I confronted him.  

‘It was you!” I said. “There’s the proof.  I am taking that apple away for DNA testing, finger printing, the lot. Your DNA and finger prints will be found at the scene of the crime.*”
Matthew rubbed his eyes.

 “That’s not fair, daddy. YOU put the apple there. And it must have your fingerprints too *. What’s DNA?”
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*Legal Note: In the trial of Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin for the brutal murders of British backpackers of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller it was revealed that police never found DNA on the murder weapon. But the defence did. And it was not of the defendants.

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I replied. “You don’t need to know what DNA is. In court it will be bits of paper and charts which show that you are 999.999 in a million the most likely killer. This is now a Thai investigation and the police, forensic scientists and court won’t understand why either.  So, your goose is cooked sonny boy!” (*)

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*Legal Note: In the trial of Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin. Not only did foreign experts not understand the Thai Police DNA findings. They concluded that either police forensic experts were incompetent, or framing the defendants. There was no chain of custody in the case hence the DNA used to convict the defendant could have come from anywhere.
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But, I didn’t’ do it!”. 

I told him if he did not make a full confession I would take him off his tablet for a month, and ban him eating spicy tom yam noodles. and watching ‘Swashbucklers’ on Kids TV.

‘That must be worse than death daddy,” said Matthew, but then he paused. “But I’m not confessing because I did not do it.”

I felt bad. I told him: 'Ok you can go to the Thai court. As you were born in Thailand, and have an influential uncle you'll get bail. Just don't show your foreign passport. It’s not so bad. If you play the system you’ll have grand-children before you even reach the Supreme Court.*”
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*Legal Note: Somchai Khunpleum, also known as Kamnan Poh, the Godfather of Thailand’s eastern seaboard and father of Santanya Khunpleum, former Minister of Culture was convicted of murder of his chief political rival in Chonburi to 25 years in 2004. He had been appealing ever since. He was arrested briefly but ended up in hospital. This month he was named as one of those pardoned by the new King of Thailand. 
Thailand’s longest case lasted more than 25 years during which half the defendants and witnesses died.
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It was the last day of school. Annie, Matthew, and Archie all came rushing out with Christmas cards they had made for ‘Daddy’. It was hard to think there was a killer in their midst.

‘So, daddy, have you solved the murder?” said Annie in the car on the way home. ‘Are you really an investigator?  You’re not much good, are you? So, who did it then?” She laughed.

“My money is on Matthew,” I replied.

“Silly daddy. It was me?”  “You?”  “Yes me!” she replied.

“Gotcha!” I replied.

 “No, you haven’t”, said Annie. “It’s not on tape!” 

Annie thought she had a point. 

“Wrong. This is a Thai investigation. Thai Police don’t record confessions. They just write them."

I let the subject drop. But back at home Matthew came running up to me shouting. 'Daddy, daddy. I have the evidence'.

And then in front of my very eyes he showed me a YouTube video clip showing a tiny hand thrusting a knife into my Waitrose pineapple.

"That's Annie's YouTube page!" said Matthew.


Annie tried to snatch Matthew's tablet from my hands “But I was doing it for you,” she said.

For me?

“You said you would not have a natural pineapple fruit in the house,” she smiled. “I saw it on the sideboard and thought I’ll do daddy a favour.”

LEGAL NOTE: The Natural Fruit Company of Thailand took multiple cases against Andy Hall, a British workers’ rights activist who was part of the Finn Watch Team which published a damning report about the treatment of Burmese migrant workers at their pineapple plant in Prachuap Khiri Kan province of Thailand. 


Natural Fruit sued for criminal libel under the Computer Crime Act, having won won one case and lost another Andy Hall quit Thailand joining several foreign journalists who had been pushed into exile including yours truly. Truth is not a defence to libel in Thailand. And what is in the public interest is up to the Thai judges, who are currently following the interests of the military government.

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Now I have a problem. My nine-year-old daughter has a YouTube page and she is editing her own videos.

Do I close her down reminding her of the dangers of the internet.
No, I'll remind her of the dangers and then I'll think I'll buy her Final Cut Pro.

Happy Christmas - one and all!

6 comments:

  1. Cute kids Andrew, you're a lucky guy. Takes a lot of energy to keep up with them, right...enjoy it while you can, they'll be all grown-up before you know it.

    Looks like they've settled in well in the UK.

    Merry Christmas to you too.

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  2. An unusual piece but one which I found strangely captivating.

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  3. "Cute kids Andrew, you're a lucky guy."

    May a person humbly add blessed to lucky? One could intrinsically feel (I like guessing) it's a lot of the former as opposed to the latter.

    The story prompts a reminder to never take those dearest to the heart for granted - not for even one second

    Best Regards

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  4. Cute, enjoyed it. Happy Holidays. Looks like you have gotten another Xmas present. Drew may have less flash from afar. Did you see ... http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/bangkok/2016/12/22/renowned-photographer-axed-plagiarizing-royal-photos/

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  5. Lovely Family Andrew, very nice to see they have settled in fine, All The Best 2017

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