King of Siam

I think this improbable story is old, but there certainly are modern elements added to it. Stan Kegel posted it on the shaggydog listserve. It reminds me that no head shall be higher than the King’s.

Be it known that in the ancient Kingdom of Siam a most ingenious method was employed in the selection of a ruler. It was not only a marvelous system but, in a sense, a democratic one. The old King died, and a new one had to be chosen.

The first step was to dispatch Annamese scouts into every cranny of the kingdom in search of candidates. They sought, amongst nobles and peasants alike, the most virile and most handsome and best hung of all of the young men in the land. Five of these stalwarts eventually became the candidates for the Throne, subject to a severe testing.

Now another contingent of scouts, from the Lawa and Yao Yin, went forth upon the land in search of the five most beautiful maidens amongst the populous, young women of stunning beauty, incredible shapeliness and untrammeled passion.

When the five young men and the five gorgeous girls had been chosen, the Great Day was announced. The Contest was held at midday in a great arena and the people of Siam gathered from far and wide to witness the ceremony.

The moment had come for selection of the Lord of Life, Descendant of Buddha, Supreme Arbiter of the Ebb and Flow of the Tide, Brother of the Moon, Half Brother of the Sun, Possessor of the Twenty-four Gilded Umbrellas, Spitter in the Golden Spittoon. The five stoutly handsome young men lined up naked on the field. Twenty feet in front of them stood the five lovely young women, each naked and each carrying a brass pot filled with fine honey.

When all was in readiness, the Royal Gakluk, clad in crimson panung, smote a mighty blow on the Sukhotai drum as a signal for the commencement of the ceremony. Lesser timpani throbbed in the background as the five girls moved forward with graceful steps. Each took her position face to face with one of the young men, then dropped to her knees and with her right hand took honey from the brass pot and began smearing it liberally, and caressingly, over the young man’s lower abdomen; at the same time she employed her left hand in little pats and caresses of love.

Five stout bowsprits stood forth for all to see. When each candidate had been given an adequate coating of honey, sufficient to begin attracting swarms of large Siamese flies, the Sukhotai drum boomed once again and the girls stood up.

Another signal and each beauty marched around her young man, stood directly behind him, and then again dropped to her knees. Now each girl on signal reached through the sturdy legs and took hold of the proud bowsprit and, tugging with might and main, bent it downward and pulled it backward through the legs and then upward.

All was ready. The Royal Gakluk swung his great klekti against the drum, and each girl let go, and there were five simultaneous and lightning like swishes as five bowsprits cracked against their owners’ abdomens. The one that killed the most flies, that was the new King.

Hence the name of the great capital city, Bangkok.

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