Sexist Grim Reaper
RAYONG: Residents of Village 7 of Tambon Baan Laeng, Muang District, held a Buddhist sadaokhro merit-making ceremony on March 11 to try to turn around a string of untimely deaths that has caused the number of male residents to plummet to the point where there are 141 males and 269 females. One might imagine that the surviving males might like the way the odds are stacked in their favor, but they’re actually quite nervous. Villagers are sure the village is cursed and no man is safe. According to village headman Sayan Sripeuak, the worst year was 2003, when the village’s ranks of widows really began to surge. “Sometimes it gets so bad that there’s a traffic jam of coffins at the temple waiting to be cremated,” he said. “It seems like bad luck just begets bad luck. Men are dropping like flies.” K. Sayan said that, of the males remaining in the village, most are children. Adult females outnumber their male counterparts 3:1. “I think this bad for our community spirit. We are rapidly becoming a village of old women,” said the headman. “So after discussion with my fellow villagers, we decided to hold this merit-making ceremony to break the curse. “We invited monks from all over to come and join in by sprinkling the village with holy water in order to drive out the bad luck,” he explained. One of the many widows is 30-year resident Tawil Amponmaha, mother of 1984 Olympic boxing silver medalist Tawee Amponmaha. “It is very difficult to believe what is going on here. Something strange is happening, and that’s why I decided to attend the sadaokhro ceremony,” she said. It was not reported whether there would be any effort to keep the remaining men from riding around drunk on motorcycles without crash helmets over the Songkran holiday. This practice has been statistically proven to take the lives of adult males relative to females by a factor of – you guessed it – around 3:1.
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