Chucky’s Revenge

by Ant Stone on June 16, 2008

in Indonesia

Back when I was a boy – when war was settled by Thundercats, when all we had to play with were a Commodore 64, Sega Megadrive, a Spectrum ZX and a Gameboy, when Eclipse jeans meant u waz kool and Timmy Mallet got kicks out of striking the dumb kids with a big hammer – I stuck a pin in a map and announced to Chucky (my plastic-faced ventriloquist doll) that ‘I’m going to Java’. ‘Really? That’s great, I hope you have a wonderful time in Java’ we said ‘I will, Chucky’ I promised. In the years following my declaration, hair began to grow in strange places and my redheaded friend rarely uttered a word. The truth is, he became the victim of a number of violent beatings at the hands of my fiendish teenage friends and me, and in 1999 he was cruelly doll-napped and fatally run over – twice – on the quiet country road to my house by a friend’s Vauxhall Nova. Nine years since his assassination, I’ve made it to the Indonesian island of Java and in a cruel twist of fate, Chucky’s pinned me with revenge.

As the window in the taxi became smeared with the late night cityscape of Java’s infamous capital, Jakarta, I was revelling in Martynas and Juste’s (my Lithuanian comrades) proud defence of the tawdry Eurovision Song Contest. Twenty kilometres from the airport we’d just left, I rightly abandoned my support for the recent UK contestants and turned the conversation to Lithuanian comedy, but as I listened, my mind opened the creaking door to my memory. In an astonishing moment, my eyes widened, my head jerked upright and a pair of arrows seemed to pierce me with panic, one struck my larynx while the other carried it’s twang deep into my stomach. I knew well before the completion of a scrambled search of the taxi that I’d left my neck-wallet on the plane. I’d taken it out of my bag to pay for a drink, and during the transaction some turbulence put me back in my seat and the neck-wallet would remain forgotten in the pocket in front of me. It contained my wallet, which was carrying my only valid credit card, my driving license, Rp2.4m (£130) and perhaps the most valuable item, a playing card of Donald Duck playing the jester that I’d been gifted on my 21st birthday whilst travelling in Norway. The neck-wallet also contained my passport; the maroon book full of official squiggles and smudges from my many journeys over the past four years. By 11pm we were back at the airport and I was calmly using my taxi driver as an interpreter to communicate with the slovenly manager of the Lost & Found office who was in the throes of a grossly deep massage from one of the male cleaning staff, it quickly became obvious this act wouldn’t be dropped for a mere bule (westerner) and over the coming days it became clear the lot was gone.

It was a weekend, but over the following few days I phoned US-based Visa ‘we are going to help you sir’ International, HSBC (UK), I visited the local no-speaky-English police and nagged the massaged at the abysmal airport office. On Sunday I emailed Mandala Air’s CEO, and I spent Monday morning at the British Consulate before making sense of it all during an afternoon in the HSBC (Indonesia) Premier Lounge (which I proudly blagged my way into), while scoffing down complimentary fruits and slurping coffee beside a plasma screen in my leather sofa. The graft paid off, four days after Chucky’s vengeance I had a fist full of crispy Greenbacks and assurance from a Welshman that a new flexible friend will be waiting for me at HSBC (Singapore) when I return in July, and on the Thursday morning, I picked up a brand spanking new passport to begin a two day anti-corruption stance at the Immigration Office. Along the line, there was inevitable slack in the process (and a thief), but overall I tip my hat to a bunch of commendable attitudes and systems in place at HSBC (UK) and the WTC branch of HSBC (Indonesia), I thank the British Consulate in Jakarta for their straight forward solution, I chastise Mandala Air’s Lost & Found sluggard, and their overall lack of after sales service and abhor the Immigration Office farce. Mostly, I thank Martynas and Juste who came to my aid unprompted, whose emotive response was backed-up by fresh thinking.

The other twist in this tale goes back to that fateful night, when Chucky stole my wallet. After arriving in Jakarta’s hotel district, Jaksa, past midnight, I thanked Juste and Martynas for their understanding and they took the taxi on to a Couch Surfing host. It took me a further two hours to find a vacancy at a dismal hostel that would inevitably become my home during a week of formal address requests. At 3am I rest my head on the fusty pillow in my cell-like room and reviewed my loss to the sound of a clattering table fan. At 7am my peaceful ignorance was torn and shred by a tremendous mechanical noise from the outside my butter-coloured door, the whirr was followed by wisps of careless smoke sifting through the windows mosquito screen. I flung the door open to face a dense fog of silver-grey smoke, as I moved my hand slowly forward a few inches my fingers vanished, giving the illusory feeling of another world, an invisible and tempting world. I crouched low to the floor and felt my way down the narrow stairs, patting my way through the dusty nooks of a residence I barely knew before emerging onto the street in a fit of coughs that jarred water from my stinging eyes. ‘Oooh, sorry-sorry’ three unfamiliar ladies laughed along with Chucky, ‘what is it?’ I demanded, ‘fume for insect killing’ one informed me. ‘You could of fucking killed me! I’ve got asthma’ I lied – and regrettably, yes I swore – before a more convincing crow of ‘oooh sorry-sorry’ produced a stool and a brew of sweet tea.

In this situation, it would have been dishonest to smile. The gloomy memory of the ignorant airport office beat its drum and formed a vision of that sunken face jammed onto that clammy neck, those drooping nipples undulating with every knead of that saggy back – and I vented nonsense for five minutes, until my finger wagged tellingly. They succeeded in fumigating an angry Ant, but after just four hours of restless sleep I wasn’t ready to face seven days on the phone and in the necessary offices of Jakarta. Chucky, old friend you’ve dished up a cold and cruel revenge, now forgive me, I’m sorry.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Stone (Big Brother) June 19, 2008 at 12:01 am

I can’t believe you killed MY Chucky!!! I wondered where he went. And to top it off, he was ran over by a Vauxhall Nova…..Come to New York at your own peril..

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Becki June 19, 2008 at 8:58 am

Welcome to the club! Be prepared for questions highlighting your stupidity, as if needed. ‘So, you managed to lose everything? Really, everything? You mean you had everything in one place? Passport, money, credit card, everything? Wow. That’s stupid.’
Gee, thanks.

Reply

Nomadic Matt June 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm

All I can is that thundercats was the best tv show….I hope they make that a movie.

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Ant June 25, 2008 at 6:15 am

@ My little Big Brother… mate, I spoke to Chucky and we both agreed at the time time that he was never yours. He told me so with his own mouth.

@ Beck… you’re right! I feel like changing the story to something resembling an armed robbery on my bare hotel room, where I fought for twelve nights and days until the scallys got away with fourteen black eyes, and my wallet and passport!

@ the Nomadic Matt… thunder, thunder, THUNDERCATS! Shnarf will forever be my hero!

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