Monday, July 14, 2008

Prison beating

I got beat up in prison.

Well, sort of. I got a massage that beat me up pretty good. At a spa. At a women’s correctional facility in Chiang Mai.

The women’s prison apparently uses the spa as a way to train its inmates for honest work on the outside. And let me assure you, those lady criminals are tough.

The massage studio looked like any other in Thailand—all air-conditioned cushy pastels. Our masseuses were quiet and mild-mannered—mine even wore bookish glasses—and outfitted in soft blue jammies that looked like OR scrubs. That was something of a disappointment to me. I’d been hoping for black-and-white Hamburglar outfits and faces clawmarked from shower fights.

After the masseuses gave our feet a nice biblical scrubbing, we changed into jammies of our own. Then the criminal masseuses served us tea and laid Aliyah and I down on adjacent cushions.

“Soft, medium or heavy?” my seemingly meek masseuse asked me.

“Heavy,” I said as toughly as I could. When in Rome

The criminals giggled. Aliyah wisely opted for medium. And then the pain began.

My criminal dug her elbows into my thighs with such determined ferocity I would have thought she was trying to dig a tunnel under the prison walls. She jammed her forearms into my back so violently I wondered whether she thought I was a narc. And when my masseuse sent Aliyah laughing by clamping onto my upper body and twisting it around as easily as she would a bottle cap, well, my masseuse could only have been imagining I was the member of a rival prison gang, right?

But oh, it hurt so good.

When the hour was over and I started limping toward the exit, Aliyah and I quickly agreed: best massage ever.

Just as we reached the door, in mid-whisper trying to goad each other into asking the masseuses what they were in for (assault and battery was our best guess), we noticed the armed guard was not manning his post by the exit. Before I could scream, “Jailbreak!” Aliyah pointed behind me. The guard, in a khaki uniform with a gun and billy club dangling like Christmas ornaments from his belt, was fast asleep in one of the La-Z-Boys the gals use for foot massages.

Talk about hard time.


jason said...

no happy ending?

Leslie said...

In a whisper, "How vas de pressure?"