My neighbor Jens has been arrested. The insane Dane is behind bars. I know this because when I arrived home yesterday evening and trudged wearily up the driveway to my condominium I was stopped by the two friendly Indian security guys Raj and Raj. They as is usual saw me approaching and snapped to immediate and rigid attention and gave me incredibly elaborate salutes. I have repeatedly asked them to stop doing this. I have implored them in fact - however it makes no difference. They are insistent.
"At ease fellas" I greeted Raj and Raj.
I have found that saying this is the only way to stop the salutes.
"Good evening Mr. Peter Sir" one of the Raj's said to me. His voice was quite excited. The other Raj broke away and rushed into the guardhouse and picked up the phone.
"The Danlander man has been being arrested" Raj continued.
"The Danlander man?" I enquired.
"Yes the big fatting man on the motorcycle Mr.. Peter sir" he replied.
"Raj is calling Mr. Tan now to be telling him that you are home" he added.
I knew then that Raj was referring to Jens. The crazy one. My lunatic Danish neighbor.
Before I had a chance to respond to Raj I saw a flash of movement from further up the driveway as the building manager Mr. Tan came rushing towards me. The other Raj had re-emerged from the guard hut and both went immediately rigid in the salute posture as Mr. Tan arrived.
"For fuck's sake guys relax" I sighed.
"At ease" I commanded and the saluting hands dropped.
"Mr.. Peter. Mr. Peter. Mr. Jens has been arrested" Mr. Tan panted at me.
He was waving his hands around a bit and it was obvious to me that he was not his normally composed self. He was in fact in a highly agitated state.
"So what's up Mr. Tan?" I enquired.
"What is this about Jens?"
"He has been arrested Mr. Peter"
He was still puffing and panting. I was unable to determine whether this was because of the sprint he had made down the driveway to meet me or because of the brouhaha of the moment.
Brouhaha is a brilliant word. It is a noisy and overexcited reaction or response to something or someone. There is somewhat of a brouhaha over the etymology of the word brouhaha. I would have guessed that it was Irish but it is not. There is one school of thought that suggests that it's origins are from French medieval theatre and another that it is biblical. The latter school think that it may have derived from the Hebrew term 'barukh habba" - which translates to "blessed be the one who comes". I have no idea how such a term relates to a noisy and overexcited reaction - nor indeed do I actually care - but I most definitely like the word brouhaha.
I like to occasionally cause the odd one too.
"Take a couple of deep breaths Mr. Tan", I said and I gave him a reassuring couple of pats on the back.
He was slightly hunched over now and he had his hands on his knees.
"I am alright Mr. Peter" he gasped.
"The police they came and took Mr. Jens away today"
"He didn't do another pony in the pool did he?" I asked
A pony is a poo - a shit - a turd. I have explained this once before but I will repeat myself. I often do. I often do. It is English rhyming slang. A pony and trap - which was an old English form of transportation - rhymes with crap, which is a poo. It is abbreviated to a 'pony'.
I asked this question of Mr. Tan because several months ago a floater was found in the swimming pool of my apartment complex. It was a very large poo. It was adult size. I was a coincidental witness to it's discovery and I informed Mr. Tan at the time that I thought that the most likely suspect was Jens the lunatic Dane. Jens later discovered that I was his accuser and he has been my enemy ever since. I shall not recant the whole drama again now as I have written about it before - at length and in a piece that I most unimaginatively entitled "The Floater".
"No No Mr. Peter it was worse" Mr. Tan declared.
"He was being caughted piddling in the park with his pants being off" one of the Raj's interjected.
Mr. Tan cast the Raj in question a withering glance which triggered an immediate apologetic salute. I am beginning to suspect that the Raj's are obsessive compulsive saluters. It is bizarre.
"At ease Raj" I instructed the rigid security guard.
"Piddling in the park with his pants down Mr. Tan?" I enquired.
"Where was this?"
"At the Eastcoast park Mr. Peter" he replied.
"This morning he was filmed and he was arrested this afternoon"
The Eastcoast park is a large green strip of land unsurprisingly located on the east coast of the Island. It is a very pleasant place full of meandering paths and food stalls and beaches. There are many public toilets there as well - and cameras. Singapore is awash with security cameras. Big brother is a watching.
"I assume that he was drunk then?"
"He is always drunk I think Mr. Peter" Mr. Tan replied.
"I think he is" I agreed.
Piddling in the park could well be a major offense in Singapore. Many things are and any form of public nudity is very illegal. Jens could be in some very serious shit.
"Well I told you that he was a dirty fucker didn't I Mr. Tan?" I said.
He nodded a furtive agreement.
"Do you have any idea what will happen to him?"
"I do not know Mr. Peter"
"Well keep me posted if you hear any more please?" I asked.
"I need to go upstairs and have a pee myself" I then announced.
"See you later guys" I said as I walked to the lift lobby.
The two Raj's started to move into a salute position so I barked a quick "at ease" at them and it stopped them in their tracks.
I hope nothing too bad happens to Jens over the peeing incident. The man is certifiable but no one deserves to be incarcerated for doing a widdle on the lawn. I have done a few myself in my time. I will make some subtle enquiries with the Authorities tomorrow and see if there is anything that I can do to help my Danish neighbor.
The future Queen of Denmark is after all Australian.