Catching the chicken to show the monkey

Catching the chicken to show the monkey - Thai Rath, December 10, 2006

Here is Thai Rath's version of the interesting Kao Lao cartoons that group recent events around a theme. This one is titled "Water, water, water" and is really hard to translate and decipher!

Each cartoon involves a play on words that contains the Thai word for water, nam--but each instance of nam has a different meaning. This cartoon is a good example of the wordplay Thais find so amusing.

Top, left to right:

Undercurrent (kun thi nam) from a big water pipe (tor nam) [This refers to the political undercurrents that the military fears from TRT government supporters.]

Two children died from drowning (jom nam) when they helped their mother pick morning glories.

Some politicians who have been ousted speak a lot causing a flood of saliva (nam lai) as they have been ousted.

Bottom, left to right:

A man is shedding tears (nam ta) as the Kingdom’s budget has been used up. [The man is General Sonthi. He recently spoke to the press that when he realized the former government was corrupt it made my deeply sorrowful. He is holding the bone because a Thai idiom expresses corruption as a process of biting and eating until something, in this case the country, is just a bone.]

Beware of water from the soup (nam gang the water part of tom yum goong soup) as it might hurt you. [This refers to General Surayud and his mention of Malaysian Tom Yum Kung Restaurant as funding the insurgency in the south and how he was metaphorically burned by making the statement.]

It serves him right (som nam nah). Some government officials deserve punishment as they help politicians cheat the country. [The chicken is a government official is being butchered by anti-corruption officials investigating them. The whole tableau with the monkey watching refers to the expression catching the chicken to show the monkey. This means sacrificing someone to cause others to feel afraid and they will dare not do the wrong thing.]