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The Great Ronald Heist

A tale from the other day:
We have an intern John who is the same level I am. He is a really nice guy. About a year ago he was doing his lower level training, and he was out one night, completely pissed. He passed a Mcdonalds and nicked Ronald, the clown statue. Being drunk I’m not sure he had some grand plan. He didn’t get very far until he was stopped by the police. They were perhaps more amused then bothered by it, or perhaps they are used to drunk foreigners doing these sorts of things. They walked him back and John returned the missing mascot. The bar girls witnessed his long walk back and apparently, John spent the rest of the night drinking for free.
Fast forward to present: John decided it would be awesome to put a Ronald at the bottom of the ocean, inside a shipwreck that we visit nearly every day. He hatched a plan up there with the great train robbery in order to facilitate the acquisition of one burger selling clown. His plan was to get Jorge to drive a pickup truck to the golden arches while a large group of interns placed and order. While the staff was distracted, John would grab the statue and throw it into the back of Jorge’s truck. Simple.
Except that Jorge was involved. At first, Jorge was just a bit weird. He told lots of stories about this and that. Soon though, it became clear that Jorge was a people person who knew everyone, but at the same time, he made up a lot of crap. You drove within a mile of a tornado? Jorge had been sucked up in one.  You played poker with an uncle who liked to drink? Jorge had been in the World Poker Championship.  Test driver for Mercedes, business owner, bartender, skydiver, inventor. Two official birthdays and citizen of 4 countries.Jorge had done about everything.
It was also pretty clear that Jorge would not do half of what he said he would do. Build an underwater GPS? Nah, he gave up on that pretty quick. Ride a bicycle on the bottom of the ocean at 30 meters?  Nope, he was too lazy to bring his bicycle. For his hundredth dive, he was going to jump out of a helicopter. Did he need to book a helicopter? No, a friend owned a helicopter. But Jorge didn’t manage to do that jump. His excuse changed every time he told it, but it became clear that he simply couldn’t afford to hire a helicopter.
Jorge claimed that friends just gave him cars and trucks and bikes to ride, but we figured he just rented them. So while John figured Jorge would come through, nobody else did. But we all did marshall at the appointed meeting place. No Jorge.
I’m really surprised that John didn’t get discouraged with the mountain of obstacles in his path. He’d have to nick the statue, prepare it, and then transport it to the boat. Then onto the boat. After that he’d probably be safe. But Ronald is over 6 feet tall and bright yellow and red. How is John going to move Ronald around without attracting notice? And the dive shop was aware of the “open secret” but didn’t say no. I was a bit surprised at that since only two shops visited the wreck that would have the type of people and manpower to pull this sort of thing off (unofficially of course) and only one of the shops was located in Pattaya. The owners of the shop had might as well told John to leave their business card at the heist.
We returned an hour later but now Jorge claimed that his truck was boxed in by other cars. Most interns had their doubts. Jorge never came through. It was becoming clear that John was about to lose his distraction force. The party moved off to a bar that was next to Mcdonalds to see if Jorge turned up.
Of course, I know that nicking statues is wrong, and I was basically agreeing to become an accessory to the crime, but oh well. I figured it wasn’t going to work out. There was simply no way to get the statue to the boat.
Susan and I went into Mcdonalds as we were a bit hungry, and a few minutes later, a Thai guy came running into the restaurant with a pool stick. Now, I don’t speak Thai, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know what the guy was saying. “Come quick, there is a guy stealing your statue outside!” The manager ran outside and the counter staff ran to the window. Sure enough., there was John.
Turns out John had decided to go ahead with his daring caper, but he decided to hire a taxi. He had managed to get the statue into the back (Note: the taxi’s are pick up trucks with seats running down the sides in the back.) and might have succeeded except that he was spotted by a pool player at a nearby bar.  The guy told the driver that the taxi was about to become the get away vehicle and the driver refused to drive, even when offered $150US. John put the statue back, and got yelled at. The cops were supposedly called and John walked away.
I think it was a bit anti-climatic. When they make the movie, the writers will probably change the ending. In the last scene, John will be filmed running down the street carrying the red haired clown, being chased by a crowd of angry Thai’s brandishing machetes and being lead by the manager of Mcdonalds.


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