His name is Muhammad Ali, and he sells roasted corn on the cob. Few people ever think to ask him if he is familiar with his boxing American namesake; the topic rarely comes up.
From around lunchtime until well into the evening he tends his coconut-husk fire, baking corn and selling it to anyone with forty cents to spare. Sometimes, he sticks a ratty beach umbrella into a slot on the side of his pushcart so that customers don’t have to stand in the sun while they wait. He always stands in the sun, though. On his cart are tubs of regular as well as spicy cow’s butter with wood-handled paint brushes sticking out of them. People who desire their roasted corn to be spread with spicy butter say this: mintah panas.
During the Muslim holy month of ramadan, Muhammad Ali travels for a fortnight back to the island of Java, where his family lives, meaning that someone else sells corn in his stead. The other fifty weeks out of the year, however, he stands in the parking lot of Batu Bolong beach selling corn and chain-smoking cigarettes. It’s an honest gig, you see, and someone has to do it. In the Balinese language, one of the slang words for penis is kontol. Therefore, when a pretty white girl says she wants one corn, the joke is to ask her if she wants a big kontol, then jump the eyebrows and crank a secret smile when she says yes.
It’s a funny joke that never gets old.
Muhammad Ali is full of funny jokes.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
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I bicycle, write, surf, and the rest.