The corrupt prison governor is running a racket and Tim, having been a banker before his incarceration, helps him with the books, all the time squirrelling away evidence of wrong-doing. Meanwhile old lag Brooks has been inside so long that when he’s released he can’t cope with life outside so tops himself in a half-way house.
Tim scratches at the wall behind his Raquel Welch poster and makes a tunnel big enough to climb through. Whether by design or ill fortune, this connects with the sewage system and Tim escapes from jail smelling none too sweet (see photo). He sends proof of the governor’s scams to the newspapers; the police turn up and the governor does the decent thing with a revolver. Tim high-tails it to Mexico and buys an old boat, shortly to be joined by the parolled Morgan. Also, the world is attacked by a swarm of killer fuzzy blobs.
Oh, you don’t remember the fuzzy blobs? You’re telling me that you’ve seen the Shawshank Redemption a number of times and you have no recollection of any fuzzy blobs? I see. So you’re saying that Mr Pobaan was either watching the wrong movie or had overdone the Chang beer, is that it?
Well, I can assure you that I got the right film, that I was as sober as usual and that the world was definitely infected by a plague of fuzzy blobs.
They first appear on the faces of Shawshank inmates. A prisoner puts his fingers to his lips and a fuzzy blob suddenly appears on his mouth, followed by the exhalation of a cloud of smoke. If that’s not a killer blob, I don’t know what is.
Then there’s a bit of a ruckus and one prisoner attacks another, holding a knife to the man’s throat. Instantly, it becomes a fuzzy blob and sort of blobs about on his neck until the other cons convince the attacker to put the knife down. At this point, the fuzzy blob disappears. Then, when old Brooks is hanging himself in the flop-house, he kicks away the chair he’s standing on. The rope that hangs him is instantly engulfed by a fuzzy blob. How else can this be explained than as an attack by a swarm of fuzzy blobs, probably from outer space? Every time a fuzzy blob appears, something bad happens, clearly showing blobs to have evil intent.
As final proof, I will remind you of the governor’s suicide scene. He takes his gun from the desk, carefully loads it, holds it to his throat and... it is consumed by a fuzzy blob. There’s a bang and blood spurts out the back of his head, indicating that the governor is deceased or at least severely unwell. The fuzzy blobs have claimed another victim.
Last time I saw the Shawshank Redemption it was on DVD and I confess that I don’t remember the fuzzy blob invasion featuring in that version of the film. It’s something about broadcast television in Thailand that introduces the fuzzy blob dimension to certain movies. You won’t see fuzzy blobs in the Parent Trap or You’ve Got Mail; they seem to be uniquely attracted to films that contain violence or smoking.
OK, you got me. I was being facetious back there. I know that the fuzzy blobs aren’t an alien invasion but are stuck on the film by a government censor who thinks we shouldn’t be allowed to see the gun when someone blows the back of his head off. We can see the brains splattering against the wall and we can hear the whole thing, but we’re not allowed to see the actual gun for the split-second when it is being deployed in a naughty act.
Likewise with hanging ropes. You can see the way it’s tied around the beam, and you can see old Brooks’s strangulated face, but you’re not allowed to see the bit of rope between the beam and his neck. It might give you ideas. If you knew exactly how to hang yourself you might give it a go. Perhaps things have been tough lately. Life in paradise has been slightly less terrific than expected. Wait up! Luckily, the valiant censor has fuzzed-up the bit of rope just below the beam so if you’re watching the redacted version of the Shawshank Redemption you will have no idea how to connect your neck with a beam and so your life will be saved.
In 7-Eleven these days you’re not allowed to see that they sell cigarettes. Instead, you have to guess that they do, or else look for the sign that tells you that they might. This is because, if you could see the cigarettes on sale, it might give you the idea of starting a smoking habit which could prove unhealthy.
Similarly, if you try to buy a beer in Big C or Tesco in the afternoon, you could find yourself involved in a rather embarrassing incident at the checkout in which the offending can is removed from your purchases and placed incriminatingly on one side, clearly showing other shoppers that you have a chronic drinking problem. It’s OK to buy 30 cans of beer; it’s small quantities from which you clearly need protection. Except at the drink shop on our soi where no such restrictions apply.
It occurs to me that these various attempts by the authorities to control our behaviour are, at best, half-hearted and, at worst, lacking any evidential rationale. Do fuzzy blobs on guns really stop us shooting each other? Do the fuzzy blobs on the smokers and the mysterious metal shutters that cover the tobacco in 7-Eleven really stop us smoking?
Or could it be that, contrariwise, they call attention to guns and cigarettes, making them more attractive to potential users. Who knows?