Staff at Thailand’s Government House are fighting a losing battle – against a ghost.
The spirit known to Government House staff as Pee-Em (พี เอ็ม) is frequently sighted in the Press Area where he addresses gathered media with unauthorized stories and off-the-cuff remarks. Credulous Thai media report these sightings as official Government policy.
“Pee-Em is a mischievous spirit,” the Junta’s Ghost-Wrangler General Sakoobeeduu Whairaryoo explained to us. “Possibly the ghost of an ancient inhabitant of the site, judging by his traditional – if gaudy – prarajathan shirts. We try to make it difficult for Pee-Em to get access to the press, but he keeps slipping by us.”
“The trouble is,” General Sakoobeeduu continued, “Pee-Em tends to speak casually and at length without ‘guidance’ from officials on matters of national and international concern. The simple-minded press, who seem drawn to him, report his words as if they were government policy rather than ideas from hundreds of years ago.”
But Pee-Em is not just a benign nuisance to civil servants, he has a temper. At one ‘press séance’ he threatened to throw a ghostly podium at a reporter who cheekily asked him if he knew any good exorcists. Another time he said he could have had a reporter killed already if he were really angry.
Pee-Em’s short temper and well-fed appearance has led people to suggest he may have been a senior army officer in a previous life.
Junta Spokesthing, Lance-Bombadier Maotpeet told us, “The Government does not believe in ghosts and we have definitely not engaged an exorcist to come in on Thursday at 4pm and get rid of this non-ghost.” He added, “We have certainly not paid him 25 million baht in advance for the day’s work. Absolutely not. Never happened.”
So, are Pee-Em’s days at Government House numbered, or will he continue to torture the Thai Press Corps into 2016 and beyond? Only time will tell.