I’ve been meaning to write about Kritter Klub for a while, but it didn’t seem urgent until last Tuesday, when I finally had the chance to get a sak yant or yantra tattoo. For those of you who aren’t aware, sak yant are a kind of sacred tattoo usually done in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos using a traditional hand poking method. You’ve probably seen tourists coming home from vacations in Thailand with sak yant, although most of them time, those are just decorative tattoos with no real power or responsibility behind them.
Now, I got my last tattoo about ten years ago. It takes up two-thirds of my back and it was so painful–nine hours of what felt like flames scorching me–that I swore I would never get another tattoo again. Really, it hurt so much that childbirth felt minor in comparison.
I’m dumb when it comes to pain because I often seem to charge headlong towards it, but when my friend told me that a monk was visiting and could do sak yant, I was initially cautious. Could I get it done on my forearms instead of my torso? My friend said she thought it was possible, although she suggested getting it done on my ribs. I said hell no to that, and insisted in forearms, and my friend said to just make an appointment and ask the master.
I did say that I’d sworn off tattoos, but this was a really rare opportunity to get truly sacred sak yant–not just ordinary tattoos–from a monk. The day came and when I finally had a chance to speak to the master about the tattoos, he said that the blessings I was asking for meant I had to get the tattoos on my back and ribs, and that I would end up getting three sak yant in total.
I did think about it, especially after I completed the first sak yant on my nape and back, which was a lot bigger and more excruciatingly painful than I expected (not to mention that it lasted two hours). When we took a break before the second sak yant, the master said to me that I could change my mind if I wanted to. Looking at the stencil on my ribs, I really did wrestle with my desire to avoid pain, but unfortunately, my tendency to think “Ah well, in for a penny, in for a pound” kicked in and I said I would do it.
Master took pity on me and said I could watch videos on my phone while he worked on my ribs, and I realized that I could finally deploy my ultimate weapon against pain. Guan Gong may have had chess, I had…KRITTER KLUB.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Kritter Klub is a YouTube channel that takes SBS TV Animal Farm shows and adds their own subtitles, and whoever is subtitling those Kritter Klub episodes is a Goddamn genius. I imagine it’s someone’s nephew or niece who just likes to joke around because some episodes are hilarious simply because of the subtitles. There are also sad ones about animals in crisis, and those let me shed the tears that I needed to help manage the pain of getting tattooed. Three hours passed like nothing!
Kritter Klub, thank you. In honour of this great channel, I’m sharing some of my favourite videos below:
I was hooked from the start when the Britney song began to play
“Dog is a fuckboy who doesn’t come home for hours” plus that guilty face–what more do you need to know??
A recent one that brought me to tears
You know, some people I know who don’t like to do charity aren’t necessarily selfish people (well, maybe a little bit) but often, they don’t know where to start or what to do because there’s so much suffering in this world that it gets overwhelming. But Kritter Klub is a lovely reminder that sometimes, having compassion and love for even just one creature is enough.