Editor’s Note: Great news… we have changed our name. The board of sixty-six members voted unanimously to drop our burdensome name of Udon Expats Dispatch to the livelier and apropos Soi Farang News effective immediately. We now have a name that roles off the tongue and reminds the reader that they are but a click away from a morning adventure in reading… You may want to refill your coffee cup before you get started.
In Issue 16 we continue to regale you with five cartoons mingled in with heartwarming and compelling letters, tad bits of information you already know and we end with our epic story of more than a thousand words… a lot of reading for sure… Prizes are held in reserve for those members who finish the Epic Tale and can pass a short comprehension test. See the editor for contest rules.
Translation: Soi Farang, (soy faa long) noun, trans: Thai/English: street of foreigner. (Commonly referred by the locals as Soi Low Gii…. Street of low class…. It is where the Farangs go to have a beer and to delve into the Thai culture if the price is right.
214, 207, 191
Book Sales: book sales of the Up To You Cartoon series increased three fold last month… Tell me if I shouldn’t be happy.
To my way of thinking a few hundred people must have visited this site and of those a handful had to have clicked on my link and taken a look at my books before three of those folks were lulled into a purchase. Thank You.
If I’m thinking right that means this site has more than seven readers…. We are off to the stratosphere with readers breathing thin air. A most pleasing thought….
Letters to the Editor
I have no idea why I wrote. I have nothing to complain about or ask. I just find myself staring at my computer and this link all day so I decided to write. Do you have an answer for that?
This is a slow day so we passed your letter around the office with no comment. Soon someone suggested you come write for us. We need some more brainless puppies hashing out word thrills by the minute.
On the serious side, Bobby, We understand your plight. We imagine with no real effort toward accurate reporting that a major number of Farangs are stiff jointed staring at their computer screens this very moment. You are just one of a legion.
Don’t think anything of it.
We suggest you rework your letter of this morning with emphasis toward impressing a readership of five and we may have a spot for you…. We have recently lost our friend, Dr. Frederic Farmoothe to suicide (see issue 15) and are in need of a replacement. Send us your effort post haste…
Dear Editor… this is Bobby thrilling again.
I have followed your lead and completely fabricated my submission without the foggiest intent to report honestly or without prejudice. I’m trying to follow your lead. I hope you find the skills you are looking for within the four corners of my first effort and can use my talents.
Please find my 300 word application…
…I landed in Thailand without the foggiest idea. I thought Thailand was just west of Hawaii so you can imagine the thrill I had when the stewardess told me I had another twelve hours of flying before landing in Bangkok. This is like another world. I am a bit confused and seem to be out of sorts but my friends back in the States told me that feeling confused would be normal for the first week and I should make every effort to contact someone who has their feet firmly planted on the ground before I venture out… That is why this letter. What should my first step be?
Jimmy Dovetail (a synonym…. I’m really Bobby thrilling pretending to be a Jimmy Dovetail)
Dear Jimmy Dovetail,
Your letter has arrived in the nick of time and our hats off to the internet. Otherwise we would have had to wait another day for the mail service to deliver your lively contribution to our morning amusement.
You are no doubt a newbie but don’t take that as a handicap anymore than you should start thinking you are on top of the world both strong and emotionally prepared for what awaits you.
Thailand is home to the original Gecko lizard… not really, but for purposes of setting you straight that is what you should believe. Geckos’s come in all sizes, are nocturnal, good clingers and live comfortably side by side with man in their homes where they eat mosquitoes and other unwanted bugs in exchange for room. Gecko’s are often shy around humans. Gecko’s have never been known to smile.
Now, tonight when you first leave your hotel room and step onto the street will you go with a lizard that does not smile but eats mosquitoes or will you go with the woman who smiles and is about to eat you alive.
Please call in case of emergency.
The whole office (really Bobby Thrilling)
P.S. Do I get the job? I wait in a torrent of excitement
Dear Newspaper Editor,
I surely hope you can help me.
Last month I started building a little honeymoon cottage for my new bride but I soon ran into problems. I have learned in the last week that my bride’s mother wants her own bedroom and bath and upon hearing about her wishes the brides grown daughter has said that she too will need a private bath and a separate TV hook up with her bed room.
I am rather confused and I guess that is why I need your help in sorting this out. Until I started building this new house no one lived with us in my brides old dilapidated stilt house. The outhouse was down a path and we bathed in a nearby pond. We never complained. Matter of fact I rather enjoyed the outdoor bathing. A sunset dip in the pond always gave me a chance to practice my Thai with the locals.
Is there anything I can do to steer these new demands out the door and out of my life or am I stuck with a three bedroom three bath house with TV in every room?
We are in receipt of your most distressing letter and our editorial staff has decided to deal with your problem straight away. With the pace of building going on in your area the plumbing could well be in for three toilets and three showers before we are able to post back to you.
Our staff has conferred over coffee and has drawn this conclusion. We suggest you build but one toilet and shower with four entrance and exit doors. The doors should exit to each of your three bedrooms and your living space. Each door can be given a name such as Daughter’s private bath, Mother’s private Toilet, Master Suite private bath and Public toilet.
To add authenticity we suggest you post a sign in the public toilet side that no paper shall be put in the toilet but shall be put in the basket provided. And then threaten your guests by quoting some obscure law.
As for the TV hook ups; We are still conferring.
Your Editorial staff
By Paul Payneful
Sometimes my wife gives me the high five with her eyes… She causes her eyebrows to click up and down in unison without any change in facial expression. I’m not sure if it is a learned device or a DNA thing. I have seen it in other women… most often their eyebrow twitch is followed with a slight tick of the head: A combo; the eyebrow up and back with a sudden almost unperceivable tick of the head. The combo either means yes or no. I’m still working on it.
My wife does it as a preamble to something important she has to say. Yesterday it was “I have seven chilies in my soup and you only have one.”
Silence followed, the stare continued.
This reference to chilies is to remind me that she has worth above being some little house cleaner with whom I sleep. She seems to be saying, “You got all the money but I can eat chilies.”
178, 172, 167
Your Medical Source
Check your fingernails
By Dr. I.B. Agnostic
I have noticed that a lot of farangs who die in Pattaya do so moments after making beautiful leaps off tall buildings. These deaths are often reported as suicides… Who am I to interfere with the investigative process? So, okay… a pattern of leaps and dives are suicides…not yet.
I contacted a buddy in Pattaya and we walked out onto his condo balcony where I conducted an eye ball examination of his guard rails. I concluded that his rails are a bit low for me and their height or lack of height could influence my suspicious mind into believing I was staring at the murder weapon. Or perhaps if I were to subscribe to the belief that the accused are innocent until found guilty I should imagine how easy it would be to carelessly fall over the edge after only a few beers… without really being pushed.
Unwilling to give up without the first thread of evidence I tried even harder to see murder where perhaps there was none. I imagined a scenario where I would be leaning ever so slightly against one of the rails whilst my faculties were impaired and my angry wife was loose about the house building courage for a good push. In cases like that I would prefer having more substantial guard rails.
But low rails, drunken husbands and conniving wives do not murder make. It was time to carry my investigation elsewhere.
There are no tall buildings in the North East but Farangs still die there in patterns like pack animals. My suspicions took me immediately to my history and the conniving way some confederates had dispatched Napoleon… My history book (written in America) alluded to the possibility that Napoleon could have ingested an inordinate amount of arsenic with his favorite wine and it is the arsenic that hastened his death.
I also learned had Napoleon been more astute in ways of subtle death instead of being so knowledgeable in ways of cannon balling legions of troops with twenty pounders he might have been able to save his life…
Excited at the prospect of creating alarm and panic with information misleading or not, I pressed on. My investigation took me into the village hardware stores where Arsenic is found as a main ingredient in several products for sale there… including rat poisoning. (The plot thickens)
Arsenic could be the North East’s substitute for leaping out of tall buildings… sober or not. My investigation concluded that all of us old Farangs might be one slippery step away from slow death if our failing health is compared to the number of times we have stepped out on our woman. The symptoms are too numerous to list so I suggest if you suspect your sniffles or sore joints are possibly caused by other than ingestion of a meal of Ka-Pow-Guy Ki-dow…Pet… with six chilies you should go to your search engine right away to learn post haste if you are or are not being poisoned with arsenic.
How do you determine if you are just a sick old man or being poisoned to the edge of deaths door? Checking your fingernails is said to be the best way… if you see little grey or white streaks in your cuticles you probably need to change your wine or stop seeing your other girl friends.
531, 502, 490, 481, 550, 565, 574, 593, 605, 609, 610, 611
By Di Vergent
A conversation in the land of smiles is more like trying to deliver a commencement speech with three nouns and two verbs. No limit to the number of times you can use those three nouns or two verbs but you don’t get to use future or past tense, pro-nouns, adverbs, or conjunctions but there are exceptions. You are allowed to use adjectives or interjections to excite or mislead. There seem to be bonus points assigned to the person who excites and misleads the most.
It’s all rather simple.
Humor, Ya gotta have some
By Bobby Benchwarm
You can buy an aluminum step ladder in Thailand but it doesn’t come with rules and copies of laws stuck all over it like you are accustomed in the States. There are no disclaimers, placards, lawyer’s phone numbers, or names of government agencies attached so you would know who to contact when something went astray. When you buy a step ladder in Thailand it is yours and you can step on the top rung if you want.
Kinda exciting. Let’s not stop there.
You can buy a homemade ladder made from bamboo. No license required to make one of these. You can sell your finished product without warnings. The fact that the ladder will get you thirty feet into the air is warning enough you shouldn’t climb unless you know what you are doing.
I see pole guys using those bamboo ladders all the time. The ladders are broad at the base and taper toward the top. The user causes the ladder to give, rattle, creak and sway as he goes up. On the way down these guys have a way of forcing their weight into the ladder to make it bow. When it springs back they ride the wave to the ground. I’ve watched these guys a hundred times. They all seem to have a sense of humor.
225, 225, 226
Why Chess and Checkers are played on the same board
By Larry Vilipend
I was hampered at birth with having to learn Chess…. For me to grow up imagining living in a pleasant world where nothing went wrong was beyond my parent’s comprehension. So it was the mastery of chess that would provide the training needed for the time when I would be caste off to feign for myself, or so my parents said.
I was taught that all life revolved around a flat board where Knights pursued Queens and Rooks could move across great planes and each was expected to wreck havoc on the other. The game took preplanning and forward thought… I played and played until my mind became sharp as nails.
And then I brought my skills to the land of smiles where Checkers is the language of Masters. The idea is to slip, slide and scutter across the same flat board that Chess is played but with far less thought or planning. Confusion seems to be the smoke of distraction and when the game gets rolling it is staggering to see how rapidly Chess pieces fall to an onslaught of bottle caps misguided and often thrown catty wampus across the board. It is almost like there are no rules….. Duh.
Begin Column two ………………………………
Notes from Up Country
Epic Tale II
Another adventure of Epic proportions. This read is a daunting one thousand word adventure in fiction.
It is not the author’s intent to dredge from the cobwebs of memory any semblance of truth but more to have ventured into the peripheral of truth simply looking for the foundation from which truth can be disguised, woven into fantasy and placed here as fiction.
If you think you recognize yourself within the fantasy of this story it is purely coincidental….
Looking for Exotica
By Lewis Resthes
There is a man who arrived in Thailand at noon on a Sunday. From the airport he boarded a fast taxi to Pattaya. From the taxi he dashed into his hotel room for a shower and a clean shirt. He was out on Beach Road before the sun could set.
Author’s note: This is what an Expat told me one night as we shared my beer and I listened to his story.
On that first day, as he walked past the first bar on Beach Road a young pretty hostess from the bar asked my friend if he might want to enter the shade of her cozy bar to imbibe a large, room temperature, domestic beer. He said “Sure.”
Within seconds our hero was seated in a dark corner and a warm bottle of beer along with a plastic pot of hard water was delivered to his table. The hostess slipped the beer cap off in just such a way, and poured his first beer over the rocks. The hostess asked my friend why he was in Thailand.
He looked up and answered. “I want to get married.”
She said, “I marry you.”
They weren’t married right away; they had to wait until the Amphor opened his office on Monday. So they had the whole night to find out if they were compatible and she to find out how much cash was available for immediate circulation.
The couple was divorced rather suddenly two months later after the bride made an alarming discovery. Acting on a feminine suspicion, the bride secretly examined her husband’s financial records as he slept and confirmed her worst fears. Money had purchased her new boobs and her new Roman nose for sure but nothing was left. To her way of thinking there should have been money enough for a new house, car and a beauty salon. All her play money was missing.
Timing is everything which is why she chose the wee hours of the morning to awaken her husband in a most hasty and dramatic way from the depths of what must have been a wonderful sleep for him.
My host said his subconscious felt a thump and he opened his eyes and saw his wife standing above him. In her right hand she was clutching one of the many kitchen knives he had recently purchased for her to use while pursuing the very best in culinary delights from her new one burner kitchen…. That was odd. Of the many choices she had she had chosen the meat clever.
For a fleeting second he thought his bride had something new on her mind but he banished that kinky thought in the next fraction of a second when he realized that she had a serious problem with him and she was seeking dramatic release from that problem. He saw that his wife had the advantage of position and the advantage of weapons. She had already used the advantage of surprise. This logistical information garnered by my friend caused him to appreciate the need for serious evaluation.
He immediately commanded his feel good endorphins to shut down to allow his brain room for a full range of clear emergency thought which he intended to put to good use as soon as his brain returned a supposition and a recommendation:
This may be about your girl friend but not sure…flee anyway!
Our hero took that advice and leaped naked from the bed and ran out of the house. He thought distancing himself from the drama of the bedroom would be the prudent path. His nakedness would be an issue at a later date but for now, the back end of a cluttered soi was the best he could do until he worked out an escape.
How did my wife find out about my girl friend? he almost thought out loud, as he ran?
His bride gave pursuit screaming and waving the clever in a most dramatic way as she ran after her husband down the stairs and out into the soi. She was apparently pleased with the way things were turning out… to talk divorce in the bedroom is one thing but to take the divorce to the streets with an audience is better still. Off Broadway! What is better than that? She thought.
Being on stage was suddenly the next ambition of the bride. The job now was to draw a crowd. For this she put her acting skills to the test. She took a moment to dig deep, paused, and then applied a pitch to her screams that went beyond karaoke. It was a brilliant performance. Not necessary but brilliant.
Her audience of like females, sleeping in all the condos nearby awakened and answered the call to be a witness to drama in the making. Bored with their daily routines they were most appreciative to be awakened in the middle of the night to witness drama. One, two or three acts made no difference. Poor lighting was of no concern.
Not enthused with even having a walk on part in this stage fantasy my friend looked around and saw the trash bins, low hanging power lines and broken sidewalks for what they were. He saw no stage props but saw tangible proof he might be up creek without a paddle. He could have been accused of having no imagination but then this was not a time to believe his wife’s clever was a play toy and her anger wasn’t real. None of the street clutter offered him anything more than to remind him that he was by himself, center stage in a public arena, and ten thousand miles from home.
My naked friend told me that for a split second, he caught himself imagining what it would be like to stand center stage on a real stage before a real audience wearing the finest of threads, if even for a moment. He said he started to fancy himself a rather dignified lead actor standing before his audience and reciting bits from Hamlet, But then he dared to look up into the dark that was a venue of a truly unsophisticated audience. An audience not keen on Hamlet but the real thing: He heard the call for Blood!
For women used to seeing chickens decapitated seeing a man run through in the middle of a dingy soi was the least they could expect and probably not all that terribly exciting.
His wife entered stage left and raised her weapon. It was time to run for it. My friend considered trying to side step around a blue trash bin but his wife was waving the clever at such close proximity to things he considered sacred.
It was easy to imagine what would be cut first if his moves weren’t just right… Before another thought could be completed the cops arrived.
My friends’ wife, apparently fearing loss of center stage, (some would call it face) stepped forward and made a dramatic right to left side swipe across the front of her husband’s belly. The move was not stage drama but the real thing. The tip of her clever sliced through his flabby epidermis. The blood flow was immediate and switched his priorities from trying to sort out the details of matrimony gone awry with the cops, to getting to the hospital instead.
The crowd was yelling for more blood when a Thai man stepped out of the shadows and offered our bleeding hero a seat on the outrider basket of his three wheel motto-sigh. The offer was not refused. With his free hand our hero grasped the hand the man had so proffered and was immediately putt-putted out of the area. The crowd almost fell silent. Moans could be heard all around.”
Being totally naked and possibly bleeding to death was but a minor distraction to the relief he felt for being a whole man on his way to the bright lights of a hospital. The excited dogs biting at the wheels of his chariot served to confirm his escape and only added to the adventure of the moment and were just another pleasant distraction for him.
My friend last saw his thespian wife standing in the street telling the cops what a really bad man he was. Even in that poor light he said his wife looked pretty good standing there wearing her baby doll night gown and holding that clever. “She looked totally awesome,” he told me.
Just before my friend shared with me the last of the fairy tale and walked from my home never to be seen, he added this little tad bit of human interest to his story. He said he would have enjoyed the motto-sigh ride to the hospital had he known at the time he wasn’t going to bleed to death in route. The night air felt so nice and cool flowing around his naked body he wished he would have been in a calmer state of mind to enjoy it all. He also admitted to being a little miffed when his benevolent motto-sigh driver stopped to purchase twenty baht worth of sugarcane to feed an elephant. But he got over his anger when he realized what an opportunity that was… to see, first hand, this exotic country with its’ real native people.
Still in an anxious state, wounded and naked in a crowd of people shopping in the night market, he wasn’t sure how much more of the local ambience he would be able to appreciate before fainting, so he encouraged his driver to move on toward the hospital. He would return to the market at a later date to take in the ambience that is Thailand. He even promised himself he would be sure to bring 20 baht for the elephant.
A “Thank You” to our Readers
Wow another issue ground and honed to a brilliant forum of misguided and unneeded information served over the top with delusions of greatness. Thank you again for reading what we have posted. We hope you will stay tuned for the next edition served up as close to the first day of March as possible.