Readers' Submissions

Dressed To Kill

  • Written by Thai Ties
  • June 28th, 2005
  • 8 min read


Death is invariably not a funny event for the families and friends of the deceased, but it can on occasion be amusing for the non-participants.

I’ll give you an example:- Can you imagine what an aggrieved elephant looks like? Can you imagine what an aggrieved elephant looks like after a motorcycle taxi has just run plumb into the rear end of it at 20 kph?

Imagine being an elephant and on feeling a ‘thump’ from your hindquarters, you turn round and see that to all intents and purposes that you have just given birth to a motorcycle and it’s stillborn rider? (He having walloped his helmetless head on the concrete as he fell). Think about how the innocent pachyderm must feel.

It was a shame for the bike pilot, but elephants do have such expressive faces and the look on this particular creature’s face had Dave and I in stitches as we walked away from the scene to discuss the likelihood of the thing sitting in a police station and making a deposition as to the circumstances of the accident.

(We did actually wonder if the Mahout would paint a little motorcycle in it’s hind quarters aka WW2 flying ace….)

Anyway, you have probably noticed that Thai ladies like to be impeccably turned out when in public view. Of course, when at home it’s a different matter altogether where they turn into fully fledged slobs like the rest of us. But you know there won’t be any of this, ”I’ll just be ten minutes,”, business when they are getting ready to go out, and then proceed to take half an hour.

You know full stop that they are going to take half an hour, and that my friend is time for a quick scan through the bible or to empty another bottle of beer.

We had received news via the grapevine that an acquaintance had died in Sin City, (Pattaya), and after the usual, ”Really?”, had ventured out to Jay’s for some seafood suki. (Best value in Bangkok then, alas now closed.)

Death doesn’t quite involve the same wailing and gnashing of teeth in Thailand that it does in the West, but then again, most of the people that we knew who died were involved in some pursuit that was liable to hasten their demise in any event.

Personally, I only ever knew one farang who died in his sleep in Thailand, but that could be a reflection on the company that I kept.

Jay’s was, as always, busy in a low key way, nongs and nongettes running hither and thither with a bunch of paralytic ne’er do well’s howling along to the karaoke in the joint across the Pratunam Soi where the office was located, with Jay sitting on her stool at the open front of the restaurant and pronouncing verdicts on various subjects to great hilarity. Jay being a rotund lady of Chinese extraction who whilst having been born in Thailand could not read Thai. She could read Mandarin though and swore wonderfully in Thai and Cantonese.

My missus was on her third bowl of suki whilst busy priming the pot for some more when Robert stepped in, crash helmet in hand and sat down. Boo didn’t need told so promptly arrived with his beer, stuck her tongue out then returned to her never ending telephone call.
Pla nodded a greeting to Rob and told him not to smoke as she was eating; Robert’s reply being to tell her not to eat when he was smoking, but a gentleman to the last, contented himself with beer for the moment.

One we had finished the Suki we sat back, stretched and I mentioned that so and so had departed our mortal coil of recent.

“Yea,”, said Rob,” Jiin gave me the story.” Then he laughed, ”But what a way to go….a bint classic!”

‘Bint Classic’, of course being an assisted death but not provable. Sort of, ’Helped along’, if you follow me.

I poured more beer then listened with a smile as Rob recounted the particulars and all the time keeping a close eye on my wife just in case she showed too much attention to the details.
One never knows after all.

It appeared that our deceased pal, a chap of some vintage with a half decent pension to boot, had become betrothed to a lady of somewhat dubious character. (Pattaya, remember?)

On the evening in question, he and wife had got involved with some expats for a bit of a drinking session and after arriving home at a late hour, he’d decided on a snack before retiring for the night.

His missus had, on getting home, promptly assumed the horizontal and was quickly in the land of Nod, (she said), when in his slightly addled state a piece of his sandwich had gone down the wrong way, which by fate had become stuck in his windpipe.

Gagging and retching as one does when choking, he had stumbled through to the bedroom and tried to awaken his recumbent other half. Sign language determined the nature of the problem as did his rapidly changing colour but he was somewhat disadvantaged by his wife’s lack of knowledge of the Heimlich manoeuvre. (She said).

Well, she got him sat down on the edge of the bed then she began to dress, her intention being to fetch his pal who lived on the floor below and being a farang would probably know what to do with errant foodstuffs that were stuck in windpipes.

As one can imagine, the poor chap’s behaviour was by now frantic as his wife rooted around in her wardrobe for something fit to wear in the corridor of a deserted condominium in the middle of the night. Eventually she got dressed, walked to the lift then waited until it had descended the floors to her location.

The stairs which are located beside the lift seemed to have bypassed her attentions, but perhaps she was all in a tizzy or something.

Arriving at the floor below she walked to the appropriate room and softly knocked on the door then stood waiting for an answer. After some time when it became apparent that she perhaps hadn’t knocked loudly enough, she knocked again then waited patiently while the occupants roused themselves.

The door was duly opened at which point she explained to Mr Y that X upstairs had some problem with a sandwich and could he possibly go have a look please?

Well, a friend in need is a friend indeed so Y got his togs on then legged it up the stairs to see if he could be of assistance to X while the women sat down and began to sort out the latest gossip.

By the time Y arrived at X’s room a good 20 minutes had passed: By this juncture X had stopped choking: In fact he’d stopped doing anything at all and was lying flat dead on his marital bed with the telephone lying unused beside his inert form.

As these things go, the Feds duly turned up to make their report of another dead farang which would be added to the voluminous pile gathering dust in some office in the cop shop, and, after ascertaining that he hadn’t obviously been murdered, left a report and instructions for the body snatchers to deliver him to the morgue for further investigation.

Some days later, Y was musing over a drink at some beer bar by the sea when the wife of the departed happened past and stopped to say, ”Harro”.

There had been a couple of points about the death of his friend that had been nagging him so he took the opportunity to try to clear them up.

“Why?”, he asked, ”Didn’t you call me as soon as you saw the problem?”

“Oh, I forget room number you”, she replied deadpan.

“Why did you have to take so long to get dressed and put your make up on?”, he continued.

“Cannot look no good, maybe people think that I bad lady……”. Uh-huh.

“Why did you wait five minutes for the elevator and not come down the stairs?”

Again she replied deadpan, ”Shoe no good, maybe have accident”. Uh-huh.

“And why?”, he demanded, ”Did you not knock loudly on my door to wake me?”

“I not want to make you surprise and be scared.” This said with infinite concern for Y’s well being.

Y smiled that smile that all Old Hands get afflicted with, then asked, ”And what about his apartment and money and stuff?”

She appeared deep in thought for a moment or two then brightly replied, ”Never mind- I take care I wife he.”

Uh- huh, for sure…..

Rob finished his tale then drank deeply from his glass as I grinned at my better half and said, ”Hey, no ideas o.k.?”

Pla smiled back and laughingly said, ”No way, you’re cooking spaghetti tonight and I like spaghetti”.

So, I was safe for another day then.

“Funny old world isn’t it?”, Robert suggested, ”I mean, if he’d opted for a fried egg then he’d probably still be around.”

I laughed, ”You think?”

We sat silent for a few moments as we surreptitiously watched a bevy of TFM’s glide along the Soi before I asked, ”I wonder who’s next?”

Rob looked into his glass then said, ”Don’t know, don’t care. If the next life is anything like this then fine by me and I probably won’t have to worry about paying the rent.”

Then we laughed to toast X’s demise: “May he revel in the arms of dusky angels forever”.

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