Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 97
ENEMY AT THE GATE
In the old days sailing ships needed to be able to establish both latitude and longitude to accurately know where they were on the Earth's surface. But until John Harrison's chronometer it was not possible to know one's longitude with accuracy because longitude is precise time dependent. So ocean sailing vessels would drop 'down to' or sail 'up to' the latitude of the destination port and then Run the Latitude Down. In other words just stay on that latitude until they hit their destination. It took longer and was inelegant but it worked. Best to arrive late and inelegantly than not to arrive at all.
That's what Noi and I are doing now. We left Rio de Janeiro not long ago and somewhere off the western shore of northern Peru we lost all military GPS and automatic waypoint functions. Pushing hard to get to Pattaya for the Jazz and Bargirl Bikini Festival the first cockpit Klaxon was to notify me that the ship was flexing too much. Booming along at 90,000 feet and 14,000 screeching miles-per-hour (new enriched uranium chili fuel mix) the ship just started to change shape. The leading edges started to elongate and compress the trailing edges and the control surfaces started to balloon and the fuselage started to pump as it fought to find harmonic structural equilibrium. Imagine an Isaan wonder standing in her farang financed walk-in closet with 300 hangers and not being able to decide what to wear. Well, the ship has too many shape options at 14,000 incandescent hot miles-per-hour and can't decide what shape it wants to be. Not good.
I haven't even pressed this puppy with the new chili fuel mix but I can see that the top end will have to be about 14,000 miles-per-hour and that speed only used for short periods of time for important reasons. Like for instance if the Diamond A GoGo on Soi Diamond is having a bargirl dance contest. You don't want to be late for something like that and even Noi agrees that jacked up Ya Ba dancing pussy is worth risking your life for. Another example would be if a new air conditioner was being delivered to the house. No fucking way are you going to be late for that. If you had to attend the delivery of your new 800,000 BTU turbo-charged plutonium-mist chili gas fired air conditioner and Chang beer ice cube maker or be there for the birth of your first child; I am sure you would make the right decision.
A woman can delivery six and a half pounds of future debt in a coma. Your attendance at the 'joy of birth' is just part of the new feminist politically correct mantra to get you to buy into working your ass off at the chicken plucking plant for the next 20 years. But no Thai delivery guys are going to be able to deliver and unload and carry your 800,000 BTU's air conditioner up five flights of stairs in a coma. You gotta be there. You gotta watch. You gotta participate. You gotta smile. You gotta pretend to care. You gotta love them. You gotta be sensitive to their needs. Just pretend they are your wife. Only they are doing something useful and important.
Put your heart where you mean it. No historical event has more importance than the delivery of a new air conditioner in a tropical country. Kick out the jams baby and open the throttle. But a hot ship getting hotter bears watching. Once practical infinity is reached and the heat vectors and speed vectors cross on the graph of your life you won't be filing any more flight plans. The clever man invention called a plane will become a molten blob of metal full of highly excited subatomic particles and you won't need some 'not-getting-enough-sex' physicist to explain it to you in terms of String Theory. Things just got too fuck shit hot. So I watch the nose cone tiles now and when it looks like I could read a newspaper through them I throttle back. Anyway . . .
I killed the fusion plant and put our delta winged chariot into a glide while I tried to puzzle out navigational issues. Noi has designed a bikini for the Bargirl Bikini Festival that is made up of old ATM cards from ex-boyfriends. Little holes were drilled around the outside edges of the cards and then they were all linked together with gold alloy wire. The bikini sparkles and glints in the sun and moves when she moves in a very unusual way. She is anxious to try it out and I am anxious to see her smile as she wins the BBFC (Bargirl Bikini Festival Contest). So we are on the same wavelength; my Noi and I–but unfortunately the ship is not cooperating.
So it is Plan B time. I have punched the approximate latitude (the minutes and seconds will come later) of Swenson's Ice Cream in South Pattaya, Thailand into an old computer program and we are now booming along on 13 degrees North latitude like the maritime wanderers of yesteryear. Life is full of compromises. We are doing about 6000 miles per hour in the relative atmospheric soup of 3000 feet. Any albatross or tern or booby or miscellania sky denizen interlopers will be shot down with delta wing mounted 20mm gatling cannon loaded with 00 buckshot. We have to get home. No need to worry about airliner traffic at this attitude and no need to worry about flexing fatigue in this aging test platform warhorse. When we get to Pattaya I will have the crack katoey maintenance crew disassemble the airframe and control surfaces and x-ray everything. We will arrive late and inelegantly but at least we will arrive. Sometimes flying is like Noi and I having sex. We just want to arrive together.
It may be time to contact NASA and the Pentagon in the States and call in some chits. Either repair in return for some favors from the past or a whole new plane. If it is a repair scenario I would like a reconfigured cockpit with two seats. Having the Noister on my lap when I know she is draining into her urine bag is a little too much intimacy. It is a little like holding a soi dog out the window of your baht bus when you are driving. You can hold him while he is peeing but you kinda wish you didn't have to.
If it becomes a new plane scenario I am partial to a 3/4 size stretched F117A Nighthawk with Space Shuttle tiles, SAM undercarriage armor for Skipping Stone approaches (re:TT&A Part 93–MIFPSSLA), F22 Raptor style engine thrust vectoring, and a reconditioned X15 engine powered by a standard cold fusion nuclear reactor and uranium enriched plutonium pressurized chili quark mist fuel. The fuel mix will be so explosive and so stable and so efficient and generate so little heat that it will violate Einsteinian and Quantum laws of physics. Construction will be by Groom Lake/Area 51 Lockheed Skunk Works employees flown into Thailand in blacked out 747's with terrorist POW burlap bags over their heads.
I could tell you where the new plane would be constructed in Thailand if it comes to that but then I would have to kill you. Either way the Isaan Angel From Heaven (EAFH) and I will be back in business. Cruising the world's skies with the crazy quilt stichery of the insane in search of sun, sea, surf, sand, som tan and sex. Myself on the way to Secular Godhead Satus (SGS) and Noi on the way to post-bargirl dementia and the figure of a bowling ball.
Of course this will invariably mean squiring some engineers in short-sleeved white shirts and polyester pants around a red-light district in Bangkok but that is ok. There is no such thing as one hand clapping. You have to give a little to get a lot. While touring the aircraft plants in the States and laughing at the officers' jokes and showing the blueprints I will casually mention that if any designers find the idea appealing Noi and I might be able to give them a tour of a Bangkok red-light district. They will light up like rockets at the May Rocket Festival in Yasothon and be all over the project like soi dogs on a Khao San Road spring roll. Our plane troubles will go away. Whoever said that the way to a plane designer's heart was through his stomach hadn't spent enough time fucking. It's dick power that counts baby and Noi and I will deliver the goods to these gifted aeronautical dweebs that still have comic book collections.
Of course, because of the recent and unfortunate changes in the Bangkok red-light district scene; naked women are scarcer than a Bangkok department stores 100% Money Back policy. So Noi and I will set up our own dedicated party zone for the visiting newbies from Texas. I'll notify some expat subterranean money men in the Kingdom and we will erect an entire red-light district on the vacant lot next to the Nana Skytrain Station. A 90 day lease should cover construction time, showtime, and demolition.
We will staff the bars with dead reliable contract players from the past. Women who have left the muck and the mire of pedestrian red-light district games and risen to the top. Women with ice water in their veins and barbed wire in their pussies and razor blades in their morning gargle. Tough happy smilers who can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch and open bottles of Chang with their rectums. All the girls will be naked. All the dancers and all the wait staff and all the bartenders and all the female DJ's and all the mamasans (think water buffalo without the horns) and all the front door girls and all the cashiers will be naked. The NASA officials and Pentagon brass and private contractors and designers will think this is modern Siam.
We will have separate entrances and exits on Sukumvit Road and the two wrap-around-the-block contiguous roads and every night we will change the entrances and the exits and the bar signs and the colored lights and the fake street touts and the locations of the mystery meat and flower necklace and fried insect vendors, and switch the girls from bar to bar. The contract players will switch names and make-up and shoes and purses and perfumes and languages (Khmer–Tues:Central Thai–Wed, etc) and we will import different katoey cruisers every night and instruct them to grab balls and pick pockets.
The Texas beef eating geeks (TBEG's) will think they have been to three red light districts in big bad naughty Bangkok (BBNB–these dweebs love military sounding acronyms). They'll never be the wiser and Noi and I will get repaired plane or new plane attention. It'll all work out but right now I've got to regroup and dig down deep like a hayseed barnstormer in a thunderstorm and get this aging coughing lurching navigationally crippled puppy to the Soi 13 South Pattaya beach. Noi has radioed ahead (I can barely believe she can do this–what a life I am living) and the solid gold baht bus is on the way to pick us up and the triangular shaped teeth katoey bodyguards/aircraft maintenance crew is on standby.
I had the cockpit black box camera take a picture of my Noi's crying face. We will not get to the Pattaya Jazz Festival and Bargirl Bikini Contest in time. So I have promised her that I will get her into the next installment of the Bangkok Post's social pages or the Pattaya Mail's Community Happenings pages. There at a Hi-So Bangkok gallery opening or a Pattaya Municipal Government Dengue Fever Eradication awards ceremony or a picture of local monks blessing Chonburi's newest desalination plant will be my beautiful Noi in high heels and glorious smile and a dress made up of old ATM cards from now insolvent farang. It will all work out. I love Noi.
The delta wing rocket is starting to shake and jump and pull like a terrier on a leash. The stall alarm has gone off but we are flying level. Now getting multiple redlinings and flashing lights–the Klaxon alarm has gone off. Noi is crying. Suddenly I am feeling my age and I wish I could hold Noi's teddy bear. There is a third presence in the cockpit. Mortality.
What are the four worst words that any human can hear?
"Enemy at the gate."
Well, the enemy is at the gate for Noi and I. Mortality is knocking. This puppy needs altitude or the teddy bear is going to be swimming. Sitting on my lap Noi feels like a sack of cement–a dead weight drained of spirit and hope. She has stopped crying but gone rigid with fright. She is waiing the cockpit Buddha and her lips are moving. I hope she is supplicating for both of us.
I can see the green meeting the blue of the Philippines on the horizon line. Part of me would like to set this tired warhorse down on a Philippine beach. But the crack katoey maintenance crew would be hard to reach and transport, I don't speak Tagalog, and Noi hates Catholics. So for a lot of bad reasons we are going to keep pushing. Because of my love for this woman I am going to violate every safe flying rule that I have had branded on my brain in the last 37 years. If we do not make it then I will have chosen to immolate myself in love. Come on 'plane-o-mine'–I'll take you home to Pattaya to rest on the beach and shade under the palms.
I am having trouble seeing because of the tear ducts that want to burst . . . It will all work out . . . kinda wish I had named the plane after Noi . . . always meant to do that. The plane needs altitude . . . Noi is now holding the cockpit Buddha and the teddy bear and me: a triumvarite at the end of my life that I would never have predicted.
I . . . love . . . you . . . Noi . . . .
Ahhh, I just got my fix. Where would we be without our "Saturday dose of Dana"? HOW DARE HE EVEN CONSIDER STOP WRITING!