Readers' Submissions

The Deck Of Cards



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

A group of businessmen had been on a long business journey. They arrived in a little town called Bangkok and rested from their travels.

The next evening being a quiet Sunday, several of the men went to a hostess bar for relaxation.

A bunch of the hostess girls were sitting quietly around looking bored. Due to the long rainy season it had been slow for the past month and the unexpected sudden influx of farang took them aback a little.

Business was all of a sudden looking good that night to the mamasan in charge, her prayers had been answered and all her girls would be needed to handle this lot.

With almost automated effect those of the hostesses behind the bar that had a Connect 4 game to hand quickly took them out, while others chose pick up sticks to play with the businessmen. Smiles and cool towels were provided and drinks ordered for all.

But one small petite hostess girl at the very end of the darkened bar had only an old deck of cards, and she spread them out in front of her on the wooden bar top. One of the elder, more experienced girls saw the girl looking deeply at the cards in front of her and said, "Nong, put away those cards."

After the businessman had selected the girls and bar fined the ones they wanted for the evening the small hostess was asked to step inside the small office area just near the gents toilets by one of the elder girls for words with the head mamasan.

The head mamasan said to the elder girl, “Why have you brought this girl here?"

"For playing cards in the bar, Mama we had valuable farang customers here that needed our every attention but Nong chose not to help us but instead to play cards on her own," was the response.

The mamasan asked the small girl, "And what have you to say for yourself, Nong?"

"Much, Mama," replied the small girl.

The mamasan stated, "I hope so, for if not I will punish you more than any girl in Bangkok was ever punished."

The small girl said, "Mama, I have been working here for the best part of 9 months …and I have learned so much from you. I have neither a regular farang who pays my bar fine nor a Thai boyfriend hidden away in the shadows, but I hope to satisfy you, Mama, with the purity of my intentions towards my work."

And with that, the small petite hostess started her story….

You see, Mama, when I look at the ace in the deck, it reminds me that there is but one true goal for the girls who work for you. To find ourselves as many farang as possible and milk them empty of the riches they have in their hands. Regardless of what I have to do or the lies I have to tell I will not deviate from this path.

And the deuce reminds me that this bar is divided into two types of working girls, the short time only girls who chase the money without regard for feeling and those willing to do long time if the price offered is right: When I see the three, I think of the happy hour you yourself devised to slowly break down the farangs' resistance to spend their money on us, encouraging them to drink large amounts of alcohol, with buy 2 drinks and get the 3rd one free.

And when I see the four, I think of the four key places girls like us can truly be amongst our own and call our home. Nana Plaza, Patpong, Soi 33 and Soi Cowboy.

And when I see the five I think of the five types of customer we get regularly in this establishment these days and how we girls have to adapt to their strange individual cultures and ways. The Europeans. The Americans. The Scandinavians. The Japanese and on the odd Indians who are not good tippers at all.

When I see the six, it reminds me that I need to work 6 full days smiling without let up, thanks or rest.

And when I see the seven, it reminds me that on the seventh day, I do not have to dress in the uniforms that you kindly provide, but can choose my own style for that day.

And when I see the eight, I think of the time that happy hour ends here, and how we can extract more money out of the semi drunken farang.

And when I see the nine, it reminds me of the bewitching hour us girls like to be bar fined by. Anything past this time may lead to desperate measure by us and extra fluffing of the punters we so despise.

When I see the ten, I think of the Ten Commandments that you sellotaped on our changing room door for us all to read before our work each day.

1. Thou shalt not covert other hostesses' new designer clothes or mobile phones brought by an ever increasing amount of overseas farang boyfriends money.

2. Thou shalt not worship false gods such as the odd cheap man who may by mistake wander in, as no amount of fluffing will ever get them to buy you a ladies drink or bar fine you.

3. Thou shall collect every business card you can from the stupid chang farang who come in here. Best time to obtain this is just when they are leaving and telling you that they love you and will be back soon. Then work in teams to make contact with them via email.

4. Thou shall try to encourage more Japanese into the premises as they pay twice as much as others and will not hurt you.

5. Thou shall try to short change any customer who is pissed and always fiddle his bill to the club's advantage. Always working out the best change to bring in order to secure the highest tip. In no circumstances ever bring him coins or notes of low value in his change.

6. Thou shall try to get as many lady drinks out of the customers as you can, always make them pay for European whiskey but drink only local Sang Sung.

7. Thou shalt not ever talk to other girls in a language that the farang may understand some of these long term farang can speak Thai so try Lao or even a sprinkling of Khmer you may know to throw him off guard if you suspect they can understand what you and the other girls are talking about and planning.

8. Thou shall always tell him he is handsome in a loving meaningful way regardless of how fat or obnoxious he may look to you…

9. Thou shalt not be bar fined by any man in trainers, this is a bad sign and against all known karma. Bar girls must have some standards to live by..

10. Thou shall always ask for taxi money from customers that have bar fined you, yet you will never have any small change from the 1000 baht notes he will have.

When I see the King and Queen as a Thai to Thai they speak for themselves.

And when ever I see the knave I see only the white devil farang as walking ATM machines that can make me and my family’s life so much better.

When I count the number of spots in a deck of cards, I find 365. If I sleep with one customer per night throughout the year this is the number of customers I will sleep with.
There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year that I have to regularly find money for sending back to family in hometown.

There are four suits, the number of weeks in a month one of which I must pretend my period has not yet started on, to the stupid single minded Farang.

There are twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year that the Farang living overseas regularly send money via our Western Union accounts to many of the girls working in here.

So you see, Mama, my deck of cards serves me as a guide my almanac on constantly seeking ways of fleecing the Farang who come in here.


Stickman's thoughts:

Are you related to Dan Brown?