Stickman Readers' Submissions February 23rd, 2007

Inventions Made For Thailand

That yellow tinged skyline that is Bangkok

Bangkok, ah that wonderful buzzing metropolis that is the centre of the business and government come military coup world. It is a place where the sun rises in the morning with a yellow brown tinge and where it sets in the evening with the forlorn look of having just smoked 120 cigarettes, oh yes, one inhalation of Bangkok air and you will know how it feels to be a heavy smoker, to be a coal miner and an exhaust sniffer all in the same breath. And if that little lot hasn’t got you coughing, then for sure you will be wheezing and spitting. But I love it here in Bangkok and it is one of the few places in Thailand that doesn’t feel too small to grow out of. But you know, I do like my lungs and have grown attached to them over the years, and by living here in Bangkok I sometimes wonder if it was the best move for them. Over the years I have taken very good care of my lungs and I am probably one of the few in my generation who has never allowed a cigarette to pass their lips thus making me an avid anti smoker. But hey I live in Bangkok; I cannot escape the effects of the car fumes or the polluting effects that are being blamed for the future downfall of the planet as a whole.

So you can imagine my excitement then when I found myself stumbling onto an American patent which would if used daily, help me get through the smog filled days of Bangkok and secure a healthier future for my days in Asia. Heck I would even be contributing to the overall health of the planet.

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So it is then that I am delighted to show you the ‘Dome Head’ helmet. Isn’t it marvellous? Just think how enjoyable it would be to walk down the Soi or past the nearest bar only to hear the squeals of delight reverberating around your very own biosphere as the girls all try to greet you in unison as “Hello Mr Dome Head”. Surely this in itself is a huge step up from “Hey you!”, ‘Farang’ or “Handsome maaaan”… well ok maybe not the latter but ‘Yes’ you too could have your very own biosphere to help you through the Bangkok smog as well as making you stand out from the average Farang crowd with your eco friendly fashion ‘erhum’ conscious statement!

For your own pleasure, this bio dome invention (issued in 1986) consists of a sealed plastic dome, plants on tiny shelves plus speakers and a microphone for communicating with the outside world. I am sure with popularity this could come with a Babel fish upgrade to stick in your ear so that your translations can go much more smoothly, but until that day comes, have pleasure in the knowledge that not only will your mini greenhouse allow you to breathe the oxygen given off by the plants you have growing near your ears, it will also allow you to practice your best Neil Armstrong Impressions as well as giving you the chance to display your Moon Walks as made famous by both Buzz on Apollo and Michael Jackson down at the moon rock disco.

If you are lucky and choose well, you could even have plants that provide fruit for you and your love lustre darling to munch on as well. However if you are like me, you would probably choose a couple of Palm Bonsai trees because I wanted to keep that Asian feel about me, besides trees give off more oxygen don’t they, even if they are miniature ones! Also don’t forget the additional health benefits that the Dome Head can provide as you do some aerobics in the park as part of your every day healthy lifestyle plan because for sure that extra oxygen from the plants will most definitely give you the edge.

If you don’t fancy being called Mr Dome Head all your life in Bangkok and are one of the more fashion consciousness and discerning fellows about town, then how about we go up market and find an alternative solution instead. You know how it is, you are walking in the hot day sun and there ain’t a beer bar in sight to quench that thirst. Well never fear because Gob Moisturizer is here and it will keep your dry lips and swollen tongue moist all day until you can get to your next water hole. This invention from 1991, attractive as it is useful, contains moisture grabbing paper inserts that capture the dampness of your exhales and releases the same moisture back to you as you inhale. My only concern is that you should just be careful to not eat too much spicy Som Tam before hand as it may render you unconscious as well as cause temporary blindness in the eyes.

I believe that this device is great for keeping out pollution too and should you come across the Thai girl of your dreams, and you know how sensitive to smells they can be, well don’t worry because this handy device can double up as a ‘check your own smelly breath’ device and one snort though your nostrils should tell you if it’s ok to woo her and smooch her or not. Overall it’s simple, elegant and especially useful if you happen to meet one of those irksome chatty Tailors shop guys because your new Hannibal Lecter look will silence more than just the lambs as you meander on down the soi.

The “I’m Gagging for it’ syndrome

Gagging for a drink that is, what did you think I meant?

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You know how it is here… you just cannot go ten yards in Thailand before you are sweating profusely and feeling parched and although the Gob Moisturizer can help you so much, there is nothing quite like a nice beer to swill away that Thailand mugginess. So come on guys, cheer up because Keg head is here and what’s more it will make you the life and soul of the party too.

You know how it is, back in the west the girls are too arrogant, too bitchy and superficial and you always find yourself being the wall flower and going home alone. I mean why else are you here in Thailand right? Well worry no more because when you become Mr Keg head, you will immediately become the life and soul of the party. You will be the person that everyone wants to hang out with as well as being the centre of everyone’s deepest desire. This new indispensable dispenser of your favourite beverage is part hat and part keg, and they have been specially combined for your pleasure. Not for the timid, the Keg Head will keep you encircled with a parched party population of Thai girls all night long, but don't let that go to your head, this is Thailand and they aren't there to get to know the inner you anyway and are probably there just for the beverage! So, enjoy the attention while you can.

Ah! What’s that I hear you cry, you have a springy neck and are worried that the Keg Head will be too bulky for your scrawny neck and that a Keg would probably be too much for your favourite Vodka laced after dinner tipple. Hmmmm ok so you are scared of falling backwards because the more drunk you get, the keg would simply topple you over, or it may even push your face and neck down into your Torso giving you the nick name ‘Stumpy neck’. Well never mind, look on the bright side, if you are lucky, you may fall into the torso of your favourite darling instead.

Ok! Ok! I hear you, stop whimpering. So just for the weak necks out there (rather than the red necks) I have just the thing and can offer you the chance to own your very own ‘Head Bar’. Now don’t get me wrong here because I know this idea isn’t a new one as we have all seen the bottles on the hat with straws for sucking before, but this one is unique in that it allows you to mix your own cocktails but where the cherry comes in I have yet to fathom out.

Anyway, if you want sex on the beach or a Singapore sling, well that’s no chucking problem as this hat does it all.

Eh! Why? How? I hear you ask, well you know how it is with Engineers, they can make bridges safe, they can make buildings tall and they even know how to program VCRs. But every once in a while an engineer may have had too much coffee or too much time on his hands, and the result can give new meaning to the term "over-engineered", when a simple design becomes too complex to be practical. We call it "Engineers Gone Wild!" The result… the Head Bar!

Now if you think this thing looks complicated, wait till you read the instructions, and trust me on this, you'll have to read the instructions to get a drink.

I quote: "To drink from the first soft drink container only, a user would open the valves in the first and fourth ports 12a, 12b on the first gang valve 10 and the fifth and tenth ports 22a, 22f on the second gang valve 20 and suck on the free end 58b of the eighth tube 58. Soft drink from the first drink container 31 would flow out of the container 31, through the first tube 51, into the first port 12a and the first mixing chamber 11 of the first gang valve 10, out of the fourth port 12d of the first gang valve, through the third tube 53 into and out of the hat 2 and into the fifth port 22a and second mixing chamber 21 of the second gang valve 20, out of the tenth port 22f of the second gang valve20, and through the eighth tube 58 to the user's mouth". End quote.

Gosh! That was complicated wasn’t it? Apparently you'll need to use the touch method to operate your gang valves since you can't see the knobs. Me, I say Chok Dee Na as you'll need it and I suggest you get your darling to help you with it, but don’t forget to have some snacks handy as you know how these Thai girls like to munch while they scrunch.

Those Damn Mossies (mosquitoes to you and me)

Insects can be annoying and no more so when in Thailand because they bite you and leave nasty little itching lumps all over your body. In fact, according to the inventor of the next device, "The problem about frequenting Thailand is that gnats and Mossies will surround one's face during the enjoyment of some Chicken on a stick or when having a beer or two and even when snuggling up in the bar with that little sweaty billed lovely called Noi, there is just no escaping them”. So I guessed he figured that all prior attempts to rid oneself of the mossies including spraying with bug repellent, waving a hat back and forth, or to even lifting the bar girls skirt up over her head so that they had something else to sniff was probably not working. The latter especially, although good for you on ‘oh so many levels’ as well as being enjoyable for the mossies, probably wasn’t that good for the bar girl friend who generally doesn’t want a snatch full of mossie bites and who will be intent on slapping you for it. So to these prior methods although bearable, I would suggest that they were not truly acceptable in that the gnats or mossies will still be attracted to one's head and face during the course of the evening. The solution then, is to get out there and get your self some ‘Insect Balls!

This is how it works. If you spray a ball with insect attractant, stick it on a rod and attach it to your hat / head (or better still, to the bar girls head) with an alligator clip then ‘hey presto’ you now have a herd of mossies hovering less annoyingly above the back of your head thus allowing you to enjoy your beer in peace whilst not being maddened by the little buggers. The other good aspect of having Insect balls is that they can also double up as an alien communication antenna with your fellow aliens here in LOS as well as being a convenient lightening rod should you find yourself caught out in one of Bangkok’s infamous storms. Don’t ya just love technological progress?

Out in the Mid Day Sun

Well they say that only two things go out in the mid day sun. Mad Dogs and English men!

But what if you are both mad and an English man at the same time and you have a Thai partner who either hates being in the beam of sun light because it will either make her darker than she already is, or reveal her for the vampire she is thus showing you all of her sucking you dry traits. Well, I have found a couple of nice inventions for you mad English folk out there and the first one is great because it has multiple uses. It is called the ‘Pillow Face’.

This wonderful and adaptive device was originally released in 1968 to protect people’s heads when in a plane crash. You know how it is on planes these days were thin pillows and thinner blankets are all the rage on airlines and if we talk about airplane safety, you are told that an automatic dangling oxygen mask will drop down and we’re also told on every flight that our seat cushion also doubles as a floatation device (although we hope to never put them to the test) and so this got the inventor thinking… ‘hey, let's put these emaciated pillows into double use, let's put a slit on the side., add a chin strap and we can call them crash helmets!

That's right with the Pillow Face come crash helmet your cheesy airline pillow now has an added slit in the side with a couple of chin straps sewn on. When the pilot announces that it could be an extremely bumpy landing and that it's time to make like an ostrich and bury your head in your Pillow Crash Helmet, just make sure as you do so to fasten your chin straps and assume the kissing your ass position, because when in a crash it is I believe always best to be kept in the dark. Besides just think, this device was made for Thai’s because what they cannot see cannot be happening right?

But hey, I have found another use for it, instead of the Thai partner using a book or a cumbersome umbrella to keep those nasty sun rays off their heads and faces they can just bury themselves in the Pillow face instead and both be protected and oblivious to the world around them at the same time. Now there’s efficiency for you. Talk about being both culturally sensitive and protecting too, and what’s more, if the wife is on the ugly side or has recently turned into one of the Acne lab experiments then who could ask for more! Just make sure you take her by the hand lest she falls under a bush or down a drain some place and you wouldn’t want to be wasting your time fishing her out now would you.

Ok so the Thai partner may not like the idea of looking like a walking tea cosy, but I have another device to overcome that shyness and this one also has a dual purpose too. First it is handy for keeping off the suns rays and secondly it is ideal for those moments when the weather changes into one of those lightening come rain storms that we encounter here in Thailand. This wonderful device, called the ‘Duel Purpose Ultra Violet Curtain’ was patented in 1995 and is designed to replace the need for bulky umbrellas and expensive sun glasses because this amazing pocket-portable curtain can fit into the tiniest of handbags and pockets!

To use, you just whip out your curtain, blow up its inflatable ring cap and plonk it on over your partners head. Simple! The great thing is, the round, spoke-like configuration gives it enough rigidity to hold the sheer shower curtain walls away from her body for total hands-free protection. Total protection, that is until there's enough wind to knock that little donut ring off her head thus sending you scampering down the sidewalk chasing the flying Rain Curtain on her behalf, but hey, that’s a minor flaw in what could be the latest fashion accessory around Bangkok.

How about those of you who hate crowds… well here the device also comes into its own because on sunny days, wearing the curtain will not only help keep your partner whiter than white, it would also allow her to define her own personal space and if you are the jealous sort don’t worry because I bet no one will get too close when they are wearing this thing around town.

Fashionable items for the ladies

You know how the Thai’s love their gadgets and like to keep up with the latest fashion, well I have something very trendy for both you and the little darling to wear. Also as we are already onto the subject of that nasty orange blob in the sky sending out horrible rays well what more can any Thai darling ask for than a pair of new trendy sun glasses.

But wait! What’s so good about sun glasses you may ask, well when you think about it, the downside to sun glasses or glasses in general is that the frame, especially that piece of the frame that clips over your ears and puts pressure on your temples, will often result in a headache. Also in addition to that, the hinges will often come loose causing the glasses to fly off which can be a bit of a pain during bedroom sporting activities or when running to catch that escaping rat for the evenings dinner when up country visiting the folks etc…

Well, anyway, I have found the perfect solution to all of this. Back in 1998, a new invention came out that would resolve all these Thai-full woes and what better way to keep your glasses on your face whilst eliminating those common annoyances than by using Magnets! Yep, you heard me right, I said Magnets!

To use the new Earless Glasses, your girlfriend simply needs to just peel back the protective backing and stick two round self adhesive magnets either side of her head.

This of course has several benefits. First off, the Earless Glass frames which also containing internal magnet loving metal will hold fast to your new cranial magnet system thus allowing the glasses to hang on the face with ease. What’s more if your Thai darling has a little dinky button nose, then don’t worry because the magnet keeps them in place thus eliminating the need for a hooter.

Secondly, the little magnets are great because in conjunction with the inevitable mobile phone she will have stuck to her ear, she can use it as a hands free device because most mobiles have enough space to fit a metal clip on the back, so it would just stick there to her ear thus freeing up both of her hands to give you the massage you have been demanding. Everyone is happy see! Hey, who needs blue tooth when you have magnets! Further more, the magnetic properties will boost the signal of her mobile phone in even the remotest of locations so if she has told you she is no longer working in the bar and is back up country in the rice fields, you should still get a signal. Good for you and good for her and in my book communication is important for any relationship.

Ah, but what happens if your girly is wearing the new style sunglasses and she walks into a darkened room, I hear you ask? Easy! Just tell her to pull the glass frame away from her head magnets and they will just come right off… the frame that is. Not only that, because she will still be wearing the Frankensteinian magnetic disks on her head, you will also have a great place to store your paper clips, safety pins, money clip and tie pin as well. Who needs pockets when you have a magnetized girlfriend in tow!

One for the Pattaya Jumpers

We have all heard the stories… you know the ones I mean, those that concern the poor sod who has jumped off the Pattaya towers to their impending doom. Some say it’s out of heart ache, some say it’s because their money ran out, some say they were pushed, but theories aside, I say let’s give them some protection.

This is why I am very proud to announce the “Chute N’ Boot” invention or rather I am bringing back from the dead (not the jumpers) a wonderful piece of visionary inventiveness from someone who could but only dream of places like Thailand when he was around in 1879. Way back then, apparently when tall buildings burned, occupants didn't have the benefit of today's modern fire escapes and as it was the days before fire codes required built-in building safety features, it was basically a time for every man being in it for him self and to figure out a way down to the ground, safe and sound.

So our inventor came up with the Chute 'N Boot Fire Escape system. Basically, and according to the inventor; "…a person may safely jump out of the window of a burning building from any height, and land, without injury and without the least damage, on the ground".

Now, the flaw unfortunately comes in the fact that the headgear's parachute is made from waxed awning material and the slip-on safety shoes have thick foam pads to cushion a persons landing (both highly inflammable and susceptible to heat I might add) and although we could update these materials, modern physics does tell us that you can't parachute from a five story building and survive, although I suspect that it may help those who choose the 34th floor to waahhhhhaaaaaayyyy from instead.

But judging by the looks of our falling friends face however, I suspect that he probably just found out that jumping was not such a good idea after all and maybe therapy would be the better way to go.

When time in LOS is running out

It’s no big surprise to hear that many who come to Thailand are doing so to enjoy themselves in their retirement before their time finally runs out. For others it is to have the time of their lives and for many it is to just kill time or have their time killed for them. Well I have something very special for all of you clock watchers out there and it is called the “The Life Expectancy Watch!

The inventor says; "Life expectancy has been a major concern of people throughout the ages. Insurance companies routinely develop and publish actuarial tables to indicate the average lifespan of certain people in specified groups. This actuarial table data is based on a number of factors, such as overall health of the individual, whether a person smokes cigarettes, consumes excessive alcohol, and genetic factors such as family histories of known diseases and recorded life spans." End quote.

Yep, that's right, this Life Expectancy Watch actually counts backwards, keeping you apprised of your forthcoming expiration date! Super! Apparently, you initially program the watch by answering a series of questions about your lifestyle such as exercise, disposition, food consumption, alcohol and tobacco use (big negatives I might suggest) but I am not convinced that it can cope with motorbike gun wielding thugs in Pattaya or those with high jumps on their mind.

None the less, for those intending to live a not so healthy lifestyle then this watch has an on/off button so you can stop it temporarily while you engage in a healthy activity (e.g. taking a walk, having a shit and cleaning the dustbins, etc…) although there is no suggestion about speeding it up on the occasion you pick up a wild one to take home after a night out on walking street or as in the case of Chiang Mai Kelly, living with one, but it does show your remaining time conveniently displayed in years, months, days and hours, all of which includes an audible alarm to remind you of your impending doom and well what more could a man on the final count down wish for on his next birthday.

Better hurry, time is running out!

Stickman's thoughts:

Wow, that is completely different. I enjoyed it!

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