Readers' Submissions

The Number 74 Bus And Other Stories

  • Written by Phet
  • March 12th, 2008
  • 28 min read




One should always be careful what you wish for just in case you get it.

It all began when I made the conscious decision to take a grip on my life again after a traumatic few months which culminated in the passing of my Father following a prolonged and debilitating illness.

My resolve was further precipitated by a timely and well meaning censure from friends in the Stickman and Schoochers fraternity that instead of wasting time moaning about my lack of success with western women, I should get off my ass and go out and chase a few.

The catalogue of my adversity with English women is the stuff of legends and a byword for calamity. My misfortunes are recited in the four corners of the world, questions are asked in parliament, sagas are told around the camp fires of Mongolian yak drovers, Kalahari bushmen regale their children with stories of my tribulations. The four horsemen of the apocalypse regularly correspond with me. There is talk of a new range of cosmetics being marketed called “Notbrokenman”.

When a local restaurant contacted me on Shrove Tuesday that they had all the ingredients for a giant pancake but needed a big tosser I thought it was time to act.

A fundamental part of this resolve was maybe to lower my standards and expectations with English women. Now I acknowledge that my expectations were not particularly high to begin with and I am reputed to set myself a very low standard and consistently fail to achieve it, but one has to start somewhere.

An Asia man

By fortuitous happenstance my pal Chris came back from Shanghai for his annual fortnightly visit to the UK to see his parents and children. Initially a pal of my younger brother we had become friends through the foundry industry and a mutual interest in Oriental and Asian women. He is 42 and still devastatingly handsome. He was always a major league player by anyone’s standard and could shag them faster than they could pull them from under him. He has lived in Asia for 10 years and although his Chinese wife is so beautiful she takes your breath away he still does a little mongering on frequent visits to Bangkok sufficient to keep his hand in.

We went out to Walsall on a Thursday evening. I felt as part of my rehabilitation it would be informative for me to see a real operator in action and I could pick up a few well needed tips. However in most of the pubs the girls were either younger than his daughter or too inebriated and incoherent to converse with. We end up in Chicago’s which was almost empty but we hadn’t taken the skin off our beer when Chris immediately gets hit upon by two women in their early 40s.

One was a dark pikey (gypsy) looking woman, the other an overblown blond who looked like she had once been set on fire and put out with a shovel.

Clearly the worse for drink they were both vying for Chris’s attention and were almost physically fighting over him. At this point I was invisible to them but Chris took the one girl away leaving me with the gypsy maiden. This allowed me to try out my new confident persona on her. Reconciled that she had lost the prize she relaxed and turned her attention to how many drinks she could extract from me. We had not been chatting long when she asked me to fetch another double vodka and red bull. I duly obliged but return to find my didicoy damsel slumped across the table asleep in a drunken stupor. In the absence of a real gypsy’s kiss I went to the toilet for a figurative gypsy’s kiss. By the time I returned Chris had extricated himself from his porcine paramour and we take our leave with indecent haste.

As we got to the car Chris expressed his incredulity at how English women had changed in the years since he had left to live in Asia. It was his opinion that these two girls had initially set out with the serious intention of getting laid but had clearly drunk too much. In the case of the dark girl the excess resulted in her becoming comatose but in the blonde girl he observed a weird behaviour he had not seen before. Generally alcohol reduces inhibitions but in her case although she was absolutely gagging for a shagging the more she drank the more she began talking herself out of her objective.

His one remark as we drove home surprised me a little “I would love to see some of my ex pat mates who think they are such studs in Asia come back and try pulling in England, boy would they have an almighty shock.

His parting words to me as he dropped me off were ”Two weeks in the UK with English women is more than enough for me, I shall even be glad to get back to bleeding China”.

As for me I was certainly not dismayed. I had learned something and with my new determination I was not to be deterred by a minor setback on my journey of enlightenment.

Strange harmony of contrasts

Part of my new resolve is to relinquish my left handed Internet on Friday nights and start going out again. I start at the Clifton in Sedgley which is a fascinating place worthy of a submission on its own. I move on to the George, a pub in a nearby town centre with a reputation for being very lively. On entry you are searched for weapons. If you don’t have one, they issue you with one.

The disco was in full swing and the joint was really jumping. My initial observation was with plenty of chubby flesh and fat posteriors on display, there was likely to be women of my own age upon who I could employ my new resolve. I get myself a beer and find a suitable vantage point to observe proceedings.

There are about 30 girls dancing, I notice all are quite amply proportioned; actually huge rolls of fat are clearly evident. All are nicely dressed, with no bare overhanging midriffs on show or obvious branding (tattoos) but there was not a discernible waistline to be seen.

The next 20 minutes I meander around and have a closer look at each girl. All the girls were actually quite attractive from the neck up; they had nice hair and pleasant features. Most had lovely complexions and the majority very pretty. It then struck me that they were not older women as I first thought but actually were all very young, in their early 20s. The oldest girl on the dance floor was probably only 25. English girls are exceptionally pretty but there was no escaping that they were all seriously obese. I am convinced this is attributable to the binge drinking culture that prevails amongst young women.

It really is quite sad.

Conversely I observed the young men standing around the dance floor. The majority in their 20s and 30s were all clean, presentable and slim and most had well toned bodies (like gypsies dogs: all ribs and dick). In fact I did not see a single young man who was overweight. The town remains an industrial area and most young men still do physical work on building sites or in factories and foundries. The contrast of these fit young men to the fat corpulent femininity they were leering at was quite fascinating. Maybe the tastes of young men have changed but I suppose you can get used to anything in the absence of an alternative. I decided not to stay and try my hand; they were too young for me. I could not think of a decent chat up line for the circumstances.

You don’t sweat much for a fat wench” might not be particularly productive.

I finished the evening at the Casino in the next town. They employ about 20 Polish girls as croupiers and in the bar and restaurant area. These girls are aged 20 to 40 and are all recent émigrés in search of a better life. They are delightfully feminine, pleasant and have a wonderful work ethic. They are all pleasing to the eye; there is not a single ugly girl amongst them. Although maybe not as pretty as their English sisters, in contrast to what I had witnessed earlier these Polish girls are all very slim and shapely and clearly take care of themselves. They do not engage in the binge-drinking ethos of their English sisters.

Interestingly the majority of them have acquired Asian (Indian) boyfriends who they perceive as being extremely exotic compared to European men. They will ultimately end up very disappointed.

Out of the shadows

The past couple of years I have been working for a small Aluminium foundry operation. The owner wanted to retire and he engaged me and my mate Peter to run the business for him. Peter runs the commercial and sales side and I look after the operations and manufacturing. We decided on a strategy of creating a niche producing the technically challenging castings that the Chinese and Indian (and most western) foundries can not make. This has proved successful. We have doubled turnover in two years and have made so much money for the owner he has to suck a lemon to control the permanent smile on his face he has developed. In return I have acquired some stability.

In gratitude he took us out to dinner at his favourite Chinese restaurant. The proprietor of the restaurant is a rather attractive oriental lady in her early 40s originally from Hong Kong. That evening I was on form and turned my full charm on this lady. I even surprised myself by her positive response to my flattery. In the bar after the meal she never left my side and by the end of the evening she was intimately dancing in the kitchen with me. Even my boss was impressed as he knew the lady and her husband (who was fortunately absent) extremely well and found her generally distant and aloof with customers. My pal Peter was similarly amazed and remarked if you can beguile a women like that how come you are so unsuccessful with English birds.

I have no answer but far too many theories.

Peter plays bass guitar in a Shadows tribute band which has quite a following (yes I have myself asked the same question why?). A few days later he mentioned an unattached woman who had recently been following the band around and felt I should take a stab at her.

The next evening I went to a gig and was introduced to said lady. In her mid 40s she was quite attractive if somewhat overweight which she attributed to her glands (her glands ate all the pies?). I was unconcerned with her heavyset stature as I was a man on a mission. I was even undaunted by the pinch faced countenance that gave the appearance she permanently had an unpleasant smell under her nose as many English women develop this characteristic in middle age. That evening I was at my most amiable and amusing. I was charm personified and it took surprisingly little effort to get her phone number and make arrangements for a date the following evening.

The second date was in a cosy little pub and I showed her my sensitive new man persona. This basically entails looking at her face and not her tits whilst you are listening to her. And Jeez was there some listening to do! For about 2 hours I had the full story of how unreasonable her ex husband was. Then a further hour receiving detailed lists of her expectations in a man, a catalogue of dos and don’ts, and what she considered acceptable behaviour in a relationship. I can not recall what they were as I had tuned out at item 23.

When she went to the toilet big brain was sorely tempted to instruct legs to run away (run Forrest run) but little brain began screaming from below;

please don’t go, I beg you to stick it out, if not for you do it for ME!

So I did as I was bid and it got me a third date.

The third date the following week was at another of Pete’s gigs. That evening I was a REAL man just like some of the guys on Schoochers. I had so much confidence and personality it oozed from me, you could have harvested testosterone from me like latex from a rubber tree. She was clearly impressed and the coconut shells attached to my legs for the purpose of harvesting were barely visible beneath my flared loon pants.

Unbelievably I had to sit through another rerun of the ex husband's iniquities and a readers digest version of her list of expectations I received on date #2. This was before she could talk about other subjects that interested her, like advanced first aid techniques and the bloodlines of the King Charles Spaniels she bred (be still my beating heart).

I was reminded of the old steam driven gramophone players in the days when LPs were 12” vinyl. Without a forward facility if you wanted to listen to the fifth track on an LP you first had to listen to tracks 1 to 4 every time.

The evening went well and she was promisingly affectionate towards me, until I was driving her home. I detected a coolness that I attributed to an understandable nervousness about the thorough servicing and pork sword portion I had planned for her when I got back to her place. However being a sensitive gentleman when we got to her house I did not press my attention for which she seemed genuinely relieved. Nevertheless for a few days she did not return any of my calls and when I finally tracked her down she informed me she did not want to see me again. I naturally enquired what I had done wrong. She informed me that I had done nothing wrong and she really fancied me initially. “However” she continued.

Although I never saw you or smelled it on you I suspect you smoke the occasional cigarette and I heard you mention a casino to Peter so I guess you gamble. I could never go with a man who smoked or gambled”.

That’s fair enough I thought, but there was more;

And another thing I found your comments that a dog the size of a King Charles spaniel is best cooked in a casserole dish rather than roasted on a spit in very poor taste and most upsetting!”

Ah well, mai pen rai. I think the phrase “lucky escape” is appropriate but I realise you can not just get a woman to fall in love with you.

I think the next girl I find I will have to relentlessly stalk her non stop for a few weeks until I wear her down with abject fear and she then panics and gives in. (I am only joking constable honest).

Four girls name Sue

My preference for Thai and Asian ladies is well documented. Given a choice my favoured outcome would be to meet a Thai girl already living in the UK. However I recently received a note from Londonthai that I consider may be the definitive work on the subject of Thai women in UK. This corrected many of my misconceptions and I now understand just how little I know. This was later confirmed by some useful comments by Paddi on a recent Schoochers thread and in a subsequent correspondence with Cassanudra.

As a result I am taking a “rain check” on chasing UK based Thai girls. That is until Cassanudra finds a suitable candidate to introduce to me.

I also realise that chatting on the net with girls from the Isaan is not a particularly productive use of my time so I am limiting my activity with ThaiLoveLinks at present.

In theory an English woman is probably my best bet for getting laid in between my Siamese sojourns so in pursuance of this objective I rejoined one of the larger British dating sites but this time employed a different tactic.

I posted a photo on my profile that I had taken at Nong Nooch Park near Pattaya a year or so ago. It is of me sitting with a fully grown Tiger (secured by a long chain to two burly keepers out of picture). I thought it may differentiate me from all the other earnest, bald headed, middle aged men on the site and create some interest. Sure enough within a couple of weeks I received three emails all asking the same question “is that a real Tiger?”

Coincidently all three ladies were aged between 55 and 58 and all lived in the Stourbridge area on the middle class commuter belt. They were all named Sue and each made a big issue on their profile that a good sense of humour was their primary requirement in a man. With this in mind I penned the following reply.

“You ask about a Tiger. What Tiger? That is my pussy cat; I have had him since he was a tiny bedraggled kitten. I got him from an Asian businessman who found him in crate he had received from India. I will concede he has grown quite large in the couple of years I have had him. Maybe I have overfed him. Now you come to mention it I have not seen many cats or dogs in the neighbourhood for a few months …or teenagers…or the milkman or the postman…Oh dear!”

I thought this quite witty and amusing; they clearly did not as I did not receive a reply from any of them.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of internet dating for getting me laid.

I did however receive a note from another Sue who I had not heard from for over a year. Sue is a widow, we met through a mutual friend a couple of years ago and for some time we would go out together once a week to the theatre, classical concerts and the like. She was a well presented, elegant and intelligent lady quite a few years older than me. How many years older I never established but I suspect it was at least 8 or 9.

She was a nice lady and I enjoyed her company but the chemistry was not there for me. Although I needed a carnal consort (what youngsters refer to as F**k buddy) I ended up with a culture companion instead.

The corollary of the Thai girls “No Money no Honey” is “When you commit, you can have IT with respectable English ladies”. I believe if I had poked her I would have passed the Rubicon that implied a commitment I was unwilling to make. She finally gave up on me after I disappeared on my third Siamese sojourn without telling her. I will probably not renew our relationship.

I did not marry until I was nearly 30 and expected that my (now ex) wife and I would grow old together. Although this is not to be I am still most reluctant to end up with someone else’s old woman.

Shagging a fat girl or an older wrinkly is like riding a kid’s bike; it’s different, it's probably good fun at the time but you hope to God your friends don’t get to hear about it.

Blue rinse and Whalebone corsets

More recently I find myself getting female attention from an even more unexpected source.

The first incident occurred at my father’s funeral, a most unlikely setting for being propositioned. I found myself alone in the kitchen of the Church Hall with a 76 year old blue rinsed widow friend of my mother's. She quite openly and brazenly stroked my ass as she informed me “you missed your chance last night”. She was referring to the previous evening when at my mother's request I dropped by at her house on my way to the pub to deposit a supply of tea and milk for the next day’s funeral.

I was quite taken aback but maintained my composure sufficient to make light of the situation.” I need a little more notice than that Doris” I rejoined and in doing so managed to extricate myself. I am certain she was deadly serious.

Somewhat unsettled I remember this was not an isolated experience and recall similar incidents.

One occurred a month ago at a concert I was singing in at a local school. In the interval I went into the audience ostensibly to talk to the wives of fellow choristers. In reality it was to see if there are any likely available women in the audience. That evening there was not.

As I was returning backstage one of the ladies I know stopped me. Daphne is 78 with the androgynous appearance that elderly women attain. She admonished me that I never gave her a kiss like I did the other ladies, so I duly obliged with a peck on her cheek. As I did so she grabbed my arm with one hand and quite firmly handled my testicles with the other. She said “I haven’t had sex for years. I would love just one good seeing to from a younger man”. My Tadger retracted into my stomach so quickly it must have looked like Obi Ben Kenobi’s cape. Again I had the presence of mind to make a witty retort that I had left my dick in my other suit. I have a vague recollection that there have been several similar incidents but my subconscious has thankfully blotted them out.

The following evening I am in the company of my brother’s fiancé and her mother. Lou is a very astute street wise young lady in her 30s and the nearest thing to a sister I have. Her mother is an elegant (Gloria Hunniford look-alike) Junoesque lady in her mid 60s. I often end up squiring the mother at social events if her husband is away on business, playing golf or merely asleep in his armchair. They are my closest female friends and I tend to confide in them. I explained my recent chagrin at appearing to have become a babe magnet to ancient fossils.

To my surprise they both laughed and explained they had often been amused watching the effect my old fashioned courteousness had on ladies of maturing years (they actually called them old biddies). They also referred to a couple of ladies they meet at the hairdresser's who know me and are fascinated by my outmoded politeness and charm. Unfortunately said ladies are almost 80. I was quite astonished to also be informed that one of their friends (albeit in her late 60s) had been quite obsessed with me for a time. She was aware of my Thailand trips and from this inferred I was probably still up for it and can still crack a stiffy.

I was genuinely dumbfounded to hear all this and told them I had absolutely no idea. The reply I received from my surrogate sister was also a cause for astonishment.

With all due respect” she began, which usually means you are about to receive that most dreaded of counsel; constructive advice! She continued.

You have had your head so far up your arse for a couple of years unless she was Asian you wouldn’t notice if a woman stripped naked and performed a cartwheel in front of your nose”.

I am sure I would have noticed, however I could imagine saying I didn’t get a good look but whatever she was wearing it was pink and desperately needed ironing.

The Number 74 Bus

I have a bunch of mates I have been friends with since a boy. We religiously get together every three months at a local hostelry. They are a disparate bunch and include a University professor, an airline pilot, a writer of several number one pop hits, a forensic scientist, an Accountant and the inevitable solicitor amongst their number. The only thing we have in common is a lifelong friendship forged when singing together as boy sopranos in a highly regarded Church choir over 40 years ago. (Please do not mention castratos!)

It is usually incumbent on me to tell a tale or two at these gatherings. They have heard most of my Bangkok adventures by now so I inadvisably related an account of my recent experiences with the wrinklies.

They all burst into laughter and a couple of them exclaimed “he’s riding the 74 bus again” I had heard them use this expression about me several times in the past but not understanding I did not want to display my ignorance.

My solicitor pal put me out my misery and explained. “You are like the Number 74 bus; it's only pensioners with a free bus pass who want to jump on you!

Seeing that I was still a little bemused my accountant mate enlightened me. “Because you are such an old fashioned fart (sorry charmer) whenever we have a business function or some formal dinner and there is an unattached elderly lady we need to entertain we always bring you along for that sole purpose. In all the years we have done it hadn’t you ever noticed?”

I did recall going to one soirée at a salubrious establishment and the widow lady they put me with was so infirm I had to cut her meat for her (I thought I might also have to chew it for her at one point).

“If what you say is correct” I enquired “why have you never put me with some of those young luscious business suited babes from the Bank you also invite to these functions?”

Without hesitation the reply came, "because your charm only works with post menopausal women. We tell them you look like an ageing William Shatner”.

Undeterred by their jest I countered “So what you are saying is to a distinguished lady of maturing years I could be compared to a silent screen matinee idol such as Rudolph Valentino”

More like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” came the immediately riposte.

Or Lon Chaney” my account amigo interjected.

Or Lassie” declared the professor from whom I expected better.

Even my threat to show them my collection of Thai girls in Albion shirts (small youth size) for the 95th time failed to abate their piss taking.

With friends like this I don’t imagine you need enemies. I took my turn and bought a round of drinks. Whilst I was at the bar I slipped the new barmaid a fiver to perform a little task for me.

Some 10 minutes later a striking voluptuous blousy 35 year old brunette sashayed seductively to our table, sat on my lap and planted a huge crimson lipsticked kiss on my face.

You look just like Captain Kirk so I had to come and check” she exclaimed, then with a wink she returned to the bar. The look of open mouthed astonishment it put on the faces of my pals was priceless.

Coincidently I also got her phone number but she has not returned my call.

A feminist friends’ foreboding

So this is what it has come to, being a non threatening lothario to time worn tottie and destined to performing necrophilia on moth eaten matrons?

I think not. Or at least I hope not.

I have visited the kingdom of Thailand too many times and have drunk from the fountain of youth. I have partaken of the dark firm young flesh that the best of the daughters of the Isaan have to offer. I have opened the metaphorical Pandora’s Box and can not now get it shut.

Whilst I acknowledge I am currently no nearer achieving my avowed objective of getting laid in between my six monthly Siamese sojourns, I have not yet accepted defeat. I have learnt much on my recent journey of enlightenment and I still have plan B (suggested by Lookpapa) to establish a regular arrangement with a high class hooker to consider.

It is however becoming increasingly evident that English women under 60 are probably a lost cause to me. I have recently had this confirmed from what was effectively the horse’s mouth.

About six months ago we engaged a new office manager. She is an astute intelligent lady in her early 40s and an extremely efficient administrator. Although now happily married she brought her first daughter up alone in difficult circumstances which defined her strength of character. She is the very personification of old fashioned feminism. She is a big powerful woman, assertive, opinionated, intimidating and strident to the point of often being offensive. At face value she is the very epitome of everything I dislike about modern womanhood. Yet we get on extremely well and she considers me a trusted friend. She worked for me before some years ago so we know each other well and have a mutual respect.

The other week quite out of the blue she announced to me “I have been thinking about your situation and I have some advice for you as a pal”

Now whenever a woman claims to have been thinking and tenders an opinion unprompted you should always fear the worst.

I think you should forget about English women since you really don’t stand a chance because of your age”.

Undeterred by my look of astonishment she continued.

“The world has changed, women have changed and whatever you try to change about yourself to attempt to keep up with these changes is wasting your time. There is definitely nothing wrong with you, you are an OK guy but English women absolutely don’t want old blokes like you. All of the women I know do not have a clue what they really want but they are all adamant they deserve young men and consider a man of 50 decidedly ancient. If you look there are ten times as many decent blokes around than there are women so they have the upper hand in terms of choice and know it.

Somewhat uncomfortable with so honest an appraisal I protested that this was perhaps too sweeping a generalisation. She laughed and suggested she knew a bit more about sexually active women than me. She then warned me that if I continued deluding myself I would just be bitterly disappointed and end up suicidal. She then tendered some further counsel.

“I suppose there are always much older women you could pursue but once the menopause has dried up their fanny all they want is a companion to drive them to the shops or mow the lawn. If you want a woman who will jump your bones occasionally look elsewhere. If I were you I would definitely persist with your Thailand thing.”

At that point a telephone call ended the conversation and we never concluded the discussion. What was alarming was these were not the words of a misogynist male monger but a genuine English woman with no agenda.

Epilogue

Whilst the odds look poor and the obstacles appear insurmountable I will do what most blokes do when a target looks unattainable and distant. I will cut the Gordian knot and cheat.

In a resonance of an earlier chapter, recently I successfully produced some intricate cylinder block castings for a highly prestigious motorsports application that our more illustrious competitors just could not make. My boss was like a dog with two dicks about this and slipped me a £1,000 bonus. Now I have no intention of saving this or utilising it for anything vaguely prudent.

Within the hour I had booked my flight to the kingdom and a room at the Mothership for Easter. This will mean that I will only have gone three months without the comfort of a woman rather than my usual six months of celibacy,

By 18.30 on Wednesday 19th March you will see me in the Golden bar partaking of a cold one with the usual suspects Phil and Union Hill.

I intend as usual to do a few days honest mongering around the salacious sois of Sukhumvit but envisage this visit may prove to be a little different. My old friend Nat is coming to meet me at the weekend with the intention of taking me to Chiang Mai for a few days as a change from my usual pilgrimage to Pattaya. She recently rebuked me that in the four years she has known me all I ever do when I am in Pattaya is get drunk, spend too much time in gogos and sleep with various bar girls (I am unsure what her point is?).

She is threatening to show me something more of Thailand than I usually see. It could be interesting getting the TGFE in a Leap year and I may end up doing something rash that could either solve my problem or create a new one.

As I have said before in previous missives, watch this space.

Thai Dating, Singles and Personals

Stickman's thoughts:

There are a few writers' whose submissions I eagerly look forward to – and you're one of them. Again, a thoroughly enjoyable read although that bit about 78 year old Daphne almost took a turn for the worse!