Stickman Readers' Submissions January 23rd, 2009

The Good Deed and the Train Wreck

What’s that old saying? A good deed never goes unpunished? This is the story of a good deed by me that became a train wreck for a friend of mine. I have lived in Rawai, Phuket for the past ten years and before that visited Thailand off and on for about six years. When I first came to Phuket I stayed in a bungalow resort in Kata called Fantasy Hill, in between Kata and Karon and a block from either beach. The resort is still there and still reasonably priced, nicely run by a Thai family that lives on the premises.

That’s where I met my American friend Bo. A quiet guy and a gentleman a few years younger than me; he too was spending a few months out of each year in Thailand. We became friends and I could always count on him turning up in my favorite Bangkok hotel, The Atlanta on Sukhumvit, Soi 2 built in the 1950’s with a swimming pool and air con or fan rooms. We kept in touch through the years and when I was ready to call it quits in America I found and rented a small house in Rawai, only a hundred feet from the beach.

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Each morning I used to wake up and before I even brushed my teeth I ran into the ocean, a nice life indeed.

Bo made the move six months later and asked if he could bunk in my house while he got settled. Of course, I was glad to have him. The house next door to mine came up for rent and he took it. Bo became famous in town for a few things: being quite a drinker, tight fisted with a dollar and an attraction to really homely girls. Okay, up to him as long as he is happy but why come to a beautiful country filled with attractive women and go out with buffalos? I was going to take a week's vacation in Chang Mai and Bo suggested that I look up a girl that he knew.

‘Not on your life, my friend.’

‘Why? She’s a nice girl.’

‘Bo, the girls you go out with are all four F. Fat, forty, funny looking and feeble.’

He was a little taken aback. ‘How about that last girl I went out with? What about her?’

She was a typical up-country girl, short, squat with a bulldog face and a missing tooth.’ I shrugged my shoulders and walked away smiling to myself as my retired fireman friend referred to her as the fireplug. Not long after that, I met a stunning long-legged girl from Nakhon Si Thammarat. I picked her up at an open air market, not a bar, took her home and we made love. Later when I slipped some money in her hand she was insulted and threw it back at me. ‘I like you and I never do this and now you treat me like a whore.’

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I apologized profusely and we became more than friends. I saw her every day. We went to the beach, her in a bikini, attracting attention and then at night out for dinner and then usually to the Safari Club just before Patong where she mesmerized men and women alike with her short skirts and tight tops. Pea did not have any visible means of support and I knew that she lived by her wits and another more tangible part of her body. She would sleep over proclaiming her love for me. I would wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, at fifty-five years of age I had not magically transformed into a Brad Pitt look-alike.

‘My darling I love you so much. Let’s buy a house and live together. After a year we will be married and have children.’

I knew the house would go in her name; I don’t want to get married again and I hate kids so she left disappointed, dropping me like an old shoe if you want to know the truth. The train was coming and I stepped off the tracks and let it pass by to run over quite a few other guys.

Before that happened and while we were on good terms, she asked if I had a nice guy for her sister, older by a year or two, not quite as beautiful as Pea but still good looking and by gosh I did. I introduced her to my next door neighbor Bo who having gone out with all those woofers was totally enchanted by her. Nit, sister of Pea actually worked in some kind of electronics factory five and a half days a week. She soon stopped and moved in with my pal Bo. A good deed on my part as now he had a decent looking girlfriend. Pea, ever on the look out for an extra dollar, asked Bo for a commission, a few baht for the introduction, say twenty-thousand. Bo refused to part with any money and that was the end of that. Hey, wasn’t I the one that introduced them? Bo put his new girl on birth control pills and they went on vacation to Chang Mai where he had a Canadian friend married to a Thai woman.

One thing about Thai girls is that they love to gossip and Nit told the other Thai girl that she would soon have a baby, her boyfriend entrusting her with the birth control pills. A few months later Nit announced the happy event to Bo who was furious.

He came over my house to let off some steam and I told him that if he wanted to be angry at someone to look in the mirror as he gave Nit permission by putting her in charge. That calmed him down a bit but he was still not happy. He was even less happy when his Canadian friend called him and said that Nit had this planned all along and that she wasn’t a virgin as claimed but had been married to a Thai man for a year and a half before she met Bo, something she conveniently forgot to mention. Bo wanted her to have an abortion but she declared that she loved their unborn baby and would take care and treasure the child forever and ever.

The train wreck had started but Bo decided to make the best of it. He bought some land and built a house. A few years later he bought the house next door to rent out and have an income. Pea in the meantime had gone on to fall in love with three men in three years and has three houses in her name to show for it and every time she visited her sister she reminded her of it. Also every year Pea acquired a larger and larger SUV having bewitched more than a few men into investing in their dreams of ever lasting love.

Bo on the other hand was still pinching pennies when he really didn’t need to; he was well off but I was the only one to know about his inherited wealth.

Pea’s display of affluence must have been wearing on Nit as she eventually moved into the house next door that Bo had built and went to work in an Italian restaurant down the street leaving Bo to take care of their daughter. When Bo complained, Nit said she was through with both of them. Nit started going to work dressed to the teeth and in full make-up. She must be thinking, ‘If my sister can do so well for herself, why can’t I?’

Bo, never having worked a day in his life, had to take their daughter to school every day and then pick her up. The whole thing started to affect him and he started drinking heavily. Actually he was always a pretty good drinker and a touch bitter by having been betrayed by Nit a few years back; he took to drinking more and more. Soon he was stumbling around most of the time and was starting to have a few scrapes and arguments in the neighborhood bars.

Nit asked Bo to give her some money every month to take care of expenses. Bo said, ‘Sure, as long as you quit your job and come back to take care of your daughter.’

‘I told you before that I don’t want anything to do with either one of you.’

This was in the evening and Bo already having dunk enough for three people gave her a good smack that knocked her over the hedges. Nit jumped up and ran into her house. Bo not finished, climbed into his pick up truck and drove it right through the front door.

Later Bo bragged that he was thoughtful enough to back the truck into the house and only broke the tail light lenses, costing him about four dollars.

‘Hah’, I said, ‘and a hundred-thousand baht for a new wall.’

Nit now frightened for her life jumped into her small car and took off closely followed by Bo who managed to ram her auto up against a stone fence. Nit climbed out the window ran down the street calling for help. Bo, knowing how things worked in Thailand and not wanting to go to jail drove away and disappeared for a week. The police put out an order for his arrest at all the immigration crossings and kept a keen look out for him but he was up in Takua Pa hiding out with an old acquaintance. He finally called a friend in Nai Harn, Million Baht Mickey, to ask if his Thai wife could help to negotiate Bo’s return. Bo was up against attempted assault with a deadly weapon charge, his truck being the instrument of violence.

They all met at the local police station with a promise that if they worked things out, Bo would not have to spend God knows how long in jail. And work things out they did because the last event a foreigner wants in Thailand is make it all the way to court where one Thai judge and sometimes possibly three decide your fate, five or ten years in jail being a real possibility.

Nit knew that she had the upper hand. ‘My house and car repaired, a million baht and monthly support.’

Not much choice here and Bo settled the matter in the police station, the police receiving their cut for helping with the problem.

The train fully crashed; Bo headed for the nearest beer bar where he proceeded to knock down Sang Som rum and contemplate life here in Thailand.

Stickman's thoughts:

Just when you think you've heard it all! Foreigners beating up their Thai wife. Foreigners stabbing their Thai wife and now chasing them and trying to ram them with a car. What will be next?! Actually, I shouldn't ask that question. I really don't want to know the answer!

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