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Truth Or Consequences 2010




I'm certainly not the first person, and undoubtedly won't be the last to observe how initially small, seemingly irrelevant events in our lives lead us down some strange and totally unexpected paths. When I was young, for some reason totally unknown to me, I was interested in geographic place names that sounded unusual or bizarre to what I thought of as a 'normal' name for a place. Paducah, Celeryville, Snomohish and Skykomish, Tucumcari, Tallahassee, Truth or Consequences, Circleville, Waterproof, Show Low, Lake Winnipausaukee. (Some of the facts presented in this piece are difficult to verify. All of these place names do exist in the USA and can be easily verified on the internet. I think that the more of this article that you read, the more you'll be able to trust me as I've no reason to lie to you.)

I did a few years in the U.S. military, where I put aside a lot of money from playing poker and the black market for untaxed liquor and cigarettes, and fronting money to guys doing things much more illicit. Spending a few years in S.E. Asia during the American debacle in Vietnam, I of course had my intermittent visit to Thailand. But I was different from most of the men visiting Thailand in that I was more entranced by the interesting place names than I was by the more normal R & R itinerary. (footnote 1) Perhaps it was a portent of my coming eccentricities that I was more interested in place names rather than the names of the local ladies. Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Lopburi (LandOfPleasure), Sutthisan, Huay Kwang, Chatuchak, Chong Nonsi, Phi Phi, Phuket, Nakhon Nookie. I had no sexual escapades and didn't even have any massages. My diet was conspicuously full of western food and devoid of papaya bok bok and crunchy insects. But this first visit set the wheels in motion for my eventual return to the LOS and this remarkable story that I am about to reveal to you. It will require a bit of patience and maybe even being late for your rendezvous at the local short-time-room. But the payoff is of immense potential value to you farangs in Thailand. Bear with me, fasten your seat belts and hold on to your condoms. (Or as they holler at you in Army basic training when they rudely awaken you in the morning: Drop your cocks and grab your socks.)

After I completed my obligatory time in the Army, I had to figure out what next to do with my life. Not being particularly fond of getting my hands dirty or to work very hard while still pulling in some decent money, becoming an attorney (barrister) seemed like an appropriate way to go. My just-sufficient diligence and ambition ended up being my passage into a first rate law school. It was a bit too much work for someone as naturally indolent as myself, but I managed to finish near the top of my class and consequently land a job with a top-notch law firm.

Being possessed of an excellent memory and a reasonably clever tongue able to manipulate certain facets of reality and cause them to shine in an altered manner meant that I was made a partner in the white shoe firm employing me. And by acting as the lead attorneys in some civil suits against the tobacco industry, which resulted in a gargantuan financial settlement, I soon found myself once again rolling in the money. Although I certainly like being well compensated, my desires for conspicuous consumption are quite limited and I steadily amassed a very tidy and sizable portfolio of diverse investments. It seemed almost as certain as the sun rising in the east that I would be a remarkably wealthy man the rest of my life.

But then came the financial market shocks of 2008. Life is full of surprises and only some of them are pleasant. Like a lot of people I knew, over the space of a few months I found the value of my financial assets cut in half. Although I found this a bit disconcerting, I knew that with my limited tastes, this monetary haircut would have no actual impact on how I lived my life. But as a consequence of the financial turmoil and the political reactions to the situation, I found myself reading an inordinate amount about inflation, deflation, monetary history and how politics factored into all of this. The situation and political reactions to events influenced me into becoming greatly disillusioned with my work, my government and future expectations for any sort of stable financial future. Through my reading on the internet, I became a gold bug and became very skeptical about the future of paper currencies, particularly those of my native land, the USA. Although a lot of friends and acquaintances thought that I was nothing short of paranoid and not playing with a full deck, over a matter of weeks I put my money where my mouth was and converted about 90% of my assets into gold bars and coins. As a big believer in diversification, I secreted this gold in seven different facilities around the world. Each of them being in a different country and only two of them on the same continent.

This effort was a bit tedious and fraught with bureaucratic entanglements. By the time I had it all in place and the gold disbursed to each location, I was disgusted reading the daily paper, less than content by my continued partnership in the law firm and more than a trifle bored with the complaints and basic unhappiness of my friends. Perhaps I was starting to experience something of a mid-life crisis, but it seemed to me time for a drastic lifestyle change. And one morning I woke up knowing how I'd fill the coming months. I would combine my never ceasing fascination with odd place names with a trip around the world visiting my gold caches and making sure that this gold existed and that I could easily access it. (The last thing I ever wanted to happen to me was to have to return to work.) And eventually of course, this is how in early 2009, I found myself back in Thailand.

Before I stopped off in Thailand, I was patting myself on the back for my decision to check-out of corporate life, enjoying the comforts of first-class travel and upscale hotels, eating small but sumptuous meals and wondering what would happen when this round-the-world journey was complete. For better or worse, I never got back there.

My flight into Bangkok arrived late on Saturday night and a taxi took me to my hotel in Ratchada, the Swissotel Concorde on Rachadapisek Road near the Huay Kwang BTS stop. For some reason, Huay Kwang had stuck in my head as one of my favorite place names in Thailand. (It may have something to do with it sounding quite similar to a notoriously corrupt yet awfully colorful long deceased Louisiana politician, Huey Long, but that's a long story for another day.) I also preferred to stay in a neighborhood full of Asian tourists rather than farang tourists. Although not exactly dapper in their attire, the Asian visitors in this neighborhood were not as offensively dressed as the typical farang on Sukhumvit, nor as overweight and sickly white skinned and they all had enough sense not to bring a woman with them to Bangkok. You don't bring a sandwich to a banquet.

The Swissotel's lobby was rather garish and would've probably been more appropriately located somewhere in Europe, perhaps Italy. The highly domed ceiling had artwork lifted out of the Sistine Chapel and the whole design seemed out of place in Bangkok. But the room was quiet and comfortable and easily accessible to good transportation options. Perhaps the religiously themed lobby wasn't just the result of misguided design but an omen of what was going to happen there?

Sunday was a day of rest and sloth for me without even going to church. Monday I got back to business and made plans to visit my gold stash in the Silom Road / Sala Daeng neighborhood. I'd heard about the MRT subway line running from Huay Kwang straight to Silom. And in the interests of avoiding the April heat of Bangkok and the absurd but ongoing traffic situation, it seemed a wise move to use the train. Wow, talk about incongruity, this train was fast, well air-conditioned and serendipity itself. After the sterility of life in the USA and most of the other places I'd visited before arriving in Bangkok, it was not unpleasant wandering around in Silom and trying to locate my safe deposit facility. Without undue effort, I found the box, verified the contents, bit a few of the coins to make certain that they were in fact 24 karat. I paid the safe facility for another ten years in advance and headed back out into the heat of the day.

My business was now complete in Bangkok and I could move onto Australia whenever I chose to do so. But then, by merely overhearing a conversation, my life took an unexpected turn and it might even be said that it was never to be the same . . .

I was back on the subway wondering where and what I'd eat for lunch and how much longer until I'd move south to Australia when I heard a couple of farang guys talking about something called 'Soi Cowboy'. A strange blend of Thai and Americana, this sounded like a place, if it really existed, that I should pay at least a brief visit. Returning to my hotel and while enjoying a modest lunch, I asked the waiter about Soi Cowboy. He told me that a lot of farang gentlemen enjoyed this zone of entertainment and that by taking the subway again and getting off at Sukhumvit, it would take just a few minutes walk to get there.

When I woke up from my afternoon nap, an evening visit to Soi Cowboy seemed like a good idea. And since I didn't know anybody in Bangkok or much about the city, it was either that or watching TV in my hotel room. I knew nothing about Bangkok or its reputation.

(After Soi Cowboy)

It was probably a good idea to visit Soi Cowboy. The name of the place still echoed pleasantly in my mind and it was a bit of a shock to find such an 'entertainment zone' in a major city right next to business centers. But my life had been more devoted to cerebral pleasures such as music and literature. Still I couldn't help but be impressed by the lovely skin, smiles and shapes of many of the ladies on Soi Cowboy. But for me, the visions were more akin to visiting a museum. It was a work of art that I could enjoy from a distance. And again my thoughts turned to scheduling a flight out of Bangkok and on to Australia.

Everybody has their own idea of what constitutes beauty and desirability. Were this not so, most of my friends back in the USA would've remained lonely and virgins. (After they got married, things came full circle.) At the stairway of the Asoke skytrain station was the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I literally stopped in my tracks, my mouth open, my tongue hard, my pulse racing and tears in my eyes. By the time my eyes had cleared and I could focus again, she was gone. It had been a long and hot day for me and I badly wanted to sleep. But on the subway, in the shower and even once I got into bed, I couldn't stop thinking of what I'd seen. It took me hours to fall asleep. And when I awoke, I knew that I had to find her. And I would take any necessary measures regardless of expense or inconvenience to do so. Australia would wait and so the next chapter of my life commenced.

Having no job or wife or family to return to, it was an easy decision to stay in Bangkok and start looking for that flash of beauty. I began spending an inordinate amount of time in the environs of the Asoke BTS station, because this was all I had to go on in terms of seeing her again. Obviously I didn't know if she even lived in Bangkok or frequented the Asoke area or what would happen were I able to locate her. But it wasn't a bad place to start looking around. While looking around there were all sorts of visual and audible distractions and attractions. Construction projects in slow motion, 5 star hotels with nice restaurants, pool rooms, bookstores, grocery stores, street musicians, street vendors, nice fitness facilities and lots of women standing around, like me, apparently looking for something or someone.(2) I enjoyed meals from the large hotels, from the street vendors, from neighborhood restaurants and even at the grocery store restaurants. It was reasonably entertaining and amusing for a while, but then I began to wonder if I'd ever see her again. I started to become a bit too obsessive and began worrying too much and chastising myself for letting her get away that one time I'd seen her. But then something happened and I couldn't go out hunting for awhile.

It was something that I'd eaten or drank and I've little idea what caused it. But the result was that I was too sick to get out of bed or eat anything else and it was an effort to keep myself hydrated. I was able to stagger to a pharmacy the next day and was able to procure some antibiotics without a prescription. Gradually the abdominal pains diminished and I was able to sleep well. So well that I had little desire to leave my room and my bed. And I didn't.

I used my computer and I slept. I listened to my CDs that I always kept with me wherever I went. Wonderful recordings of the music of Handel and Scarlatti and then I slept. I gradually ingested all the food in the mini-bar and resorted to calling room service now and again. And then I slept some more. The computer and the internet were the best distraction as I started focusing on events having nothing to do with me and this helped to banish my obsession. Hours could slip by now and I wouldn't even think about her at all. I'd always been comfortable with computer technology and could lose myself on the internet like most guys could by watching a soccer game at their local bar. And after I wearied myself with the news of the world, I began doing more esoteric things online. It was easy to find websites with lots of photos of Bangkok and the people there. So now I could reignite my obsession without having to go out at all. Of course most of the photos were amateurish and trite, but others were full of smiling faces and children and lovely faces of young ladies. But it was when I was browsing through some pictures taken in the subway stations and the skytrain stations that I realized that Bangkok had a goodly number of security cameras in public places. If I could only access the storage sites where these images from the security cameras were archived, I could skip from random browsing and start restricting my search to that of the faces of everybody who rode these trains.

In Farangland, money talks reasonably loudly. In Thailand, it is your ticket to pleasures and your passage out of troubles with the men-in-brown. I contacted a Bangkok law firm, made known my desires, my willingness to achieve them quietly and quickly, and in fairly short order had access codes to the computer systems and video archives of BTS and MRT. In order to celebrate this achievement, I made a grocery run to the Emporium food market, the Villa Market a few blocks further west, really stocking up my pantry and even bringing home some champagne to celebrate. I liked staying in my room rather well, but it was time to make myself more comfortable.

Now that I could access the security camera clips from my room and had some proper food to keep myself energized, I was able to stop sleeping so much and get back to work. I started viewing the videos from the date I had spotted that flash of beauty. I was able to find her exiting the skytrain at Asoke and traced her back to getting on the train at Nana station. Staking out the Nana skytrain station for a few days, I was able to locate her and with patience and stealth, track her back to the soi where I thought she worked.

Wanting to make a good first impression with her, I put on a nice tropical weight suit, and even wore a tie. Having a reasonable idea of what time she finished work, I waited at the corner of Sukhumvit 7/1 and kept an eye out down the soi. And this time I was even able to read the name of the shop where she worked as she came out. Having no capability with the local language, I could only hope that my intense desire, assiduous efforts in tracking her down, and being dressed to impress would work in my favor. I placed myself so she would see me, offered up my most engaging smile and was rewarded with a smile in return from her. I held out my hand in order to shake hands, but she took my hand in hers and started walking up Sukhumvit. I was floating along with her, not knowing where we going when she flagged down a taxi. I offered the taxi driver a card from my hotel so he could take us there.

My mind was racing, simultaneously excited and frightened, but relieved that things would now be played out, for better or worse. And even if I wasn't going to be carrying on conversations with her, I wanted to at least give her a name. Considering the name of the shop where she worked, it seemed like the kind of place that was a wine bar or where people enjoyed simple meals in a natural setting. I could picture her serving up wine to the customers and peeling grapes for them because she worked at a place called 'Eden'. Of course I thought of the 'Garden of Eden' and therefore named her 'Eve'. She looked every bit as pretty as the first time I saw her. And up close, she even smelled quite good. I couldn't help myself giving her a bear hug in the taxi and she had no objection.

Once we got to the hotel, I just wanted to enjoy looking at her and have something cool to drink. But I was so hot from wearing a suit, that I took her up to my room as I badly wanted to take a shower. She didn't object in any recognizable manner and this was perhaps the best shower of my life. When I came out of the bathroom, she was undressed and in my bed, sleeping. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her face in all its angelic innocence, had a snack, crawled into bed next to her, and went to sleep. I was a very happy man.

While I lay in bed next to her, I reflected on how pleasant it was spending time with Eve, even though we were incapable of verbally communicating with each other. And considering these significant language barriers I pondered the possibility of spending time with Eve as if we were incapable of speech. And as this idea percolated in my mind, I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, when I awoke, Eve was wrapped in a towel, nibbling on food and watching television with the volume down low. She smiled at me and I returned the gesture. My only concern at the moment was that she return and spend more time with me. I pulled out a calendar and circled the coming week and then used my hands to indicate that she should come back and see me. Not wanting to risk losing her, I spread some baht out on the coffee table and her eyes got a little wider. She took a reasonable portion of the money I'd laid out and pointed to a date in the next week when she'd return. And I'm so happy that she did.

Having located her, spent time with her, found that she was comfortable staying with me for the night, I was almost totally content to patiently await our next time together. But sure, I missed her. One of the best methods to trigger memories is via reintroducing familiar scents. So I was happy to find that the silk necktie I had worn to meet Eve was now well impregnated with her perfume and her own personal scent. I took to sometimes wearing this necktie and it was a wonderful balm that brought a smile to my face.

Having had little in the way of sexual activities in my life, I got a fairly good wake-up-call when Eve came back for the 2nd night. We were busy for a few hours, with Eve taking the lead in our dance moves. Next morning I awoke to find Eve already gone as was some of the money I'd set out on the table. I lay in bed trying to remember everything we'd done together in bed, yet no longer so certain that Eve was a virgin.

Now that Eve would show up at my room at irregular intervals, I had even less desire to leave my room. Every few weeks I'd screw up my courage and resist my compunctions about venturing out and make a grocery and beverage resupply trip. So that when Eve did show up, we ate and drank quite well. After awhile, it didn't matter that I was in Bangkok. I could have been in a comfortable hotel room anywhere in the world and I was pleased to let the world go on without my involvement.

I don't know what induced Eve to alter our very comfortable lifestyle, but one night she brought a friend with her. Having apparently told her friend about our non-conversational arrangement, I never did discover whether this was a friend, a work colleague from Eden or a cousin. But they quietly entered the room one night when I was already asleep. Then two very differently scented bodies climbed into my bed, one on each side of me. (Fortunately I had my necktie on at the time, and was now able to introduce an additional scent into it.) It was a rather memorable experience, but I don't 'kiss and tell'. The next morning, Eve could tell just by looking at my eyes how pleased I was with an additional woman brought into our time together.

So sometimes Eve would bring along a friend and other nights she would visit me without bringing anybody else. One of the women she brought to our room was a bit more enthusiastic and animated in bed and she (Eve XIV) would sometimes grab my necktie when I was on top of her. And before long I was enjoying the pleasures of erotic asphyxiation with my visitors. And when I didn't have visitors, I was still able to indulge in this practice by myself.

I still was interested in listening to my music during the day, but mostly I lost track of the outside world and my life became more centered on this single room. It would be an understatement to say that I would have been content to go on like this indefinitely but then nothing stays the same forever. Truth and Consequences.

I was beginning to lose count of the women, as I'd lost track of time and the world-at-large. One night Eve showed up with another lady that was somehow more attractive than all the other women she had brought to me. After months of staying in this hotel room with Eve and her friends, I was totally trusting and ready for anything new in bed. And considering that all bodies have a limited number of openings and correspondingly limited number of appendages, there had always seemed to be a finite number of sexual possibilities even though Eve and her friends were pretty thorough in exhausting anything I could conceive of. But this new woman was able to expand the repertoire of possibilities because she possessed a special protuberance that I'd never imagined that I'd find on a woman. And it provided the potentiality to indulge in sexual realms that were previously not imaginable. And as with the other guests that Eve brought to my room, this new creature introduced me to things I had never even considered.

I was worn out, spent and my body was more relaxed than after the best massage I'd ever had. I slept exquisitely. And I dreamed rather vividly about Thailand.

Even the first time I had come to Thailand, and ridden the buses to the far fetched cities of Nong Khai, Phuket, Phi Phi, Ubon Ratchathani, there were a lot of things about Thailand that perplexed me. Why did none of the reading lights on the buses work at all? Why were the electrical cables and utility cables in the cities such an agglomeration (aka clusterfuck) and why were there so many of them? Why when I'd go out to an internet shop in the wee hours of the morning, the shops would still be full of school aged youth playing video games on school nights? Why did the Thai people consume food that to me looked unfit for human consumption? Monks traipsing about in orange sheets, looking for food handouts, and mindlessly staring at walls most of the day. Why is Thailand one of the oddest shaped countries in terms of geographic boundaries? It had occurred to me that as a farang, if you weren't confused by living in Thailand, than quite simply you didn't understand what was going on.

Dreams, as we all know, are very queer things. Some parts are presented with appalling vividness, with details worked up with the elaborate finish of jewellery, while others one gallops through, as it were, without noticing them at all, as, for instance, through space and time. Dreams seem to be spurred on not by reason but by desire, not by the head but by the heart, and yet what complicated tricks my reason has played sometimes in my dreams, what utterly incomprehensible things happen to it! My brother died five years ago for instance. I sometimes dream of him; he takes part in my affairs, we are very much interested, and yet all through my dream I quite know and remember that my brother is dead and buried. How is it that I am not surprised that, that though he is dead, he is here beside me and working with me? Why is it that my reason fully accepts it? But does it matter whether it was a dream or reality, if the dream made known to me the truth? If once one has recognized the truth and seen it, you know that it is the truth and that there is no other and there cannot be, whether you are asleep or awake. (3)

And the next morning, when I awoke, I knew the truth about Thailand. The needle in the haystack, the key that triggered my dream and my recognition and understanding of everything Thai, was my new visitor from earlier that evening. All the things that seemed unearthly about Thailand, the things that the Thai's did that seemed so atypical of Farangland, were in fact because the THAI PEOPLE ARE NOT OF THIS PLANET. This human version of a satyr, this half man/half woman that I'd experienced the night before, was the missing link. And my dream had made known to me the truth.

The Thai 'people' have come to our planet as part of a grandiose research project, but I cannot pretend to understand all of its dimensions and complexity. What is quite clear is that what we think of as Thailand is merely a large scientific laboratory. And the most important 'guinea pig' in this project is the farang male, who is representative of the most powerful financial, military and entertainment elements on the planet. The farang male is representative of the coming social trends for all of the planet. Countless farangs have commented that "In Thailand, Someone is Always Watching You" and they didn't know the half of it. The reading lights on the buses never work as you intend, because they have all been replaced by cameras to keep an eye on you. The mass of utility cables are part of the massive eavesdropping and monitoring system. And as my stomach had determined early in my current visit, a lot of the food was in fact not fit for human consumption. (And that was why anThai-biotics had resolved the problem.) Thais come from an extra-tonal star system, which is why they speak like they do. And as for the monks, don't get me started on that topic.

How do the Thai's keep all these farangs distracted from what is actually going on behind the scenes. Simply by distracting the male farang with two topics that are of immense importance and interest to him: money and sex. In a clever and complex interaction of push/pull, ying/yang, give and take, the retired farang attempts to hold on to his money as long as he can while simultaneously try to rid himself of his 'precious bodily fluids' as frequently as he can. This may not be sufficient activity to keep him fully occupied and content, but as a diversion it has totally accomplished its objectives. Generous applications of booze and tropical heat also contribute significantly to keeping him oblivious to what is going on and sufficiently sedated.

For better or worse, your author is also human and thus full of failings and weaknesses and therefore, like you, prone to thinking with the smaller of the two heads.
As I lay in bed this morning, totally clear headed and rested, I knew that I wanted to continue what I'd been engaged in countless times with Eve and only once with this 3rd-gendered creature. But I'm rather modest and don't want to have others looking over my shoulder. Unquestionably, the way to shelter myself from eavesdropping while secreted in my room was to erect a shield, a means of keeping out electromagnetic intrusion. And although it is not inexpensive, it is lightweight and fairly easily transported. I had sheets of metal custom-made to cover the walls, floor and ceiling of my room. Of course this shield was fully as effective as I'd hoped it would be because it was made from Thaitanium.

Are you still me with dear reader? Have I tried your patience and worn you out? I hope not, because at this point I'd like to digress just a little bit. Because quite frankly, I'm as addled with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) as most of you and I'm rather incapable of staying on track. And as the old adage says, "digression is the better part of valor". And maybe the better part of this story. But that verdict, as the girls tells me in Thailand, that is 'up to you'. Please stay with me a bit longer.

Buddhism is worthy of study and in my mind a very interesting religion. Still, it has remarkable resemblances to other major earth-based religions. For instance, its concept of reincarnation is reminiscent of the Christian concept of heaven and hell and this is because human beings cannot accept the unknown yet very certain event known as 'death'. Human beings want a story to provide hope and reassurance for their eternal well being. But the reality is that nobody knows what happens after we die and this is one of the few universal constants among sentient species. Buddhism also has its imaginative notion of advancing into higher life forms by leading a virtuous and worthy existence. And ostensibly, the smallest single-celled animal and the elephant and each individual human is judged or scored as a result of a lifetime full of actions. It is thought that a human can lead a so-called virtuous life by such actions as showing respect to one's parents, by helping the less privileged, by not stealing and by not lying. Because there is a thing called 'Truth' and the result of ignoring it, 'Consequences'.

In my estimation, Buddhism is a charming story and frankly much more tasteful and imaginative than other major earth religions. One of the fastest growing religions on earth today is the Church of the Latter Day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon faith. As an American, and this is an religion based in Salt Lake City, Utah, I've had the genuine pleasure of meeting many Mormons and I cannot help but be sincerely impressed by their strong family ties, their obvious decency as people and wise emphasis on education for their children, their prudent avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, gambling and even caffeine. These are clever people and I have great respect for them. But the Mormons, like most religions and major corporations, have an ongoing interest in expanding their flock and gaining new converts and boosting their share price.
How many times have I seen their young white-short-sleeved-shirted males in Bangkok on their missionary journeys full of proselytization and smiles. But I think that their presence in a Buddhist nation is also an example of knowing how much they can learn from Buddhism in promoting their story. Buddhism is a religion with a long history and the Mormons know that their faith can use a little polishing on this front. For instance, the founder of this church, Joseph Smith, who lived from 1805 until 1844, claims to have found their bible, the Book of Mormon, in his attic. "Joseph Smith" is the uncreative name of a con man seeking to hide his past and finding a book in your own attic is nothing short of showing a profound inability to creatively market your product. Their marketing department knows how much they can improve their storyline by checking things out in Thailand.

So yes, I'm impressed by and enjoy the Buddhism story but ultimately find it awfully similar to other major religions. It is a different story with the same wrapper and it plays on human beings fear of the unknown. Returning to the theme of reincarnation, sort of a digression within a digression (4), I've been unable to figure out how other species advance or retreat through the different stages of life and what constitutes good karmic action say by a mosquito. Does a mosquito do good by infecting a human with malaria or dengue fever or is the anthropomorphic vision for mosquitoes merely to snatch a little blood and move on without spreading disease? Does a fly shun shit and alight only on pre-digested food? And what of the malarial parasite itself? It too has a mission to reproduce.

Buddhism is a faith that abjures killing any animals so I was astounded to learn that Buddhist monks can eat meat as long as they themselves don't kill the animal. But unfathomable, ineffable and hypocritical religions aren't exactly new on the scene. Preaching to the masses likely runs neck and neck for longevity with the world's oldest profession. Sounds like the lead in to a joke: which/who came first, the preacher or the prostitute. But we don't have time here for jokes, so back at the ranch, what was I ranting about awhile ago? . . . (got it now)

But if there is a God and man is made anything at all similarly in the image of this God, then this dude is an artist par excellence. And every artist, no matter how eccentric or reclusive and regardless of the paucity of his ego or his enormous problematic ego (as postulated by the major religions), wants his work to be appreciated, enjoyed and respected. And although religions differ in their rules and commandments, the basic gist in all of them is pretty damn similar with some admittedly impressive deviations due to creative interpretation. And it seems clear and obvious that this apotheosis of the artist has gone to IMMENSE effort on our planet and achieved stunning results and incredible variety. If there is in reality anything such thing as a sin, as a wasted life, as an ungrateful child, then one of the most shocking, unnecessary and ignorant sins is a failure to appreciate her work. In other words being bored when you have the world by the short hairs. That's the fucking truth. T or C

This Dude, our emcee of everywhere and everything, he is definitely not a deity of denial and deprivation. On the contrary, he is the ne plus ultra of the party animal. He is the paragonic prince of Preapism.(5) He is the apple of our eyes and we are the durian of her dreams. She enjoys it all and mostly. . . she is laughing. (If you are chalaad, you are also laughing; or suffering; that again is 'up to you'.)

If you are mai sabai with malaria or dengue, or one of the many millions locked into a prison cell, or suffering from the recent death of a loved one, your ennui can be understood as a result of temporarily adverse conditions. However, if you are a retired farang in Thailand, living rather well (materially speaking) in a region where 'quite modest' is more the norm and you are bored, and unappreciative and unable to meaningfully and creatively allocate your time, then I have a message for you. If there is such a thing as sin, then your life is a sin.

But there are two sides to every story, and this story is just another story. Sure, it's way too long and apparently written by a smug, self-satisfied farang with misguided aspirations towards writing and a waning libido who even has to resort to pills and gels to 'pop a rod'. But, and this is the important point, the other side of this story is that you can reverse your sin and banish your boredom and get with the fucking program. (6)(6.1)(7)

It is said that years ago, Thailand for farangs was much better than it is today. And that's undoubtedly true. A lot of the Thai scientists and researchers have lost patience and interest in humanity as worthy of continued study. Many of them seem to think that it is long past time to pull the plug on humans and either exterminate the lot of them or remove them to another galaxy where they can no longer torment the other species on earth. (Were they to be merely removed to somewhere else in our own galaxy, the Thais realize we might be too prone to imitating the antics of Thaksin Shinawatra.) Feeling this way, of course they aren't as congenial when dealing with the typical farang they encounter. The clock is ticking. . . And as it does I hear in my head "Truth or Consequences."

Frankly and seriously, time is running very short for the duration of this experiment. There is a lot of debate in the Thai hierarchy as to how much longer resources will be allocated to this human research. It is peeng makh makh and getting tedious for them. But when I beg you to appreciate and enjoy all the magnificent hedonistic pleasures of Amazing Thailand, I do so not for myself. I've had a good life before I even came to Thailand. It was only a fluke that I landed here at all and I wasn't in search of pleasures taaluung. Having had a good life, I accept my eventual demise and am at peace with that fact. I have no children.
But the Thais think that if reasonably affluent people who no longer have to work at all can come to Thailand, and be bored and unappreciative and callous, then rightfully they don't see the wisdom in allowing such a race to continue at all; it would be a merciful blessing to put them out of their misery. Not only do the farang not appreciate the beauty and variety of their planet, they are constantly spoiling it, pushing other animals into extinction, fighting interminable wars and conjuring up images of gods who of course back them in the pursuit of their noble wars. They've spent most of their miserable lives complaining and even in the closest thing to paradise they'll ever find, they are not even close to being content let alone even grateful or mii kwamsook.

Perhaps you doubt my story? OK, it's all too easy to conjure up disturbing images of a naked farang in a Thaitanium enrobed abode. This chimera of a man who doesn't eat or sleep with any sort of regularity or significant concern about his health. Who literally doesn't usually even know the time of day or the day of the week and is at times uncertain whether he is asleep or awake. It isn't obviously apparent that I have a firm grasp on the difference between reality and fantasy. And truth be told, I'm not a pretty picture. My neckThai is stained and looks odd without a shirt (although it still smells good). My hair has all migrated from the top of my head to other diverse regions of my body. And all you homophobes look down on me for enjoying the 3rd sex. (Don't knock it until you've tried it.) And if you've enjoyed the 3rd sex, then don't deny it and pretend otherwise. There is Truth, and without it, unpleasant Consequences.

But nobody supported my decision to move my assets into gold. People laughed at me and thought I was a nut case. But I got the last laugh and I'm still laughing at my friends whose attempts at retirement have evaporated and they've been forced to seek gainful occupation in a time of very high unemployment. I've paid attention to the facts and only increased my wealth. I have no reason to lie to you. (Fortunately I also have no reason to get out of bed early in the morning either. My gratitude for that fact is immense and never ending.)

In fact, it shouldn't even matter to you if my story is completely accurate, mostly on target, or no more than the ranting of a demented monger. I'm trying to help you enjoy your lives in Thailand and by doing so you can help so many others. Whether you believe me is not really important. What is important is that you enjoy your life. But most assuredly, I only tell you the truth because I've been a lawyer/liar, but now I fully comprehend about Truth or Consequences.

My Thaitanium shielded room is immaculately clean and I've made my God proud of me. (And kept her laughing as well.)
I've enjoyed the esoteric and erotic pleasures reserved for the most pious and curious.
I've tasted syrups and nectars in Thailand that could have only have been concocted by a very loving God.
And I understand and I agree with the Thai's that if you cannot enjoy your miserable human existence in this tropical land, you aren't going to do so anywhere else either. That's the Truth. You bear the Consequences.

2010 is going to be a do or die year for humanity. As a monger and/or retiree in Thailand, you have a remarkable opportunity to save the human race. I envision the possible history books a few decades from now, were humanity to survive.
For most of recorded human history, a hero was somebody who acted courageously or made great sacrifice or who had an overbearing and oversized ego. The potential heroes of 2010, the readers of Stickman, you outcasts and misfits from the shores of Farangland can become immortal by doing no more than appreciating and enjoying the joys offered up to you in Thailand. There will be chapters of history books and even entire biographies following the headlines of how these man saved the human race.
"Kevin Johnson Used His 'Johnson' Unsparingly"
"Merle Keaton Opened His Eyes and Saw that The Thai Women Were Certainly the Most Beautiful On the Planet"
"Tim ('Bone Smuggler') Reardon Met Many Ladyboys and Felt That They Were Good"
"Francois Moreau Sacrificed Himself on the Beaches of Phi Phi and in the Massage Parlors of Bangkok"
"Gunter Schardt Did His Part By Wintering in Koh Samui Rather Than Hamburg"
It is almost a certainty that the images of these important men will be on the coins and currencies of their native lands in honor of what they accomplished. Statues will be erected but I leave it to your imaginations what actions will be depicted in these artworks. (8)

But the Thais are savvy researchers and unlike you farang, are not easily duped by appearances. You cannot merely pretend to enjoy Thailand. You cannot mope around bored most of the day and then expect that a few sexual liaisons and orgasms and booze sessions are sufficient to justify calling you a promising species. Although it has appeared many times during the history of this planet that life is cheap, it is precisely the opposite throughout the cosmos. Resources are difficult to come by and expensive to transport. The Thai's, quite appropriately, see that a miserable, unhappy and dangerous race aren't really worth preserving. That's the Truth and the Consequences of inaction.

My mission, which I've decided to accept, is to save humanity. I have very mixed feelings about this task as even a superficial understanding of recorded human history or reading of current periodicals and newspapers clearly conveys how badly flawed is our species. But considering my previous work as a lawyer/liar, my remarkably comfortable and mostly indolent life and a desire to see the works of Handel and Scarlatti find continued devotees, it seems I have been anointed for just such a purpose. It's asking a lot of me to leave the peaceful confines of my Thaitanium encased abode, but realistically, in an era like this one, I can do most of my work unshaven and naked from my home computer. (And I sure as hell am not going to work more than an 8 hour day). As is the case for the life of a monger, it's a difficult job but somebody has to do it, and I KNOW that I have been called for this task. You and I can be legendary and never-forgotten apostles of humanity and so I finish my initial appeal to you by sharing with you, what may have actually been the final words of Huay Kwang, oops, I mean Huey Long when he was gunned down. "God, don't let me die. I have so much left to do."

Help me keep humanity going. Please, you can do your part. Then I can move on to Peru, Timbuktu and Ouagadougou. Then Toledo, Mukilteo and Antananarivo.

And I shall go on and on. . . .

(1) It was said that the American servicemen in Vietnam came to Thailand for R & R (rest and recuperation) but they referred to their visits as I & I (intoxication and intercourse).
(2) A lot of these women would say to me "I want to go with you" but they must have mistaken me for someone else that I looked like. I don't know where they thought I was going, but the guy I looked like was apparently quite busy.
(3) This well-written paragraph is lifted, with a few omissions within it, from Dostoevsky's short story "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" which provided me most of the inspiration for this story. For you Thailand retirees, for whom this story is dedicated, Dostoevsky attempted to awaken mankind to the possibility of caring about each other, in short, love. My aspirations are much more modest, but if my story does nothing for you, perhaps reading Dostoeveky could. So I provide a link to his short story. It goes without the need to say that the quality of writing is dramatically higher than mine, although you may miss his omission of humor catering to mongers.
http://www.kiosek.com/dostoevsky/library/ridiculousman.txt
(4) In mathematics, a double negative is by definition a positive. It's worth considering that a digression within a digression, sort of a double digression, may by definition return you to the main storyline. But this theorem can only be tested and proved if there actually is a coherent storyline.
(5) 'Preapism' is a medical term for a continuous erection that will not subside. And yes, I am suggesting that the deity of our domain is always 'woken up' and ready for action with his 'woody'. Perhaps even eternally erect, with endless ejaculation. And considering that the universe is continuously expanding, it doesn't seem unreasonable or blasphemous to make such an assertion.
(6) The Spanish language word for retirement is 'jubilation' and although I'm not an etymologist, I think it is a safe bet that the English word 'jubilation' and the Spanish word 'jubilation' have the same origin. Yes dipshit, I'm implying that retirement should be a time of jubilation and joy.
(6.1) It has been reasonably said that if you are sensitive enough to have a nervous breakdown that you are likely smart enough to pull yourself back together again. If you are bored here in Thailand, but were clever enough to have gotten yourself here, then likely you are bright enough to make some more changes in your life.
(7) A favorite cartoon of mine is captioned "Single Session Therapy" with a box of tissues flying across a room as a patient is bitch slapped by a therapist yelling 'Get Over It'.
For our current purposes, this therapist is hollering 'Get a life!'.
(8) The following joke is appropriate at this point in the story because, as is the case with the imagined future statues, what action appears on the statues is left to the imagination as are all activities in this joke: 4 men and 1 woman on a small sailing vessel shipwreck on a remote and deserted island. After a few days, the woman is so ashamed of their joint actions that she commits suicide. About 3 days later, the guys are so appalled by their own actions that they bury the woman. One week later, these same guys are so shocked at their own behavior, they dig her back up. (up to you)

Stickman's thoughts:

I don't know what to say…so I won't say anything.