Readers' Submissions

Where The Fat Girls Dance

  • Written by Phet
  • July 29th, 2010
  • 39 min read


It seemed like a good idea half an hour ago but now I was actually in the George Pub in the town centre my enthusiasm had begun to fade. I lean against the bar rail clutching a plastic glass containing lukewarm lager and survey the dance floor. The techno music is blasting fit to shake the fillings in my teeth and I notice a number of young tattooed thugs looking menacingly at each other. This occurrence is quite early this week… the fights don’t usually start for another hour or so. I despair that this is what passes for entertainment on Friday night in urban Britain.

I take the skin of my beer and notice two chubby young girls in very tight short skirts dancing to my left. They seem to be continuously occupied in pulling the hem of their micro garments down as they relentlessly rise up their ample thighs. Observing this fat wench shuffle always begs the question, why wear such short skirts if they are so self conscious about them? This is one of the mysteries of life, like why toast always falls to the floor buttered side down.

There is a similar observation that if a cat is dropped it always lands on its feet. I recall a mathematician friend explaining the law of improbability pertaining to these phenomena (I didn’t understand but hope Fanta can explain it). It prompts the thought that if one taped a piece of buttered toast on a cat's back and dropped the cat from a reasonable height the opposing forces would counteract each other and the cat would rotate in a perpetual motion just a few inches above the ground. Have I discovered a new source of renewable energy…. or maybe I should get out more often?

Those readers acquainted with my stories will already know my circumstances. The detailed narration of my misfortune in a series of submissions has seen my life become reminiscent of Jim Carey’s character in the film “The Truman Show". I can not complain as this is very much of my own making. This submission continues the tradition of meandering and somewhat tongue in cheek missives you are all familiar with. After a year of turmoil which culminated in seeing my Thai wife leave me and then being unemployed for a further year it is understandable my spirits were somewhat diminished. The upshot of my predicament was I had become a bit of a recluse. If you googled “miserable old git” you would undoubtedly see some reference to me.

I appreciated I couldn’t spend the rest of my life revelling in misery and with the help of friends I finally fought off the black dog but realised I needed to reclaim my life. I understood this would require a series of little steps one of which was to recover my mislaid social skills. I had started the process by going out once a month with my solicitor pal Kevin and some friends from my childhood days. I spend Sundays with my eldest son and younger brother watching premier league football in a local hostelry. But I also felt the need for a little feminine company. I was now resigned that reconciliation with Nat (my errant Thai wife) was highly unlikely and had closed the chapter on that episode. It had been some eighteen months since I had enjoyed any feminine intimacy and six months since I had even spoken to a woman. I was in need of a little light diversion, to which end I resolved to start going out to the town for a couple of beers on Friday nights.

Now I fully appreciate that bars and pubs are not great venues for finding a nice girl or future partner but the libraries and supermarkets are shut on Friday night. I lacked the motivation to embark on improving cultural activities like poetry recitals, art classes or the ballet. Joining an amateur dramatics group or the local mixed choral society held little attraction and represented too much of a commitment. Anyway I was not seeking a life partner. All I needed was a bit of harmless fun, some gentle conversation and hopefully a spot of mischief.

The first evening I ventured out into my local town centre it was with an understandable feeling of trepidation. What I got was a feeling of déjà vu. I call to mind those painful days when my English wife first left me seven years ago and I found myself back on the dating market after a 20 years absence. The behaviour and attitudes of the new breed of womanhood was a shock to the system. It was if there had been an invasion of the body snatchers and English womanhood had been taken over by a strange alien race. I found I was totally invisible to them. It was quite alarming.
Seven years on I am still invisible to English women but I am now a little more philosophical about things. I accept there have been significant changes in society and I must take responsibility that I have not kept up with the social skills necessary to deal with them. This is closely related to the issue of self confidence and the perception of attractiveness, a theme I will return to later.

There is a deeply embedded culture of serious binge drinking in Britain. Friday night has traditionally been when young men, after toiling in the factories and building sites all week would go on the piss with the lads. There is a pattern to this Friday night activity that has been sustained for generations. The evening usually begins around 1900 hrs in a small community pub on a housing estate where a couple of friends meet for a “quick one” before they convene with the rest of the gang in a bigger pub nearer the town centre. A couple more beers are sunk and a game of pool occurs whilst waiting for the full drinking crew to assemble. In due course everyone arrives so they move to the liveliest pub in the town. This is invariably a “Wetherspoons” establishment so they can tank up on cheap drinks for an hour or so.
Eventually taxis are called and the party proceed to the nearest city (Wolverhampton or Birmingham). A few more drinks are imbibed in a crowded city centre theme pub then on to a night club. By 0300 of the eight mates who began the evening three are already incarcerated in police cells, one for urinating against the statue of some dignitary in the city centre and two for fighting with the doormen outside the night club. The fifth is lying comatose in a pool of vomit and being attended by paramedics. One of the gang has “pulled” and is currently engaged in inebriated carnality in a bedsit in a dubious part of the city. The remaining two are staggering around the city centre bemused, penniless and undecided whether to search for a further drink or find a way home.

Anyway… that is what the girls do; I assume the young men do something similar.

I did attempt this experience myself a couple of times but quickly determined it was not rational behaviour for a bloke in his 50s. I established an alternate strategy which involved “drinking downstream” rather than the conventional upstream route most revellers partake of on Friday nights. This entailed starting in a classy town establishment then working my way back through the town centre hostelries until I got back to the local community pubs near my home. One of the reasons for this is the draconian drink drive laws in the UK. The road traffic cops in the UK are the most fascist, and universally detested law enforcement officers in the western World and undoubtedly the major reason (other than politically appointed chief constables) why an otherwise decent Police force does not enjoy the trust and respect of the general population in Britain. These unspeakable creatures use the cover of road safety to justify their deceitful entrapment activities. A particularly odious practice is closing main roads in a morning to mass breathalyse people on their way to work.

I have a pal in the Home Office with access to the government statistics and he claims that less than 1% of road deaths are attributable to drink driving. The largest cause of traffic fatalities at 37% is Police car chases. A statistic our boys in blue are happy to keep quiet. But I digress.

I would generally begin my evening at the casino club in West Bromwich which is the most salubrious establishment in the town. It is a good excuse to ogle the Eastern European eye candy that work in the bar and restaurant. If there is no one to chat to I would proceed back towards my home town of Wednesbury. I may drop in one of the pleasant (but quiet) pubs on the way but invariably I find myself in the George, the liveliest (and roughest) pub in the town centre. If you still have both ears you are obviously a sissy. At the door you are searched for drugs and weapons (which are allegedly supplied if you don’t have them). This was where my narrative began.

I am leaning against the bar observing proceedings. There are a number of young girls on the dance floor but I note there is not a discernable waistline to be seen and nary a body not disfigured with a tramp stamp (tattoo). My two sons describe the activities of a particular species of young women they encounter on Friday evenings. They refer to them as “Munters” and define them as fat ugly girls who believe they are beautiful and appear to take a perverse delight in voicing gratuitously mean and caustic put downs to any young men who approach them. It is as if they get turned on by the act of rejecting young men. This is quite sad and probably a further illustration of the destructive “because you’re worth it” culture that prevails in our dysfunctional society.

Amongst these Sharon and Traceys there appear to be a few older women dancing or at least they appear to be older but it may just be the degree of obesity in evidence. Most men I find are quite open-minded about the body size of women and any sensible and pragmatic middle aged man appreciates the inevitable effect of gravity on men and women as they age. I believe men will accept and tolerate a degree of chubbiness even plumpness in women if they have other attributes like pleasing features, a warm smile and a pleasant demeanour or their father owns a pub. The level of obesity I often witness is a different matter. I have heard women excuse their corpulent bodies with “it is my glands”. My customary (unspoken) reply to this is “So it was your glands that ate all the pies?”

Of more concern is the terrifying countenance and foul attitude I increasingly observe. Just to my right are two women in their mid 40s, my friendly smile to them receives a scowl. From the look of disdain they give me you would have surmised that I had asked to eat their children. Like most of the older women here tonight they qualify as “two baggers”, in that two brown paper bags are required if a carnal encounter is anticipated. One bag over her head to cover her face and the other bag to carry the amphetamines, anaesthetics, tranquiliser darts and industrial strength Viagra required in getting through the experience. I have read the recent debate about Ladyboys and on seeing the prospects before me I am finding the thought of a nice clean Katoey increasingly attractive.

At some point in the evening my thoughts inevitably turn to Bangkok, specifically the sois of lower Sukhumvit. I believe it is the smell of the drains emanating from the toilets that evokes this yearning. It always prompts the question “What would I be doing if I was alone in Bangkok on a Friday night?”

I would begin the evening freshly showered and shaved, sauntering through the Nana hotel lobby in my best drinking shirt. A gentle beer sitting against the rail in the Golden bar watching the early evening Sukhumvit activity is the perfect start to an evening. Once I had put myself outside my first beer I may contemplate a light repast to fuel the evening. The Bus Stop restaurant or Bully’s around the corner are excellent suppliers of comestibles for the purpose. Once suitably fuelled the first decision of the evening is, do I investigate the Nana Plaza or make my way to Soi Cowboy? If I was feeling adventurous Safari in Patpong presents another option. Invariably I choose Soi Cowboy.
The next decision is the mode of transport to get me there. Do I take a stroll to the BTS Sky train and a gentle saunter under the Asoke metro subway? Or do I take my life in my hands and acquire a more direct motorcycle taxi? This is entirely dependant on how thirsty I feel. This evening I take the motorcycle option and am deposited near the Old Dutch restaurant. I take a moment to take in the sights sounds and smells of this incredible piece of real estate. The next decision is which bar….I am spoilt for choice. Baccarra is the nearest, a wonderful bar but the pretty young pale girls there are not to my taste. My particular “spec” is the dark daughters of the Isaan. Sheba's or Suzy Wong are considered but I opt for a happy hour Chang in the Dollhouse. The next port of call has to be the Tilac. I only have one beer because the Long Gun beckons. I then pop into Rawhide for one before returning to the Tilac. My next decision is shall I arrange a “take-away” now or should I start drinking? I had already identified a couple of candidates for the pleasure of my company. But the night is still young and the Big Durian offers a number of alternate venues for pleasure. I could make my way to Soi 33 or take a perusal of the part timers at the Thermae. A visit to the Eden club is an option but reflect I don’t need to come to Bangkok to get a good hiding. I decide to get nearer home for my final beers or more correctly the “Mothership” that currently passes as home. I grab a taxi and am deposited at the Nana Plaza. I now have further choices; I could attend Bible class with Stickman or be entertained by the cabaret at Angelwitch, ogle the eye candy at one of the Rainbow bars or look up some old favourites in the Mandarin. I could even go upstairs to the top floor and enjoy the rare pleasure of smoking a cigarette inside a bar, a delight now denied me almost everywhere. If all else fails I could pick up an enthusiastic freelancer on the Nana hotel car park.

The significant issue is that when I began my evening in Bangkok if I wanted a partner for the night there was a 99.9% probability that I could find one. The sobering thought is that when going out on a Friday evening in the west as a 54 year old bloke there is a 99.9% certainty that I will return alone.

My reverie is broken by this thought. .Although my mind was in lower Sukhumvit unfortunately my body is currently in an unsavoury town centre pub in the industrial rust belt of England. However my attention is diverted by the entrance of two black girls, well to be accurate; the one is as black as ebony whilst her friend is a lighter shade of mocha and most likely of mixed race. The ebony girl is a veritable goddess standing 6’4” in flat shoes her long legs seemed to stretch into infinity and the word stunning does not begin to describe this exotic creature. She has long wavy black hair hanging down to her waist and a face like an imperious Zulu warrior queen. She has a slender figure reminiscent of the supermodel Naomi Campbell. In fact if La belle Campbell saw this girl she would have felt decidedly dowdy in her presence.

Her friend was equally delightful, slightly shorter but with high heeled shoes that accentuate her toned and delectable legs to great effect. Although not quite as striking as her ebony friend she had a beautiful face that was framed by an extremely well cut short hairstyle very similar to that Rhianna girl I often see on MTV. Both were wearing white mini dresses that showcased their delightful figures and exquisite legs. I was speechless in awe. Never once did they attempt or need to adjust the hemlines of their dresses. Their radiance was clearly out of place in a bar like the George. At that moment I am tempted to go and chat them up.

“Steady the buffs there Phet” I hear you cry “you are somewhat out of your depth you silly old duffer”.

Now I do appreciate I would be punching well above my weight and I would rarely consider such an assignment without the support of a company of light infantry. However I had been reading all the submissions and essays about self confidence and received lectures from BKKSW. I was suitably psyched up and motivated by them. So what if she towered 9” above me? It mattered not that she was the most exotic creature in a 10 mile radius. I was armed with a couple of new flirting tactics, an engaging personality and a (totally unfounded) self-assurance.

I take a deep breath and a confident step in her direction. At that moment a (plastic) glass splats against a nearby wall, a table is overturned and a tattooed Neanderthal is exchanging blows with an equally tattooed specimen from the Cro-Magnon tribe. The time-honoured evening’s entertainment has begun. I have the inspiration that if I offer my protection to the ebony goddess it could offer opportunity to reveal my scintillating personality once the fracas has subsided. It appears the doormen have a similar idea and she is now screened by four massive black bouncers. Unfortunately with the attention of security diverted in their new mission the fight is allowed to escalate out of control. I dodge a fist and decide it is time to leave the premises. On reflection I am relieved I did not carry through my on ill conceived bravado as the inevitable rejection may have been quite painful.

I do not know if my gentle reader has any experience with black girls. I was born in a long established multicultural community. The Jamaican culture of Reggae, Blues parties and ganja was a big influence on my youth and I had many black girlfriends in my younger years. Black women are wonderful creatures with an irrepressible joy and capable of great passion, but they are not for the faint hearted. They are the Alpha females with expectations and a perception of their worth that would make the most strident white feminist look like a subservient geisha girl. Much as I love black women, I now live by the principle “Never eat anything bigger than your own head”. They are definitely “men’s work” and I am just a mere boy.

I am afraid my obsession remains with Asian womanhood since I caught Jasmine fever some years ago. I have had some wonderful experiences on my numerous visits to Thailand. I acknowledge most of my encounters were with bargirls and involved payment for services rendered. However in this time I also had relationships with several ordinary Thai ladies including nurses, government officers, teachers and shop assistants. Generally they were very pleasant experiences and provided an alternate perspective. They did however seem as skilled and determined to separate me from my money as the most mercenary bar girl. On reflection the Thai girl friend experiences I paid for provided a greater illusion of authenticity than the real Thai girl friends ever did.

My track record with Thai women living in the UK however leaves much to be desired. The Thai girls that live in the UK retain their obsession with money but quickly lose the feminine charms they had when domiciled in Thailand. I believe it is an acute awareness of the competition from other Thai girls when they are in the kingdom that moderates their behaviour. When in the west they do not feel this level of competition and can exhibit capricious behaviour with impunity. I have found Instant gratification is just not fast enough for them. Curiously they do not perceive western women as competition (or any other race for that matter). The xenophobic nature of Thais means they only consider other Thais to be of any relevance. I am currently taking a rain check on Thai womanhood in my present circumstances and have (temporarily) allowed my subscription to ThaiLoveLinks to lapse. I have however perused the promising new Thailandfriendly site just to keep my hand in.
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I depart the George pub just as the riot police arrive and make my way back towards my home to drop my car off. My flat is in a pleasant district wedged between a middle class area and a rough council estate. The Croft pub borders the middle class area and the Village pub the council estate, both are within walking distance of my flat. I visit the Croft first. I am ambivalent about this pub, it is has a pleasant decor but the clientele are predominantly upper working class with middle class aspirations. As such it has a reputation for being a bit cliquey and it was very rare that anyone speaks to me when I go in there. My two sons go there with me only under protest claiming it is a mortuary with lights. I have lived intermittently in this town for over 30 years but I am ashamed to admit I do not have a single friend in the district.

That evening there was a birthday party in progress. There are five or six well dressed women in their mid 40s dancing at one end of the lounge. They are all quite plump but undeniably attractive. I notice the one lady in particular; she was wearing a modest shirt with a loose belt which had quite a slimming effect. Below the waist she wore tight pink leggings. She had a pleasant face and the whole ensemble worked well. But it was her tight pink leggings that commanded my undivided attention. They were like a second skin and could not have been more revealing if she was actually naked, which in the absence of even the briefest of underwear she effectively was. I could clearly see the profile of her slightly distended pudenda and plainly see what I guessed was the outline of a tampon string. I can not believe she was not aware that her garment was so revealing.

I felt stirrings in my Y front department and fear I may be on the verge of embarrassing myself like I usually do when shopping in Victoria Principles or Ann Summers where I invariably find myself escorted from the said premises by mall security guards. Her husband decides it is time to get up from his seat and dance with her. It could well have been the sight of my eyes on stalks or that he tripped over my tongue that prompted him. I retire from the dance area and have a walk to the bar but can not find anyone interested in conversation so decide to leave. I am still thirsty so settle upon a stroll to the Village pub as my final port of call

The Village pub is on the periphery of a rough housing estate, the regulars who patronise it could be described as the “salt of the Earth”. Those Brits familiar with the TV series “Shameless” would recognise its clientele; it even has its own resident Frank Gallagher. I enter the bar and there is a singer belting out some old favourites, slightly off key but with great enthusiasm. There are some eight or nine women dancing on the makeshift dance floor to his rendition of Elvis. Their husbands are all standing against the bar discussing incapacity benefits and pigeon flying whilst their children sit around tables drinking pop and eating pork scratchings. It is a scene you can witness all around the world whether it is a village in the Isaan, a remote community in the Appalachians or on a sink estate in the Black Country rust belt. It is the display of ordinary common folk enjoying themselves, and drinking themselves to insensibility at the end of a hard week. They are very warm and friendly people. I always get a conversation and have learnt much about pigeon flying in the past month.

Unfortunately the Village pub closed a month or so ago in circumstances not explained and the subject of speculation. The regulars in need of refreshment migrated to the Croft Pub. The initial clash of cultures was fascinating to observe
I was reminded of an episode of Star Trek (the new generation) called “Up the Long ladder”. This entailed the story of two distinctly different colonies. The Bringloidi are a group of colonists who reject technology and return to a pre-industrial lifestyle. They are coarse and unsophisticated with a way of life reminiscent of Irish tinkers. They are rescued from their endangered planet by the Enterprise.

The Mariposa colony in contrast kept their advanced technology, but when the colony was founded, there were too few survivors from the original crash to establish a stable gene pool. They turned to cloning, strongly rejecting biological reproduction and any sign of intimacy. For almost three centuries, every Mariposan has been a clone derived from one of the five original colonists, and now the colony is in danger of dying out because of genetic errors making all subsequent clones sterile.

Picard the captain of the Enterprise tells them they must cease cloning and find a new breeding stock for a viable gene pool. The rough and ready Bringloidi colonists would serve as a sturdy stock to refresh this gene pool. Eventually both colonies agree to integrate. However, monogamous marriages are suspended, to ensure fast development of a healthy, sustainable new generation. Each woman must have three husbands of different genetic makeup, and each man will have three wives.

Now I acknowledge the integration of the clientele from the Village and Croft was nothing as dramatic as in my Star Trek allusion (I live in hope) but within a week there was a new energy and vibrancy to the establishment that I had not seen before. The Croft regulars became friendlier, a midweek quiz commenced (in which I recently won a gallon of beer) and a variety of weekend entertainments was initiated. When I walk in now I see smiles instead of scowls. My two sons are now happy to frequent the establishment with me. I am regularly engaged in conversation, the bar staff have adopted me and I seem to have been accepted into the community at last.

It is a small but encouraging step in the renaissance of my lost social skills. Whilst I do not envisage I will meet the love of my life in there I am regularly having harmless conversations with a number of pleasant women (including the lady with the pink leggings), which is a big step forward for me. I am quite relaxed about this as I appreciate in my current financial predicament I am in no position to attract a woman and have ceased actively chasing them. I suspect patient fishing will ultimately prove more productive than energetic hunting. Anyway I remain convinced that my future life partner is a shy traditional Thai lady currently sitting in a village in the Isaan waiting to meet me on a future visit to the kingdom.
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There have been a few recent submissions on the stickman site severely criticising the middle aged aficionados of the kingdom oft described as sex tourists or mongers. It has been suggested we are all losers and the Thai women we attract are second-rate creatures rejected by Thai men. The subsequent discussions these vitriolic missives provoked have been most impassioned. I feel most of the dialogue has been reminiscent of mediaeval philosophers debating the number of angels that can reside on the tip of a needle, and sometimes equally as pointless. Many Western guys who visit Thailand are undeniably middle aged, a little overweight and have probably experienced painful divorces. We may have limited social skills so are deliriously happy with what we find available in the kingdom compared with what is available to us back home. Men inevitably end up paying for sex the world over, although in the west the schedule of payments is more protracted and often called marriage.

I do however take issue with the gratuitous use of the phrase “losers” which I find derogative and unnecessary. Everything is relative; I do not deny I could be described as a loser being unsuccessful in love and in my recent career but authors like Jason and HCG should be very careful in their smugness. Fortune is a fickle mistress and they would do well to consider “there but for the grace of god go I “
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For many years I have been fascinated by the countless theories and opinions on the subject of what attracts women. I am acquainted with most of the pseudo anthropological theories and have read much quasi academic research on the science of physical attraction. I had also been introduced to the teachings of David De Angelo by a fellow Stickmanite Thomas G, and had seen the tapes. I can recognise the value of the tactics he suggests although I do have some reservations about its universal relevance. The “Cocky and Funny” flirting strategy he advocates uses a humorous mock arrogance intended to communicate with a women’s intelligence and her enjoying a challenge. However the balance has to be finely judged as being too cocky can convey one as being insecure and being too funny can be interpreted as shallow and dumb. It also implies a degree of intelligence in the intended female target which is invariably a very optimistic assumption.

I have seen these techniques employed to great effect for many years by my pal Chris (who now lives in China). He is a natural player who has always been able to attract women faster than they could be pulled from beneath him. However even in his late 40s he is still a devastatingly handsome chap and women would hang on his every word if he were merely reciting the phone book. It also does him no harm that he is a millionaire having made his fortune in the Shanghai boom some years ago

The issue of self confidence and general attitude appears to prevail in most expert opinions as does the ubiquitous reference to a sense of humour. Much of the writing on the relative importance of physical appearance is contradictory, as it is on the issue of wealth. It is suggested that Money is not important which any man with even a desultory experience of womanhood will recognise as errant nonsense. Knowledge of world affairs and a well developed conversational ability is often cited as a fundamental asset although I suggest the ability to lick ones eyebrows would be employed to greater benefit.

I have come to my own conclusions. Essentially women don’t know what they want…. but they want it now. “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is the prevailing mantra. Actually Women are like accordions, Men are like toasters”

I would suggest that attractiveness to women is a balance between the resources of Money, Looks and Character. I propose that you may have a most fascinating personality but if you look like Quasimodo and don’t have two brass farthings to rub together it isn’t worth a knob of goat shit.

The principle factors suggested in the dimension of character in attraction are Education, Sense of humour, and General disposition. The value of a good education is self evident. It implies intellect and that you are potentially a good provider. The ability to discuss world events is useful when in the company of equally educated and intelligent women. It is certainly not a panacea; there are situations where an urbane and erudite persona is a distinct disadvantage. One could be perceived as pretentious and effete which is definitely a turnoff to women.

The subject of a sense of humour is greatly misunderstood and means different things to men and women. Men think, she laughs at my jokes so she fancies me. Women perceive it as, I need entertaining show me what you got. There is much made of tactics like overt cockiness, teasing women or employing mild sarcasm discussed earlier. I think these tactics are successful only in a limited context or specific situations and can not be considered a universal stratagem. Ones general disposition is a significant indication to character. A ready smile, a positive attitude, a strong sense of morality and calmness in a crisis are all assets that contribute to the perception of attractiveness.

In assessing myself I consider myself educated with a good grasp of history and a familiarity with a range of subjects. I am practical, personable and witty with well developed communication skills. In fact I am a bloody good bloke. I would probably give myself a confident 7 out of 10 for the character dimension.

A pleasing physical appearance is an obvious attraction. Personal grooming and hygiene is also important. It is no good being as handsome as Brad Pitt if you dress like a hobo and smell like a small African village. Then there is the unavoidable issue of height. As the thought of fat woman is abhorrent to most men so the issue of tallness is an obsession with most women. Research reveals women insist on the minimum height difference they will accept in a partner is a factor 1.1(10%). The average height for a British woman is 5’4” but this means she will not consider a man less than 5’10” tall. The average British man is 5’6” which means the average man will not have any woman above 4’11 consider him. A basic appreciation of statistics would reveal that the majority of women are precluding themselves from over 60% of the male population.

You may look in the mirror and give yourself a rating of 7/10. However if you are aged above 40 deduct a point, if above 60 deduct two points. If your paunch prevents you seeing your tackle deduct a point, if it prevents you seeing your feet deduct two points. Unless you are above 5’10” tall deduct a point.

In assessing myself I still have a good head of hair and most of my own teeth. I have pleasant features and am well groomed but as I have definitely lost the bloom of youth I would give myself 6/10. I then deduct 2 points for being 54 and only 5’7”. 4/10 for looks feels harsh but is probably accurate.

I believe the issue of money is not so much about absolute wealth but about the degree of resources relative to the environment you are operating in. If you are a rich successful young “something in the city” but are seeking a liaison with the Duke of Westminster’s daughter a couple of million may not be enough to keep her in the manner to which she has been accustomed. Film stars have to have enough money as the entrance fee to meet other film stars. Money probably can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

The average Joe seeking a wife must have sufficient wherewithal to support said wife whether he meets a western woman or imports one from Thailand. I suggest the average western guy with an income around £25k could give himself a rating of 5 in the west. £50k could increase this rating to 7 in the west but rate 8 or even 9 if he had it in Thailand. Up to two years ago I could have given myself a fiscal rating of 6 but with my current reduced circumstances a rating of 1 seems generous.

My character rating of 7 added to my looks rating of 4 and money rating of 1 yields a total of 12 which when divided by 3 gives me a attraction quotient of 4…yes four. This is quite a sobering thought. An attraction quotient of 4 suggests a romantic liaison with a western woman is highly unlikely. It would appear I am a “two bagger”. To qualify this somewhat, if I was earning my salary of a couple of years ago my attraction quotient would have been a more respectable 6. This bears out what my old pal LP from Brisbane said about the positive difference that having a few quid in ones pocket makes to your feeling of wellbeing.
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This brings me back to my current predicament. I have now been unemployed for 12 months. In that time I have applied for over 200 jobs, had only 3 interviews and no job offers. My plans to return to education and enter the teaching profession have hit a brick wall and I can not see any opportunities on the immediate horizon. I have survived courtesy of the UK benefits system. My credit card and loan debts have been covered by payment protection insurance although this is about to expire. I will have to find an additional £350 a month in debt payments I do not have. The vultures are circling overhead even as I speak.

I have explored writing as an option but with little success to date. I have already received great encouragement and advice from some splendid chaps on this site particularly Bruce C. But what I really need is some practical and professional assistance and I believe there are quite a few guys in the stickman community whose work is regularly published. It would be greatly appreciated if a fellow Stickmanite could recommend a literary agent who could assist me finding an outlet for my ramblings. I would like to think I could write articles or short stories for magazines or similar publications but acknowledge the competition is daunting.

I was beginning to become increasingly concerned. Unless I find a source of income very soon I can see myself in the “workhouse” or resorting to hawking my ring-piece to the stokers and sausage jockeys in the backstreets of town.
A few weeks ago I went to an interview at a foundry in SE London producing parts for the aerospace industry. I caught the train down and worked my way across the capital by tube and SE Rail to Greenwich which was quite an adventure in itself. The job was for a production manager and although I was eminently qualified I was not particularly optimistic as I knew there was intense competition for the post. The Plant director interviewing me was a very personable fellow but I got the impression he had several younger candidates he already favoured. He then put a small casting on his desk; it was a complex component that he explained was an air intake housing for a helicopter engine. He gave me some sheets of paper and a pen and asked me to illustrate how the part had been made whilst he went out to make a phone call. Although I was somewhat out of practice I quickly established from the split lines how the part had been made. I made a few sketches on how I thought the mould was constructed, the tooling arrangement and the rigging of the running system. When he returned 10 minutes later I apologised that I hadn’t got very far. He laughed and said I had got further than any of the other 20 candidates who hadn’t a clue how to even start with his enquiry. He then showed me the method sheets on his computer screen which confirmed all my deductions. When I added I personally wouldn’t have made it that way he gave a wry smile and declared he agreed as they were actually experiencing very high rejection rates with the part.

He then went quiet for a moment and informed me he could not offer me the Production manager’s job as in truth his boss had already made a selection. He explained he could find any number of young men who could manage schedules and supervise production operations. He did however add his opinion that chaps like me who actually knew how to make castings were as rare as rocking horse droppings and he had a proposition for me. He declared he desperately needed someone like me as a technical manager to lead and train his engineers. Although he did not have a defined vacancy he would recommend to his boss that I be engaged on a short contract for this purpose.

I was quite excited by this prospect but a month on unfortunately I had heard nothing and he did not return any of my calls. I can only assume that his boss being from a financial background did not share his opinion on the need for my expertise. This is a shame as it would also have been an opportunity for me to gain specific experience in Aerospace/military systems so I could eventually join my pal Cassanundra in one of his project teams sometime in the future.

As an aside on my way home I was delayed at Euston station for an hour so went for a coffee in a pleasant cafe in the newly refurbished courtyard just outside the station. Sitting on a nearby table was an attractive Chinese-Thai lady in her late 30s engaged in conversation with a girl who was clearly a work colleague. I caught her eye a couple of times and she became increasingly animated in her discussions. I also caught her surreptitiously looking in my direction on a few occasions. When I eventually got up to leave she gave me a shy coquettish smile. Now I am not conceited enough to believe she was interested in me but she had immediately recognised me as being infected with acute jasmine fever. I am always amazed that Asian women always seem to know that you are a man with a decided preference for Asian womanhood. I don’t know how they know but they do know …they just know. It is another of the great mysteries of life.

Just as my fortunes seemed at their lowest ebb, I receive a phone call out of the blue. It was from a fellow I worked with some 15 years ago, he always saw me as competition even though he was eventually promoted above me. I suspected he had a severe problem to prompt a call to me. I was correct. He is now running a subsidiary of an Indian owned corporation; they operate a couple of foundries one being in a residential suburb of Dudley. Because of its location the foundry faced considerable environmental pressures from the residential neighbours. The typical NIMBY (Not in my back yard) reaction of a pretentious middle class fearing the effect on their property values had put considerable political pressure on the local authority to close the operation. In the end the local government acquiesced and ordered the foundry’s closure which is a sad indictment on the current state of British society.

However the operation has prestigious and powerful customers like Mercedes and Aston Martin who insisted they build stock to protect their build programme so the closure was postponed until Christmas. In fact to meet demand they must now operate 24 hours a day on three shifts and need someone experienced to manage the night shift. It is a specialist operation and there are only a handful of blokes with the experience to handle this poisoned chalice. None of them would be desperate enough to run a night shift for just a six month project on a self employed contract….with the exception of me. I accepted the assignment with indecent haste.

A manly tear was shed by my advisor at the jobcentre when I signed off the dole this week. He even arranged a package of benefits to tide me over until I begin to receive some income from the new job. I certainly can not complain at the treatment I have received from the dole office this past year.

As you read this I will have commenced the job, it will hopefully be my salvation although it is only until Christmas. It should give me some urgently needed income and I can address some of my debts. If I continue to live under the same regime of prudence and frugality as I have for the past year I may be able to squirrel a few quid away in savings. It will come as no surprise to my gentle reader my intentions should I manage to accrue a few funds by the New Year. Yes, you are quite correct….give a lollipop to that gentleman….I will be mounting the Thai airways flight to Bangkok at the earliest opportunity with my hair freshly dyed, my scrotum cleanly shaven and my suitcase full of West Bromwich Albion shirts (small youth size).

In Thailand my attraction quotient will improve from the miserly 4 I experience in the west to a noteworthy 7. With a few quid in my pocket, a ready smile, freshly groomed and in my best drinking shirt you will see a new self confident Phet perambulating the salacious Sois of Sukhumvit. I do not envisage I will ever have to use my extensive knowledge of world events to get laid. Unless BKKSW manages to introduce me to a couple of nice Chula professors as he has promised me.

I even believe I could once again attract a nice ordinary Thai lady of quality if the sentiment took me. On second thoughts I will probably never accrue enough money to repeat that adventure. Thankfully I know I can rely on my long standing drinking pals Phil, Union Hill and Bangkok Barry to suitably restrain and thrash me to an inch of my life should I express the intention of marrying a Thai lady again.

So in the hope of sharing a few beers with fellow Stickmanites in the Golden bar sometime in the New Year, I ask you to, as always….watch this space.

Stickman's thoughts:

Always a good read and congratulations on securing employment!