Stickman Readers' Submissions August 12th, 2010

The Last Chance Saloon

The great George Best was in the Savoy Hotel in London with a former Miss Universe. They had been to a casino in Mayfair where they had been quite lucky and I believe had won about 100,000 pounds or so they were drinking fine champagne which was nearly
finished so he ordered another couple of bottles.

The room waiter had to deliver the champagne to the famous George Best. A little nervous, as he was a great fan of the footballer and he was also a little sad at the great man's slow demise in the eyes of the public, he knocked. The
door opened and lying on the bed with cash strewn about a half naked Miss Universe on the bed and empty champagne bottles lying around, the young man blurted out, Mr. Best, Mr. Best. Looking around, he said where did it all go wrong.

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Years later with half a liver and slowly dying of a ravaged brain and a complete addiction to the alcohol, a reporter asked Nest, who by this stage was completely broke, what happened to his life.

His reply was, "Son, I spent all my money on fast cars booze and women. The rest I pissed up against the wall."

He was denounced as pathetic, a loser and what a shame that such a great man had fallen from grace. A man who was the best footballer in his era, a man who played at the highest international level, a man once loved by his country now ridiculed. Then
he told the reporter to fuck off.

He had been married, a couple of times I believe, his wives got a lot of money, he just got drunk, he was ripped off in his business dealings, he just got drunk, his children had disowned him he drank some more. A friend of his said once
that fame and fortune got the better of him and the parasites got the rest. Said he was really a lovely bloke, such a shame. It just proves a downfall can happen to anyone.

I am told that Thailand is the last chance saloon, a place where losers go to die and party animals can live. A place where a life loved and lost can be reborn and where lonely drunks can find the peace they craved but were unable to achieve
in there homelands. It's where ex-wives don’t know where you are and the tax man can't find you! Where your children who don’t care for you much will only wonder where their missing father is, and the child support agency
is intensifying the search but can't locate you. Where ex-business partners wonder where that sad old loser is or the obligatory question amongst old friends, of whatever to happened to so and so? A place where you might question the outcomes
of years of toiling only to lose it in the end to some old woman who has taken you to the cleaners again, of dreams lost and perhaps of a paradise found. As you inch closer to your maker and further from your past. Where life in the west is measured
in success and consumerism you realise you are past the point of no return, where get busy living or get busy dying becomes your mantra, the hopes you had as a youth have disappeared, forgotten in the cacophony of always trying to do the right
thing. But alas never turning out the way you had hoped.

No-one knows the real you in Thailand and no-one knows how you feel inside. Years of pain and loneliness. He who was once king of the castle is now relegated to the bottom of life's pile. The court cases have finished and your time has
been served. You know your life is not over but at some time in the west you know it is. You can look forward to the future with a bleakness and empty sorrow of lost loves, lost chances, meandering down the street with no aim. No woman wants you
now after you had to give up your home so your child's mother. There's no reward for what you worked hard for and the government is riding you like a tiger for more.

So you come to Thailand, for a break or a holiday, time for a serious timeout call the ref won't make. A few weeks of some sun, some nice food and some lovely interactions with the locals. You wake up one day in a hotel with a beautiful
woman lying next to you and a hangover. You go to lunch, perhaps a trip up country for some fine hospitality. The years behind you seem like a nightmare that is fading as your eyes begin to glint at a future you never thought you could have. You
get a haircut, a massage and you feel alive. The phone hasn’t rung in days and you smile. There is no mail and you're safe in your world at last.

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Nok says I get you a beer, my love. I take good care of you!

Stickman's thoughts:

Many do find solace in Thailand…but there is also a good number who find that it is in Thailand that their problems begin.

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