Stickman Readers' Submissions November 6th, 2014

A Soapy Shakedown

The Right Honorable Nigel Martin Prendergast, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bletchford and Shadow Home Secretary, sipped his wine and watched the sun go down set over the Indian Ocean. Opposite him, his wife Fiona followed his gaze, a soft smile on her lips. As the star’s lower limb kissed the horizon, they touched glasses and drank and watched the red ball sink down and out of site.

“Our last night in Bali,” he said.

He Clinic Bangkok

“Yes, darling,” she whispered. “And tomorrow, we’ll celebrate our first in Phuket, Thailand. It’s been a lovely honeymoon.”

“It’s been a dream come true.” He refilled their glasses. Fiona took a sip from hers and then picked up her Thailand guide book and buried herself, a self satisfied smile on her lips.

“That book seems to fascinate you,” he said, taking up his glass.

CBD bangkok

“Yes, it’s a good book.” she smiled at him. “It tells me I’ll have to watch you carefully in Thailand. Thai ladies hold a unique attraction for Western men.”

He laughed. “Nonsense, darling; a Thai woman is no different from any other woman. Balinese ladies are also beautiful, but did I fall?”

Fiona offered him a superior smile and returned to her book. Nigel’s gaze returned to the horizon and the red halo of the vanished sun.

What a year it had been, he reflected. Climbing from ambitious, but lowly, Conservative party member, to Shadow Home Secretary in thirteen months had surprised him. It showed how important luck is in life. How lucky, for instance, that Jack Downey, the Labour Member for Bletchford should die suddenly of a massive heart attack forcing a bi-election. But, as Bletchford had always been a Labour safe seat, the Conservative challenge had been a mere token gesture. Expecting to lose, their response had been feeble and they’d casually offered the candidature to Nigel; a suitable patsy.

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But luck again had come to his aid. During the run-up, Nigel had discovered that the swaggering, over confident Labour Candidate, Frank Barnes, had a weakness for young prostitutes in Amsterdam. Seeing an opportunity, he’d put a private investigator on the case who came back with films of Barnes entering brothels and massage venues and escorting well built hookers, some of them lady-boys, younger than his own daughters. He’d then discreetly placed the films on the internet; and they’d gone viral. Nigel, tall, handsome and clean cut as he was, had risen to the occasion and taken to the streets with his new platform slogan: Getting Britain Back to Basics. He’d launched a series of blistering speeches from the back of trucks near crowded shopping plazas and outside factory gates denouncing Barnes and his ilk, and the falling moral standards of the nation. Barnes had struggled to contain the shit storm, but his political career was over and his marriage wedged firmly on the rocks. A surprise wave of revulsion had turned the tide and returned Nigel as the winner with a sizeable majority. And overnight a Labour stronghold became a Conservative one. A surprised party leader and Shadow Prime Minister had rushed down from London to be at his side on stage as the victory was announced by the returning officer. Nigel was now a Member of Parliament.

He drained his glass. As he refilled he studied Fiona and wondered if he would ever learn to love her. People marry for a variety of reasons he believed; security, money, social advancement, but love should definitely be last on the list.

In his case, as Fiona’s father, Major James Ashcroft, was the Conservative Party Treasurer and packed real political clout, marrying her had been a politically strategic move. Unfortunately, it had also borne unpleasant collateral consequences in his ditching of Jenny Watson, the girl he’d really loved since his university days. Jenny had loved him, unreservedly and had supported him when he’d cut his political teeth as an obnoxious, trouble making, union activist at Nottingham University. Poor Jenny, he smiled wistfully at her memory.

Fiona Ashcroft had almost missed the boat. But that was understandable given that the only attractive thing about her was her hair; big, long and ash blonde. Otherwise, she was too tall, skinny and with a long horsey face. She walked like a man and had the hands of an artisan. Her voice was loud and carried a shrill edge; especially when she wasn’t getting her way. And her temper was hellish. Nigel’s courtship of her had been a whirlwind affair, and he’d taken her off her relieved father’s hands and married her three months after his electoral victory. His elevation to Shadow Home Secretary swiftly followed. Nice one, Nigel. He raised his glass to his lips and complimented himself and simultaneously appraised two lovely Balinese girls in bikini swimsuits below the terrace.

Flying into Phuket Island the following morning, they took a private villa at the Sri Panwa Hotel and Spa complex that carried luxury and cosseting to its limits. Built high on the cliff-side of a small peninsula facing south, it held incomparable views of the Andaman Sea. Here, they would enjoy two weeks of paradise before returning to the reality of Bletchford. They also rented a small car for touring the island.

Their first three days were spent enjoying the delights of the hotel’s amenities; Fiona, indulging herself in the spa beauty treatments, had many long massages and mud and mineral baths, facials and skin toning treatments. Nigel had a massage but spent most of his time by the pool, acquiring a good tan, swimming, reading and drinking cocktails.

On the fourth morning, after breakfast served on the deck of their villa, Nigel suggested they do a little sightseeing, check out the shops in Phuket Town and then do a trip along the west coast. Fiona eagerly accepted. “I want to visit that Patong Beach at night,” she said with a mischievous smile. “I’ve been reading about it. That’s where all the action is. I want to go down the Bangla Road and see it all; the bars, and the bar girls, the sex tourists, and the lady-boys. I want to see the whole decadence.”

“Yes, let’s do that. We’ll have a little fun, let our hair down. I’m sure we’ll be shocked.”

“I hope so,” Fiona laughed. “I’m going to take lots of photos.”

With Nigel driving, they reached Patong Beach a little after 5:00 in the afternoon. They parked in the Jung Ceylon Shopping Center car park and walked over to the Bangla Road. The town was already alight. Westerners, mostly men, alone and in groups, from all nations passed them, packing the pavement, many well inebriated, staggering and spilling onto the road. Passing Scruffy Murphy’s Bar Nigel suggested a drink: they went in and sat down at the bar. Nigel had a beer and Fiona a glass of red wine. The bar was almost full mainly with men, many old, bald and fat, being served by young Thai girls in scanty dress. A television channel was showing an English Premiership Football game; Manchester United was playing Liverpool. It was loud and smoke filled. They finished their drinks and moved on. Halfway down the Bangla, two tall lady boys in outrageous gowns occupied the center of the road, posing for photographs with laughing men they’d pulled from the pavement; Fiona took a photo. “Nigel, could you imagine if you posed with them, I captured it, and then someone got hold of it and put it on the web?”

“It would destroy me,” he said.

“Wouldn’t it just,” Fiona agreed with a laugh.

“I don’t want to think of things like that,” he said, remembering the way he’d destroyed Frank Barnes.

Fiona then led Nigel down the Bangla Road Soi’s; the narrow, bar filled lanes that lead off from the main road.

Soi Gonzo was first with around twenty bars carrying odd names like Heaven’s Door Bar, Cum Inside Me Bar, Love Me Bar, all packed with Western men and young Thai bar-girls. It was a similar story in Soi Eric and Soi Sea Dragon; noisy bars filled with foreign men being served and serviced by young Thai girls.

Passing the Tiger Discotheque, they entered Soi Tiger. Owing to its prime location next to the disco, this was the busiest, noisiest and most riotous of the Sois. They stopped outside one bar; the Hot Pussy Bar. Bigger than the other bars, it carried a small stage at the back on which two naked girls gyrated to music. It was packed to capacity with men drinking beer and bar girls pushing them to drink more.

“These are the infamous sex tourists,” Fiona stated with a sweep of her hand. “These are the men you see and read about in the media. Look at them. Bald, ugly old men who could never get close to a woman back in their homelands, so they fly out here to take advantage of poor Thai girls. Look at that one. Who would have him?” She indicated a bald, heavy individual of around sixty. In a dirty singlet with a huge swollen belly bulging over his baggy shorts, he was clinging to two small girls. He kissed and slobbered over one while the other massaged his hairy shoulders. Next to him, another old man, also bald, his face pockmarked and raddled, teeth broken and missing, fondled a girl in tight cut-off jeans and t-shirt. Fiona raised her camera and captured the scene.

“My God,” Nigel whispered. But then he noticed that not all the men were old or ugly. There were many young, good looking athletic men enjoying the bar party. One fellow reminded him of the young David Beckham. Tall, splendidly built, a blond God, he stood, swigging Chang beer from a bottle, grinning while two tattooed girls squealed and teased him. One pulled up his t-shirt, slapped his six pack belly and then jerked down the zip of his fly. Watching this, Nigel felt mixed emotions; repulsion mingling with a strange and unfamiliar excitement.

The six girls who worked behind the bar moved around constantly, supplying beer and cocktails to the customers and serving girls. Standing behind them, pushing them stood an older woman in a smart black suit; stone faced and unsmiling, her hard eyes took in everything. Fiona pointed her out. “That’s the mamasan. She runs the bar.” she said raising her camera.

“Mamasan?” Nigel was puzzled.

“That’s right, Nigel.” Fiona took the picture. “The origins of the word mamasan are Japanese. But what it means today in this context is: the female manager of a brothel.”

Nigel stared at Fiona. “How do you know all this?”

Fiona smiled: a confident smile. “I’ve read up on it, Nigel. Now, if one of those men wants to take one of those girls back to his hotel for sex, he has to pay the mamasan; it’s called a bar fine. He pays, and then he can take her off the premises and back to his hotel. But some bars have what are called ‘short time rooms’ in the back where the man can take the girl. That way he can be straight back in drinking when he’s finished.”

“This is unbelievable.”

“Yes. But let’s move on,” She said and pulled Nigel away and out of the Soi.

It was different in Soi Crocodile. The bars were the same, but the customers seemed a little unusual as did the bar girls. They'd reached the half way point of the Soi before Fiona realized what it was. She raised her camera to photograph two of the girls standing outside a bar entrance when one rushed over waving her hand. “No photos, please,” the girl said. It was the voice, the facial features too, but mainly the voice that told Fiona that this was no girl. The lady-boy displayed a friendly smile as Fiona lowered her camera. Retreating, leading Nigel slowly back toward the Bangla Road, watching the customers now familiar interaction with the bar-girls, Fiona came to understand the nature of Soi Crocodile. “The girls,” she whispered to Nigel as they passed the crowded bars. “They’re all lady-boys.”



“Do the men know this?” Nigel was astounded.

“Of course they do. That’s why they’re here.”

“This place is incredible,” he said, shaking his head. “I can hardly believe what I’m seeing.”

“Yes,” Fiona said. “But seeing such stuff is important, Nigel, even if only to teach us and make us more aware of the awful things that go on in the world. And don’t forget, this is nothing compared to what goes on in Bangkok and Pattaya. Just thank God you live in Bletchford.”

“I need a drink,” Nigel said.

“Me too,” agreed Fiona.

Back on the Bangla Road they sat down at a table in Ned Kelly’s Pub. A live band of Thai musicians did a fair rendition of Sultans of Swing, the old Dire Straits hit number. The pub was almost full of farang tourists. Many were couples; western girls with their boy-friends. The atmosphere was vibrant, healthy and normal after the sleazy decadence of the Sois. Nigel ordered a beer for himself and a white wine for Fiona.

“I’m hungry,” she said. “Order something.”

Nigel consulted a menu. “Will a hamburger and French fries do?”

“Perfect,” she said. “And then we’ll go back to the resort.”

Heading back to their car, at the end of the Bangla Road, they passed a neon lit shop-house. A tall sign beside the entrance declared:

Annie’s Massage

The Best Massage In Phuket

Outside, before the entrance, a squad of Annie’s girls, young vixens in skimpy attire sat around a table. They waved and cheered as Nigel and Fiona passed. Fiona smiled at them, waved, stepped back and took a picture. “Not the kind of massage you get at the Sri Panwa Spa, Nigel, I assure you,” she said.

“I’m sure,” Nigel agreed. But it was the lower part of the sign that intrigued and excited him.

Try Annie’s

Fabulous Soapy Erotic Massage

Couples Welcome

The Best in Thailand

Try Our Two Girl Special

Total Satisfaction

Good Price

Nigel knew about the soapy. Roger Bellshaw, his constituency lieutenant, aging roué and regular visitor to Thailand, had described it to him and advised him to try it.

“Any man who goes to Thailand and fails to have a soapy has wasted his money,” Roger had intoned.

Nigel had laughed. “But I shall be on my honeymoon, Roger.”

“I understand that, Nigel. But take a break; go shopping and slip away. Who will know? Two hours does it; it’s a fabulous experience. You’ll not regret it.”

Now here he was in Thailand, and a soapy was at hand, and staring him in the face. They moved on to get the car.

Driving back to the hotel, Fiona spoke of the future. “Today, I was reading the newspapers on the internet. The most recent surveys show the Conservatives are well ahead in the polls. If there were an election in Britain tomorrow, they would win.”

“But there isn’t going to be an election tomorrow, darling.”

“I know. Still, if the predictions are accurate and the lead holds we will see a Conservative victory in the elections next year; which means, of course, that you will become the Home Secretary.”

“I can’t wait. Then there’ll be some changes made.”

“And that’s just one small step on the road to ten Downing Street.”

Nigel laughed. “You’re so ambitious, Fiona.”

“I am. I see you as Prime minister inside the next few years. You have the looks; you're tall, you have good executive hair and a rich, sound voice. You’ll make it. And I shall be Britain’s First Lady.”

But Nigel wasn’t listening. British politics were far from his thoughts as he drove. He was thinking about Annie’s Massage and a two girl soapy.

The following day they relaxed and lounged by the pool: Fiona reading a paranormal fantasy novel, Nigel reading the Alan Clark Diaries, drinking fruit juice smoothies, the odd cocktail and having the occasional swim. But his thoughts were elsewhere. The puritan in him was wrestling with the temptations of the devil in the form of a “two girl soapy” and seriously losing ground. Finally, he decided he’d go to Patong alone and at least see the place again; no harm in that. He’d do that in the morning. He turned to Fiona. “Tomorrow morning, darling, I want to go into Phuket Town to do a little shopping and look around. Do you want to come?” he asked, hoping she’d refuse.

She looked up from her book. “No, my love, I’m going to pamper myself again,” she said. “I’m going to enjoy more spa experience. When you get back, I’ll be beautiful.”

“Fine, darling.” Nigel smiled, took a long pull on his cocktail and returned to Alan Clark.

After a delicious breakfast on the terrace, Nigel packed his shoulder bag and prepared to leave. “I won’t be too long, sweet,” he said.

“And don’t you drink too much,” Fiona said. “Wear a hat and watch those young Thai girls.”

Nigel laughed. “I’ll watch them, darling, but you know me; that’s all I’ll do.”

Leaving the resort, Nigel ignored the directions to Phuket Town and drove fast to the west, direction Patong Beach, arriving just before noon. He parked again in the Jung Ceylon Shopping Center. It was hot. He put on a soft, cotton bush hat and set off down the Bangla Road. The bars in Soi Tiger, so packed and riotous the night he came with Fiona, were closed, empty and quiet, the chairs and stools stacked on the tables and bar tops. Feeling thirsty, he stopped at a small bar-restaurant across the road from Annie’s. He took an outside table and ordered a large Chang beer. He felt calm. The procrastination, the indecisive struggle within him was now over, and the puritan in him had been slain. He was going to have a soapy and nothing was going to stop him.

His beer came, and he drank straight from the bottle as he’d seen others do, his eyes on Annie’s Massage. He checked his watch: it was 12:15. At 12:30, he’d go in. He’d be done by 2:30, or 3:00 at the latest and back at the Spa for dinner with Fiona, who would be none the wiser. Perfect. He grinned at the deception and took a long pull on the bottle. At 12:30, he drained the bottle and paid the bill with a small tip and took off, crossing the road and straight into Annie’s Massage.

Passing through the curtained entrance portal, Nigel was reminded of an old photograph he’d once seen of a parlor in a Victorian bordello. A dark red wall to wall carpet covered the floor matching the dark red wall paper. Four plush and ornate loveseats were placed about a low glass table in the center of the room. An antique glass chandelier hung above the table and imitation wall gas lamps cast a red glow over everything. The far wall contained an elegant alcove bar with six stools. The redolence of incense assailed him. A door on the right opened, and a woman entered. She was in her sixties it appeared, dressed in a sarong, her hair pulled back tight and tied in a bun, a smile on her broad, painted face; the mamasan, Nigel recalled Fiona’s description.

“You would like massage,” she asked in a deep, heavy voice.

“Er, yes,” Nigel felt awkward. “Yes I would.”

The woman went to the bar, indicated a stool to Nigel and went behind the counter. “Would you like a drink?”

“Er, yes that would be fine. Are you er….Annie?”

She beamed. “Yes I am. You like a beer, whisky?”

“A beer please.” Nigel sat down on a stool.

Annie poured a Chang beer into a glass of ice cubes and put it on a mat before him. She handed him a paper. “These are our services, the various massages and the price.”

Nigel surveyed the list and its prices: the soapy was not among them. He looked up at Annie. “Actually, I would like a soapy,” he said with a faint smile.

“A soapy,” Annie’s voice boomed, and she laughed.

“Yes, the special; the two-girl soapy.” Nigel’s smile broadened. He drank some beer.

“You are early,” she smiled. “Normally we don’t do much business until later. The girls come to work later in the afternoon. But, my dear, you are lucky that I do have two very nice girls available.”

“How much is a soapy?”

“A standard soapy is two thousand baht for two hours; very reasonable. This week you can have two girls for the price of one; the special. Of course,” she smiled conspiringly. “Extra services you might require will need to be worked out with the girls, plus gratuities for good satisfying service. But that is up to you.”

Nigel took a long pull on his beer. “Yes, of course. I understand.”

“Would you like to meet the girls?”

“Yes, of course,” Nigel said. He pulled out his wallet and handed over two one thousand baht notes. Annie’s fist grasped the money, and she slipped away leaving Nigel with his beer. He was getting excited now: excited and nervous. He was on the verge of experiencing what Roger Bellshaw had termed: the greatest sexual experience known to man. He finished his beer as Annie re-emerged with two girls in tow. The girls came alongside Nigel and waied him politely. Annie introduced them. “This lady is Toy," she said. "and this one is Bee,”

Nigel nodded to them and smiled his approval. In their early twenties, petite, a little over five foot tall and shapely, they wore very short, white, pleated skirts and tight dark blue tee-shirts carrying Annie’s Massage logos. Both had excellent legs. They smelt of a rich, erotic perfume. Nigel became aroused.

“Are you ready?” Annie asked him, handing Toy a key.

“Yes,” Nigel stood up. Toy took his hand and led him through a doorway to a carpeted staircase. They climbed, Toy leading, Bee behind, to the first floor and into a narrow passageway, passing several doors and stopping at number five. Toy opened the door.

Nigel had never seen a bed so wide and low: it dominated the room. The headboard was a polished mirror. Looking up, he saw that the entire ceiling was also a mirror. There were two chairs, a desk carrying a television, and a refrigerator. There were no windows, and it was pleasingly cool.

Toy opened the fridge and took out a whisky bottle and a bowl of ice. She poured a little into three glasses, dropped in ice cubes and handed one to Nigel and one to Bee. Nigel took a sip: it was powerful, sharp and biting. He drained the glass and felt a warm, pleasant rush to his head. Bee indicated a chair to Nigel, and he sat down. Toy refilled his glass. Bee finished her drink in a single gulp, and with a wide smile at Nigel, peeled off her t-shirt, unfastened her belt, dropped her skirt and stepped out of it. Toy put down her glass and removed her t-shirt and skirt. She went behind Bee and removed her brassiere, kissing the back of her neck. Bee closed her eyes and moaned, softly. She turned around and removed Koy’s brassiere, and the girls embraced, kissing and caressing each other. Then, Bee pushed Toy backwards onto the bed and pulled off her panties. She removed her own and joined Toy on the bed. Hand shaking with excitement, Nigel watched, sipping rapidly on his whisky, eyes wide and unblinking as the naked girls writhed and made passionate lesbian love on the broad bed. “Oh yes,” squealed Toy emitting a long scream of pleasure and the girls stopped, laughed and after a final kiss stood up off the bed. “Take off your clothes,” Bee ordered Nigel with mock authority.

“Of course,” Nigel said with a grin. He drained his glass and stood up and was unbuttoning the neck of his tennis shirt when the girls moved in on him, pushed his hands clear, took over and began to undress him. Nigel relaxed; all reticence born of shyness had disappeared now as the girls quickly removed his clothes.

“You velly tall,” Toy placed her arms around him and kissed his chest.

“I suppose I am,” Nigel said with a chuckle.

The girls began talking in Thai interspersed with giggles, eyes flashing at Nigel who listened and watched with amusement.

“How you like another lady: thlee lady?” Toy asked him.

“Three,” Nigel laughed. “I….I thought two was the special….I.”

“Thlee vely special: just for you. You will like.”

“I don’t know. How……”

“I have fliend: vely good, vely sexy. Her name, Nut. She will come.” Toy addressed Bee in Thai. Bee laughed and went to her bag. She fished out her cell-phone and handed it to Toy who punched in numbers. The connection was immediate and Toy babbled in rapid Thai and then hung up with a smile at Nigel. “My fliend, she come.”

The girls went into the bathroom; Nigel followed and watched from the doorway. In a wall alcove, were many business-like shower heads and nozzles that would spray water from all-angles. Bottles of soap and lotions occupied wall racks; another rack was full of towels. Bee produced a soft foam mat that she unrolled onto the tiled floor. Toy opened the shower faucets and stepped under the heavy spray, squealing with delight. Bee joined her carrying a bottle of liquid soap. They soaped each other down, laughing. An enthralled Nigel watched until a light tap on the door interrupted matters. “My fliend,” Toy called out. The door opened and a girl entered. She wore black pirate pants and a tight, white t-shirt. She was young and very pretty. She smiled at the naked Nigel and quickly shucked off her clothes. She took Nigel’s hand and led him to the shower and eased him in. The water spray enveloped him, cool and refreshing. And the three girls went to work on him.

Nigel was in complete ecstasy as the girl’s hands squeezed and kneaded with skill and authority over his body and most intimate parts. Toy behind him used her fingers and a soft brush, while Bee and Nut knelt and worked the front. He looked down as Bee, began using her mouth increasing his pleasure. He took in the soft foam mat on the floor that awaited and recalled Roger Bellshaw’s description:

“Unfortunately, many men lose it in the shower, Nigel. But if you can control yourself and survive the shower experience, you get to enjoy the piece de resistance; the soapy itself, on the foam rubber bed. There, the girl covers you in smooth silky liquid soap and uses her body to slide over you and drive you right out of your bloody mind. Many who survive the shower lose it right there on the mat, and there’s no shame in that. But if you do survive it, the finale is the bed.” Bellshaw had said with his sly grin.

And Nigel grinned now at the memory for now it was happening to him, and with not one girl, but three. Then, suddenly, his reverie was interrupted by four distinct bangs, the action stopped and apart from the rushing water of the shower, silence held the ring. The bangs came again, louder. Someone was knocking on the door.

Surprised and annoyed, Nigel stepped out of the shower, held up a hand indicating the girls to stay put, grabbed a towel, wrapped it around himself and went to the door. He flung it open, and the shock almost floored him. The mamasan stood mute on the threshold staring down at the floor, behind her, on either side, in their tight brown uniforms, stood two policemen: one short and thin, the other taller and heavy set, his gut thrusting against the uniform’s tight restriction. They pressed forward, the mamasan before them. Nigel stepped back, his heart pounding.

“Passport,” the taller officer, who seemed to be in charge, addressed Nigel harshly as he closed the door.

Nigel opened his shoulder bag and handed over the document. The three girls came out of the bathroom, dripping water and wrapped in towels. The officer addressed them curtly in Thai and they went to their purses and handed over their identity cards. The cops sat on the bed, studying the cards and Nigel’s passport, muttering in Thai. Presently, the larger officer pointed to Nut and addressed Nigel. “This girl is under age, Mister….,” he studied Nigel’s passport. “Mister Prendergast. She is just sixteen years old. The age for to have sex in Thailand is eighteen years.”

“But, I….,” Nigel spluttered. His heart was pounding as fear engulfed him.

“But what, Mister Prendergast?”

“Well, surely it’s the mamsan’s job,” he pointed to Annie. “It’s her job to check her girl’s ages. It’s her business. A client could hardly be expected to know.”

The policeman stared at Nigel with an expression of incredulity. “What is this mamasan? What is this job? What is this about business, client? This place is a brothel; a whorehouse. This woman,” he pointed to Annie. “She is a brothel keeper.” He switched to Thai and with a loud, rising voice harangued Annie whose head tilted down further. Returning to English, he again addressed Nigel. “Prostitution is illegal in Thailand, Mister Prendergast. This place will be closed down, and she will be prosecuted as you will be. But your charges are more serious than soliciting the services of prostitutes and violating Thailand’s prostitution laws. You have solicited sex from a minor: a child. Please get dressed Mister Prendergast. You are under arrest, and you are coming with us.”

With soap still in his hair and in his ears, Nigel stood, took his clothes and dressed before the officers who watched in silence his deep humiliation.

At the police station, Nigel was placed in a charge-room and left alone with his thoughts. And as his position and the total ruin he faced, clarified, it terrified him.

First there would be media publicity; named in the foreign press as a sex tourist pedophile and his picture displayed in the British tabloids and on the internet. A trial and a prison sentence would quickly follow. Then, a divorce by Fiona, loss of his seat in Westminster, disavowed and booted out of the Conservative Party. After serving his time in a tough Thai prison, he would be deported back to Britain where further punishment awaited. As a convicted pedophile, his passport would be withdrawn, and he would be forced to sign the Sex Offenders Book. He recalled the case of Gary Glitter an felt heartsick. He was beginning to tremble when the door opened and a policeman beckoned him. Nigel rose and meekly followed. The officer indicated a door and Nigel went inside. The two arresting officers were seated at a desk, smoking. The taller one pointed to a chair. Nigel sat down.

“Mister Prendergast,” he began with an expansive smile. “I am Sergeant Chueman and this is Corporal Taksin. We have been discussing your case with my colleagues. Since you do not appear to have any criminal record, and this is your first offence here in Thailand, it is most probable that at your trial the court would show leniency. After all,” he chuckled. “You are a tourist on vacation who made a foolish mistake.”

Nigel, his thoughts adrift could hardly follow. “Yes,” he nodded, weakly.

“The judge,” the policeman went on. “Would probably not imprison you and only have you pay a fine; a big fine, one that would reflect the seriousness of your crime.”

Nigel saw a faint ray of hope. “How much?”

“Past events show it as two hundred and fifty thousand baht.”

Nigel nodded. It was a lot of money. And there would still be a trial and the attendant publicity. He would avoid imprisonment, but he would still be ruined.

“So, Mister Prendergast, my colleagues and I think that it might be better to avoid a trial with all the expense and trouble, if you just paid the fine and signed a document admitting guilt.”

Suddenly, Nigel’s hopes rose. “Is this possible?”

“Oh, yes; more than possible. It is probably the best solution. That is,” the cop grinned. “if you can pay the fine?”

Nigel was on the edge of his seat. He did a quick calculation from Thai baht into pounds sterling – between five and six thousand pounds; a lot of money. “I could get the money, but it would take a little time.”

“How much time?”

Nigel did another calculation. Using his four credit and debit cards he could pull enough money to do it in five days. “Five or six days,” he said.

The officer addressed his colleague and nodded. He drew hard on his cigarette and turned to Nigel. “That is fine and acceptable,” he said. “So, we will release you, Mister Prendergast. And you will return when you have the money. And then we can sign the document and you will, be free to go. Is that acceptable to you?”

“Yes,” Nigel nearly shouted. He was overjoyed.

“We will, of course, need to hold on to your passport which will be returned when you come in with the money.” He turned and spoke to his colleague. The thin policeman laughed lightly and went to a small cupboard behind the desk and withdrew a bottle of whisky and some glasses. He also retrieved a small tub of ice cubes from a refrigerator disguised as a cabinet. The glasses were filled and a toast drunk. Elated now, Nigel smiled at his tormentors. “Thank you,” he said.

Back on the street, Nigel felt dazed and slightly intoxicated. His throat parched from the harsh whisky, he stopped for a beer at a bar close to the car park and ordered a large bottle of Singha beer. He drank, almost guzzled, from the bottle and savored the beer, his freedom and his luck. In the car park, he found an ATM and made the first of the withdrawals. He withdrew the fifteen thousand baht maximum on each of the four cards; sixty thousand baht. Tomorrow he would do the same. By Friday, he would have it all. He collected his car and headed back to the resort.

On Fiona’s suggestion, the following days were spent travelling. The pleasures of the resort and its spa were beginning to pall. They visited local islands and took a boat out to Kho Phi Phi and on to Krabi Town where they stayed two days, Fiona shopping steadily. Finally, they flew to Kho Samui, the island in the Gulf of Thailand and spent two nights in a resort bungalow with a fantastic southern view. And at every opportunity, when Fiona was shopping or otherwise engaged, Nigel slipped away and made large withdrawals at convenient ATMs.

Back in Phuket, with four days to go before heading home, Nigel had his money. Now he needed to unload it and get his passport back.

After breakfast the next morning he told Fiona he’d be heading into Phuket Airport to pick up a British newspaper.

“No problem, darling,” she said and Nigel went down the car; and raced for Patong Beach.

He found the police station with no trouble, went straight in and up to the desk. “Sawadee, khrap,” he addressed the duty officer.

“Sawadee, khrap,” the officer on the desk nodded politely, gave him a welcoming smile and opened the small gate. Nigel went through and followed the officer to a door. Ushered inside, he found Sergeant Chueman drinking coffee at his desk. The policeman beamed on seeing Nigel. “Good morning, Mister Prendergast. Please sit down.”

Nigel took the seat opposite.

“I hope you have been behaving yourself and enjoying the pleasures of Phuket.”

“Yes, I have,” Nigel forced a smile.

“Good. Now, do you have the money, Mister Prendergast?”

“Yes, I have it.” Nigel withdrew a bulging envelope from his shoulder bag and placed it before the cop.

Sergeant Chueman called out in Thai, and a door opened and Corporal Taksin appeared and took his place next to his superior. The sergeant took out the money and began counting. At fifty thousand, he handed the notes to the corporal who then checked the count while Chueman counted more. They counted several times until they were certain. “Exactly right,” the satisfied sergeant acknowledged after several counts. He placed the money back in the envelope then locked it in his desk. He then produced a printed form that had been filled in the various places. He wrote a few more lines at the page bottom and turned the document around and handed Nigel his pen. “Sign here, Mister Prendergast,” he indicated the place.

Looking at the form, Nigel saw nothing he understood; everything was in Thai, but he signed anyway.

“Perfect, Mister Prendergast. Now, here is your passport.” He handed it back to Nigel.

Once again Corporal Taksin took out the whisky, ice and the glasses and filled them. They drank a toast to Nigel and his vacation. “You have been very lucky, Mister Prendergast,” Sergeant Chueman said with a smile. “Other police officers I know would have insisted that you go to trial. And you would have been held in custody; a most unpleasant experience.”

“Yes, I appreciate that. I want to thank you both for your consideration and understanding,” Nigel said, weakly. “I appreciate what you have done for me.”

“That is no problem. But I do want to remind you to be careful where you go and what you do. Don’t spoil your vacation, Mister Prendergast. Enjoy your stay in Thailand and go home safe.” He refilled the glasses, and they drank.

Two days before flying home, Nigel and Fiona drove up to Patong for the last time. Fiona had been advised that the finest hairdresser in Phuket was a lady-boy, Salisa, who had a salon in Patong Beach. “We’re going back there,” she informed Nigel. “I want the best hair-do possible before returning home.”

“A good idea darling,” Nigel agreed.

Salisa’s, the lady-boy’s salon, was in an up market shopping center. And Fiona did some high end shopping until the time of her appointment. “I’m told Salisa takes her time,” she told Nigel outside the salon. “So I’ll be a while. Meet me in the coffee shop next door in about two hours, say 1:30.”

“Fine, darling,” Nigel said with a smile.

“And don’t drink too many.”

“Never fear my love.”

After some window shopping, Nigel walked along leisurely until he struck the Bangla Road. He smiled and turned onto it. It was hot, and he felt a cold beer was indicated. He also wanted to pass by Annie’s Massage and take a few photographs to embellish the story he would inevitably have to tell Roger Bellshaw.

Passing Annie’s he took out his pocket Nikon and took a few snaps. He took one, a close up, of the sign advertizing the two girl soapy special. It puzzled him that Sergeant Chueman had not yet made good on his threat to close the place down. At a bar opposite, he sat at an outside table and ordered a large beer. As he drank, he imagined the conversation he’d have with Bellshaw. There’d be the usual preliminaries as he was brought up to date on constituency matters, and then he imagined it would go something like this: “Well, Nigel: did you enjoy your honeymoon?”

“Yes, it was fantastic. Bali was incredibly beautiful, and so of course was Phuket.”

“And did Fiona feel the same?”

“Even more so. And she got to see and satisfy her curiosity about the decadent side of things in Phuket.”

“Yes, of course. And you, Nigel; did you have your soapy?” the old libertine would ask.

“Of course, Roger,” he’d reply. And he’d be telling the truth. He’d tell it exactly as it happened, just leaving out the police intervention part that cut it short.

Nigel played the scene over with dialogue changes, finished his beer and ordered another. His thoughts now centered on how he could fiddle his Commons expenses to recover the loss of over five thousand pounds he’d given the cops; he’d work on that on getting home.

On his first day back in England, in his constituency headquarters, Nigel got down to business. His staff greeted him warmly and he gathered them around him and briefly explained what a great honeymoon he’d enjoyed in the Far-East, but was now pleased to be home and ready to get down to hard work with his team and serve his constituents. At 10:00am Roger Belshaw arrived and headed straight in to the inner sanctum to greet Nigel. “Good Morning, Nigel he said, smiling and extending his hand.

“Good Morning, Roger,” Nigel returned the smile, shaking hands.

“Welcome home, my boy.”

“Thank you, Roger.”

“I trust you enjoyed yourself in South East Asia.”

“I’ll tell you all in the pub over lunch. Let’s clear up all business matters first.”

“Jolly good,” Belshaw sat down and opened his briefcase. “There’s not a lot really; it should only take about an hour or so.”

They cleared up the work shortly before noon and headed, under umbrellas, through a cold, wind driven rain for the Plough and Harrow Hotel in Bletchford’s market square. In the pub, they ordered two pints of bitter and took a table near a window, away from the crowded bar. A table waitress brought them menus. Nigel declined them. “I’ll take the Ploughman’s Lunch,” he told her.

“And I’ll have the Shepherd’s Pie,” ordered Bellshaw. The waitress wrote up the order and went away.

“So, Nigel, here you are back from paradise into harsh reality,” Belshaw said with a grin. “It must be a shock?”

“No. Not really. I must say I’m glad to be back in England.”

“Apart from the weather, of course,” Belshaw said with a nod toward the rain streaked window. “I do take it you enjoyed your honeymoon?”

“Yes, it was fantastic. Bali was incredibly beautiful, and so of course was Phuket.”

“And did Fiona feel the same?”

“Yes, perhaps even more so. And she got to see and satisfy her curiosity about the naughty side of things in Phuket.”

“Yes, of course. And you, Nigel,” the old sex hound’s eyes grew cunning. “Did you have your soapy?”

“I knew you’d ask me this, you rogue. Yes, I did Roger; in Phuket.” Nigel pulled out a set of photographs from Patong. He handed a picture of Annie’s to Bellshaw. ”I had the two girl special: two girls for the price of one.”

“Two girls,” Bellshaw’s eyes widened. “That must have been something.”

“It got better than good, Roger. One of the girls suggested she bring in a friend. I agreed, and it became a three girl soapy. You can’t beat that; a three girl special. And were they ever lovely, Roger: Toy, Bee and Nut.”

“Did you photograph the girls?”


“Oh, but you should have, Nigel. You’d have to pay them of course, but it’s worth it. But I’m so pleased you had your soapy.”

“I did.” He showed him more pictures of Annie’s and some photos of the sex tourist decadence in Soi Tiger’s bars for good measure.

“And did you survive the shower?”

“Yes, I did and made it through the soapy onto the bed. It was out of this world, just like you said. And guess what? The extra girl, Nut, was only sixteen, believe it or not.”

“My God, you took a risk.”

“True, but life is full of risk, Nigel.”

“Yes, but not that kind of risk. So, Nut, the young underage girl, she was she last in?”

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

“It could have been a scam, a setup gone wrong.”

“What on earth do you mean?”

“What time did you have the soapy?”

“I went in at exactly 12:30 in the afternoon.”

Belshaw smiled. “That’s early. Those places don’t really get going until evening. I assume it was quiet with not too many girls or clients?”

“Well, yes it was. But I couldn’t go later, not with having Fiona to contend with.”

“Of course,” Belshaw nodded.

“You mentioned a scam?”

“Yes. It’s an old scam involving the cops, the mamasans and the girls. It usually takes place early, when things are quiet. And it goes something like this, Nigel.”

“A chap goes in for a soapy. The mamasan eyes him up and, if he looks like an easy mark, she has a chat with the girl. Once they’re in the room, the lady will suggest a second girl; the client, naturally, goes for it. The new girl comes in, strips off and the action in the shower starts. Meanwhile, downstairs the mamasan calls the cops.

The cops come, demand entry, check the girls IDs and, lo and behold, find the second girl is under age. They then give the mamasan shit for good measure and appearances sake, and arrest the punter for sex with a minor and take him in. They let him cool his heels for a few hours and then make an offer to let him pay a fine, a significant fine, which he invariably does, considering the alternative of prison, publicity and the shame. One can’t be positive, Nigel, but it’s entirely possible that you were being setup, but maybe the mamasan couldn’t get through to the cops or the cops were busy or something of that nature.”

Nigel felt unnerved and a little annoyed. He drank some beer. “How do you know of this…this scam?” he snapped.

“From a book, a guide, I have. After you left, I could have kicked myself. I should have given it to you but I forgot about it. Here it is.” He pulled a slim, dog eared, paperback book out of his briefcase and held it up:

Danger in Paradise:

A Survival Guide

For Male Travelers

In Thailand

James Ridgeway

“It covers in detail all the possible things that can go wrong for you on a vacation in Thailand. It’s very handy.” Bellshaw thumbed through the book. “Ah, here it is. I quote: One of the worse scams of recent years is the Soapy Shakedown, involving Thai cops, the massage parlor mamasans and massage girls. The writer goes on to explain how it works. Then he warns the reader: When having a soapy – especially a soapy involving more than one girl – ALWAYS check their ID. Remember, the minimum age for sex in Thailand is 18: anything less is jail time.” Bellshaw put away the book. “But in your case, Nigel it wasn’t so. All’s well that ends well I say. You had a cracking good soapy and came home safe.”

Nigel took a long pull on his beer. “What was it he called the scam?”

“The Soapy Shakedown.”

“The Soapy Shakedown,” Nigel repeated in a hollow voice. He drained his glass and stared out the pub window beyond the passing parade of umbrella bearing shoppers across to the crowded rain battered stalls in the market square. But they hardly registered. In his mind’s eye, reflected in the window he saw the bright eyes and smiling face of Sergeant Chueman.

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