Readers' Submissions

In Defence of Oxygen

  • Written by Soi Nŏo
  • March 10th, 2016
  • 5 min read

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Stick advises that submissions are welcome only on issues in Thailand and neighbouring countries, and not on those detailing activities between the sheets. That is OK then, Thailand has oxygen, even in Bangkok, although there is rarely much of it between my sheets.


No one mentions, such as in job interviews, self-effacing breathing in their list of hobbies or as the most important things in their lives. At the head of a Thai woman’s list would be money, for a western woman it would more likely be cake. Mine is beer, then pussy, then beer again. I suppose breathing is never included because we take it for granted, even though none of us would last more than a few minutes without it. That is nearly as long as beer.


What prompted me to write in defence of a humble gas is a piece from Kuhn Hua Hin; If you missed it I have cut and pasted it below:


‘... and there is only one piece of advice I can offer… LIE…! Do not let any Thai Tottie know everything about you. Either keep much of your private details to yourself or, if you are directly asked (and you will be directly asked…!), LIE…! If your lady knows of your assets she will endeavour to move these from your pocket to hers.’


How this relates a gas, that I mean as a noun not a verb that is cruelly defined as, ‘to talk excessively about trivial matters,’ I am not yet sure myself until I get to the end, but I thank Hua Hin Harry sincerely – and, as if I, or any of us, didn’t already know it, recognise that a man is only reconciled with the advice he has already cognised. Pip, pip, old chap, as some of us are inclined to say after indulging in profound wisdom.


And when not drinking beer or breathing in the smell of pussy (oops, sorry Stick, leave it in just this once, will you?) – that is what I am characteristically up to – lying. It comes naturally for me to lie, with so many adventures of multiple mia and suspicious yai noi to pull off, who cannot occasionally prevaricate, and are sometimes forced to indulge in an enormous whopper? I even lie when I have no need to, because that is how I am. Am I just amusing myself? Could it have evolved as an effective survival strategy? I probably just do it to keep my hand in. I don’t know, but it certainly amuses my future mia noi.


On the subject of my intended, one thing we both know is this, ‘All my money is ours, and all her money is hers.’ Again, we all know this, and Harry too more or less made this point; but it needs to be continually reinforced.


What does my future financial manager want? It is important for us to sit down together and state from the outset what each of us really wants. Our ambitions will lie limply on the table, put forward as individual negotiating positions; compromises can be made on the details – but only on the details. She wants a house – that is, for me to buy her a house. She has conceded to have a second child, and she wants a girl. Not hopes, wants. She wants to have a family, with her existing child far away in Korat with her sister, to stay in Bangkok in her brand new house, and continue earning 20,000-baht a month, ‘her good salary’. We will take care of each other, and also have joint use of my 60,000-baht a month, ‘our meagre honorarium’, with her income segregated from the pool for the use of my now extended family; parents, sisters, uncle Thai Wobbly and all.


So that is her want list. Mine is at odds with that; indeed, diametrically opposed. I want a condo – that is, to rent a condo. I hope for a boy between us. Not want, hope. I want to have a family which includes her first child, with us in Bangkok. And I want us to have the money we have earned to ourselves. Her salary is her business. She will have more to give away because I won’t charge her for living with me. She didn’t mention sex, and nor will I – for the same reason there is no need to say we assume breathing will still be part of our lives when we shack up together. I won’t state the obvious and say I want beer, but may I have slipped in another word in support of oxygen.


‘There are four chambers to a lady’s heart, my previous mia noi once patiently explained to her stupid Man-Falang-Potato-Head; the first is occupied by her children and the second her parents. That’s the ventricles taken care of. The residents in the atria are more numerous, the wider family, cousins, Uncle Thai etc. packed into the first atrium. The final chamber is reserved for’… I was about to interject and tell her I was sorry to be last, but gratified to be there at all, when she continued, ‘the King.’ Yes, the King she said, in a fond smile of abject loyalty. A voice within boosted my flagging ego, telling me that I was not in her heart because there was no room, or perhaps I was taken for granted – just as in any wish list (or bucket list, in the neoteric fad), no one ever mentions oxygen.


There is no morality only power. Hua Hin Harry might not have said this but he should have. My strength is to speak assertively and carry a big wallet. Hers is to speak softly and carry a tight pussy. However, a pussy is not like money, beer, oxygen, or even cake – a man can’t live on the fruits of love.


To restate my position and conclude the diatribe, a man first and foremost needs beer, then pussy. If he can’t have those, what is the point of oxygen?


And I came here to praise the gas not to bury it.