Readers' Submissions

Eclectic Final Thoughts



August 01 2017

Oh No.

I predict a case of Stickman Withdrawal Syndrome. I thought I had this disease a few years ago but it was cured by a continuance of supply. It seems the outcome will be different this time.

I wish I had more time to contribute something cogent and memorable. Instead I can only come up with this — a few quick thoughts before the site ends. Well, the site won’t stop but I expect publications will so it’s almost one and the same. I wonder if Stick will still put up the occasional reader’s contribution or if the site will be frozen in time until the domain name expires (Sept 28 2018) or the hosting contract isn’t renewed. It’s been an impressive run. StickmanBangkok.com was first registered on 28 Sept 2001. <The Stickman site actually started in November, 1998 when it was known as “Stickman’s Guide to Bangkok”.  In the early days, this site was hosted by the free web hosting service, Geocities.  The first Stickman weekly column was published on April 8, 2001, when the site had moved over to an address at Chopsticks.net.  I didn’t start using the StickmanBangkok.com domain name until quite some time after it was first registeredStick>

I’ll miss the stories from some famous names.

The Professor

There was a song by Meatloaf saying 2 out of 3 ain’t bad; I didn’t agree with everything the Professor wrote, but I did 4 times out of 5; so he’s better than Meatloaf

Bangkok Barry

No reason, I just enjoyed his stories.  <He’s one of my favourties tooStick>

Farang Dave

He had some negative and controversial feedback so he was apparently not for everyone but I enjoyed his writing and several times felt I’d been in the same situations he described.

Phet

I didn’t like Phet at first, I thought he was too long-winded; but when I got used to his style I changed my mind; he lives an apparently sterile life in England with occasional visits to Thailand to spice up things and I suspect he and I have more in common than I care to admit.

The Traveller

I especially enjoyed his stories of Dick; such a character.

Ishiro

Who can’t write without quoting some old songs to express his feelings

Even Steve Rosse

Perhaps Stick’s most prolific contributor but far from being my favorite; at one point I stopped reading his material because I found him too cynical and too eager to take down others; but his recent contributions have been full of heart, writing about profound events in his life; I found these thought-provoking; Steve, do you really live in Iowa, that doesn’t seem to fit?

What’s going to happen to the ongoing stories? I’m enjoying A Crazy Life and would like to know what happens. Part 6 left us on a cliffhanger — as every good serialized story should until we come to the improbable end. Come on Simon43, you wrote like a bat outta hell in June (really, Meatloaf again?) and then nothing for a month. Simon, you gotta finish the story. Mr Cebu Trip Report, Kalbo2, has the right idea. Get everything submitted this week — that’s the spirit!

And what about me? I made a few contributions. My series An Ordinary Life wasn’t Shakespeare but I did my best. When I retire I wanted to flesh out the series into a self-published book. I even thought I could get a leg up by selling a few copies to the Stickman faithful — you know, sell a dozen copies for $2 or $3 a piece and hope it catches on. I couldn’t expect Stick to last another 10 years but now even my faintest hopes for publicity have been dashed. I couldn’t retire with $20 or $30 in book sales, not even $2,000 to $3,000. $300,000 would be handy. But I know I’d never get that so I’ll have to keep my day job.

Since this is my last chance of being published I’ll give a quick update on the main characters from my story.

Dawn is out of my life. Or vice versa. Either way it’s fine with me. I saw her in Bangkok with her new farang boyfriend earlier this year at a family wedding. She aged fast. You know how Asian women look great for a long time and then age quickly? In her case she fell off a cliff. At first I didn’t even recognize her.

Udang and I are still together. 4+ years and going strong. I’m not naive enough to think we’re made for each other or we’ll be together after I retire. As soon as my sponsorship ends she’ll say goodbye. But while I realize she has a mercenary side I also really like spending time with her. Some of you have said I’m a sucker and maybe you’re right. But at least I’m a sucker with a smile on my face. Honestly, she’s a really nice lady and I enjoy being with her. She’s never had a bad word to say about anyone from her past. She’ll be 40 later in the year. That’s hard to believe.

Her son John just turned 18. Far from being a grown man he’s a typically spoiled Thai teenager who somehow believes the world revolves around him.

My own sons, Peter and Paul are on their different journeys. Peter is taking a year off after graduating from university. I thought a gap year happened between school and university but in his case it’s between graduation and what he hopes will be post-graduate study. He has a narrow field of expertise and says there are only 3 universities in his home country that offer post graduate degrees. He gave away the idea of studying in the US because the mere idea of Mr Trump offends him. If he doesn’t become an academic I have no idea of what else he can do in life.

Paul is mid-way thru an undergraduate degree in the US. Not at a prestigious college but one I could afford. That was a mistake. I should have paid the higher fees for him to go to a better school. It would have been difficult but looking back on the past few years I probably could have paid the fees. He hopes to step it up a level doing a master’s degree at a better school after graduating. I just hope I haven’t screwed him. His initial plan was to work for a few years and then do his master’s but, again, he’s been undone by Trump. Given he’s a foreigner he figures it’ll be tough to find work so now he wants to do a master’s as soon as he graduates. (I don’t expect he’ll have a gap year.)

I never thought Trump would affect me but it I’m wrong. Ha! I’m cursed by those last two words.

And me? I hope to work for another 6 – 7 years trying to build my savings and then retire with dignity. But fate will probably find a way to intervene.

Before I sign off it would be impolite not to thank our host. For many of us he became a part of our lives and a part of our weekly routine. He started with a hobby that became his passion and perhaps more recently became a chore. It was always going to end but it’s sad to see it happen like this. We’ve enjoyed his weekly musings. He’s given all of us a voice. It seems he published everything that came his way whether he agreed with it or not. When you’re a publisher it must be tempting to also be a censor but he seemed to post everything he received. Sometimes he’d make a comment on something that wasn’t factually correct or he’d get frustrated by some content and make a few pointed remarks but in 99% of the cases he simply published. He has stories from hundreds, read by thousands. Thank you, Mr Stickman.

Finally, I wish everyone the best. When our time comes to an end may we all meet, as customers, at the big fishbowl in the sky. If you believe in reincarnation then I hope you don’t come back as someone sitting on the wrong side of the glass. If you do it could be called karma.

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Stick‘s thoughts:

Thanks for your very nice words and  thank you also for the stories you sent in over the years.

The total number of readers’ submissions published on this site is close to 10,000 and that is all thanks to guys like you.  I don’t know the actual number of submissions because quite a few have been removed over the years at some authors’ requests, but the number is very close to 10,000…it might even have topped that mark.

It does look like this coming Sunday will be the end.  I have offered some ideas to the majority owner that I think are workable and would mean the site would continue but, sadly – very sadly in fact – he hasn’t shown great interest in them.  There is the possibility of someone else buying the site which could mean it continues in its current form.  That could happen and talks are happening now.  Whether anything will come of it, I just don’t know.  I am not a party to those talks but I would have to sign off on them.

As for whether I will continue to publish submissions beyond the weekend, I will continue to publish anything that comes in for a short period.  There will be general site maintenance issues and no doubt there are some things I need to tidy up – so as long as I am doing that, publishing submissions is no great encumbrance.  But that might only last a very short period, as in a week or so.  Of course, it all depends on whether any submissions come in.  Assuming this coming Sunday really is the last weekly column and effectively marks the end of the site as we know it, my feeling is that submissions will stop abruptly after that….but like I say, in the days following if any readers’ stories come in they WILL be published.

The writer can be contacted at [email protected]