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The Greatful 28full

  • Written by Starky
  • December 22nd, 2020
  • 6 min read


Well actually it was 27 but I thought 28 would fit the narrative better.

Armistice Day, 2007. Hold up.  Let me start from the beginning. Well not the birth canal but my Asia days. So my first trip to Thailand was ’98. Very late for some of the boys who showed me the ropes. But also well within what would be considered, by many, as part of the “golden years” in Pattaya.

Ok. Fast forward a bit. By 2007 I was splitting my time between the Philippines and Thailand (I know, shit life, right?). I had a condo and a life membership at Tony’s Gym in Pattaya and a huge house with a pool and a maid I rented in Olongapo. Close to Subic but close enough for regular nights of misadventure in AC.

Side note here. Anyone, and I will yell this. ANYONE that tries to tell you that AC or the Philippines in general is better than Thailand has rocks in their head. I could write a thesis on that topic but that’s for another sub. Suffice to say anyone that can tolerate more than a 3-day stint in AC I tip my hat too. I work offshore and mongered world-wide but sorry, AC is the fucking pits.

Back to Armistice Day. By coincidence I was flush with offshore money yet also alone and looking for an afternoon drink. The sun was well and truly over the yardarm. Anyone that is honest will tell you AC is pretty damn depressing in the daytime with many establishments not even open. You can go out wide on Fields Ave during the day but yeah, let’s leave it at that.

I stumbled into Rawhide at about 1400. Coincidentally on this day all the bar staff had already arrived but none of the entertainers. I could drag this out for ever, but in short I ended up getting maggoted with the manager. Music played, drink flowed and a good time was had by all.

Anyone that knows Rawhide around that era knows the girls would do choreographed dances to music that was played. By that I mean like that ridiculous movie Coyote whatever where the girls would dance on the bar. One song they had practiced was Thunderstruck by AC/DC and the video of said performance I still have lying around on an SD card somewhere till this very day.

I was having fun, the manager was having fun, the girls were having fun and apropos of nothing I asked what if I were to EWR the bar.

You Phillo lads know what an EWR is.

For everyone else it’s a barfine. Very much different but very much the same. Early Work Release are the words that convey that particular acronym.

The manager looked me straight in the eye and said if you EWR them all I will close the bar! Now I was no stranger to ringing bells or getting my name on mirrors (another peculiarly Phillo thing) but this was a challenge that piqued my curiosity. For I have done a lot of things and wasted a lot of money in a lot of bars but never had I closed a bar.  Questions were asked. How many girls are here? What’s their EWR? Will you take card?

Answer was 27. 2,200 peso. Fucking of course! Which at the time I thought I won but hey in those days it was @2500 for a “worker” but these were service girls who were having the day off and I was closing the bar down. So did I get robbed? Who cares!

So 60,000 peso bill was rung up on my card. I gave a 600 peso tip. How generous am I right? Memory is hazy here I think in the old money just the EWR was in the realm of 1800 AUD. What is not hazy is said SD card and the receipt from Rawhide in AC that clearly states 27 EWR at 2,200 peso. I also kept that as some bizarre war trophy.

I’m not sure if the bar has changed hands in the years since but if it is the same manager he will surely remember that day. What happened next was the craziest few hours of my life and something that still makes me crack up to this day.

First things first. True to his word I walked into the street and watched as the manager locked the door to his bar, said thanks and proceeded to walk away. Now mongers will know what it’s like to walk down the street with multiple girls in tow. We have all done it. But the logistics, hilarity and pure exuberance of a much younger, much fitter version of myself walking down Fields with 27 girls in the daylight! Words couldn’t describe it and even the most vivid imagination wouldn’t do justice to the scene.  Multitudes of girls exclaiming to all who would listen in Tagalog to all their sisters in the street exactly what this silly goose had done and how they now all had the night off.

Now it wasn’t a long walk to my hotel. But in my memory it was one of the longest, most joyous walks I have ever taken. If a lion is proud of his pride I was the proudest lion that ever drew breath. They say if you pay it doesn’t count but that’s a load of bollocks.  I won’t name the joint but it is a well-known “resort” with a massive pool right next to where the Angeles base of the RSL was in those days. So a fitting tribute for the 11th of the 11th.

Now thankfully AC isn’t Bangkok and I was well known by the owners so walking through the lobby with 27 girls to congregate around the pool barely batted an eye.

We were getting on for dusk and as you can expect much food and drink was ordered. At one stage as it got dark I nuded up and started taking run ups to the pool and trying to make it all the way across the pool on the inflatables they had there. Security popped by occasionally not to scold me but to have a laugh at the white bloke doing his best to break his neck playing silly buggers.

This is where I fucked up a bit. Now feeling invincible I commanded all the girls up to my suite. Now whatever was going to happen, did happen or I am willing to admit happen this sent the party a little pear-shaped. As I said I am certainly no stranger to multiple girls in my room but when you’re nude on a bed with 3 of the most willing, also nude on the bed with you and 24 others in various states of undress mostly standing around your bed and not sure where to look. Well, let’s just say shit gotta a little strange.

I will admit we lost the vibe a bit here. I was hoist with my own petard. Or the architect of my own demise if you prefer. Long story short I sent most of the girls back down to the pool and remained with a couple.

By the time I returned to the pool the party was still going but far more subdued. My hubris stuffed the remains of what was an amazing day. I think some of us all do that in some respect. Especially mongers. We all have the Icarus complex. Never happy. Flying further and further until we plummet. Well that’s me anyway.

Slowly toward dawn things dissipated and most of the girls went their own way. A couple hung around. That is a story for another day. It wasn’t the cheapest night I had nor nowhere near the most expensive. It was however one of the best I’ve had. Unfortunately it’s one of those tales that loses most of its verve in the telling. Like most memories the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What I would like most from this story is not that you enjoy my tale but you sit back, have an ale and piss yourself laughing at one of the best days you ever had, that you also will never be able to truly explain to someone who wasn’t there.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The author of this article cannot be contacted.