A Guest Column From Teacher Tim’s Wallet
Hi, everyone. Teacher Tim was just too lazy this week to write anything – the slacker! So he asked me, his wallet, to do a guest column while he took a long snooze down on the beach. I think the bounder has a girl down there, too. He never takes me to the beach, but locks me up in a drawer – that’s so he never has to treat anyone he might run into. He is such a cheapskate!
Being his wallet for the past 15 years has been a real challenge, I can tell you. When he first bought me I was a sleek, shiny, black leather receptacle – supple and whole. Now, I’m tattered, battered, and so full of holes that I could be sold as a hunk of Swiss cheese (lemme tell ya, after sitting in his back pocket all these years I smell like a Swiss cheese, too!)
He should have replaced me years ago, but he doesn’t like to spend money on practical things like a wallet. Oh, when he’s out on the town, surrounded by those Thai bar girls, he’s like Diamond Jim Brady – the life of the party – money is no object – nothing but champagne and caviar – eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we go back to teaching ESL. The next day he can’t even afford to buy a toothbrush after his old one falls apart in his hands! And the only thing to eat in the house is a package of ramen noodles and a few black bananas.
As for me, I used to bulge with credit cards; but over the years he’s simplified his life by consistently going over his limit on each one and then paying them down enough so he can cut them up and throw them away. I’ve got several library cards from places like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah. I don’t think he’s been in a library for the last ten years, not since they canceled their MAD magazine subscriptions.
He’s got an old driver’s license that expired years ago. He never drives in Thailand; either takes the bus or has someone drive him around like he’s Bill Gates.
He stuffs me full of receipts every time he goes to the Tesco Lotus supermarket; he can’t stay away from the canned goods, thinks it’s a good idea to stock up on pork & beans and canned pineapple in case of an emergency, but his landlord takes a can or two home with her every time she comes to visit.
There’s a copy of the photo page of his passport; which is so faded & wrinkled it won’t do him any good if he’s ever asked for it. His Social Security card is also a joke – looks like a piece of blue lint.
He’s got some family photos, but they’re about 6 years old, so they don’t show the numerous grandchildren that have since come along – the old goat was prolific, and has passed that on, I guess.
His kids don’t send him letters with photos anymore; everything is on Facebook. Big whoop.
You think he keeps much real money in me? Think again. He feels like a millionaire if he’s got a dozen 20 baht notes inside me. His real money’s in the bank, at least it is until he pays his bills – and then that stack of 20’s is about all he’s got left. I can remember when he used to carry thousand baht bills in me, back in the days when he was still shy of Thai women. Then he started to carry nothing but hundred baht bills, and now he’s down to twenties. Soon he’ll have nothin’ but a few ten baht coins jingling in his pockets. The guy just can’t say ‘no’ to a pretty face!
He puts a few 15 baht stamps in me, which he uses to send postcards to his kids back in the States. He has execrable taste in postcards, always picking out those with pink and yellow stupas or elephants in randy positions. No wonder his kids stay away from him!
There’s also a faded hibiscus blossom that he takes out occasionally and sighs over. I don’t know what that’s all about.
He keeps paper clips in me. Totally inappropriate, and has speeded up my deterioration by at least a decade.
He puts the electricity bill in me when it comes in the mail, so he can pay it off the next time he’s by a 7-11.
There’s an American one dollar bill that he keeps folded up and tucked in my side pocket.
He doesn’t know it, but there’s also a small, dried-up cockroach that wandered in one day, got squashed when he sat down, and is now mummified.
The piece de resistance must be the single, solitary condom he keeps in me. The day he uses that is the day I turn into Cinderella’s coach!
All in all, he’s not a bad guy to pal around with. He bathes frequently and never gossips about people behind their backs. That beard he’s growing is totally ridiculous, but since the girls are never going to give him a tumble again he might as well look like Grisly Adams.