Do you think of your wife when making love to someone else?
Terry had only two topics of conversation neither of which made him happy. One was his wife, the other West Ham United Football Club. He loved them both with a passion but they also made him sad and unfulfilled. His drinking companions couldn't help him with his passion for West Ham, apart from nodding in agreement at the lament that they would be the best team in the land if they could have back all the players they had sold in the previous ten years. When Terry was in a better mood he would explain how his team had won the football World Cup for England nearly fifty years before. Few people understood the logic of either argument but most agreed enthusiastically in the hope that that would make him change the subject.
The issue with his wife was treatable if not curable. Her name was Shelley. They lived together and she was an excellent mother to his children but she was almost completely indifferent to his existence. Most married men had to lie, cheat and deceive to get away for a few days to Thailand. Terry was dispatched with his golfing buddies with Shelley’s best wishes. She really didn't seem to care what he got up to. The ladies of Pattaya took it in turns to fill the void that Shelley left in Terry’s life but it didn't help.
The star turn at Phil’s bar was the seductively named Sin. A name like that could easily raise high expectations in a man and she exceeded them all. Pattaya-Dream had a thread with over 1,000 posts dedicated to her beauty and raw sex appeal. The enthusiastic endorsements of forum members generated what could only be described as a pilgrimage to the bar. Sin was, however, resigned about the impact she had on Terry.
“I boom-boom farang and I know next time he boom-boom his wife he think about me. I boom-boom Terry and already he thinking about his wife. He “ting tong” (crazy)”.
She had him in one. Shelley was his true love, the only woman he really wanted. The ladies of Starbar were a poor substitute. Terry was a very unusual customer.
The Beer Paradox
Terry and Steve, were engrossed in a heated exchange about something that clearly mattered very much to both men. It was still early and neither was particularly drunk so the subject matter was most likely to be women or football. It is a perverse truth that there is a direct relationship between how drunk a group of men has become and the intellectual complexity of the issues they discuss. If you see men in an animated exchange who are barely able to stand, the chances are that they are discussing the consequences of Greece remaining in the Euro, the education policies of their home government or the fallout from western intervention in Libya. If they are sober they are probably discussing the size of the bar maid’s breasts. There is almost certainly a Nobel Prize in it for the person who can explain why men want to discuss the tough stuff when they are least able to form coherent sentences. Until a suitably eminent academic can deliver an explanation, let’s call it the “Beer Paradox”.
The theory had come up trumps again as Terry and Steve were debating whether the 1961 Tottenham soccer team could beat a team of West Ham All Stars drawn from the last ten years. The conversation was reminiscent of the schoolyard debate as to whether a shark or a grizzly bear would win in a fight. The correct answer is that it depends whether the fight is on land or in water. In the case of the debate between Steve and Terry, the correct answer is “nobody cares”.
Terry switched to teasing his drinking partner about the time he had written himself firmly into Starbar’s folklore. Steve was in the bar on the evening of November 22, 2009, looking forward to watching his favourite soccer team. After eight minutes Tottenham Hotspur took the lead and he generously bought the lovely Woo a lady-drink.
“You buy same next goal?” she asked hopefully.
“No,” said Steve curtly and watched Woo turn away.
“Woo,” he called out. “Next goal I buy you two drinks, then three drinks for one after that, then four, then five.”
Woo smiled and nodded. She had seen Tottenham play before and thought she might be good for another couple of drinks if she was lucky. Less than two hours later Woo became the first lady in Thai history to beg a customer not to buy her any more drinks. Steve was torn. He had seen his team beat Wigan Athletic by nine goals to one but his debt to Woo was a total of forty-five drinks. She gamely played along until the fourth goal went in and then told Steve, in a very slurred voice, that he was released from his promise. He gave her two thousand baht instead and paid her bar-fine so that she could go home and sleep it off.
Steve decided that she was a lucky talisman and the following year he visited the bar again while his team was playing.
“Woo,” he said, “…same bet as before when my team score?”
“Jing jing?” Woo asked, wanting confirmation that she might be in for another good pay day.
“Jing jing,” he confirmed.
Woo was keen to ensure Steve knew that she was grateful.
“OK Steve, Tottenham score three and I give you blow job. Free.”
Until his dying day Steve would never forgive the Tottenham player who missed an open goal in the dying seconds. The match finished 2-2.
Terry had given up convincing him that his fantasy West Ham team were world-beaters because now they were getting really drunk and inevitably the Beer Paradox was once again in operation. The subject turned to whether Scotland should get independence from the United Kingdom and the constitutional implications for the monarchy.
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