Back to Bangkok, Part V

Following Part IV and The Secret Life of Alf

November 17-30, 2002

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Remember the "Who's that Girl?" contest results, announced a few days ago? Reader A.M. of Seattle has declined the prize.1 So, the contest has been reopened. Since the 'winning' Thai 'nicknames' have already been given the contestants should now attempt to come up with the 'given-name' for each girl. These names tend to be polysyllabic and have little or no connection with the 'nicknames' ... so we at THOCBDC are thinking of ratcheting up the prize size. Guessing is encouraged.


Ms. A.M. at the Super Queen1 "Oh Hello ... I have just returned from a very harrowing couple of days of steaming, shooting and whipping tops and bottoms of mocha crapaccinos at the ever so popular freakmont Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe to find a phone message and then an urgent e-mail of winning proportion waiting for me in my in box at brewbarn2@hotmail.com ... I realize that the clock is ticking and being ever so tempted to fraudulently claim the grand prize and just toss in my green apron for a seat at The Super Queen where one can watch the shooting and whipping in a steamy environment ... which by the way in more extravagant days I would have no problem passing the barista baton to some unsuspecting starry eyed partner but alas I am without option as the risk of losing my star status and benefits that I have slaved away daily to achieve might vanish into a puff of foamy latte and that would leave me no choice but with pink slip in hand to join the thousands of unemployed sad sacks pounding the pavement for a little piece of the American dream."


PS This obviously 'dated' piece of news came from my surface-mailed copy of The Church Times. It was further delayed by being first delivered to my old address over at The Oriental.

Heaven Reveals Jesus Behind Sniper Attacks

VATICAN CITY - Church officials stunned FBI investigators early Monday when they announced that they have received a communique from Heaven revealing that Jesus is behind the Washington area sniper attacks. Heaven authorities report that Jesus has "totally wigged out."

Investigators discovered a Tarot "death" card at one crime scene last week bearing the message "Mister Policeman: I am God." At the time, police attributed the message to the ramblings of a madman, but they have now reconsidered their earlier assumption.

"It now appears that the sniper was not lying when they said they were God," said Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose. Sniper Suspect"At this time, we have no idea why the Son of God is attacking law-abiding, God-fearing Americans. We are not ruling out any possibilities at this time, including narcotics.

The shootings have left theologians scrambling for a possible explanation for the shootings. Reverend Forrest Nash, one of the United State's foremost experts on Jesus and an avid gun collector, believes that Jesus is probably drunk. "He turned water into wine all the time in the Bible," Rev. Nash told reporters. "I now feel that his continued practitioning of miracles has led Him down the path of vice. Perhaps our Lord has decided that we should die for His sins this time."

Jerry Falwell was quick to denounce Nash's theory, proclaiming it blasphemous. He explained in a "60 Minutes" interview that Jesus has taken to camouflage and clock towers in an effort to wipe out the "niggers and faggots." When it was pointed out that none of the victims were gay and that white people had been shot, too, Falwell agreed to apologize for his remarks after they had been fully desseminated by the media.

Pope John Paul urged Christians everywhere to pray for Jesus's soul in His time of trouble.

Heaven authorities had a more complete explanation. "Jesus has gone completely nutty," said Saint Paul at a press conference, "He's been acting weird for a couple months now, and I guess things have just built up so much that He needed to let off a little steam.

"God agreed. "My Son's actions are as unknowable as my own," said the Ruler of All. "I think, however, that he's trying to bring people closer to Him, one at a time. He probably feels that the people He's shot so far are being saved. He has been quite disturbed by the decreasing amount of faith people have in Him.

"The Creator of the Universe also stated that His Son was probably enjoying the media attention that he was receiving and watching every minute of it. "It's making him feel relevant again," said God.

Upon hearing that Jesus was behind the sniper attacks, thousands of people gathered in dozens of locations across Montgomery County to paint targets on their chests in hopes that they would be the next one to be personally saved by the Lord.


Monday, November 18, 2002

THOCBDC is proud to announce that work is proceeding at full steam at the Cameron Balloon Works (Bristol) on CB4. As the prime contractors for CB1, CB2 and CB3, Cameron was selected to build the latest addition to THOCBDC's fine stable of hot air ships.

Readers will recall that the design for this newest machine underwent 'serious competitive thinking'1 before the legally binding thumbprints were struck to the contract. Design Photo ShootYes, all this basic blather was hammered out at Chateau d'Oex in January of this year.

But, the real work began months later when Sian Jones (Cameron's chief architect of art) turned her own bedroom into a modeling studio. It was here that a nude divorcée and a vacuum cleaner figured deeply in the troubled workings of her creative mind.

[New readers are encouraged to flip back in time in order to really appreciate the effort that the idle chattering classes are capable of when pressed to the wall.]

Today we visit the cutting tables at Cameron. Starting with a raw but tightly woven silk substitute, great sheets of brightly colored sheets magically flow from big machines onto tables large enough to handle really huge things. Then they are cut and chopped into various shapes and sizes and glued all together. Eventually, strings are attached and it is ready to fly. But, today, we are going to show you just the first bits; the cuttings, the razor sharp edges, the slashings with those unforgiving blades, the ...

"Enough, Alf!"


1 A term borrowed from grassroots campaign literature in the recent Georgia Senatorial race.


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

We at THOCBDC take these things seriously:

Subj: Bogus Letter to Corkscrew-Balloon.com from A.M from Seattle
Date: 11/19/2002 9:14:32 AM SE Asia Standard Time
From: DE@bellsouth.net
To: Corkscrew@aol.com

I am writing to complain about the fraudulent and perhaps terrorist nature of the Reader Letter you have published from A.M. from Seattle. I wrote a congratulatory letter to Ms. M. at the e-mail address provided, to applaud her comprehensive knowledge of the Corkscrew-Balloon web journal. It was returned to me with a rude message stating that this mailbox did not exist. Knowing Ms. M personally, I also did not recognize this as her writing style. I have concluded that you have been duped into publishing an Al Queda letter with terrorist messages embedded cryptographically.

Utilizing the latest in cryptographic analysis software I have decoded certain passages in the letter as follows.

"Allah be praised, after brutal interrogation of the infidel dogs using hot steam, anal probes and whips applied to both backs and feet I have obtained the information we need to continue our jihad against the oppressors who even now plotting new desecrations. By fraudulently invalidating the winning entry in the "Who's that Girl?" contest we can now use this information to win the contest and infiltrate the screwgirl team with a highly trained team of Islamic girly-boys terrorists to highjack the newly constructed Corkscrew 4 balloon and use this blasphemous vehicle to smite the unbelievers with sacks of camel shit and radioactive barium enema waste fashioned into very dirty bomb. Allah Akhbar."

I have forwarded this information to the office of Homeland Security and I hope that you will be more careful in the future not to use Corkscrew-Balloon.com as a vehicle for terrorism.

Yours Truly,
D.E. from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


PS from THOCBDC: This picture is of Ning at the gym.

Ning

PPS ... again from THOCBDC: there will probably be yet another PS later this evening as tonight is Loy Krathong in Thailand.


The PPPPPPPPPPS, as promised: preparations for Loy Krathong. Come back tomorrow for more.

Loy Krathong Preparations


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Though 2002's Loy Krathong celebrations along the Chao Phyra River went perfectly ... what would you have read had something gone horribly wrong?

Of course most of you don't want to know about the horrors that engulfed the guests ... so the details of the disaster, the photo of the holocaust and the tell-tale footnote will be password protected. [As is customary at THOCBDC the password will be given to responsible viewers upon application.]

For the rest of our audience ... well just a couple of photographs: one of Watcharee and one of the Loi Krathong beauty contest. Bland ... sure ... but, at least the children won't get upset.

The Bangkok Onion might have reported:

Click to enter password


Thursday, November 21, 2002

BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuters) -- Thailand has said its popular resort island of Phuket had been hit by travel warnings by several Western countries after bombings on the Indonesian island of in Bali killed more than 180 tourists last month.

Sita Divali, chief spokesman for the Thai government, said Phuket hotel cancellations were on the rise.

"These kinds of rumors and warnings have scared tourists away from Phuket," Sita said, replying to questions about media reports that a foreign bank had warned its staff of possible terrorist threats to Bangkok in the November 17-21 period.

Local media reported this week that the bank had told staff to avoid "large, congested tourist areas frequented by Westerners," particularly during the next few days when Thailand will be celebrating the Buddhist festival of "Loy Krathong," which marks the end of the monsoon season.

Several Western countries have warned in recent weeks of possible attacks by Muslim militants in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries in the wake of the Bali bombings.


After the all clear was sounded the four of us went to the bank and then out to dinner: Alf, Watcharee, Pom and Golf.


Friday, November 22, 2002

Everyone at the Oriental Fitness Centre wishes you a good weekend.

"Not too much to say today, huh, Alf?"


PS Ning sends flowers.


PPS George Bush and Vladimir Putin are meeting today at the Catherine Palace outside St. Petersburg. You might remember this location as a Screwmaid launch site back in June.


Saturday, November 23, 2002

Tomorrow is the Bangkok Marathon.

Today the President of Cambodia checked into the Shangri-La Hotel.

The other day a Chinese Opera was performed just around the corner from our apartment.

More than yesterday an anonymous woman died in Bangkok.

Thirty-nine years ago JFK was shot in Dealey Plaza.1

In 1860 Marie Bashkirtseff, diarist, died.2


1 There is now a web-cam looking at the underpass and the knoll.

2 From NEWNES.


PS: If you are having breakfast these autopsy photos will take the edge off your appetite ... maybe it'll help you forgo that last slab of bacon, especially if it's undercooked. Dinner time readers can pass on the raspberry custard.


Sunday, November 24, 2002

In the arcane world of elephant polo two of these three faces are living legends. The third face is .....?

Can you guess who she is?


Monday, November 25, 2002

Here are a few snaps of Watcharee using things around the house for her Channel 5 sponsored aerobics exercise class.

Yes, what has THOCBDC been reduced to?

Frankly, dear reader, things have been less than 'sparky' around this place as I am still in the middle of a project that started weeks and weeks ago. Tomorrow will be another milestone on this journey ... and at some point I hope to fill you in on why I have been so busy with things that are ... yes, 'un-writeable'.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Apparently, French, German and Spanish wire services have been monitoring THOCBDC for any possible American/Thai 'spin' that we might have had on the recent sniper attacks in reader Ms. M.B.'s 'backyard'. Our own monitoring of The Onion's 'man on the scene' report generated (stole) the following three paragraphs1:

VATICAN CITY - Church officials stunned FBI investigators early Monday when they announced that they have received a communiqué from Heaven revealing that Jesus is behind the Washington area sniper attacks. Heaven authorities report that Jesus has "totally wigged out."

Investigators discovered a Tarot "death" card at one crime scene last week bearing the message "Mister Policeman: I am God." At the time, police attributed the message to the ramblings of a madman, but they have now reconsidered their earlier assumption.

"It now appears that the sniper was not lying when they said they were God," said Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose. "At this time, we have no idea why the Son of God is attacking law-abiding, God-fearing Americans. We are not ruling out any possibilities at this time, including narcotics.

Shortly after THOCBDC's presses 'went to bed' the following translations of translations were discovered by our own alert news room2:

CITY of VATICAN - the civil employees of the church stunned to investigating early Mondays of FBI in which they announced that they have received an official notice of the sky that revealed that Jesus is behind the attacks of the placed in ambush gunner of the area of Washington. The authorities of the sky disclose that Jesus totally has "wigged towards outside" The investigators discovered a card "of the death" of Tarot in a scene of the crime the last week that took to Mr. "Policeman of the message: I am God "When, the police attributed the message ramblings of a crazy person, but now they have reconsidered his previous assumption. "Now he appears that the placed in ambush gunner did not lie when they said them were God," they said to elk of Charles of the police of the county of Montgomery the main ones "In this time, we do not have no idea why the son of the God is attacking observant Americans of the law, afraid of God. We are not eliminating any possibilities in this time, including the narcotic.


CITY of the VATIKAN - which church officials has researchers Monday early from FBI investigators, where they announced that they received communicate from the sky, which emphasizes that Jesus is in the back the attacks isolated contactors of the region of Washington. The sky authorities communicate that Jesus has "wigged completely outside." The researchers supported "death" Tarot map at a crime scene in the last week uncovered Mr. Policeman, the report ": I am God." If the police assigned ramblings a moved the report, but they considered their demand now in former times. "It proves now that the isolated contactors was not, if they said it were to God" said moose in boss of Charles of the police of the county of Montgomery. "Momentarily we do not have an idea, why the God threads the very much believing Americans, who correspond and attack to the laws. We do not eliminate a possibility at this time including narcotics.


CITY of VATICAN - the civil employees of the church stunned to investigate early Mondays of FBI in which they announced that they have received an official warning of the sky that revealed that Jesus is behind the attacks of the placed one in gunner of ambush of the area of Washington. The authorities of the sky disclose that Jesus totally has "wigged towards outside" that the investigators discovered a card "of the death" of Tarot in a scene of the crime the last week that took Mr.. "Police of the message: I am God "when, the police attributed ramblings of the message of a crazy person, but now he has reconsidered his previous assumption."Now it appears that he did not lie placed in gunner of ambush when he claimed it was God," he said to the elk of Charles of the police of the county of Montgomery the main ones "in this time, we does not have no porqué of the idea that the son of the God is attacking Americans of the observantes of the law, scared of God. We are not eliminating any possibilities in this time, including the narcotic.


1 See above for the full story.

2 Our attorneys have told us that legal action would be unsuccessful.


Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Today THOCBDC honors the girl who runs the Yogen Früz concession at Robinson's Department Store (Bangrak Branch) ... here in Bangkok. Located just past the checkout lanes of Tops (the supermarket concession in the basement of Robinson's') her booth has provided solace, encouragement, comfort and nourishment when all else failed.

Yogen Fruz Girl

Dear reader, the end of our self imposed limbo is near. Today, after a lengthy meeting with my Thai and American lawyers and the representatives of an unnamed foreign power, THOCBDC is almost ready to resume its normal gait of meandering and haphazard reporting. Whether you ... dear reader ... will ever know what these last few weeks has wrought is doubtful. But, those of you who are familiar with "D-Notices" will understand what I mean.


Thursday, November 28, 2002 (Thanksgiving Day in the USA)

"In God We Trust" - Anonymous dyslectic engraver (US Treasury)1

I totally forgot that today was Thanksgiving until I saw a note in the Asian Wall Street Journal which stated that the American stock exchanges were closed.

As a last minute gesture in the direction of the holiday I booked a table on an evening river boat; a dinner cruise offered by the Shangri-La Hotel.

There was no turkey. Shrimp was the plate of feast.

Watcharee and I invited Pee Pom and Golf to go with us.

There was no discussion of the Pilgrim Fathers.

December 25th will probably be equally eventful for us.

But New Year's will be altogether something different.


1 A reported cross-breeder of Pomeranians and weasels for the 'ring'. But his anonymity and obscurity became complete with the growth of bets on cock fighting.


Friday, November 29, 2002

The House of Corkscrew Balloon Dot Com (THOCBDC) opened its doors to the public on May 1, 19961 ... exactly 2,403 days ago ... so, it's now just about 6.576 years old. This makes it one of the earliest (oldest?) ongoing 'blogs' on the Internet. In fact it is even older than some disparate household-name sites such as AuntJemimaPancakeMix.com and DurexTopGel.com. And, it has easily outlived ENRON.com.

Though our readership is small (and probably strange) it is fairly constant ... but, with a not-to-be-sneezed-at growth appreciation. Even though our upward trend line has not been spectacular, we at THOCBDC like to equate ourselves with something akin to a widow's pension investment: safe, reliable ... like a coiled cat on granny's lap.

But for those of you who like raw statistics:

Our LOW point as far as daily curiosity was concerned took place not long after we opened THOCBDC. On May 27, 1996 we had 55 Hits that asked us to send them just 462,140 Bytes. That might have been our "corkscrew patent registration numbers" issue; one that we did not reprint.

Our HIGH occurred on September 3 of this year. In that one 24-hour period 358,990 Hits pushed us for 2,429,496,096 Bytes.2

Switching gears, this morning's great Thai language dailies prove that The Sopranos have come to Bangkok. Now, dear reader, I have a question or two: in which episode were the chunks of brain splashed against the driver's window3? And was it in the first season or the second season?


1 Initial contents included details about corkscrews, balloons, and elephant polo; the first daily journal began in June 1996.

2 Undoubtedly, different editorial pandering techniques (e.g. more focused market targeting) helped 'spike' our log-following of these later more sought after issues.

3 Remember ... the driver picks up the hit-man at the airport ... after some small talk the hit-man puts a .45 slug into the head of the all-too-gabby driver ... the red globs and gobs of brain, bone and blood (sticking to the glass) discretely hide the viewer's eyes from the obviously missing left side of the driver's head.


Saturday, November 30, 2002 (Saint Andrew's Day)

Today Watcharee took on the job of babysitting her little niece. Just for today, of course.

Watcharee and Niece

In order to abort any maternal instincts that might have stirred while the little tike was in her care I asked Adobe Photo Shop 7.0TM to lend me a hand. The resulting 'child' has been password protected for obvious reasons.1


1 "Round up the usual 'users' and 'passwords'!"


PS Ning celebrated her 28th birthday last night. Yo thought it was her 29th. Now they are no longer speaking to one another. Yo's girlfriend is Ying ... and she is almost 27. The Gym has no Yang.

Next: December

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