Back to Bangkok, Part VII

Following Part VI

December 2002

Monday, December 16, 2002


This is a photograph that will only hold a lot of interest for the former members of Compuserve's LAWSIG "BarRoom" and the current inhabitants of Paul's "Backroom." It's a picture of our friend Laurie F. Jones. Here she is seen lying on our porch in the hammock1 that Watcharee bought at the elephant charity auction in Hua Hin a few months ago.

Today Laurie passed through Bangkok ... on her way home to Seattle from Kathmandu and another year of WEPA. Tonight five of us (Laurie, Watcharee, Pom, Golf and I) went out for dinner to the Thai restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel.

Tomorrow Laurie will fly BKK-TYO-LAX-SEA. We wish she could have stayed longer.

1 The one signed by all the WEPA members and all the participants of the King's Cup Elephant Polo 2002.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

It's a beautiful Tuesday1 in Bangkok.

1 Tuesday is usually the day that Americans go to the polls to choose their leaders. The 2004 US Presidential Election is right around the corner: less than two years away. For those of you not familiar with American Presidential bids, the campaign for the NEXT presidency starts precisely one day after the CURRENT president is elected. Without fail, men in dreary suits and constipated looking women trickle into electorally significant New Hampshire and Iowa towns and cities exactly four years to the day before they hope their own man will be able to stand up ... tie askew ... sleeves rolled above the elbows ... and hoarsely announce before a ganglia of network 'logo-ed' microphones: "I have just received the most gracious conceding telephone call from my worthy and honorable ..." Now that Al Gore has pulled his men and women out of the game the front runner for the Demos just might be Joe "I never drive on the Sabbath" Lieberman. One reader disagreed; he felt that the lid of the fruitcake box had been blown right off:

"You know how I feel about religious idiots. (Actually, Lieberman's idiocy and evil extend into the secular world as well.) I would vote for ANYONE else before I'd vote for Lieberman. Dan Quayle, step up to the microphone! Al Sharpton, you're my man! Pat Buchanan, hail to the chief! Where's Benito Mussolini when we need him? Dig up Barry Goldwater. Is Michael Dukakis available?" - Anon. from the American Northwest.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Reader Mr. A. C. from Hollywood, Florida1 writes:

Sir! I take umbrage at the letter writer from the "American Northwest." I, for one, will throw my entire weight behind the candidacy of J.I. Lieberman. And, I hope that the White House will, in 2005, have its first ever Bris. For their convenience, the First-Family Liebermans should clip the following and have it close to the blade:

Preparations for Bris
Feed baby one hour before Bris.
One box Johnson and Johnson three inch by three inch gauze pads.
One tube Bacitracin ointment.
Kosher unsliced Challah.
Kosher sweet grape wine.
Cup for the wine at least 3 oz. ("Kos L'Kiddush").
A firm pillow.
A few cloth diapers.
Pampers (or whatever brand you are using) and wipes.
Bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol.
Talis (two if possible, one for father and one for Sandek).
Candles (Optional).*

1 Not to be confused with either Hollywood, California or Bombay "Bollywood," India. Hint: If you don't see plaid pants and yellow shoes and white belts ... well, you are where the movies are made. Don't let that madras fool you.

* Your 'journalist' naively assumed that the man with the Bris knife would have brought along the mopping up supplies as well.

PS "Girls, do you think ours was anything like that?"

Thursday, December 19, 2002

I spent the entire day laying about the apartment and reading John Grisham's THE SUMMONS.

Friday, December 20, 2002

I Want You!

Uncle oSAMa Says:
I Want YOU To Invade Iraq

Go ahead. Send me a new generation of recruits. Your bombs will fuel their hatred of America and their desire for revenge. Americans won’t be safe anywhere. Please, attack Iraq. Distract yourself from fighting Al Qaeda. Divide the international community. Go ahead. Destabilize the region. Maybe Pakistan will fall -- we want its nuclear weapons. Give Saddam a reason to strike first. He might draw Israel into a fight. Perfect! So please -- invade Iraq. Make my day.


"VATICAN CITY (Dec. 20) - Pope John Paul II brought Mother Teresa closer to sainthood on Friday when he approved a miracle attributed to the nun who dedicated her life to the poor.

"The miracle allows a beatification ceremony, expected next spring. A second miracle would make Mother Teresa eligible for sainthood.

"The miracle attributed to her involves a young Indian woman with a stomach tumor who recovered after a picture of Mother Teresa was placed on her abdomen."

I guess that proves it!

But, what if the young woman died in a Bollywood Movie Theater fire the very next week ... either by being fused to the melting plastic seats or by being crushed to death at the locked EXIT door?

God works in mysterious ways ... OK, He is a bit bipolar ... but He has a good heart.

How about if the young woman had a picture of Bin Laden over her tumor and she underwent the same miraculous recovery?

Don't be silly. He is not a Catholic! So, the Pope wouldn't give a shit. Anyway, it would have just been sheer coincidence.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Golf graduates from Wat Po and gives her first foot massage.


Sunday, December 22, 2002

Monday, December 23, 2002

This Holiday Greeting comes from the pen of my good friend Andy Page. I have let him put these words in my mouth:

All I wanted to say was "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" but I had to go through legal services first.....

From me ("the wishor") to you ("the wishee") please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I wish you a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2003, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms that:-

  • This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal.
  • This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged.
  • This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes.
  • This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.
  • This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.

The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor. Any references in this greeting to "The Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Saviour", "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.

This greeting is made under English Law.


PS: Yes, we did this back in '98 ... but a whole generation of college kids have come and gone since then ... So .........

LAST SUSHI FOR TOJO (an I.H.T. exclusive eavesdrop):

"LAST ORDERS GENTLEMEN! A sushi to go, Mr. Tojo?"

"AhhhSooo, los sooshee fo Tojo ... mak it Califona woll."

1948 - TOKYO HANGINGS - TOKYO: General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters announced that Japanese ex-Premier Hideko Tojo and six top-ranking war criminals condemned to death by the Far East Military Tribunal had been executed today [Dec. 23] by hanging. His headquarters issued the report: "Notification was given the condemned men at 9 p.m., Dec.21. Each requested an hour alone with Dr. Shinsho Hanayama, Buddhist priest. One request was made. Tojo asked that he be served with Japanese food on his final day."

Christmas Eve, 2002

Christmas Day, 2002

Golf, Pom and Watcharee

Thursday, December 26, 2002

BANGKOK — She is a paragon of traditional Thai virtues — polite, grateful, obedient, loyal and deferential. When her master is near, she guards him. When he is away too long, she pines for him.

She is Tongdaeng, a stray dog adopted four years ago by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and she is the subject of an affectionate biography he has just written that sold out within hours of publication last month.

Tongdaeng and the King

Friday, December 27, 2002

Something is about to happen. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day ... but soon.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Can you find our apartment?

"Alf, what's going on here? The ... ah, journal has been going downhill, to be polite. We're getting still shots ... many of them indifferently composed ... newspaper clippings ... very few words out of your own mouth. Frankly, it's not even Readers Digest Lite."

Be patient, dear reader, something is about to happen.

"Well, better be quick about it ... this is turning into a yawn!"

Sunday, December 29, 2002


"Alf, another cartoon? At least Readers Digest Lite had some words."

Hold on, oh anxious one, fast news is coming ... no, let me correct that...not 'fast' news ... but it will be interesting news. I just found out about it today ... but you won't hear about if for a while.

Monday, December 30, 2002

The Peninsula Hotel basks in the final rays of a setting sun ...

"Jesus, Alf, how about just showing us the Coke billboard?"

As you like: The Coca Cola Company has finally completed its new billboard ... the one almost directly across the river from us. Satisfied?

Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Next: 2003!

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