Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vee For Victory

"Kids are us."

US Intelligence Agencies have failed to capture Al-Quada founder Osama Bin-Laden. Billions have been wasted by the CIA, NSA, and FBI, however Los Angeles prosecutors have been succeeded in having Swiss authorities arrest the director Roman Polanski to face sentencing for a 30 year-old crime of child molestation. The french government expressed outrage and a myriad of film celebrities championed the Academy winner. Even the victim sought forgiveness for her violator.

Under-age sex, quaaludes, and a hot tub sounded like a good idea in 1978.

Sound good now too, except it's a against the law.

This didn't bother Woody Allen, who announced his support for Roman Polanski.

Woody's no hypocrite, having suffering severe criticism for marrying his adopted daughter. reporters have sought out the opinion of Gary Glitter on this matter. The singer of ROCK-N-ROLL PART 2 has not entered into the fray and Roman Polanski can only be thankful the convicted child molestor has kept his mouth shut.

he could only wish that Woody Allen has done the same.

2010 Darwin Award Contestants

Darwin furthered the theory that Mankind's domination of the planet was the result of survival of the fittest. Joyce Brothers attributed our supremacy to the fact that we smell bad and taste even worse to predators, however my opinion is that we have survived the onslaught of the ages, because we're too stupid to realize our precarious at the top of the heap and the above photos prove my point.

In spades.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gun and Booze ala Cat Ballou

Driving across country in the 70s was a rite of passage for hippie late-comers. Boston - Frisco could be driven in less than 50 hours, but a week on the backroads felt more like Kerouac's ON THE ROAD. In 1974 my good friend Andy, a flaxen blonde coed from Harvard and I motored west in a drive-away car. A Station wagon. Its destination - Lodi outside of Sacremento.

The fifth day we crossed the Colorado border into Utah. US Route 191. Night fell fast on the high plains. Darkness erased the desert scenery. Two-lanes of black asphalt straightlined into Roosevelt, Utah. A speck on the map,except I spotted the lights of a bar. THE ID LOUNGE. I insisted on having a beer there.

"I don't think it's a good idea." Andy was a pot smoker. The coed agreed with him. She wanted to make time.

"I'm thirsty and we owe Freud the honor of drinking in his name." I swerved off the road into the scrabble dirt parking lot. Mostly pick-ups. The clientele was a mix of farmers and cowboys. The jukebox was playing Merle Haggard. MAMA TRIED. I ordered a beers. Olympias. I sang along with Merle. Andy shook his head. he hated the way i tried to meld into the crowd like I came from nowhere.

Two men sat at the nearest table. A goat-roper and a sodbuster. They challenged each other to an arm-wrestling contest. The prize was the next round. The cowboy lost, but said, "I might have lost that contest, but I could kick your ass in the alley out back."

The farmer retorted with a sucker punch to the cowboys skull. A general melee ensued between the two camps. The coed fled the bar well before Andy and I figured that these people probably knew each other from childhood and if they didn't have any trouble fighting each other then they would even be more freehanded when it came to stomping hippie strangers.

Leaving Roosevelt Utah for the first and last time of my life the coed said, "Smart move."

"None of us got hurt."

I could say that then because back in 1974 most bar fight were with fists.

All that could change in Arizona whose enlightened legislators have legalized carrying guns into a bar. The NRA is ecstatic, although anyone carrying a gun isn't allowed to drink, making drinkers wonder why would a bar want armed non-drinkers in their establishments.

"Bad things happen in bars and restaurants. People want to carry a gun and if the facility owner doesn't have a problem with it, there shouldn't be a problem. If a person starts drinking and gets in a shootout and kills someone, of course they're subject to criminal prosecution."

Responsible drinking and responsible shooting.

"Motherfucker was looking at my beer wrong."

Having been in many a bad-mannered bar I could also condone the occasional shooting of a big mouth as long as that big mouth wasn't me, but until then I'm steering clear of drinking in Arizona bars. Unless of course I'm strapping, then I'm just as much a man as the next.

The Fears of Fear

The security cop Joe at the diamond exchange is on a liquid diet. A couple of Buds for Breakfast. A few for lunch and then another two for his afternoon break. JOe's an ex-cop, so he knows his limits. His words get slurred, but he is always ever-vigilant against a theft.

Today a gypsy couple were seeking to buy a cheap 'bluff' stone.

"7 Carat." The woman had been attractive ten years ago. Dark lights and nakedness would have reverse the flow of time, but like all gypsy women she was faithful to her man.

"Sorry, I don't have anything like it and I don't think anyone else on the street has an inexpensive stone." I knew that because Billy the Gypo had been looking for one to replace the stone he hawked to support a gambling binge. His wife had him sleeping on the sofa. Not in the living room, but the porch and it was getting cold.

They tried a few distractions. Joe came over to the counter. Richie Boy, my boss, warned that they were looking to rob me.

"You really thinking to rip me off?" I had to ask them.

"Why you say that?"

"Because you're gypsies, but you look like a nice couple."

The woman loved that line and promised to come back with money to buy a 36-inch diamond necklace.

"I'll hold my breath." Richie Boy muttered after they left the exchange.

"I had you covered." Joe said peering over his shoulder at the departing couple.

"I know you did." He was a fellow Red Sox fan.

"You weren't scared of them ripping you off."

"Not as long as I count everything coming and going." I never let them touch more than 3 items at a time. still I could be sure that they hadn't hurt us and I doubled-checked the merchandise. Joe waited until I gave him the AOK sign. "Let me ask you a question. You said something about being scared."


"You scared about the Iranians hitting us with a missile?"

"You mean you and me?'

"No, the USA." The newspapers were filled with reports of Iranian missile tests.

"On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd have to say zero." His courage had nothing to do with his beer consumption.

"What about their hitting Israel?"

"We don't live there, do we?" Joe might be a Bud drinker and I never drink Bud, but we were of the same mind. "No, we don't live there."

"Then I'm not scared."

"Me neither."

I couldn't wait to get my hands on a 24 oz Modelo. somewhere in that can there was courage. And if not the second was guaranteed to stiffen my resolve. I fear nothing but the fear of fear. At least as long as my wives live on the other side of the world, for any man who think he can resist a gypsy woman is a man ready for a ride.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Credit Rating

750 is supposedly the best credit rating. My draft # in 1970 was 113. I stayed in university to avoid the last years of Vietnam. 365 was the best draft number possible. My credit rating is even lower than my draft lottery pick. It might even be negative and I also think it's on my permanent record.

At least I burned the credit cards for some money, although in truth they probably got what they loaned me and then some. I cut the credit cards and threw them in the trash. I owe them something ridiculous. I told their cold callers that I was going to prison and asked for an extension on my credit line.

"We are not a bail bonding service."

"But you don't understand. I'm going to prison. Not jail. Prison."

"We can't help you."

That was our last conversation.

-69 is my number.

I'm really sorry that it wasn't even lower.


Love is Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Love is Never Having to Say You're Sorry is a famous line from the 1970 film LOVE STORY. Farangs are amazed by the infrequency of times that Thais saying they're sorry. The word does exist as Khor-Todt, whose etymology stems from two Thai words; Khor or throat and Todt or fart.


Sorry, but maybe that's why Thais don't apologize.

Saying sorry sometimes smells.

Sorry is Not Enough

My sins are legion, but as George Carlin states in his famous monologue THE TEN COMMANDMENTS that the arriving at the number 10 was only a marketing device. The late comedian trims the commandments down to two along with Thou Shalt Keep Thy religion to Thyself.

Thou shalt not steal is downsized to being honest, however honesty is a tough commandment to keep, as was witnessed in an English court's prosecution of a tax advisor for the theft of an old woman's millions.

The man admitted to stealing from his client's account even after her death.

He had started small and then within for the 'wipe-out' within a year to the tune of 2 million pounds sterling. The pilfered funds were transferred to his Thai girlfriend's bank account. She was half his age. 57/27. She invested the money in several gambling casinos. The 60 year-old is now looking at a long stretch in prison, while his wife will be calling saying, "Mii mee tang."

"I don't have any money."

Another case of the Thai anti-Midas touch.

Gold into dirt.

Sum num nah.

To view George Carlin's routine on the Ten Commandments go to the following URL

Her still speaks wisdom from beyond the grave.

Bill Clinton Mea Culpas

The Yom Kippur fever infected a goyim VIP as ex-President Bill Clinton admitted during an interview with Gloria Vanderbilt's son, Anderson Cooper, that he was wrong to oppose gay marriage and adoption

"I think if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it. I have long favored the right of gay couples to adopt children....I had all these gay friends, I had all these gay couple friends, and I was hung up about it. And I decided I was wrong."

Bill Clinton also rued his decision about Don't Ask, Don't Tell banning gays from admitting their gay while in the Armed Forces.

"The thing that changed me forever on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was when I learned that 130 gay service people were allowed to serve and risk their lives in the first Gulf War and all their commanders knew they were gay, they let them go and risk their lives ‘cause they needed them, and then as soon as the first Gulf War was over, they kicked them out. That’s all I needed to know, that’s all anybody needs to know, to know that this policy should be changed."

It takes a big man to admit that he's wrong and Bill Clinton has showed how big and wrong he can be.

Now all he has to do is 'fess' up about sex with Monica Lewinsky.

At least he didn't 'lude her like Roman Polanski, then again power is the greatest aphrodisiac of all. The turbo-lude of politics.

Mea Culpa

Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement. Fast and going to temple to privately confess your evil deeds earns a tabla rasa for another year to repeat the ways of the flesh in violation of the 10 Commandments. Personally I wouldn't go to temple, since attendance is the surest sign of guilt, then again we are all guilty of something, which is how the police justify arresting the wrong person.

"He committed a crime. The question is only what crime."

Last year I lied, denied the existence of God, and nearly killed the driver of an oncoming car, when i fell asleep at the wheel. I did not cheat on my wives, I honored my father, and I worshipped no false god. No true god either.

This omission could endanger my immortal soul. The only remedy would be an act of contrition via the sacrament of confession.

"Bless me father for I have sinned. It's been a long time since my last confession."

I can't remember how long.

Two decades? Three?

Although I did swim in the Ganges at Varanasi in 1995. That feat expiated all my previous sins. So I only have 18 years of sins to negate somehow. Good deeds. I've done a few of those on occasion. But the road to Hell is paved by good intentions, so my good deeds are irredeemable at the time of judgment.

I am sorry for a lot, but then again too little to mention, because I did it my way.

When in doubt, quote Frank Sinatra.

Old Blue Eyes won't steer you wrong.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No We Won't

Millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama in hopes that the new president would reverse the policies of GW Bush. No more torture. No more Guantanamo Bay. No wars. A rejection of the Patriot Act. The end of internal wiretapping of US citizens. No more rendition flights. I danced in the streets that November evening. I cried thinking that over 40 years of bad government were coming to an end. Other men my age also had tears in their eyes. We remembered the promise of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Our dreams then were possible once more.

America was ours again.

9 months later the USA hasn't changed at all. We are fighting two wars in Asia. Drones kill people in other countries. Hit squads murder suspected terrorists. Guantanamo Bay operates under new guidelines. There is still no habeus corpus under the Patriot Act and torture remains a state policy. Rendition removes threats and the NSA listens to everyone asking, "Can you hear me?"

The answer is yes.

America 2009 is the America of 2008.

GW Bush only appears at Texas football games.

Dick Cheney shows up on Fox News.

Glenn Beck got the keys to his hometown.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

To say the least I'm disappointed, but I have my hopes.

Without them what's the use?

Obama will do what he said.

Free this fucking country.

Yes he will.


Not everyone was a sage as I was in Bali.

Back in December 1959 Chuck Berry invited a Apache girl from Yuma, Arizona to work at his club in St. Louis. Police arrested the rocker on charges of violating the Mann Act ie the transport of minors over state lines. The girl charged with prostitution and testified that she at berry had had sex numerous times on the journey from Yuma to St. Louis.

"What was your purpose in bringing Janice from Texas to Missouri?" The Judge asked Berry during trial.

"She needed a job and I had a job for her in the club."

Chuck Berry served three years in prison.

His song SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN remains a classic warning to men.

Caveat puella.

To view SWEET LITTLE 16 go to the following URL

The Beauty of Bali

Bali was my preferred destination during the early 90s. Poste Restante Ubud was my address for most of the winter. I lived in a simple house overlooking a ravine. Villagers bathed in the stream in the evening. The sun set between two distant volcanoes. The music of the Legong band practicing for the evening performance warbled across the verdant rice paddies. Ubud was paradise and backpackers swarmed to the tiny village hoping to find a piece of Bali gone.

The town was also very family friendly and I met many of them staying at the hotel up the path from my house. It had a swimming pool and served a tasty nasi goreng. One family came from Boston. A couple with two teenage kids. The older girl looked about 16. Her name was Dawn or Kakatu in Bahasa Indonesian. Either way was pretty.

Dawn had long brown hair and she would sneak peeks at me when her parents weren't looking our way. I had a good idea what she was thinking and avoided her. She was young and young girls are trouble for men in their late-30s.

One evening I was watching the Legong girls at the temple. Their lithe movements were a pleasure to the eye. The music was acoustic. The lighting by candles. I imagined myself in the 18th century, ignoring the rumble of traffic beyond the red brick walls. After the end of the show I gave the venerable teacher $5 or 10,000 rupiah. Enough to buy the girls a meal at the market.

Nights were dark then. The streetlights wavered with the dying surge of distant electricity and then blacked out completely. The blackness was complete, until I flicked on my flashlight. Dawn was standing in front of me.

"Hi." She was wearing a red shirt. No bra. She pushed back her hair.

"Where are your parents?" Kerosene lamps were illuminating the small warungs. Car headlights blinded me and I pulled Dawn from the road.

"They went to the hotel before me." Dawn licked at her lips.

"Then I guess I have to walk you home." There were no taxis in Ubud, at least none that could navigate the paths through the rice fields. "You're not scared of the dark, are you?"

"Not with you." She reached out to hold my hand.

"Just follow me." I skirted her grasp and proceeded down a small lane between several Balinese family compounds. The high walls created a narrow chasm and soon gave way to the rice paddies. I could see the hotel across the fields. A good 5-minute walk. I felt a little like Orpheus leading his wife from Hades, except Dawn was no Eurydice and Bali was more heaven than hell.

"Can we stop for a second?" Dawn asked sounded a little winded. "I want to look at the stars."

"Okay." I sat in a rice shack. Thousands of fireflies hovered over the golden husks of rice. Overhead the cosmos glowered with an equatorial intensity heightened by the lack of electric light. Dawn lay down on the bamboo pallet. Her shirt was undone. The stars painted her skin silver.

"Do you think I'm beautiful?" She touched my thigh.

"Anyone you're age is beautiful to a man my age." My resolve weakened and then cracked with a kiss. She tasted of bubble gum and I pushed myself back from the brink. "How old are you?'

"15, but my friends say I look older."

No court in the USA would agree and I stood up with difficulty, because Bali wasn't the USA either.

"Let's go. Your parents must be worried."

We arrived at the hotel to be greeted by Dawn's mother. Worry was not the word to describe her expression and I pushed the teenager forward, saying, "I brought back your daughter intact."

"I'm not intact." Dawn pouted with vengeance. "I'm not a virgin. I'm a woman."

"Young girl, get to your room." Her mother nodded her thanks and the next day the family was gone from Ubud. I can still see her in the starlight. A dream on bamboo. Regrets none, but then the best lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves.


Polanski in Swiss Jail

No one has filmed a movie JAIL BAIT although the two words immediately bring to mind Roman Polanski, who was arrested in 1977 for seducing a 13 year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's house. Polanski had anally assault the girl for fear of knocking her up. Many film people defended Polanski at the time, saying the girl's parent should have been more protective and the director's comment in his defense 'I didn't think see was that old' seems to gain traction with the male populace, especially in the hedonistic age of Quaaludes.

(Polanski had given the young girl half of a Rorer 714)

The teenage girl's testimony painted a different picture.

"I said no several times, and then, well, gave up on that."

After hearing this information the judge rethought the plea bargain for Polanski simply serving a short sentence. The threat of 3 years and deportation forced the director to flee the country forever. His flight came to an end this weekend when Swiss Police arrested him for possible extradition to the USA to serve out his sentence. France protested his arrest, but the Swiss are dealing with US efforts to undercover secret bank holdings by US citizens. Polanski is a pawn in this game.

The victim of his assault is now 39.

She received a settlement from Polanski ages ago

Polanski was headed to a film festival where his work was to be honored by the Swiss film industry.

Funny way of showing their appreciation, n'est pas?

Yom Kippur Humor

Yom Yippur 1972. Syrian and Egyptian tanks swarm over Israeli defenses on the Golan Heights and the Suez Canal. The Arab Forces initial successes are reversed by strategic blunders and Israeli air cover, however the losses to the IDF are catastrophic for the small nation. If a country the size of the USA had suffered the same casualties, the deaths would have mounted into the 100s of 1000s. Russian intervention was stopped by a stern warning from President Nixon.

DefCon 4 to DefCon 3.

Nuclear war.

Cooler heads prevailed over spreading the conflict to other parts of the world and Yom Kippur has resumed its position as a day of atonement for the Jewish People.

Not without humor.

A small town had two churches, Presbyterian and Methodist, and a Synagogue. All three had a serious problem with squirrels in their building. Each in its own fashion had a meeting to deal with the problem.

The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and that they would just have to live with them.

The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in the style of Charles Wesley. They humanely trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town. Within 3 days, they were all back in the church.

The Jews simply voted the squirrels in as members. Now they only see them at Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Of course my father hates squirrels. Not so much hates them, but curses them during his drives to my mother's grave. The town cemetery is overrun with the tree rodents. They scramble into the paved roads before cars. A game. My father swerved away from one and crashed into a gravestone. Almost 100 feet from the road.

"Damn Squirrels."

And he's a Convert to Catholicism.

No Yom Kippur for him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plaza Hotel Near RIP

The Plaza Hotel was a landmark destination in New York. Drinks at the Oak Bar, oysters at the Oysters Bar, a quickie upstairs with a discreet woman. All that gone after three years of the Israeli group Elad purchasing the famed hotel. The Palm Court remains closed. The conversion of the downstairs kitchen into retail space prevented any operators from turning out the quality and volume of food necessary to pay the exorbitant rent charged by the owners. The subterranean 'Retail Collection' has shrunk store by store until only a handful of stores remain open.

In truth only one thing works in a abaasement and that's a boiler.

The rest of the hotel is equally purgatorial. The Oak Room feeds the unaware and the Oak Bar serves drinks measured out in thimbles. The rest of the hotel feels like a set of THE SHINING remake. Tattered rugs and lonely hallways, but Elad claims that the hotel is on the verge of resuming its status as # 1 hotel in New York.

Only problem is that the Israeli owners are better at hostility than hospitality.

I know, because I worked in the Plaza Retail Collection for almost seven months.

A disaster from start to finish.

Luckily I made one big sale.

For $1 million.

So I was happy even in a bad situation.

I'm that kind of guy.

Pierre of the Plaza.

Man Bites Dog

For decades unwary farangs have been scammed by the jewelry touts of Bangkok. Westerners are steered to these infamous jewelry stores by taxi or tuk-tuk drivers hanging around the more popular tourist destinations. Once inside the premises the victims are plied with alcohol and seduced by the lure of easy money from transporting gems back to their home countries. Most discover the deception of the shopkeepers upon return home, where they are told that their purchases are worth a fraction of their declared value. A few realize their mistake the next day and complain to the tourist police. Only a rare tourist ever gets their money back, so it was nice to see in the newspaper that a trio of foreign bandits had robbed the Bangkok Gems and Jewelery Fair for $1.6 million.

The three thieves got as far as Chonburi where they were arrested by Pattaya police.

The newspapers reported that the leading clue was three suspicious men renting a car.

Another case of hard-nosed Thai police tactics reaping justice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Wasteland of TV

TS Eliot wrote his groundbreaking elegy to commemorate the slaughter of a generation in WWI.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Those first four lines have symbolized the boredom of waiting for summer to millions, but the wasteland of no-man's land has been superseded by the utter purgatory of modern television. Last night I sat on the sofa of my new apartment. Remote in hand. Hundreds of channels offering movies, sports, news, comedy, entertainment ad infinitum. I surfed relentlessly through the stations not stopping at any. Bill O'Reilly. Pass. College Football. Pass. Wrestling. Pass. MMA. Pass. Finally frustrated by TV, I shut it off.

Years ago my father called the TV the 'boob tube'. I hated him for saying that, but then TV had WHERE THE ACTION IS, DARK SHADOWS, STAR TREK, late night movie, Johnny Carson, Saturday morning wrestling. I watched THE SEVEN SAMURAI with my grandmother in Maine. It was on public TV. 1960.

Ain't nothing on the tube now.

The wasteland for billions.

ps I still like ENTOURAGE and Jon Stewart as well as STARGATE.

Shantih shantih shantih

Jessica 6 - Tonight and Sunday at McCarren Hall

My good friend Walter was kind enough to let me me stay at his museum on Graham Avenue. 30,000 records line the walls. Clothing spanning 4 decades are displayed on individual hangars. 1000s of comic books and hundreds of shoes. Most of it all his. Walter had spun records as a DJ most of his adult life. We worked together at the Rex in Paris. Lately he booked bands for summer stage and promoted pet projects such as Jonathan Fireeater. I was mostly out of town for these endeavors, however his latest protege Jessica 6 caught me by surprise.

The lead singer Nomi Ruiz made me cry and dance in the same set last month. The rhythm section depends on drums bass and organ. No fucking lead guitar god.

Jessica 6 just returned from a tour of Iceland, London, and Istanbul.

They're playing tonight and Sunday at McCarren Hall

I most certainly am going.

Here's the info.

Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 10:00pm
Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 12:50am
McCarren Hall
98 Bayard St.
Brooklyn, NY

Love this band

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sexy Girl - Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin was a genius.

Amazing Fantasy #15

Spiderman was first featured in Amazing Fantasy #15. August 1962. 12 cents. My father tore up the comic book thinking it was worthless and thousands of other fathers thought the same. Their sense of worthlessness only increased the worth of the comic so that today Amazing Fantasy #15 sells for over $50,000. Spiderman #1 cost $40,000 in mint condition. My father ripped up that too. Needless to say his values I rejected as a hippie. None of it made me rich except in memories. Certainly richer than the AT&T stock I was given on my graduation from high school.

Anti-Mullah Fun

The Mullahs in Iran have proscribed fun from the lives of the common folk. No music, no dancing, no drinking, no nothing. A Land of No more severe than a visit to a New Jersey Beach, however Iranians often leave their Islamic Republic without the strictly enforced morality of the Police Guidance Patrols. Their love of personal freedom reached a red light in Jomtien last week, when Thai police arrested an Iranian couple for having sex on the beach. The man professed his ignorance that sex in a public place was illegal in Thailand. They were fined 500 baht each. Their names were published online and now the couple is seeking political asylum overseas, for the punishment for thier sin in Iran is public stoning in a stadium of the Police Guidance Patrols' choosing.

I wish them luck in their flight from justice.

Live Longer

My family has centagenarians on my father's side. We can eat what we want within reason. Excess in Moderation has been the key to my existence, but now three years short of 60 I have tempered that path with some radical departures from my former carefree joi de vivre; rare bouts hard alcohol and much more sleep.

I'm aiming at 100,

Not everyone is so lucky with their health, which brings to mind an old joke.

A man goes into the doctor for his annual check-up, expecting the usual grade A report, instead the doctor confronts him with the verdict that he only has 6 months to live.

"Six months?"

"That's all." The doctor is sad because he's losing a friend and good patient.

"Is there anything I can do?" The patient's voice betrays his desperation.

"Well, you can give up sex, drinking, smoke, singing, and drugs."

"Will that make me live longer?'

"No, but it will make the six months seem longer."

555 not really.

The prospect of our mortality is always a buzzkill, but I will continue to live by the words of the classic Grassroots hit, "Live for Today."

Moritori te salutem.

Doctor Mai Pen Rai

This interview with the renown Thai Doctor of health, Khun Mai Pen Rai, comes to mangozeen thanks to its London correspondent, Nick the Wanker.

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
คุณ หมอครับ ผมเคยได้ยินว่าการออกกำลังแบบคาร์ดิโอ (ออกแบบเหือกๆ แบบหนักๆ ต่อเนื่องๆ เหงื่อซกๆๆๆ) สามารถทำให้ชีวิตยืนยาวขึ้นได้จริงไหมครับ
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
นี่ คุณ หัวใจน่ะ มันใช้ได้ดีสำหรับเต้นตึ๊กๆๆ ไม่กี่ครั้งเองนะ พูดง่ายๆ ก็คือ อย่าไปเสียเวลาออกกำลังเลย ทุกสิ่งทุกอย่างยิ่งใช้ๆเข้า มันก็หมดเกลี้ยงนะ ฉะนั้น การทำให้หัวใจเต้นเร็วขึ้นบ่อยๆ น่ะไม่ได้ช่วยให้อายุยืนหรอก ก็เหมือนๆ กับ ถ้าคุณจะพูดว่าขับรถเร็วๆ จะทำให้รถของคุณคงทนขึ้นอย่างนั้นน่ะเหรอ? ถ้าอยากอยู่นานๆ ก็งีบหลับซะเหอะ

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
ผมควรจะลดปริมาณการกินเนื้อ แล้วเพิ่มการกินผักผลไม้ไหมครับ?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more t han an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.
ใช้วิจารณญาณเชิงตรรกะเหตุผลเอาละกันคุณ วัวมันกินอะไรล่ะ? ก็หญ้าแห้งและก็ข้าวโพด ซึ่งไอ้สองอย่างนี่มันคืออะไรล่ะ? ก็ผักไง! ฉะนั้น การกินเนื้อสเต๊กเนี่ย มันคือหนทางที่มีประสิทธิภาพในการส่งผักเข้าสู่ร่างกายเรา ถ้าต้องการธัญพืชเหรอ? ก็ กินไก่สิ! ยิ่งกว่านั้นนะคุณ เนื้อวัวน่ะยังเป็นแหล่งผักใบเขียวที่ดีด้วย (ก็วัวมันกินหญ้าเขียวๆ) และพอร์คช็อปน่ะสามารถให้คุณค่าทางอาหารจากพืช ที่เพียงพอต่อความต้องการของคุณในวันนึงเลยทีเดียว

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
ไม่ ไม่จำเป็นเลย ไวน์น่ะทำมาจากผลไม้ บรั่นดีก็คือไวน์ที่กลั่นแล้ว นั่นหมายความว่าส่วนที่เป็นน้ำถูกเอาออกไปจากส่วนผลไม้ มันก็ยิ่งดีเข้าไปใหญ่เลยน่ะสิ เบียร์ก็มาจากธัญพืช........เอ้า...........หมดแก้ว!!!!

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular ex ercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!
หมอเองยังคิดไม่ออกสักข้อเลยคุณ เสียใจด้วยนะ ปรัชญาของหมอคืออะไรที่ไม่ทรมาน ก็ดีทั้งนั้นแหล่ะ!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
อาหารทอดๆ นี่มันไม่ดีสำหรับร่างกายใช่ไหมครับ?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
คุณ นี่หูแตกรึไง!! ปัจจุบันนี้อาหารทอดก็ถูกทอดในน้ำมันพืชทั้งนั้นแหล่ะ และน้ำมันพืชก็อยู่ในอาหารพวกนั้นนี่นา แล้วการกินพืชมากขึ้นมันไม่ดีตรงไหนวะ?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
ไม่มีทาง! เวลาคุณออกกำลังกล้ามเนื้อมันก็จะใหญ่ขึ้น ถ้าคุณอยากมีพุงใหญ่ๆ ก็ซิท-อัพไปเหอะ

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
ช๊อกโกแล๊ตนี่ไม่ดีใช่ม ั๊ยคะ
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another bean!!! Beans are good for you. It's the best feel-good food around!
บ้ารึเปล่าคุณ? โว้ยยยยยยยย ก็เมล็ดโกโก้ไงเล่า!!!! แล้วธัญพืชมันก็ดีสำหรับคุณ ช๊อกโกแล๊ตน่ะมันเป็นอาหารที่เยี่ยมที่สุด!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
ก็ถ้ามันดีจริง ไหนอธิบายซิว่า ปลาวาฬหุ่นดีแค่ไหนกันเชียว

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
การมีรูปร่างดีๆ สำคัญต่อชีวิตมั๊ยคะ?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!
โธ่เว้ย! แล้วทรงกลมๆ มันก็เป็น "รูปร่าง" ไม่ใช่เรอะ

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
เอาล่ะ นี่คงแก้ปัญหาความเข้าใจที่ผิดๆ เรื่องโภชนาการที่ดีได้แล้วนะ

And remember: และก็จำไว้ด้วยว่า
'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'
ชี วิตน่ะมันไม่ใช่การฝังจิตฝังใจเอาไว้กับการระมัดระวังเพื่อรักษารูปร่างให้ ดีๆ ไว้ แต่มันควรเป็นเหมือนการเล่นสไลเดอร์ มือข้างนึงไวน์ชาร์ดองเน่ไว้ และถือช๊อกโกแล๊ตไว้ในมืออีกข้าง ใช้ร่างกายทั้งหมดให้คุ้มๆ แหกปากกู่ก้อง เว้ยเฮ้ยยยยยย!!!! สนุกอะไรอย่างนี้!!

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.
สำหรับ พวกที่ต้องคอยดูแล้วดูอีกว่ากินอะไรเข้าไปยังไงบ้าง อ่านด้านล่า งนี่ซะ นี่คือข้อสรุปเกี่ยวกับโภชนาการและสุขภาพ อ่านแล้วจะโล่งเอามากๆ เลยที่ได้รู้ความจริงหลังจากที่ผลวิจัยทางโภชนาการเขาถกเถียงกันมานาน

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
คนญี่ปุ่นบริโภคไขมันน้อย และก็มีภาวะหัวใจวายน้อยกว่าคนอเมริกัน

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
คนแม๊กซิกันบริโภคไขมันเยอะโคดๆ แต่ก็มีภาวะหัวใจวายน้อยกว่าคนอเมริกัน
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
คนจีนไม่ค่อยดื่มไวน์แดง และมีภาวะหัวใจวายน้อยกว่า คนอเมริกัน

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
คนอิตาเลี่ยนดื่มไวน์แดงเยอะมากๆ แต่ก็มีภาวะหัวใจวายน้อยกว่าคนอเมริกัน

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
คนเยอรมันตะบี้ตะบันดื่มเบียร์ แถมยังยัดทะนานกินไส้กรอกและก็พวกอาหารไขมัน แต่ก็มีภาวะหัวใจวายน้อยกว่าคนอเมริกัน

CONCLUSION ข้อสรุปก็คือ........

Eat and drink what you like. ชอบอะไรก็กินๆ ดื่มๆ มันเข้าไปเหอะ

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Osama Bin Laden WHO?

Osama Bin Laden finally received a little press after the Taylor Swift-Kanye West blowout. The media noted that “An Address to the American People” was aired two days after 9/10/09 on As-Sahab, the Arabic-language Web site. Few American newspapers published the communique and no TV channel broadcast the audiotape by the supposed mastermind of America's worst domestic attack.

Someone once said, "As you get old you forget, but as you get older you are forgotten."

This adage has worked against Osama Bin Laden.

If people don't see you, then they forget you. He would be better off surrendering the Swiss authorities so he can regain his title, but not much chance of his surviving the flight to Zurich, unless he was on Rendition Airways to Gitmo Bay.

Still some of his diatribe was translated to the English-speaking public. He condemned Obama for following the foreign policy of GW Bush. I also do the same. No one in the media cares what I think or say. Maybe it's his rhetoric.

"The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine."

"If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front. If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this.”

"If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups. Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq -- as Bush claimed -- it (the White House) should have been liberated."

Hell, I've said the same thing.

And like I said no one listens to me.

Why should Osama be any different?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WOT by Captain Sensible

On 47th Street diamond dealers call browsers WOT or waste of time, but I loved Captain Sensible's WOT

You can view it at this youtube URL

Stunning hit for the member of the Damned.

"Say Captain say Wot."

Say What

The rapper Kanye West disrupted the MTV video acceptance speech of country siren Taylor Swift with an impromptu shout-out to Beyonce. Glass in hand Kanye West basically said that Beyonce's video deserved the win. The singer looked embarrassed and surprised by the outburst. The public's reaction was harsh and the soon the Kanye West - Taylor Swift youtube was # 1 on the Internet.

Lost in the glitterati clamor was Osama Bin Laden's radio address to the world on the 8th anniversary of 9/11. Not one news service carried the mastermind's message. Only one thing worst than a dead martyr is a neglected Islamic terrorist.

Obama didn't comment on Osama, but the president did call Kanye West a 'jackass' for interrupting the awards ceremony. This remark was twittered across the world, maybe even to the al-Quada leader.

"At least I'm not a jackass." He could have said to his followers gathered in their secret hide-out. 8 years and still no sign of OBL. Now that makes the CIA look like jackasses, but no one is saying that about the world's most expensive intelligence agency. Not if they know what's good for them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Subject: Fw: Health Care Plan

A wealthy woman was being shown around the hospital. During her tour she
passed a room where a male patient was masturbating furiously.

'Oh my GOD!' screamed the woman. 'That's disgraceful! ...... Why is he
doing that?'

The doctor who was leading the tour calmly explained, "I'm very sorry that you were exposed to that, but this man has a serious condition where his testicles rapidly fill with semen, and if he doesn'tdo that at least five times a day, he'll be in extreme pain and his testicles could easily rupture."

"Oh, well in that case, I guess it's okay", said the woman.

As they passed by the very next room, they saw a male patient lying in bed while a nurse performed oral sex on him.

Again, the woman screamed, "Oh my GOD! Now tell me how that can be justified?"

The doctor spoke very calmly, "Same illness, better health plan."

This joke is from the world's leading lesirurologist, my brother in law.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thai Word for View

The Thai word for view is 'vu' and you thought no Thai words were the same as farang.


Most farangs have heard this song without knowing who plays it since they're waitign to hear HOTEL CALIFORNIA for the millionth time.

The ever-popular Loso fronted by Sek Loso doing SOM SARN

See the video

ps Loso means Low Society in Thai.

Thai Visa Tactics

Farangs on the Thai Visa Forum were reacting in a customary panic to the declaration from the Immigration Offices that all future 60-day tourist extensions will be reviewed with the intent of weeding out those farangs working or seeking work illegally in Thailand. I can suggest several tactics to avoid such scrutiny.

First; don't seek out work. While in Thailand, kick back and enjoy life. Blow all your money on wine, women, and song, then leave without a forwarding address breaking the hearts of those loved ones left behind. Certainly works for Thai men and their first wives.

Secondly pretend you are an African or Indian. I've never seen any of them on a visa run or a neighboring embassy or border crossing. Acha.

Thirdly pretend you are Thai although this might require learning more Thai than needed to order a beer in Nana Plaza as well as losing weight.

Getting a real visa might help, but none of us ever thought we were going to stay in Thailand forever until we got out of the airport.

Lastly just go for an OS Visa. Overstay as long as you want. It's only 20K for the penalty at the airport. Getting caught beforehand would mean deportation, but that means it was time to go and you can always change your passport back home and come back as another person.

Farangs all look alike anyway.

Except to computers.

Good Luck Mongers.

Yul Brenner Shaved his Head

Farangs have long been a source of income for the Thai nation either as business partners, tourists, or family support, however the present government like the previous regime views those westerners without proper visas as a threat to national sovereignty and have announced a final edict ending the abuse to the renewal of 60-day tourist visas.

"As there has been a number of visa applicants having entered Thailand via tourist visa and misused it to illegally seek employment during their stay and, upon its expiry, sought to re-apply their tourist visas at the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate in neighboring countries, requests for visa renewal by such applicants are subject to rejection as their applications are not based on tourism motive, but to continue their illegal employment, which is unlawful."

Embassy officials will divine by strict guidelines whether an applicant is illegally working in Thailand. Those working in rice fields will have darker skin and those engaged in manual labor will have calloused hands. Men with multiple cellphones might be doubling as go-go boys, while anyone with more than 20,000 baht be be investigated for the sale of jah-baa.

Many farangs have pulled up stakes in recent years because they are broke.

Thai authorities will do their best to insure no one leaves here with any plans to come back.

Let's face it. They're still rightfully pissed about Yul Brenner getting the leading role in THE KING AND I instead of Chartchai Ngamsan, star of THE TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good Times Good-Bye

My first visit to Koh Phangan was in 1991. Had Rin was lined with A-frame bungalows. No electricity. $2-3/ night. The extra dollar was for a mosquito net. The island was notorious for malarial mozzies, but even more so for the monthly Full Moon Parties; dancing, drugs, sex along a silver sand beach. No hassles. The Full Moon party I attended that year was fun. fat backpacker girls getting drunk to have sex with skinny Thais or drugged hippies. I was a 40 year-old geezer. None of them wanted me and I was grateful for their disinterest. The party grew by word-of-mouth and soon every waxing moon backpackers close to Koh Phangan beelined to the tropical island off Suratthani. The 100s became 1000s and then 10000s. Thai authorities were perplexed by the phenomena, since they couldn't figure out how to make any money off travelers who didn't spend any money on their products; beer and 7/11 crap.

Numerous plans were announced to stop the hedonistic celebrations. Drug-free zone, but most of the revelers weren't doing drugs. They were there for the music and sex and meeting friends on the road.

Undaunted by these failure Phangan soon became Long associated with debauchery and wild Full Moon parties, Narcotics Control Board's Division 8 has come up with several strategies to end the Full Moon parties, so Koh Phangan can become a family-oriented resort. Locals have been asked to snitch out drug dens, checkpoints will be located at the Koh Samui and Phangan piers. Police will randomly stop travelers suspected of drugs for urine tests, and narcs will mingle with the Full Moonites.

Some residents regard this latest effort as an attempt to force them into selling out to upscale developers who will destroyed the charm of Koh Phangan with their family-oriented hotels and activities like Phuket and Koh Samui.

Most partygoers are savvy enough to avoid drugs and the drug-dealers have been trafficking long enough to avert the piers and narcs.

In the end it's more bluster from politicians to cover up their stupidity.

Millions of baht are generated by the Full Moon Party and that's is what is important to the locals.

Money and sanuk.

Free Koh Phangan.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Thoughts, Bad Deeds

A photo by the ever-wicked Guy Bourdin.

A DAY FAR FROM NORMAL by Peter Nolan Smith

That September morning a jet roared above the East Village. I opened my eyes. Lots of planes and helicopters flew over Manhattan. None this low or fast or loud. Thirty seconds later the windows shook with a muffled thud more a boom than a crash. It wasn’t too far away from east 10th Street either.

The screaming children in the alley day-care center buried any clues as to its origin and I dressed for breakfast at the Veselka diner.

The telephone rang.

It could only be my Thai girlfriend wanting money.

Mem didn’t deserve a single baht after leaving me for a young Italian.

The angry statement roiling in my head was better left unspoken and I left the apartment with the phone ringing.

The pear trees on East 10th Street were lush. Playing at the basketball courts in Tompkins Square Park was medicine for the pain in my heart. Being broke was unimportant. My boss had offered my old job at the diamond exchange. Everything would work out.

I bent over for New York Times on the stoep, but didn’t get a chance to read the headline.

My downstairs neighbor, Jim, ran up and sputtered, “A plane crashed into the Trade Tower!”

“You’re kidding!”

In World War II a bomber had slammed into the Empire State Building during a storm. Today’s sky was so blue that New York could have been heaven.

“No, you can see the smoke from First Avenue!” Jim pointed to corner. People were standing in the middle of the street staring downtown. My neighbor looked upward. I’m going to the roof.”

“I’ll meet you there.”

We went inside.

I grabbed my camera and binoculars from my apartment before climbing another four flights to the roof. The fire door was open and several neighbors gaped south. Flames were gushing from the shattered skyscraper and an apocalyptic plume of smoke trailed east.

TV helicopters fluttered around the stricken building.

All over Lower Manhattan sirens whined from fire engines, police cars, and EMS vans. This was serious, but didn’t make any sense either.

Only the week before I had attended to a concert at the foot of the Trade Towers. The two steel sheaths defied gravity without any threat from man, beast, or act of god. Now a two-hundred foot gash scarred the north building. “I can’t believe this.”

“They said it was an accident,” Jim had his ear to the radio.

A balding neighbor interjected, “I live on the top floor and watched the plane fly right into the tower like this was a suicide mission.”

“Someone trying to finish it off,” Jim referred to the 1993 World Trade bombing. “But it’s still standing.”

“Yes, it is.” I didn’t even hear myself say that.

While the tower had withstood this attack, there was no mistaking that the loss of life would be catastrophic, especially after I brought the binoculars to my eyes.

Millions of papers floated in the wind and debris rained to the ground, then a strange object shot from a window shrouded with smoke.

It was a person.

More followed.

The last was on fire.

Their fatal choice stunned me, until flames burst from the window. I couldn’t watch anymore. “There are people jumping!”

“Why don’t those helicopters rescue them?” A girl from the fourth floor was crying into the sleeve of her pajamas.

“Because there’s too much smoke on the roof.”

Jim yelled, “There’s another plane!”

“I can’t believe someone would actually fly closer to give the passengers a better look.” The bald-headed neighbor shook his head, only the pilot wasn’t conducting a sightseeing tour.

The plane struck the South Tower and an enormous fireball exploded through the building.

Jim dropped his radio. “Oh, my God!”

The DJ confirmed a second airliner had hit the Trade Towers.

Jim shook his head. “This only happens in movies.”

No James Bond or Bruce Willis had stopped the planes.

“This isn’t a movie.” We had been warned about New York’s vulnerability to terrorist attack. None of us had ever anticipated an act this extreme.

50,000 people worked in the WTC. Anyone on the top floors was trapped. Friends worked in those buildings. I borrowed a cell phone and tried to contact Andrew. He lived a street away from the WTC. There was no dial tone.

Someone screamed, then we all did, as the South Tower collapsed in a fury of dust and smoke. Within an hour the North Tower crumbling to the ground vanquished any worries about rent or my Thai girlfriend and I declared to Jim, “I’m going to Beth Israel to give blood.”

“Wait for me. I’ll write my wife a note and come with you.”

By the time we arrived at the hospital, the police had cordoned off the street. Doctors and nurses were assembling triage stations and orderlies wheeled patients from the hospital to make room from the incoming injured.

People were slowly shaking off the shock.

Not forever, because everyone froze fearfully, as a jet’s high-pitched scream filled the air. It was an f-16. Too late to prevent what had occurred, but prepared to insure the day didn’t get any worse.

“Can we help?” I asked a guard. He was at a loss to do anything more than what he was doing. I asked directions for the blood bank and directed us to a building on 17th Street.

More than twenty people filled the third-floor office. None of our fellow donors had seen the second plane hit and were appalled by Jim’s account, which he ended by saying, “No one on those floors could have lived through that.”

“What kind of animals do this?” A Polish woman dabbed her tears with a Kleenex.

The list of suspects was small and everyone agreed that no American pilot could have been forced to commit such a heinous deed. No one remembered Oklahoma.

A harried aide handed out medical history questionnaires. I checked off being free of AIDS, Hepatitis B, drug abuse, anemia, but marked “Yes.” to having lived outside the USA. My last two years had been spent in Thailand.

The process of giving blood isn’t fast and the hospital staff asked for patience. Not everyone was listening and a white-haired man in his fifties fumed, “I don’t understand why they can’t give us the needles and bags, so we can take our own blood.”

With his clean clothes, cleanly shaven face, and polished shoes, he could passed for a normal citizens, if you ignored the bottle of vodka sticking out of the plastic bag at his feet.

“When can I give some blood?” His eyes sparkled with dementia. “Give me a razor blade and I’ll pour it in a bowl.”

“Excuse me.” A female doctor read his file. “Bob, you mind us taking your blood pressure?”

“Just as long as you don’t suck out all my blood, I’m good for anything.” Bob glared around the room. “The president of Nicaragua forced everyone in the country give blood and he would sell it to the good old USA. Vampire, that’s what he was!”

“Bob, that’s old history.” The doctor was used to humoring the mad.

“You think I’m crazy, but I saw it with my own eyes.”

“You haven’t written a last name here.” The doctor brandished the form.

“They took it away, when I was a POW in Afghanistan.”

A young Asian nurse took his blood pressure.

“I lost my family today. To people like you.”

“I’m sorry, Bob, but you have low blood pressure,” the doctor stated blandly, as if her word was god.

“Meaning?” Bob wasn’t buying her divine pronouncement.

“Meaning you can’t give blood.”

“You don’t want my blood, because I’m an American, not like the rest of you.”

The faces in the waiting room were white, black, brown, and yellow. The accents originated from a score of countries. Their need to help trumped their birth in a foreign country and I said, “This has been a bad day and you’re frightening people with your talk.”

“Who elected you team captain?”

Jim punched my arm. “Let it go, he’ll be gone soon enough.”

He was wrong.

Bob was warming up. “And who’s to blame for this? The mayor, fucking Ghouliani, because he made New York too safe for terrorists. You can’t tell me that they wouldn’t have come here, if people were getting shot by crackheads. Those terrorists would have taken out someplace easy like Disneyworld.”

“Bob, I need to see someone else.” A doctor motioned for him to leave.

“I’m not going anywhere.” Bob folded his arms.

I had heard enough. “Bob, there’s a lot of people wanting to give blood. Some of them can and some of them can’t. Right now you’re making a problem for everyone.”

Bob rose from his chair. He was three inches taller than me and poked at my chest. I knocked away his hand.

“Don’t touch me, Frisky.” Bob glowered down a crooked nose with hairline menace.

I forgot where I was, why I was here, and what had happened, until the doctor separated us. “Not here.”

“Sorry,” I apologized and Bob went to the door. “You’re right. Not here, but I’ll be seeing you around, Frisky.”

The other donors sighed with relief. My heart choked with adrenaline. I didn’t want to fight. Not with him. Not today. The doctor wasn’t so sure. She read my chart. “What country were you living in?”


“Thailand is one of the countries from which we don’t accept blood.”

“I suspected as much.” AIDS was rampant in Southeast Asia. Almost as bad as New York.

“What else can I do?”

She recommended volunteering at the Emergency Ward and motioned for another donor.

Jim was being drained of blood. He hadn’t left the country in years. “Where you going?”

“Someplace I can lend a hand.” I grabbed a donut. They might have only been for donors, however I had skipped breakfast.

Outside hundreds of expectant donors jostled in a block-long queue. At the emergency entrance the doctors and nurses searched the avenue for the ambulances. None arriving was not a good sign.

Downtown was where help was needed and I returned home to dress in heavy work clothes and boots. I tried calling my friend, Andrew, again. The line was dead.

I prayed he had escaped injury and rode my bike south.

The subways were closed to guard against any further attacks.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers were walking on the car-less avenues. Very few of them were talking and those that were usually stopped upon lifting their eyes to the ghostly column masking the end of Manhattan.

Blockades had been erected on Canal Street to prevent pedestrians from proceeding to the disaster site. Every few minutes they were opened for fire trucks and ambulances, however a stunned onlooker stated, “Nobody escaped alive. Supposedly they’re taking the bodies over to Jersey. More than two thousand already.”

“People got out,” a man in a business suit heavily covered with soot contradicted him. “I was on the eight-second floor in the south tower. As soon as the first plane hit, we ran down the stairs.”

“Where were you, when the second plane hit?” a young bicyclist with dreadlocks asked and people gathered around the survivor.

“Something like the twentieth floor. I heard this explosion and then felt the entire building shake. Stuff began to hit the ground. Glass and big pieces of concrete, then bodies. One of them almost got me. It was bad.”

He choked and the bicyclist comforted him. There would be a lot of that today. I asked the nearest policeman. “Where are they accepting volunteers?”

“Volunteers?” The young Latino officer was dazed by the morning’s events. “Go over to West Street. Supposedly they’re taking people there.”

After another futile call to Andrew, I pedaled my bike toward the Hudson, grateful that that smoke wasn’t blowing north. There was no telling what was in that ominous cloud.

On West Street several hundred people were lining up to help. Mostly construction workers with heavy tools, but a good number were men and women from ordinary walks of life desperate to aid the rescue effort.

“Write your names on your clothing.” A volunteer shouted from the sidewalk.

“What for?” asked a young man in jeans.

“So they have someplace to send your body in case you die.” A bearded ironworker magic-markered a name and phone number on his jeans.

“Die?” The young man squinted like he hadn’t heard right.

“Over two-hundred firefighters are supposed to have died.”

“A lot of cops too,” a beer-bellied welder raised his eyes to the sky.

“And they’re people who practice rescues, so someone like yourself has gotta be real careful, because ‘down there’ isn’t any place for someone not knowin’ what they’re doin’,” the ironworker commented for the benefit of the civilians.

No one walked away. We were New Yorkers. The people in those buildings had been too. No one could change that. We had tolerated years of crime, bad subways, noise, dirt, rats, cockroaches, the disparity between the poor and the rich, and a thousand other petty annoyances, because the million other reasons to live in the city outweighed the bad. They would after today too, only an hour went by, then two.

Not a single ambulance headed uptown and the ironworker shook his head. “I’m not feelin’ good about this.”

“What?” a welder re-arranged the equipment at his feet.

“I think anyone who had a chance to be out is out.”

“That’s negative.” The welder spat on the sidewalk.

“Not negative. If there were people livin’, then they would have us in there right now tearin’ the place apart, but____you saw the thing come down. Ain’t no way anyone lived through that. Maybe one or two, but not a couple of hundred.”

“So you saying you want to leave?” The obliteration of the two beacons hurt everyone and little could stop the hurt.

“No, I wanna say a prayer.” The ironworker lowered his head.

Everyone joined him, despite our desperately hoping for the exact opposite. He was telling the truth.

I waited another hour, listening to heated accusations about who was to blame and how we as a nation should punish the perpetrators of this infamy. Some called for the immediate bombing of Iraq, while others condoned a-bombing Lebanon and Libya. I kept my accusations to myself. No one wanted to hear a conspiracy.

I borrowed a phone. Andrew was at a friend’s apartment in Little Italy. Safe, but like many people in possession of a tale he would have preferred to have seen from someplace not so close to ground zero.

The other volunteers were glad my friend was okay and the ironworker said, “Go, man, now’s the time to be with friends and family.”

I felt like the deserter in THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. The sight of Andrew, Alice, and my other friends at Billy O’s penthouse assuaged my dishonor. I hadn’t served in Viet-Nam either other than to protest the war.

It wasn’t the same and neither was today.

“It h-h-h-had been a near-thing,” Andrew stuttered on the balcony. “I mean my apartment is across the street. I heard an explosion and saw this paper floating in the air and I thought there was a parade, then the second plane crashed and I r-r-ran for my life.”

“You’re lucky to be here.” Billy opened another bottle of wine and his eight-year old daughter demanded of her mother, “Do I have to go to school tomorrow?”

“I don’t think so.”

Gwen clapped her hands and danced out of the room.

Hers was the first laughter of the day and Andrew lit a cigarette.

“G-g-glad someone’s happy.”

We drank wine and told stories.

Billy had dined at Windows of the World with his parents, Andrew had drunk at the Greatest Bar in the World with his wife, and I had driven a motorcycle around the desolate landfill, which would become Battery Park City.

The sun set on the fumes rising from the ruins and even groping Billy’s wife on the balcony couldn’t stop my tears.

I was drunk.

$40,000 of credit remained on my plastic. Thailand was only a day’s flight away. Mem would be happy to see me. Maybe whatever happened next wouldn’t hurt so much on the other side of the world.

I didn’t inform my friends of these plans and bicycled slowly up the Bowery. People were walking in the eerie silence created by the traffic ban. Some were talking and some were even laughing. I pedaled harder to return home and inform my family in Boston that I was all right.

A block past CBGBs a man sat on the curb.

He held an empty vodka bottle and sang GOD BLESS AMERICA.

It was Bob from the blood bank.

I should have ignored him, but was mad at the cruel genius who had destroyed the future and even madder knowing that I would never personally wreak revenge, but Bob, well, Bob was right at hand and I rolled to the curb. “Remember me?”

“Yeah, long time no see, Frisky.” He jumped to his feet more skillfully than could be expected from a man who had drunk an entire bottle of vodka, though he slurred with a gummy tongue, “I was wondering when you would show up.”

He dismissed any further talk with a roundhouse right.

I ducked the blow and Bob followed the flow of his punch to the pavement. His head clonked on the curb.

I hopped off my bike.

His eyes were swimming in the sockets, then his eyelids fluttered like butterflies and he asked, “Where am I?”

“On the Bowery.” I pretended I wasn’t with him, as several co-eds passed, however today was not a day for pick-up lines and I stopped holding in my stomach to upright Bob.

He pressed his hand to his forehead and blood seeped through his fingers to drip onto the asphalt. “The Bowery, how the hell did I get here? Shit, I remember.”

He didn’t speak for a second and looked downtown.

“Hey, I’m sorry about today. Sorry about everything. I’m a fuck-up, but I was someone once. Shit, a soldier. For this country. No bullshit, Frisky. I really was, then something went wrong in my head after I got shot in Afghanistan. I shouldn’t have been there with the Hazarah, but I was.” He lifted his hair to reveal a wicked scar. “See, I wasn’t lying, but now all I am is an ornery drunk. What’s the sense? Where’s the pay-off?”

These were questions Bob asked too often and I probably did too. “It was a real bad day today.”

“Maybe it would be better, if there wasn’t a tomorrow. Like if I could let a car hit me.” He struggled to stand and I stopped him. “Bob, there aren’t any cars here and I don’t think you’re in any condition to walk to 14th Street to get hit by one.”

“Then kill me and do the world a favor. Hell, no one would notice in all the confusion.”

“I’m not killing anyone.”

“Then I’ll go over to the bridge and jump into the river.” Most people who talk too much about suicide aren’t serious. Bob wasn’t kidding and I couldn’t leave him alone. “You’re not going anywhere.”

“Well, what the sense? You tell me.” His index finger aimed at the glowing specter over Lower Manhattan. “What’s the sense?”

“I’ll tell a story about why you have to go on living.”

“I hope this isn’t a long story.”

“Less than a minute.”

“Okay.” He raised the empty vodka bottle like he expected it to have been miraculously filled, and then rolled it into the gutter. “I’m all ears.”

“A long time ago I was traveling in Mexico. This shitty bus stops in a nowhere town. I ate a potato taco. Nothing happened until back in Texas, where I got sick. Almost like I was dying. I lay in bed hallucinating and had a dream about being chased by zombies. They trapped me in this cottage and scratched at the screen door with dirty fingers. I was scared and even more so when one of them asked, “What’s the secret of human life?”

“And what did you tell them?” Bob checked his cut. It had stopped bleeding.

“I didn’t know what to tell them, until a voice said, “If you tell us the secret of human life, we’ll let you live for another minute.” At that moment I knew the secret, but woke before I told them.”

“Thank god, you saved mankind from the dream zombies!”

“I guess I did.”

“So can you tell me the secret of human life?”

“The secret was that no matter how bad things were or what awaited me at the end of that minute, I still wanted to live.”

“I don’t have a place to stay. No one to take care of me. Nothing, so even if I had known the secret, I would have told the zombies to start eating.”

Despite being the world’s leading failurologist, I believed in my eventual triumph. “You really think it’s hopeless.”

“If you gave me enough money for a room, maybe I could forget the despair long enough to get me some hope.” Telling my story had excluded any refusal. I handed him a twenty. Jim made a face. “Where can I stay for twenty bucks in this city?”

“I think you know.” I steadied him on his feet.

“I guess I do.” He patted my shoulder. “You’re not such a bad guy, Frisky.”

He weaved off toward an SRO hotel like a sailor on land after a long sea voyage and I rode my bike to East 10th Street. While I hadn’t saved any victims of the crash, having helped someone in need felt good.

Maybe not enough to forget the horror, but I wasn’t going to run away from New York. Not today. Not any day. It was my home. Maybe not forever, but I knew its streets, its bars, its people. Today had not been a day like any other. I knew that and also that tomorrow would be another day and if those words could work for Scarlet O’Hara, then they certainly would for New York.

For a related article click on this URL

Stupid Jokes

What do you call two Mexicans playing basketball?

Juan on Juan

What is the difference between a Harley and a Hoover ?

The position of the dirt bag.

Why is air a lot like sex?

Because it's no big deal unless you're not getting any.

What do attorneys use for birth control?

Their personalities.

What's the fastest way to a man's heart?

Through his chest with a sharp knife.

Why do men want to marry virgins?

They can't stand criticism.

Why is it so hard for women to find men that are sensitive, caring, and good-looking?

Because those men already have boyfriends.

What's the difference between a new husband and a new dog?

After a year, the dog is still excited to see you.

Why do men chase women they have no intention of marrying?

The same urge that makes dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving.

How do you get a sweet 80-year-old lady to say the F word?

Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell *BINGO*!

What's the difference between a northern fairy tale and a southern fairy tale?

A northern fairy tale begins "Once upon a time ." -

A southern fairy tale begins "Y'all ain't gonna believe this s**t.....

Slow Tongue

I have a stutter. I have it since childhood. My teacher at Pine Grove Elementary School feared that I might be retarded and strongly suggested to my parents that I visit a speech expert in Portland. It was the biggest city in Maine. My grandfather had taught at Maine Medical. I was thought to be retarded as a child. The doctor gave me a series of test to divine my IQ. I scored above average and he determined that my tongue was too big for my mouth.

"You son can't say what he wants to say fast enough."

His cure consisted strictly of slicing my palate to speed my tongue.

With a razor.

I was five years old.

My father was the son of a country doctor. He refused to submit his second son to this treatment and to this day I have retained my stutter.

It works wonders with impatient police officers. They have no patience for stutterers.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pattaya Addicts

My exile from Pattaya has lasted over a year. My past visit of 6 weeks was too short. I'm heading back the end of the month. In the meanwhile I ranging through for excitement. Not even close to being as much fun as being in the Last Babylon, but better than being in Rockford Illinois.

Check it out.


999 is the emergency telephone number in the UK. Flipped upside down it's 666. The number of Satan. It was also today's date and bible-thumpers around the USA were preaching about the coming of the Anti-Christ. Some going as far as saying that their Saviour had actually spoken the words Barack Obama in Aramaic when warning future generations about the Great Deceiver walking the Earth.

Personally I thought Dick Cheney was closer to the Devil, but one man's Devil is another man's Not a Devil.

And in the end 9/9/09 has a zero in it.

It's just another day on the Planet Earth and Barack Obama is just a man.

Bangkok 2050 published a map showing the coastal change along the Gulf of Siam should the sea rise by several meters. Bangkok would vanish, as would most of the surrounding lowlands. Ang Thong now 150 klicks from the sea would be a beach resort. So start investing up north. We will be creating new beach front property.

Strangely this map shows Pattaya as untouched.

So the wicked shall survive this flood.

Go figure.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wild Card Race 2009

The Yankees refuse to lose late in the season and my team the Boston Red Sox are a distant second in the American League East. I don't expect them to challenge the Bronxites, however sweeping the final 3 game series would be nice. A tough call for an away match-up, then again the Red Sox Nation in forever hopeful.

Blah-Blah Monger

An adviser to President Obama resigned last week due to the pressure from the GOP attack dogs. His crime against the state dated back to his signing a petition in support of a 9/11 Truth Committee seeking full disclosure from the Bush regime. An impossible task with Dick Cheney running the show.

The free and open atmosphere of the Obama office should have tolerated a little diversity of opinion, however the ever-devilish ex-alcoholic/Mormon/flak Glenn Beck mounted a campaign of abuse against this free-thinker in charge of 'green' jobs and whoosh 'he was gone'.

A footnote of history and proving once more than the Obama presidency ain't telling no fool to shut his hole until it's the right time.

And usually that time be too late.

So shut your hole Glenn Beck.

Damn, that felt good.

Redneck Fire Alarm

One More Statistic

Labor day Weekend is over and the morning traffic jams snarl the cities of America. Commuters are barraged by a constant stream of topics; health care, Obama's appearance before school children, and the AP's publishing a photo of a dying marine in Afghanistan.

The soldier had been hit in the leg. The RPG tore off both his legs. He didn't stand a chance to survive such a wound and this moment was captured by an Associated Press photographer reporting on the Marine patrol through a desolate village. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was enraged by the AP decision to show the photo to the public.

'I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard's death has caused his family.'

The marine hailed from my home state of Maine. His family had asked AP to shelve the photo. AP took the other path, for this war has long been hidden from the TV viewers and radio listeners. The number of dead soldiers pile up in the thousands and the civilian dead number in the hundreds of thousands. The USA entered Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime who had sheltered Osama Bin Laden, the supposed mastermind of 9/11, yet we have stayed to combat the Taliban for small villages dotting the lunar landscape. High tech versus age-old tactics and we are losing this war. The only reason we remain in that the war does not touch most Americans.

We drive the same big cars, eat fast food, and watch TV without ever really thinking about the sacrifices of our troops and the suffering of the Afghanis.

It is now time to re-adjust our troop levels in Afghanistan to the right level.


We elected Obama to the presidency on his vow to end the war.

It's time to stop saying, yes, we can' to 'yes, we will'.

Bring the troops home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Very Civil Court

This spring was very rainy in June. Every day was without sun. I was living in a basement and taking the subway to work. I felt like a subterranean, so when the sun finally burst through the clouds I was ready to celebrate. The event was an opening at Miguel Abreau's gallery on Orchard Street. The crowd in attendance was happy with the new weather. Summer was only a week away. We drank Groelsch beer on the sidewalk.

It was the wrong thing to do.

An unmarked police car swerved off the street onto the sidewalk. 3 cops jumped out and told anyone with a beer in their hand to stand aside from the rest. We were issued summons to show our faces at Criminal Court. The summoning officer said it would be a $20 fine.

I missed the date. My excuse? Nothing, so I showed up this last Friday to avoid getting arrested for a more simple offense. The process was quick. No one was a real criminal. Most were for trespassing or open bottle. A few were there thanks to public urination. I've been guilty of that crime thousands of times, but I regarded these offenders as lower than 'open container' violators.

The judge meted out sentences with rapidity. $50 for public urination. $20 for open container. The vast majority of the latter had been drinking Bud or Coors. I was the only miscreant cited for 'Groelsch'.

My fine for this fine beer was $20.

At the pleasure of the court I pleaded guilty.

I guess this goes on my permanent record.

One more blight.

At least it wasn't for drunk and disorderly.