Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chek Bin Carpe Diem

Several years ago Fabo and I were sitting at the garden bar of the Welkom Inn on Soi 3. I hadn't seen the Belgian oil explorer in a year. Both of us had suffered exile from Pattaya. His place of banishment was the North Sea. I was stuck in New York. We were equally glad to be away from either. He greeted me with a hug and the bargirls on the patio regarded us with neglect. We were old-timers in the Last Babylon and gesture with disgust. They only liked straight men. Newcomers to Thailand spent money like bankers on a cocaine binge.

"Papa." Fabo thought that we resembled each other.

"My son." I didn't see the likeness.

I drank San Miquel. It was made in the Philippines. Heineken was my pseudo-fils' beverage of preference. He was 31. I had been in Brussels at the age of 36 in 1988. A Walloon girl had taken me home to her parents. They had made breakfast for us in the morning. Her mother was glad that I was white.

She wasn't Fabo's mother, but he liked to think that she was.

"Good to see you>"

"Welcome back home." Fabo's skin was tanned from the sun's reflection off the sea.He had been three months without a drink. We ordered beers. The time was noon. Loso was playing on the radio. He told me about his stay on the oil rig in three seconds, "No fun. No beer. No girls."

"New York. Cold beer. No girls." Six syllables to his seven. The economy of age.

"One plus. Two negatives." Fabo had once shown a photo of his mother. The skinny punk girl with wide eyes looked familiar, but not too familiar.

"Now we're here." His nose had been mashed by too many accidents, but his eyes were arctic blue. Mine were high Nordic steel.

"Paradise."

"You mean sa-wan," said Prueng said the Thai word for heaven. "You want go short time?"

"Sorry. No can do. I have a wife."

"Your wife not here." She was an angel with soft hair and small breasts, but I was blind to her allure.

"I know, but I love her." I had no choice, but to be true and I ordered another beer.

"Same as you love your wife." Preung's girlfriend worked at a big hotel. They were saving money to pay for her penis operation.

200,000 baht to change from a woman to a man.

I gave her 200. Fabo handed over a 500-baht note.

"Thank you."

"It's for a good cause."

"What mean 'cause'?"

"Good for your wife."

"Good for me too."

Preung went to take up her position at the door of the Welkom. She had a long way to go to hit 200,000 baht.

"Ah, ouais, paradise." Fabo didn't mention his wife or her German lover. Saying SS Tommy's name was unlucky everywhere in the world.

"You can say that again." The heat of May gave any human a thirst."

"Here is paradise and all paradises are close to the equator.

"The equator?" I had heard his hypothesis on more than one occasion. My one attempt to explain it to Mam had met with her contempt. She had little patience for 'tawh-lay' or bullshit. All women say the same about men.

"Only 1200 miles south of here."

"I know." I had crossed the equator in the jungles of Sumatra.

"The relative speed of the earth's rotation sends more blood to your head."

"It doesn't depend on speed, but the reformulazation of the theory of gravity." Fabo recognized his conjecture was full-on mad or 'bah mak' as say the Thais and we argued about acceleration measured in m/s2, air resistance, and the downward weight force.

We were happy to sit at a bar far from the North Sea and New York.

The afternoon stretched east. We watched the men run the gauntlet before the entrance of the Welkom Inn's bar, where the interior was perpetually night and the ancient mama-san played any song from any year. The male clientele liked 1977. No matter what the nationality everyone knew the words.

Around 5pm we were surprised by the arrival of four Mid-Eastern men.

Jeans.

White shirts.

No robes.

Normally Arabs frequented the smoking bars at the end of Walking Street.

"Egyptian." Fabo sniffed the air. Strong tobacco.

"Kuwaiti."

I bet Fabo 500 baht on their country of origin.

They bar-fined Preung and a few other girls.

Everyone was happy.

A half-hour later they exited from the bar and bought a bottle of Sky Whiskey before departing for Beach Road. They had paid for the short-time in Thai baht, but had tipped Preung in another currency.

Preung waved good-bye to the Arabs.

"Where were they from?" I asked her.

"Bahrain."

Fabo and I had both lost, but Preung flourished a handful of banknotes. The colors were strange.

Not dollar green or the green, blue, red, and purple of Thai currency.

Her co-workers cheered her order for more whiskey.

Five minutes later she brought two glasses of whiskey-coke to the bar. We were too polite to say no. Preung slapped the foreign money on the bar. It was a big pile and each bill had a lot of zeros.

They were Zaire Francs.

Fabo had worked oil platforms in the Congo and sat frozen on his seat. Someone had to pop Preung's balloon, as she reached for the free drink bell. There were about 33 people with the range of its peal.

"Drinks for everyone."

"Don't."

"Why not? I happy. I want everyone happy. Same me."

"Because." I read the finance section of the Herald Tribune and studied currencies.

"How much worth?"

An exchange rate came to my head.

“62 baht per million.”

Preung was holding ten million.

The buffalo herd for her father was kidnapped by disappointment. Her girlfriend stayed a woman. A 600 baht tip for a short-time wasn't bad, but no trip to paradise. Preung was Thai. Happiness came and went fast and her hand dropped from the rope hanging off the bell

"I not win. I not lose. It was nice rich one minute. You want go short-time?"

"No."

"Your wife still not here."

"She's in my head and in my heart."

"Kee-neo."Preung was accusing me of being cheap, but Fabo seized the chance. "I'll go with you."

He had been at sea three months. No fun, no beer, no women, and I was one hour late for Mam.

"Just think of it as another 1000 baht closer to 200,000." His arm encircled Preung's waist. She was no longer an heiress, but a common girl from Isaan with a good heart and smooth skin. Fabo paid the bill and they strolled to room 101. It was the closest.

"Bonne nuit, papa."

"A vous aussi, mon fils." From behind Fabo did look like me.

Only me from thirty.

Not young, but younger and therefore rich, because youth was always worth billions in both dollars and baht.

But never Zaire Francs.

ps Preung means bee in Thai.

But this Preung never stung.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF NEW YORK by Peter Nolan Smith


Back in the 1920s New Yorkers returned from Florida holidays with baby alligators. The little reptiles grew fast and their owners flushed the saurian relics down the toilet, thereby creating the myth of albino alligators slithering through the city sewers seeking to devour cats and dogs. While this urban legend has been broadly dismissed as hooey, a sewer worker reported an alligator sighting in 1935. A hunt was organized by the commissioner, who announced that the alligator problem had been solved by the hunters.

Thomas Pynchon wrote about this legend in his novel V and reported sightings still reverberates through the marrow of the city, since few people know what lies underneath the city's concrete surface.

Even less now, but in October 1978 my good friend Mike S and I were taking a short-cut through the abandoned rail yards west of Hell's Kitchen. Freights trains rumbled along the warped tracks at a slow speed. Several hobo encampments were huddled underneath the concrete bridges. One settlement seemed to be laundering cast-off clothing.

Mike's fearless dog acted as point on this expedition and Merlin barked at a doorway in the abutment.

"What do you think?" The lanky Long Islander was as fearless as Merlin.

"It has to go down."

"To what?"

"Only one way to find out."

Mike pulled open the battered door.

Stairs led down to an unlit tunnel, which dimmed ten feet down the steps to complete black.

"You want to see where it goes?" Mike came from California. He was a sculptor. His wife had left him for another man.

A painter.

"Can't see why not." My girlfriend had disappeared in Europe fro where she had written a good-bye letter.

"What if there's an alligator down there?"

"A blind albino alligator?"

"Then we better go prepared for the worse."

We had nothing to lose.

Mike and I returned to his loft on West 45th Street for a compass, flashlights, batteries, baseball bats, a .22 revolver, and a sawed-off shotgun. Mike handed me the pistol and stuffed his pocket with shells.

"You think this will stop an alligator?" The gun was light in my hand.

"No, but it will get its attention and I'll kill it with the shotgun. We'll make the front page of the New York Post."

"That's always been one of my ambitions as long as I'm not in handcuffs."

"Then let's go." Both of us were wearing heavy gloves, engineer boots, and leather jackets.

We almost left Merlin, however the valiant dog barked out a warning.

We ween't going anywhere without him.

"Okay Merl, but no fighting with 'gators."

We left his apartment with bags over our shoulders and walked to the train yards. The afternoon had another few hours to run until sunset and Mike pointed to his watch.

"We go down for two hours and that's all."

"Two hours should be more than enough."

"Are you scared of the dark?"

"Who isn't?" I had been in a few caverns in the White Mountains. They snaked into the granite shield for several hundred feet before narrowing into impassable crevices. Without a flashlight there had been no light. "We have extra batteries, but if we run into anything dangerous. We leave."

"Of course." Mike was broken-hearted, not suicidal.

We stopped before the door.

Merlin barked that he was ready for this expedition.

Mike pulled open the door.

"This might be like the entry to Hell."

"Or the subterranean world like in Jules Verne's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER ON THE WORLD."

"Or a forgotten world like in ATTACK OF THE MOLE PEOPLE."

"I love that movie." It had presented on a semi-annual basis on the old UHF TV horror stations.

We descended the stairs and darkness swarmed from the walls. The Stygian passage reeked of urine and stench of shit rotored into our noses. Wrapping bandannas over our mouths and noses filtered the foul odor.

Merlin hung by Mike's thigh.

His eyes showed an uncharacteristic caution.

"Merl doesn't like this."

"Neither do I."

"You want to turn around?"

"Not yet. You?"

"We're here to see what there is to see."

The flashlight played on a concrete corridor and the farther we walked from the stairs the smell of excrement was replaced by the aroma of damp dust. Puddles of rainwater gathered on the floor.

At a split in the tunnels savaged rat skeletons were piled in the center.

"They look like something had bitten them in half."

"Something bigger than a rat."

"An alligator?"

"That's just a myth."

"Down here anything is possible."

"Which way?" Our flashlights revealed nothing to the left and right but more darkness.

"Merlin?" Mike asked his dog and Merlin barked to go straight.

The core of Manhattan.

We continued in that direction without speaking. It was, almost as if the city overhead had been bombed into oblivion and we were the last three creatures on Earth, but we weren't alone. An ominous scratching was coming our way. Merlin barked with terror. Mike pulled out the shotgun. I lifted the revolver, expecting an albino alligator, but the twin beams caught a beast with a hundred eyes.

Rats.

Thousands of them.

The pistol barked out several times without stopping the gray mass of gnarled teeth and fattened bodies.

A bar hung from the ceiling.

"Mike, grab it." I dropped the flashlight and gun and grasped the rusted metal. Mike joined me. The railing creaked under our weight, as we lifted our feet to escape the scrabbling horde of rats.

Merlin was caught in action by the two flashlights. He snapped at dozens of the sewer squirrels, his teeth flashing with blood. The rodent deluge was over in seconds and the rats disappeared down the tunnel. Mike and I dropped to the ground. He checked Merlin.

Not a scratch.

"Let's get out of here."

“Which way?” The rats were headed toward their headquarters. Any direction other than that was good with me.

Merlin barked twice and trotted down the swamped corridor.

"Follow Merlin. "

Merlin led us to a steel door. It looked like no one had touched it this century. Mike and I manhandled the rusted steel plate and we climbed the stairway to a sub-basement of a building.

It was a fall-out shelter. Dust lay decades deep. The entrance was not locked from the outside. We emerged from the underground on 8th Avenue. The pedestrians stared at us in horror. Michael held the shotgun in his hand and I carried the 22.

We stashed both of them in the bag. Mike checked his watch.

"Four blocks in an hour." The sun was setting over New Jersey.

"I don't think we have to do that again."

"No, what you think, Merlin?"

Merlin barked out his agreement and Mike bought him a bone from a 10th Avenue bodega. He was a good dog against rats and probably alligators too, for something had to be living on rats down there and I was happy to never discover whether it was big or small.

SKATING ON THIN ICE by peter nolan smith

The monsoons coincide with low season in Pattaya. Hotels offer special rates and the bargirls call everyone ‘sexy’, but the government’s repression of the ‘red-shirts’ and the global economic downswing had forced the Thai Tourist Board to revise their typically optimistic projection for arrivals to the Land of Smiles, especially after monumental rains flooded the center of the country.

Cities and villages were underwater. Transport was impossible on the inundated highways. Food grew scarce to find and the monsoons weren't expected to ease until October.

My family and I lived up the coast from Pattaya and news of the empty bars filtered north.

“Thailand not have farang,” said Mam, as we drank Leo Beer at our small house in the hills.

You have me and so does Fenway." My son was happy. My son had his father to drive him around SriRacha.

Many girl go back home."

"To Isaan?" The impoverished plateau supplied Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket with a steady crop of bar girls.

Better to live on rice farm. Pattaya not have old men. Not have young men. No men. No rice. Everyone get skinny.

"But never as beautiful as you." We had been together for years, although most of the year I worked in Europe or the USA. I had two families to feed.

"Barg wan."

"Yes, I have a sweet mouth. More beer?" I looked at the sky.

Dark clouds approached from the Gulf of Siam.

Black lined the bottoms.

Lightning crackled through the air and Mam ran inside to unplug the TV and fridge.

I shut off my cell phone.

Electrical storms were a force to fear in Thailand.

The rain came down hard, then harder, and even harder.

I lit a kerosene lamp.

Fenway didn't like the dark and I held him close.

Thirty minutes later the storm passed over SriRacha heading inland.

The sun came out and the street steamed with a rising mist.

I turned on my phone and it rang immediately.

Sam Royalle was on the other end.

"Did it rain by you."

"Not a drop." Sam resided in Pattaya.

Twenty miles to the south.

"Bucketed down here." I hadn't seen Sam in a while. He had been working on a new website.

16 hours a day, so I was surprised when he asked, "Feel like coming out for a beer tonight?"

Sam Royalle liked go-gos. We drank shots of tequila. He conversed with people despite 110 dB levels. His Bedford accent worked well in loudness.

"If it isn't raining."

"No excuses. I'll take you out for a steak."

Sam had been living in Thailand over ten years, but remained a boy from Bedford.

"You ever think about changing your diet?"

“What you expect me to eat? Thai food?”

"It's good enough for 60 million Thais." Few of them were overweight.

"I'm British. We eat British food. Only British." The Brit did like a good plate of curry and pad thai, which I never ate. It had no kick.

"So see you around 7." He gave the address of a new steakhouse. "It's very classy."

"I remember classy. Seven, then."

Back in the last century only the Dusit Thani was the only classy resort in Pattaya, but times had change.

"You go out with friend?" asked Mem.

Fenway was eating ice cream.

"Sam wants to have a drink."

"Go-Go bar."

"I guess so, but I only think of you."

"Hah, all men lie. Think of me with naked lady. You very funny."

"It's the truth." It was the truth, but no women will believe that.

"True not true. Same same. I know you. One drink look lady. Two drink talk with lady. Three drink only think drink. That truth."

"Yes, it is." I liked holding hands with a glass of gin-tonic.

Mam, Fenway, and I ate at KFC.

She dropped me at the bus stop at Tuk Com on Sukhumvit.

Traffic was heavy and the sun was going down.

I kissed her and hugged Fenway.

"Mai mao, papa."

"No, I won't get too drunk."

Mam gave her blessing.

“Sam take care you. You take care Sam.” Her spies covered Walking Street. Their network posted agents on every soi. I was a good boy and good boys never get caught doing bad.

"Lak ter."

And I did love her, as I jumped on the bus.

Thirty minutes later I got off at Pattaya Klang and hopped on a motorsai, telling the taxi driver, "Walking Street."

The ride to Pattaya's Second Road took less than ten minutes.

I walked over to Walking Street.

Farangs were rare on that gauntlet of lust. The desperation on the go-go girls’ faces was a cruel mirror of hard times. Every girl sang the same chorus “Take me home.”

"Bang thi teelang."

"Maybe later. Maybe never. All farang kee-nok."

Sam and I ate a great ribeye steak at the classy restaurant.

He looked healthy for the first time in years. His new business venture was off the ground. Sam was looking at a million dollars in two years time. It all sounded good in a go-go bar.

Sam suggested hitting Heaven A Go-Go. The upstairs bar was the best in Pattaya. I hadn’t been there in months, but several girls knew my name. They were friends of Mam. We drank beer. Two bottles. The owner of Heaven bought several rounds of tequila. Paddy had run a pimp bar in East St. Louis. He was most men’s hero.

65 and running a go-go bar. He was my hero too. East St. Louis was tougher than Pattaya back in the early 70s.

“Any girl you want. No bar fine.” I thanked Paddy for his generosity, but refused about twenty nubile dancers before midnight. I told them the same story.

“Mai mii keng leng.”

“I can give you power.” Their bare bodies smelled of youth and a promise of a trip to heaven or hell. I wasn’t interested in either destination after ten beers and deserted my bar stool at Heaven Above a Go Go, telling Sam Royalle that I was going to the bathroom. Three naked girls were on his lap. He wouldn’t notice my absence.

The night air on Soi Diamond was strangely cool. The moist wind carried the threat of rain and I walked to 2nd Road rather than be tempted by another drink on Walking Street.

Two transvestites grabbed my arms at the top of the alley. The pair were armored in black shiny leather. They towered over me in their spiked heels. Masochists would have paid to lick the their feet.

One hand slithered into my pocket. Her fingernails raked my thigh for plunder. The Shim found my wallet. It only had 500 baht, but all my ATM and credit cards. My struggle to break free was futile, until the pickpocket yelped with pain.

“Pai loi.” The voice belonged to Jamie Parker, a friend from the Lower East Side. “Get fucking lost.”

“We go. Come back too.” The taller TV sneered with a helium alto. Her manhood throbbed in a leather bikini. I felt inadequate.

“Good luck then.” Jamie stood his ground. Almost 60 he carried the menace of the killer after eleven year hard time.

"Yet mun." The she-boys strode off to find easier prey.

"I had things under control."

Didn't look it to me." He handed back my wallet and coughed like a backfire from an out-of-tune Harley, although I suspected his hack hadn't come from smoking cigarettes.

“You're right. Those ka-toeys are tough.” Bruises would color my arms tomorrow. The indentation from their nails would fade faster. Mam’s suspicious mind wouldn’t clear for months. “What happened to you?”

Jamie’s body was perennially thin. Drugs and diet, but his face was gaunt and Panda black circles masked his eyes.

“I look that bad?” He stared at his reflection in the 7/11 window. He wasn't the type to lie to himself about his looks.

“Yes, you look that bad.” Ja-bah bad. The cheap speed was addictive. “You need some money?”

“A thousand wouldn’t hurt, but it isn’t for what you think.”

“Jamie, you can do what you want with it.” I was no angel.

After dark any money you give a friend had to be consider a gift. I pulled out a purple note.

“I don’t feel like it, but then I'm not the boss.” He stuck the bill in his jeans pocket. “Mind if I walk with you a bit?”

“I’m just going to get a taxi.”

The eyes of a passing policeman convicted Jamie of several crimes. He could never go back to New York. His sin against the state had a long statute of limitation.

“Let me give you a ride somewhere.”

“Yeah, there’s too much light here.” He lowered his head like someone might be following him. I fought the temptation to look over my shoulder. A taxi took us to 3rd Road for 200 baht. It was safer than a motorsai taxi.

At the Buffalo Bar I ordered him a beer and waved for the girls to leave us alone.

“Man, it’s been a hard month.” He sat on the stool as if he had been on his feet for days. “But you don’t want to hear about it.”

My mother had prayed for G her second son to accept an avocation to join the Cloth. I refused the priesthood after hearing Led Zeppelin’s first LP in 1969, but she had been right. I would have made a good priest or at least a confessor. Everyone liked to tell me their secrets. Even more so after two beers.

Jamie drank both in less than a minute.

“I’m all ears.” I downed my first in 65 seconds.

“You ever hear of Ice?” he whispered the word with guilt-ridden worship.

“Crystal Meth.” The drug had hit the fly-over of America hard. The cops had cracked down on traditional drugs and the dealers synthesized a smokeable speed from ephedrine, the basic ingredient for over-the-counter cough medicines. The substance was equally available in Thailand.

“That’s the one. The Nazis used to give chocolate bars laced with the stuff to Luftwaffe pilots.” Jamie was a vast abyss of useless knowledge. “Kept them flying for days.”

“And you started smoking it here?” Drugs are readily available in Thailand, although opium, heroin, grass have been supplanted by ja bah and ice thanks to the repressive interdiction of the Thai Police and DEA.

“With Ort.” He shrugged to indicate his complete surrender.

“Ort?” I knew Ort from Soi 6. I hadn’t seen her since her boyfriend left her for a transvestite. The little vixen wanted to be my geek. I had refused with deep regret. Ort was very sexy. 25 and looked 16. She was every man's vice.

”How you run into Ort?” She was a girl around town. I stayed out of her path.

“She was dancing at Paris A Go-Go. Told me to meet her after work. We went back to her place. A little furnished studio. Bed, TV, AC. She asked if I minded if she smoked some ice. You know me. Anyone can do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.” Jamie’s heroin addiction had stolen his youth. Cocaine took away his edge as a comedian. His taking up with speed in his 50s could be a show-stopper. “Don’t look at me like you were a Parole Officer who discovered a bad blood test. You’re no angel.”

“You’re right.” I had disappointed Nancy Reagan too many times by saying ‘yes’, instead of no’ to throw any rocks without hearing the sound of breaking windows in my own house of glass, but I tried my best to avoid drugs in Thailand.

“And you’re right too.” Prison here was worse than any of Jamie’s stateside time. “I knew it was dangerous, but did it anyway.”

“And how was it?” Jamie didn’t need a lecture and I was curious about ice and Ort.

“Ice is nothing. No rush. Shooting speedballs is a thousand times better for a high.”

“So what the attraction?”

“Sex.” Jamie spoke low, which was a little strange in a bar where every girl was looking for a date. “I thought she wanted me only to buy some ice. 1000 baht. But once we had a few pipes, she said she was hot and asked if I minded if she took off her clothes. Another bowl and mine was off. A day later and we were still at it.”

A binge. “How many days?”

“3-4. I took Cialis to keep up my strength.” Speed and Cialis were tough on the heart, however Jamie was hardy enough to survive hardcore XXX games. “And then another 4 days and we had sex the entire time. I had to stop because the skin on my penis wore off. Ort wasn’t happy and started screaming for it. It was like being with a nymphomaniac. A tyranny of sex. I told her I was going to the ATM. I didn’t go back.”

“How much money you spend?”

“About 15000 baht and lost about 5 kilos.”

“Cheaper than Jenny Craig’s or Weight-Watchers.”

“I don’t have the weight to lose like you.”

A loss of five kilos would put me close to the fighting weight of my early 40s.

“And you didn’t go back?”

“Don’t trust myself. It’s not the Ice. It’s the sex, the ice, the lying in bed with nowhere to go.” He drank his beer with a thirst to quench another demon. “Sawan.”

“Heaven.” I was impressed Jamie knew the Thai word for paradise. Nah-Lok meant 'hell'.

“A little hell too, which we both like.”

“Without sin, there is no pleasure.” I loosely quoted Luis Bunuel, the Spanish surrealistic film director. “So now what?”

“I changed my SIM card # and started clean again.” He ordered another beer. They were going down smooth. “Not 100%, but close enough. Another few days and I’ll be back on top of the world.”

“More like top of the slag heap in this town.”

“As long as it’s a foot higher than anyone else, you can see the stars.” Jamie had a way with words, which slurred after our fifth beer.

I invited him up to SriRacha. He made Mam laugh. Fenway liked playing with him. On the third day he left for Pattaya. I drove him to the bus stop on Sukhumvit.

“Take care.”

“I know how to do that.”

“And how not to too.”

“Something else we have in common.”

At the end of the week I was packing my bags for New York. My flight left in the morning. Mam hated being alone. Fenway is a very busy boy.

The phone rang in my pocket.

It was Jamie.

“Are you okay?”

“Excellent.” He was running promo events for bars and restaurants during the low season. The next is an erotic hot dog eating contest at TiggleBitties Tavern.

“What about Ort?” I whispered the name. Mam has good ears and a jealous soul. Some people question her love. I know better.

“Haven’t seen her or been to anywhere she goes.”

“Smart move.” Ort was a girl to avoid, which is why I don’t answer her calls anymore. Like Jamie I’m too weak to skate on thin ice. “I’ll see you next time around.”

“Send my love to Mam and little Fenway.”

“They will like that."

I went into the living room. Fenway was trying to load two discs at the same time into the DVD player. I told him, ‘No.”

He didn’t like hearing that word in either Thai or English, but just saying ‘no’ can save your time these days, especially when you’re skating on thin ice.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sex Show Pattaya

Thailand was once famous for the sex shows of Pattaya and Patpong. Naked girls were trained to propel banana through the air by the strength of their vagina. Ping-pong balls rocketed across the car via the magic of this female pneumatic gun and razor blades were withdrawn from private parts without any harm to the performers or customers. These 'sex' shows were a true wonder, especially if you weren't trapped in the bar by bouncers looking to hit you up for a 1000 baht bar bill for one beer, which was an old Patpong trick.

The shows died out during the first years of the 21st century thanks to the natural prudishness of Thai authorities. Any attempts to revitalize this genre was stamped out by a police raid and I thought I had seen the last of them, until wandering into a bar off Pattaya's Walking Street with Sam Royalle.

The place catered to overweight Russian couples with deviant sex tastes and even more perverted Hindu bachelors. The show was a step back into the illustrious past of the Last Babylon.

Cigarette smoking and the old razor blades.

The performer sat next to me and asked if I wanted to take her to a hotel for a brief encounter. She was fat, but said she would do anything. I was scared of 'anything' and paid for my beer and gave her a 100 baht tip. After all I am a patron of the arts.

I won't tell you where this bar is, because do-gooders would shut it down and I'd hate to put my 100-baht protege out of work.

After all I'm a patron of Pattaya's art scene.

Donald Trump On NASA

Last year in New Hampshire a young boy asked presidential hopeful Donald Trump about his opinion on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Donald always has an answer and said, "You know, in the old days it was great. Right now, we have bigger problems — you understand that? We've got to fix our potholes and you know, we don't exactly have a lot of money."

Not okay, because as my old friend Wayne Shephard said back in 1971, "When the shit gets a foot high, step a foot higher."

Donald Trump had also commented on NASA's plan to send men to Mars in the 2030. He responded: "Honestly, I think it's wonderful; I want to rebuild our infrastructure first, OK?"

Infrastructure to Trump are prisons, roads, bridges, and a big wall on the Mexican border, because the only troublesome aliens in America are those south of the Rio Grande

He later added, "I love NASA. I love what it represents, I love what it stands for, and I hope that someday in the not-too-distant future, we can get that going. Space is terrific."

Oh, Space, why have we forsaken you?"

Oh, yes, it's the infrastructure.

And those damned Mexican rapists aliens.

In Heaven Above

Back in the 80s I was invited to fashion shows by Claude Montana and Azzedine Alaïa. My friend were models and designers. Some have become famous and I was lucky enough to have known some of the most beautiful women in the world. Few were more exotic than Marpessa.

She was half-Dutch and half-Surinam. Her beauty was frightening, but I seduced her into a dinner with the infamous art dealer Vonelli by saying that we wanted to exploit her beauty for NASA.

"Why?"

"Because NASA is broke and they want to hold a lottery to see who will be the first man to have sex in Space," I told her this in Dave's restaurant on Rue St. Roch. His BBQ ribs were exquisite and I piggyback their flavors to bullshit her about Vonelli being a NASA scientist. "He saw your photo on the cover of Vogue and said this woman could launch a Space Shuttle."

"C'est Vrai?" Marpessa spoke four languages and a fifth was saved for her lovers.

"Absolutelment." Vonelli was in his prime. He looked 50% CIA in his Brooks Brothers suit.

"Your face will grace posters across the globe. One night with Marpessa. $1."

"$1?" Millionaires would have halved their fortune for a single night in the glow of her dusky beauty. Broke Paris artists would have bathed to paint her nude.

"Times one billion people. We will make you rich." I couldn't believe she was buying my hooey, but Vonelli dropped a card on the table. It was only partially stained by BBQ sauce. "We will guarantee you $10 million for your efforts."

"And I'll have to go to Space?"

Vonelli and I pingponged a glance.

"Yes." He nodded like a senator okaying a secret assassination. "We call the project IN HEAVEN ABOVE."

"I'll do it."

We toasted our future.

It lasted to the door of Dave's.

Marpessa went her way in a taxi.

Vonelli and I repaired back to our table. Dave sat down and said, "You are mean."

"And beauty is even meaner." Vonelli ordered a bottle of wine. We drank it regaling everyone about Heaven Above.

Everyone wanted to believe, for when the shit gets a foot high the cool step a foot higher.

The Nearest Planet


Last week I met my friend's son in the Meat Packing District. Alfred was a business graduate of Princeton. Magna Cum Laude. His parents considered him genius at 21. His father wanted me to introduce him to a big-time investment banker to whom I sold diamonds.

It was a small favor, although sitting amongst the shouting white crowd at a trendy bar was torture, but Alfred and his friends and he were glorious in their youth. They had their entire future ahead of them.

They twittered on their iPhones and discussed inane TV reality shows. The girls fiddled with dead hair. They all looked like underage divorcees. I refrained from any criticism of their behavior or appearance. I had once been young too.

Alfred was eager to start his career in finance and explained his big plans for these challenging times based on the collapse of the EEU. His bet on the dollar was not a risk, if Britain failed in the next week. I told him about my conversation with the head of the EEU bank.

"He considered stabilization of the Euro as the only true means to maintain peace in Europe."

"The problem is that you think America needs Europe. China is the future." Jeb, Alfred's closest friend, had been recruited by a ruthless zombie hedge fund. "The Euro will collapse. The dollar will get strong. The trade deficit will shrink. I'll work at an investment bank for ten years and retire a mega-millionaire."

"That's a good plan." My friends in the investment field were stuck in the rat race of the elite, because wealth increased their desire for more wealth.

"You have something against money," Jeb spoke with a southern accent. His clothing was Brooks Brothers. His drink of choice was a Cosmo. The girls at the table clearly thought that he was handsome.

"No, I like money fine." My bank account was getting low, but my funds would last into autumn.

"You're probably retired on a pension." Alfred's friend was showing his colors.

"I wish." I had belonged to the Teamsters in my youth. Their retirement plan was still intact.

"And social security?" The word was poison in his mouth.

"Not yet." I wasn't going to get much.

"How old are you? A thousand years old?"

"Closer to 100 than 20." I eyed Jeb and saw that Alfred was concerned for his friend's safety. My reputation for violence was legendary. I winked to inform him that Jeb was on thick ice.

"Did they have electricity when you were young?" He actually guffawed at his own joke.

"No cell phones or computers and we had to get up to change the TV." Five years ago I had gotten up from my sofa in Fort Greene and threw the TV out the window. Freedom from nacho ads was a good thing. "I'm just an old dude, but I'm old enough to know that you're a smart kid."

I slapped $100 on the table.

"What's that?" Jeb viewed the bill with suspicion.

"A bet."

"What kind of bet?"

"I ask you three questions that I think you should know and if you get them right, then I give you $100. If you don't get all of them, you owe me $10. You have ten dollars?" Most young people traveled without cash. Plastic was their Mammon of choice. "10 to 1 odds and I promise you these questions will be easy. Put up your money."

"If it's a trick you get nothing." He pulled out a $10 bill. It was all he had in his wallet.

"Question # 1. Who was the first president of the United States?"

"George Washington." His eyes dropped to his iPhone to answer a SMS.

"Correct. I told you these were easy questions. Question # 2. Who won the last THE BACHELOR?" I didn't know the answer, but Jeb replied with a smile, "Courtney Robertson. 2 out of 3."

The young girls with the dead hair clapped for their hero.

"Okay, champ. One last question and it's one everyone should know. What's the closest planet to the Earth?"

"The sun." He sounded so sure of himself and put down his iPhone.

"The sun is a star."

"That was a trick question." His face dropped as I took the $100 and $10 bills.

"Mars is the closest planet."

"Are you sure you don't want to use a lifeline. Anyone, but Alfred." He had been a sky nut as a child.

"Yes." A quick regard to his friends revealed their collective ignorance of the answer.

"The nearest planet is Venus."

"Isn't that a moon?"

"No, it's a planet." Only the once-planet Pluto had been rejected from the list of heavenly bodies.

"Alfred?"

"A planet."

"Thanks for the fun, I call you tomorrow about an interview."

"Thanks." He knew if I said something to the banker then he would be set.

My friends were my friends.

I walked out without saying a word to Jeb, but a single glance dared him to mutter under his breath. He wasn't that brave and outside I looked up to the western sky. Venus was low over the Palisades. It was the brightest star in the heavens for most people.

Except it's a planet.

The second from the Sun.

And not the third.

Eat At Earth

Our solar system belongs to the Milky Way, a barred spiral galaxy comprised of billions of stars. Our nearest neighbor is the Andromeda Galaxy. Our sun twirls on the very edge of the swirling mass of stars ie the boondocks. No ETs are coming to this speck in the cosmic dust, yet as a young boy living in the southern suburbs of Boston I fell prey to the belief that 'we are not alone'.

Flying saucers, UFOs, and little green Martians were real, while my ranch house existence with a two-car garage was a fake. Carnivals and circus were banned from my hometown, so the only escape offered to a 10 year-old boy was via the stars and every summer night once my parents were asleep I would leave out house to lie on the grass, praying for the ETs to take me away to Andromeda.

I didn't even care if I was anally probed, after all I was an altar boy.

Sadly I remained on Earth.

The government declared UFOs a myth and anyone believing in flying saucers were mad. Little green Martians were a joke.

That was the 1960s.

Fifty years later the world governing body, the UN, announced that they had appointed an ambassador to celestial new-comers asking the time-honored question, "Take me to your leader."

Their choice was a woman.

I hope that she had a good sense of humor, for laughter is the galactic equalizer and if so she might tell jokes such as this one offered by Mark King.

Two aliens enter a bar. One orders a single tequila shot with double worms. The other asks: why did you order double worms?

Because I've gone onto the Maria Callas diet... there's so much to learn from these earthlings.

Or

What's E.T. short for? Because he has little legs!

And

What's the difference between a man and E.T.? E.T. phoned home.

What's the difference between a legal alien and an illegal alien? Since 2002 - nothing. Both have lost their civil rights.

But no aliens have arrived on Earth.

At least none have announced their coming and they might never come, unless the UN puts a big billboard EAT AT EARTH on the Moon.

That announcement should draw them to the third planet from the Sun.

Fat people are so tasty at a BBQ.

Sex Space No-No


Newton's 3rd Law of Motion succinctly described as every motion creating an opposite motion and scientist have cited the absolutism of this law as proof that man can not have sex in Space. The more you try to enter the farther you go from your destination in the state of weightlessness.

Foreplay should be attainable, however actual intercourse might prove impossible.

The late Arthur C Clarke further theorized that humans were destined to reach an 'happy ending' and in RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA wrote the following: “Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless; but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take. He was quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by acute crew distraction, after the transit of an unholstered lady officer through the control cabin."

High orbit presents a myriad of challenges to space missions.

Physical and Mental.

A NASA pilot for the International Space Station once declared that sex was an activity better left for earth. The career navy man fend off any queries about intercourse among his crew with the easy answer.

"We don't have it and we won't."

Four women. Two men.

Menage-a-trois times two.

I've only had sex once in orbit on a trans-Pacific flight.

LA-Bangkok. I hadn't had sex in six months.

Mam was waiting at the airport. I thought about her nakedness once high over the Pacific. I stayed in the bathroom five minutes.

"Are you all right?" asked the 60 year-old United stewardess.

"Better."

And I bet the astronauts are just as human.

Only better than better.

The best.

Tinkering With NASA Tinkle

In 2008 Astronauts on the International Space Station were hard at work repairing the Intergalactic Piss Cleaner. This device was designed to convert urine and sweat into potable water, thereby decreasing the transport loads of the supply rockets. Unfortunately the urine centrifuge was out of whack and the astronauts have been forced to cut down on their water intake.

"The water should be 70% condensation and 30% urine." At present it's 90/10.

Less piss sounds good to me

None sounds even better.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sex In Space

In 2002 I wrote a screenplay IN HEAVEN ABOVE in which a former Soviet province saved itself from bankruptcy by holding a lottery with the prize of being the first man to have sex in space in their revamped space shuttle. I sent the scenario to a number of film companies. Rejection followed rejection followed rejection.

After an old girlfriend at CAA didn’t return my phone calls and I retired IN HEAVEN ABOVE to my closet with the rest of my unpublished manuscripts. They excelled at collecting dust.

Yet hope sprung, when last month I received a call from a Canadian film director. We knew each other through a mutual friend, who had been his lover. Both were married to other people. Divorce was out of the question, but he had read my script as a favor to her and we met at a Fort Greene wine bar for a quick tete-a-tete.

I saw my name in lights and we sat at a table and I asked, “What you think?”

“It was very funny,” Allyn replied without much interest and then asked, “Is sex in Space possible?”

I signaled the waiter for two wines; white for me, red for Allyn.

He was from Canada.

“According to all the research, no.”

“So no one has had sex in Space?” His time was worth thousands of dollars a minute. He spoke as if every word cost him a thousand dollars.

“No.” I was used to people picking my mind. This was a WOT or a waste of time, but I had ten minutes to spare.

“How can you be certain that no one has not had sex in Space?”

“NASA is too square. In fact NASA spokesman Bill Jeffs of the Johnson Space Center in Houston has said, “We don’t study sexuality in space, and we don’t have any ongoing studies on the possibility, plus astronauts are also very conservative by nature and will do nothing to jeopardize their seat for the next mission.”

I had extensively researched the Internet during the writing of IN HEAVEN ABOVE and knew the subject better than the President, mostly because living presidents other than Bill Clinton first think about death from above rather than sex.

“What about the Russians?” He was speaking with a ‘hurry up’ tone. Script pitches were usually a hundred words or less.

“The Russians have brought up guitars and vodka, but they were probably too drunk for sex.” So no." His pushy voice reminded me why I hated LA.

His clock ticked faster than reality.

"No, I said probably, because the Russians will try anything and they also tried out several sexual positions for sex. One with guinea pigs. That report is censored by the NASA and Russian space authorities.”

“I don’t give a shit about guinea pigs.” Hollywood directors only cared about how much popcorn their movies sold for the producers.

“No, I don’t imagine you would.” I covered my snide tracks with a shovel of information. “Keep this in mind. The biggest challenge of sex in space is Newton’s Third Law.” My teachers at Xaverian Brothers and Boston College had excelled at foisting knowledge to their students. “So if I thrust, a woman is propelled farther from me. Coupling is considered nearly impossible in a weightless environment and scientists haven't come up with a solution?”

“But you have?”

“I was a Math major at university. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Only four positions work in space, but they need help. Are you familiar with the dolphin theory?”

A heart beat of silence revealed his complete ignorance.

“The Ocean is as much Space as Space. Buoyancy is the same as weightlessness and some scientists suggest that dolphin need a third party to help them mate in a near-zero-gravity situation. It always helps to have someone pushing, but also if you were strapped to a wall by Velcro, that might help the lack of gravity.”

"Sort of like a bondage menage a trois?”

“Yes, but the research of sex in Space has been limited by the religious constraints of the fundamentalists and Catholic Church, plus most of space missions have been with men and NASA doesn’t launch gay astronauts. At least none have come out of the closet. Plus there's another problem?"

"Another one?"

"That there isn't enough blood in your cock to achieve erection." Enough men on Earth suffered from penile dysfunction to not have to spread their illness in Space.

"But if you took a Viagra, wouldn't the drug help the flow of blood to the penis?" The director was rich enough to have booked a future flight on Virgin's Space Shuttle.

"I'm not a scientist, plus I never use Viagra or Cialis, since those pills are only to help a man have sex with a woman whom he doesn't want to fuck, but if you google ‘sex in space’, you come up with nothing. It doesn’t interest the scientists and most of space missions have been with men and astronauts are not gay. At least none have come out of the closet.”

"Thanks for the information." He was digging for a story to steal.

I had a million of them.

"What about IN HEAVEN ABOVE?" I was hoping for an advance.

"It's funny and an unusual story, but this is America. No one here is interested in foreigners having sex in Space." He was leaving town this week to film another TV show for HBO.

"Space is not for the angels." This call had been a waste of my time and at my age time was not a luxury.

"And monster aliens. If you come up with a good monster screenplay, give me a call."

Allyn dropped $20 and left the bar for a rendezvous with a woman who wasn't his wife.

He hadn't drank a sip of his red wine.

“Yeah, right." I finished my wine, remembering the price of a celestial space tours offering weddings.

"$2.3 million per person.

A lot of but a honeymoons in orbit can’t be far behind this venture into Space with special suits made for the conjugal passage through the stars. Space hookers will be next, unless we’re heading for Venus, which everyone knows is populated by blue-skinned vixens in fur bikinis and they do it for free.

Same as me letting Allyn pick my brain, but really I cost more than a glass of wine and I drank the rest of Allyn's wine.

I wished it was white, but it was more real than Sex in Space.

At least until I got back to my wife in Thailand.

Mam sends me to the moon.

Mission Underwear Control


Eight summers ago I was living in Palm Beach. The off-season population of that wealthy enclave shrank to 10% of its winter height. A few of the fabulously rich remained in their mansions during the off-season and they ventured outdoors once a week to shop at the Publix supermarket off Royal Palm.

Mostly I saw dutiful off-island workers tending to the vacant estates.

The Mexicans and Haitians were only allowed on the island from 7am to 5:30pm and worked nine hours a day in 90+ sweltering heat.

The police surveilled the construction sites for any lingerers.

After 5:30pm no one was allowing on the refuge of the rich.

Unless they belonged there.

Actually I was the poorest person on the island. My income was $350/week to take care of a crackhead Airedale named Pom Pom. $300 of which went to my family in Thailand. Living on $50 a week was nearly impossible and my revenge on the idle rich was to abstain from bathing in sweet water.

My daily ablutions was performed in the ocean or swimming pools. A sabbatical from shaving enhanced my scruffy appearance as well as my torn jeans and shredded shirts. At Publix the rich shoppers wrinkled their noses in the supermarket aisles. I smiled politely at their disgust and I picked out my daily jug of wine.

$5.99 for 2-liters.

A bouquet of dead weeds and the taste of gutter water, but it worked at getting me fucked up.

Bad wine sweated from my skin, but I didn't smell dirty to me and neither had a Japanese scientist orbiting in the International Space Station who wore the same experimental underwear over four months. His fellow astronauts were ignorant of this lengthy test and he said, "The station crew members never complained, so I think the experiment went fine."

The underwear were supposedly anti-static and flame retardant, which must have been helpful against dingleberries and wet farts. Still the racing stripe must have been impressive.

Koichi Wakata had to have smelled worst than me.

But maybe in Space farts don't smell bad.

I doubt it, then again I never smelled dirty in Palm Beach.

At least not to me.

One Small Stool For Mankind

Even astronauts are human.

We are ruled by simple things.

None simpler than our bowels.

They rule all.

To read the dialogue, click on above image twice

Especially James T Kirk.

To hear astronauts talking about farts, please go the following Url https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuv6TVv0r44

Fly Me to The Moon plus 40


July 20, 1969.

The eyes of the world broke away from the Vietnam War, the Paris Uprising, and the Mets challenging the National League. Most people's vision was fixed on the Moon, as TVs and radios reported the lunar landing of Apollo 11 to an anxious planet.

This space mission had been inspired by the late-President Kennedy and Neil Armstrong immortalized the epic moment with the words. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

July 20 1969 was a Sunday.

I had no school the next day.

The next day I was working at Ma Bell.

A summer job.

I was 17, but have no recollection of watching the astronaut's first steps on the surface of the moon, which should have been as indelibly etched into my memory as the JFK assassination and losing my virginity and this memory lapse lent credence to those conspiracy theorists claiming that Man never landed on the Moon, but let's face the facts.

The Lunar Landing was televised by every channel; ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

Teenagers watched almost 30 hours of TV on the 1960s and being a teenager if the Lunar Landings had been on TV, then I should remember seeing them, instead recalling nothing.

Ergo no Lunar Landing.

NASA has yet to refute my analysis, but for further research into the Moon Hoax, check out this URL

http://www.redzero.demon.co.uk/moonhoax/

One theory is that I could have been making out with my girlfriend.

On the weekends her mother permitted us stay at their house unchaperoned and Janet Stetson was certainly more important to me than a silly moon landing.

Even now.

The Stars Beyond Our Touch


The stars have obsessed Man throughout our existence on the planet. We have stared at the distant pinpoints of light and asked if anyone was out there. Our ancient ancestors thought the cosmos was the home of the gods, Christians prayed upward to heaven, and modern scientists have mapped the universe with telescopes. Our early ventures into Space were on the nose of rockets.

During the Cold War Russia and the USA raced into Space on those giant firecrackers.

Every launch was done in top secrecy and skeptics have continually accused NASA of faking the 1969 Landing on the Moon, but no one doubted the performance the US Space Shuttles blasting off from Cape Kennedy.

Since 1982 the six manned spacecraft have lifted from this mortal coil.

Twice the missions ended in disaster. The Challenger exploded on take-off in 1986 and Columbia disintegrated on entry in 2003.

In 2009 the Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center for the final space mission to the International Space Station.

335 astronauts have ridden the Shuttle into orbit. The fleet has clocked over 500,000,000 miles in that time. A long way for Man, but light travels the 93 million miles between the Sun and the Earth in a little more than 8 minutes, so Man is not ready for the stars and many of us stranded on the planet wonder about the future of NASA's space program, especially with NASA touting the efforts of Boeing and the Sierra Nevada Corporation to develop a cheaper version of the Space Shuttle. Several other ventures are financing the corporate race into Space. None are capable of producing a manned orbiter within this decade, leaving Mankind locked on Mother Earth.

The International Space Station will have to be supplied by Russian rockets until the replacement shuttles are ready for Space.

The GOP are hoping on never, because the religious right are convinced that the heavens are for the dead and not the living.

But I'm a Trekkie and Trekkies always believe that when the shit gets a foot high we step a foot higher.

And I believe in the old Space motto, "Next year Andromeda."

But just in case I'm ready to construct my own orbiter powered by two gallons of Mississippi moonshine attached to a lawn chair.

Total outlay $98.

Possible lift-off of 5 feet.

Yes, I do want to be a spaceman.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Donald Trump Idiot Idiot

In the fall of 1986 I stood at the door of the Milk Bar with Big Bernard.

The 7th Avenue nightclub was popular with he downtown set, so we were surprised to see a full stretch limo stop on Leroy Street.

A tall blonde man got out of the luxury car.

Bernard whispered, "Donald Trump. You think he tips."

"We'll soon find out." I eyed his bodyguards.

Ex-cops and I said, "Sorry, it's a private party tonight."

"You know who this is?" asked the taller ex-cop. He looked 20th Precinct.

"Yeah, some white boy with a shitty wig job," I said voce sotte.

Donald Trump was shit in my eyes as were all the rich of New York."

"What's your name?" demanded Donald.

"Fuck you." I had no trouble saying this, since he was known as a pedophile for young blondes. "You ain't coming in."

"I could buy this place ten times over."

"Maybe tomorrow, but not tonight." I pushed him aside, as three blonde models approached the entrance.

"He's not coming in, is he?"

Donald smiled with dentist-perfected teeth.

Mine were starting to yellowing and I said, "Not now."

"Good." I waved the three models past Bernard.

Donald tried to duke me a c-note.

I chucked the bill on the street.

"LikeI said, not tonight."

He was man enough to walk away. His bodyguard glared at me. I had fucked a little of their night. The limo disappeared down Leroy Street. Bernard bent over for the $100 bill. I beat him to it.

"Huh?"

"50/50."

"Yeah, man."

I went downstairs to change the bill. I offered the three models drinks. They were happy to be here and I was happy to have told Donald to 'fuck off'.

Especially with his c-note in my pocket.

He was a piece of shit.

And money would never change that.

Buzz Aldrin Moon Shot

On Jun 13, 2016 moon landing denier Bart Sibrel followed Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin out of a Hollywood hotel and relentlessly harassed him about whether he actually landed on the moon. Buzz reacted. Many have seen the short clip of the actual punch, but note how much verbal confrontation preceded it. Sibrel has pulled similar stunts with many other Apollo astronauts. Californian authorities have decided against prosecuting former astronaut Buzz Aldrin after he punched a documentary maker who claimed his moon missions were faked.

According to www.thevintagenews.com Mr Aldrin responded by punching Mr Sibrel, but said he merely struck out to defend himself and his stepdaughter, who was with him at the time.Mr Aldrin, famous for his participation in the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, hit Bart Sibrel after he approached the former astronaut outside a hotel in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles and demanded he swear on a Bible that the landing was not staged.

Beverly Hills police investigated the incident, which occurred 9 September, but said that the charges were dropped after witnesses came forward to say that Mr Sibrel had aggressively poked Mr Aldrin with the Bible before he was punched.

Witnesses also told police that Mr Sibrel had lured Mr Aldrin to the hotel under false pretences in order to interview him. Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Ratinoff told Reuters news agency that a videotape shot by a cameraman hired by Mr Sibrel had shown the film-maker follow Mr Aldrin, calling him a “thief, liar and coward”.

Mr Sibrel handed over the tape to police investigators, but as Mr Sibrel sustained no visible injury and did not seek medical attention, and Mr Aldrin had no previous criminal record, no charges were filed. Mr Sibrel says his new documentary proves the Apollo 11 landings were faked by the Nasa space agency in order to fool the then-Soviet Union into thinking the US had beaten them in the space race.

I would have clipped the punk too.

Also with my left.

I need my right for holding beer.

To see the punch go to the following url

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wptn5RE2I-k

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hard Work

Working in the earth.

Work is work.

Even underneath the streets.

I LOVE BRIGITTE: a collection of short stories by Peter Nolan Smith

The Cote d’Azur stretching along the Mediterranean from Ventimiglia to St. Tropez has been populated since before the Bronze Age, but the French actress Brigitte Bardot renewed interest in the Riviera with her debut appearance as a sultry teenager in the 1956 film ET DIEU…CREA LA FEMME.

That summer the blonde sensation adorned every magazine cover in the USA and her body screamed out French from movie posters.

I dreamed of Brigitte Bardot and St. Tropez for months.

I was four years old.

I still dream of her.

Sometimes in my sleep.

The White Wedding.

Some things never change.

To read I LOVE BRIGITTE: a collection of short stories by Peter Nolan Smith

Please go to the following URL https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IL91UIM

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Long Twenty Minutes

Last night I was at the 169, drinking gin-tonics.

After my first I shouted to Dakota for a refill.

The lanky Arizonan was serving a two-deep crowd, but took the time to come over and say, "You have to learn to wait your turn. You're on a five-minute ban for service."

"Five minutes?"

"Make it twenty." Dakota set his cellphone timer for 20.

"Fuck."

I asked Mikie for help.

"You're in the sin bin. No drinks or beer for twenty minutes. You think you can make it?"

"Sure I can."

But I wasn't happy about the moratorium.

I had 19 minutes to go.

Paige sat next to me with her cousin and his girlfriend.

They thought my penalty was funny.

"Bitches," I said under my breath.

18 minutes.

So did the two Aussies next to me.

"Wankers."

17 minutes to go.

Dakota ignored my pleas.

He was a man of his word.

So was I and I muttered, "Dickaota."

15 minutes.

Mikie and Edward were not moved by entreaties for a drink.

I didn't have a dog in this fight and said nothing more, plus they were closer to Dakota than me.

"Bastards."

13 minutes to go.

A James Bond movie was on the TV.

He was with an attractive Japanese woman.

They drank saki.

"Goddamned 007."

But Sean Connery was the best of all the James Bonds.

11 minutes left.

The lights played tricks with my eyes.

I wasn't wearing my glasses.

"Fucking myopia."

10 minutes and counting every second.

The young Saturday Night crowd was having a good time.

They had drinks.

Not me.

"Ass-kissing young people."

9 minutes and I was losing it.

Paige's boyfriend was on his way.

I called Steve on my flip phone.

I wanted him to bring a small bottle of gin.

That would show Dakota.

There was no answer.

"Oh, Steve, why have you forsaken me?"

8 minutes had 480 seconds.

I glared at Dakota.

He smiled back.

The Arizonan had the power.

"Dakota, you done me wrong."

Dakota pointed to his phone.

"Tick tock, tick tock."

The room swirled around me.

No one took pity.

I was on my own.

"Asshole."

6 minutes felt like twenty.

I spotted a junior bank exec was drinking my drink.

"Don't even think about it," warned Dakota.

"I wasn't going to steal his drink."

"Yeah, right."

I went back to my seat.

5 minutes was 3/4s of the way to twenty.

My glass was not half-full.

It was empty.

Not even the ice cubes remained.

"Did I deserve this treatment?" I asked Paige, who shrugged out that it didn't matter to her

"She was so cruel."

4 minutes was a good time for running a mile.

I had read the bar signs before.

Now they had a special meaning.

I was an official piece of dog paddy.

"You mutt."

90 seconds equaled 3 minutes.

Paige offered me her beer.

She was a nice girl.

The can was empty.

"Bitch."

2 minutes.

I held my breath.

One minute to go.

I was in the home stretch.

Dakota came over with a new glass filled to the brim.

"See. Twenty minutes isn't too long."

"I've learned my lesson."

"Which is?"

"Don't shout at you when you busy and there are paying drinks ahead of me."

"Correct."

He went back to the crowd.

"I love you, man."

But I loved my GT better.

On the way out the boys gave me a send off.

"I love you, guys."

Gin makes me sentimental.

Drunk too.

Entering the subway for the F train, I said hello to my favorite tree in Chinatown.

It grew out of a wall.

For the last three years.

"I love you, tree."

I patted its leaves.

Home was only twenty-three minutes away.