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Perhaps it was my good mood with the upcoming holiday season but I did feel that there were an awful lot of laughs to be had in the news this week.
Rooster is always happy at Christmas – I only have to think of all that nonsense I am ‘missing’ in the UK to make me smile and appreciate my lot in Thailand. I can still enjoy a roast dinner and the wife’s screeching rendition of “Jinger Ben, Jinger Ben” never lasts long.
So it was this week that many stories acted as a kind of surgical removal of Rooster’s scowls. Besides, I have always thought it is vital to treat the serious issues of the kingdom as much with a pinch of salt as with a whole pack of Saxa.
Looking at some of the posters’ comments on the Thaivisa forum I imagine they must not only be old but additionally old before their time. For living happily in the kingdom you need not only a thick skin but a finely tuned sense of humor – and often it is better to take things at face value rather than pry pedantically.
Think Thai comedy troupes with all the bells and whistles and you won’t go far wrong….delving into details is decidedly devilish as well as bad for your health.
Top story of the week were the hilarious goings on at Laem Chabang port where Bangkok’s new NGV vehicles were either parked gathering sea salt or still on the ships in the Gulf. Reading between the lines it is clear that the 500 or so buses that were supposed to have been made in ASEAN neighbor Malaysia, and thus eligible for tax breaks, were really made in China – with the wing mirrors perhaps put on in KL so a billion baht for the Thai taxman could be avoided or evaded.
Whether it is avoidance or evasion I never met a Thai who gave a Tossaporn for the difference.
One could imagine PM Prayuth – due to appear in Bangkok to celebrate the buses eco-friendly arrival next week – seething as he sees his anti-corruption initiatives for the next twenty years start going back in time twenty years instead.
The image is hilarious though of course culpability may well rest with the Malaysians who are not so different from the Thais when all is said and done.
Down in Chantaburi it was smiles all round as more than a hundred exhausts were crushed with a steamroller while the youths who used them on souped-up racing bikes looked on aghast.
Still not to worry, I am sure mumsy will get them a new one just to keep the offspring out of her hair while she is watching the latest soaps on YouTube.
Thais were reported as being in the top ten users of that site in the world – this would have got an award for the most non-news story of the week were it not for the “revelations” of what 60% of the population were viewing each morning, noon and night – songs and soaps.
Come on Thaivisa – tell me something I don’t know.
Also falling into that genre was the rib-ticklingly, rollicking story that Thai university professors were behind cable TV English teaching that suggested “Do you like to play penis?” as a viable sentence. Maybe it is – old Rooster is a bit out of touch these days.
Anyway, it was meant to be tennis but with all the mistaken slides used in the course it really was game, set and match to those who despair about the language standards in the kingdom. Rooster began as an English teacher in Thailand but seeing that as a dead end job soon switched to teaching Thai – mainly because it paid much better due to the loaded foreign customers!
I also had to laugh at the British press who printed a story about the amazing recovery of a Thai girl who had had her face “ripped off”. The Daily Mirror was doing the ripping off if you ask me – the girl had a cut and a few bruises that any full blooded male in Thailand might get from his missus if he were to joke about having a “gik”.
Comical rather than newsworthy once again.
Also providing us with a barrel of laughs – as they have been wont to do all year – were the monkhood, specifically an abbot in Khon Kaen who was pictured with a young woman who lent him her arm for Lent.
In an attempt at mitigation, he said he was “making merit”. So that is what you call it. To make matters worse he was in “lay” clothes though whether he took them off when “laying” his bit on the side was not mentioned.
Still, he was taken for further clothes removal at a defrocking and now he can seek nirvana in the way most of us do without fear of approbation.
He’ll probably appreciate the funny side even if he will have to work for a living from now on.
Perhaps less funny and more schadenfreudian were the Japanese who were in the news this week handing out their own version of “Bad Guys Out” to the Thais. Rooster felt sorry for the Thai man who was being ejected from Edo because his Thai mum had worked there illegally when he was born but I had little sympathy for the crackdown announced on Thais who were abusing free tourist visas by going to the land of the rising sun to get a rise in their bank balances.
Very misguided if you ask me – you only have to look at the number of public holidays in Thailand to see the benefits of working here. I counted 19 bank holidays for 2017 when I got my free bank diary this week.
Perusing it at the counter I asked the girl if they were open at all next year – she smiled, but that didn’t necessarily mean she had seen the funny side.
Continuing the titter-fest was news that Muay Thai had received provisional recognition as a potential Olympic sport. All well and good except that in the same story so had cheerleading. And to add insult to injury, the 400,000 registered kick boxers worldwide paled behind the other scantily clad leg kicking variety who number an impressive 4.5 million.
Less amusing but still worth a shake of the head for utter disbelief was the Bangkok man who clearly wanted to see the back of his wife. Rather than the norm of leaving her with the kids and wandering off into the sunset with a bottle of Mekhong under his arm he produced another bottle – this one was thinner.
Nothing to do with it being less fat and more to do with flammability. In a car of all places and in broad daylight in Sukhumvit Soi 22 he doused his better half in the passenger seat and set her on fire.
Luckily she survived while the story did have an amusing side because the police didn’t seem to have a clue what to charge him with – using thinner on yer missus in the hours of daylight or attempted murder. They’ll probably set up a committee to decide.
Other vehicular stories this week involved the road rage incident where a man started shooting in Bang Na because a fellow road user had the temerity to not let him push in and the taxi driver who got six months for attacking a Mini Cooper driver with some lead piping.
What is it about Mini Coopers? Celebrity Nott of ‘graap my rot’ fame was in one the other week and now this. Rooster will just have to stick to the Ferrari and hope that scares them off.
And so to this week’s Rooster awards and what a bumper week of abject absurdity it was.
The “Khun Kobkarn award for services to Tourism” – kindly sponsored by the overflowing coffers at the TAT – went to the Thai hoteliers association for their business acumen and sensitivity in putting prices up 10% to relieve the burden of wealth from the ever increasing independent travelers now that tour groups are dying a ‘zero-dollar’ death.
This also led to the award for the best headline of the week that dangled the “bait of click” with the announcement that “FIT tourists were arriving in droves”. Oooh, totty from yipun thought lascivious Rooster until he read on to see that F.I.T. means nothing more than fully independent travelers.
I felt used….
Meanwhile the “About as Funny as Fois Gras” award goes to the breaking story from Koh Samui where several French people in the restaurant business have seemingly developed a taste for murder. Perhaps worthy of a grin though was the police assertion that the perps thought they could make gunshot wounds look like a tumble at the local waterfall.
No plod, even the French are not that stupid.
The “Awfully Sorry about Jimmy Savile but we won’t make another Mistake Again” award goes to the BBC whose Bangkok offices were visited after Lese Majeste charges were mentioned. The Beeb might have been advised to hire sycophantic royalist Nicholas “Twitchel” to present their documentary on the new monarch rather than their usual insensitive staff who have about as much savvy and sense about Thailand as a myopic mole.
Another award goes to the taxi driver who spent an eon driving along and ranting into a camera about how Uber were denying him the opportunity to fleece and ignore the public, something he saw as his Buddha given right. Hopefully he didn’t have any passengers in the back but he still gets a mention in dispatches for completely ignoring the road for all of five minutes without crashing. Well done, no need to stop for me though.
Forum poster of the week award was not given this week – the stories got all the laughs and the posters were just too serious.
Finally, the forum is abuzz after it was announced that nominations for “Poster of the Year” should be submitted without delay. Reading the nano-print it appears that employees of Thaivisa do not qualify. What a pity – ageing Rooster will just have to content himself with the mia-noi’s tongue in cheek assessment of his meagre charms…Poster Boy of the Year.
If only the wife saw the funny side.