I took advantage of being really drunk early in the afternoon tonight by not drinking that much on a Saturday evening, and thus, Leigh, I was able to observe, with equal parts repulsion, shame, and ashamed repulsion, the various white man-creatures that arrive in Thailand in hopes, I can only assume, of finally finding out what a woman's skin feels like.
Yes, I went to a bar populated fairly heavily by loser Farang. I was there with Thai people, though, so it was okay that I was there; and also, let's face it, compared to these other Chunks (from "The Goonies"), I'm freaking Shaft. So allow me some superiority while I snark it out here on the old blog:
First there was a man about thirty years old, in a white button down shirt tucked into his khakis, who would have looked normal--nay, even good-looking, by Thai standards (cheat sheet: he was skinny and didn't have a harelip)--if he hadn't taken it upon himself to dance to the live music and reveal himself to be the spazziest nerdlinger this side of Dorkville. Watching him dance, it looked like his neck was independent from the rest of his body, which I didn't even think was possible. Also, maybe he was like the kid from Rookie of the Year, but he seemed incapable of dancing with his arms below his head, constantly opting for the "Shaking Two Maracas Next to My Ears" move that is so flattering to---uh--monkeys, maybe.
Anyone who is that bad at dancing, who voluntarily dances by himself, in Thailand, cannot possibly have any social skills whatsoever, right, and must be the laughingstock of the club, right?
Wrong. You've met the Fonz, now meet Richie Cunningham...'s baby with Down Syndrome.
I always thought that Shrek was based on a flight of fancy, but based on two of the men I saw at Riverside tonight, now I'm not sure. It's not because they looked like ogres, which they did, nor because they were fat with their bellies hanging out over their cargo shorts, which they were, but because when they moved they left a slime trail behind them, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Shrek that I recall, but bare with me, because these are the men--and I wish I had a Kodachrome for you, Thomas--that ruin Thailand.
Edmund White talked often about dialogue and descriptions being too "on the money," which, contrary to most of our economic beliefs, is a bad thing. When a snatch of conversation or a character is too "on-the-money," it means that it is too perfect, or cutesy, or staged--that a character like that could not exist, or that thing could not be said in real life, or that you have written a stereotype.
Out of what page of cliched high school drivel did these mutants crawl? What bubbling ooze created such men, with their focused, head-bobbing leers, their corner-lurking, their petite dissatisfied girlfriends and wives with the longing looks and the death countdowns--when did certain parts of Thailand become the enactions of an Upstate New York Summer Writers Workshop?
Or maybe I should not be so Gabby Garcy, drop the magic and keep the realism and ask:
What produced these men? What really, really, really caused them to happen? And how, how can we stop it, these awful conditions, those contemptible paths of life, these men, these men, these men?