She was a good girl, not a bar girl onto the game, the American topless club owner thought. Big John knew only too well how the game was played because as a strip club owner he had been training strippers how to extract as much money from his customers as possible so long as they played the game by his rules. But the con could only go so far. So long as everyone was having fun and no customer got conned beyond what he could afford, and the lies told by the dancers were nothing more than white lies, all would be well at Big John’s Cabaret. Big John’s mistake was believing that he could trust a corrupt Pattaya Policeman to do something as simple as carrying out a Thai girlfriend investigation in LOL. (Not LOS, Land of Smiles but LAND OF LIES).
Big John had over twenty years of experience with American bar girls working with him in the strip clubs, and although he loved his strippers he had long ago concluded that “One can take the girl out of the bar but one cannot take the bar out of the girl.” He had watched countless times the topless dancers playing up to the customers, most of whom were portly older guys, who really had no business believing such young sexy women were remotely interested in them for anything other than money. So he decided to beat the bar girl game by finding a nice girl for a Thai girlfriend. He asked a Pattaya go go bar owner friend of his to help.
He found his “nice Pattaya girl” posing as the manager of a large massage establishment. She was a serious type of person, reserved in manner with a certain Hi So (High Society) attitude that separated her from all the bar girl rif raf all his friends were taking out. “She’s the girl for me,” he reasoned, so he started asking his go go owner friend to ask his Thai wife to act as a go between. After his bar owner friend’s wife had said enough good things about him, Big John started to turn the charm on the massage parlor manager. Before long this nice Thai girl became Big John’s girlfriend.
Big John was visiting Thailand two or three times a year. Every so often he would have an Australian friend of his take ten thousand baht to the massage establishment which he’d give to his nice Thai manager girlfriend in an envelope. One time the Australian took his Thai girlfriend, Noi, along. After giving Big John’s manager girlfriend an envelope full of baht the Australian referred to Big John’s girlfriend as the manager after the pair returned to their hotel room. Noi convulsing with laughter replied, “She’s not the manager, she’s just the cashier.”
The fun and games were starting to reveal themselves. Appropriately enough Big John’s girlfriend’s name was Fun, and believe me, everyone would have a lot of Fun by the time this story would end. The Australian’s girlfriend turned out to be an alcoholic who couldn’t hold onto 10,000 baht for three days. He wound up throwing her out of his condo one night after she nearly bit his eye out and replaced her with a clever Thai bar girl who he called Ding Ding. Now it might seem that the Australian was poking fun at Big John. Far from it. In those days everyone poked a lot of fun at each other. The Australian’s biggest act of stupidity was his failure to realize that Ding Ding had a Thai husband who she was secretly seeing the minute he turned his back on her. Fun, on the other hand was a nice Thai girl with high society breeding, who believed she was infinitely above such low lifes as Ding Ding and her bar girl acquaintances.
One night the Australian took a group to the Excite Disco where everyone sat at a table together except for Fun who sat off by herself at one end of the table away from everyone else, obviously pissed off. No one knew what Big John did or said, but Fun was showing everyone who was the boss. Ding Ding–well she was practically born and raised in a bar. As for Mai who was with everyone that night- Ding Ding had once forged a college transcript for her so she could get a job that required a college education. The pair were best friends. Obviously it was below Fun’s status to hang around with such people even though Ding Ding was probably twice as clever as her and Mai had a coveted university diploma from Chang University. Later on, Ding Ding and Mai would go to Koh Chang with the guys they had been with at Excite, and so would Fun, but during the entire three day outing, she would stay away from the other girls, sitting at the other end of the resort’s swimming pool and playing sick when everyone went snorkeling on a dive boat. The Australian later mentioned Fun’s staying away from the entire group completely encapsulated in her own little corner of self-worth.
The Australian noticed that Fun took a lot of time off from her job for anyone who would be entrusted with any real management responsibilities. Every time Big John would come to Pattaya for one of his two week visits, she would be called away from her job to visit her mother in Udon Nowhereland. Which left Big John with an entire week to hook up with other Thai woman with the remainder of his time being spent with Fun. Meanwhile Fun had somehow acquired the money to have her own house built in Pattaya, and Big John started calling it the Big John and Mrs. Big John house. He started buying furniture for the house hoping to have a semi permanent residence here in LOL (Land of Lies).
About a year later, Big John told the Australian that Fun had to visit her mother, which suited him just fine because he could have one week on his own with the rest of his time playing house as Mr. Big John with Mrs. Big John. By this time he had started getting suspicious. So he decided to go to someone he could really trust to find out the real truth by hiring a Pattaya policeman to put a tail on Mrs. Big John. Within a couple of days he would be once again joining the gang in Pattaya. Then he text message the Australian , “Fun is right now where she’s supposed to be, on the way visiting Mama in the village. My detective has her in his sights.”
That morning the Australian and Peter and were walking for exercise, and by exercise I do mean exercise because they would walk almost all the way to Jomtien and back along the beach. Peter, a rough Norwegian seaman, was the Australian’s best friend mainly because he was the only falang around who was willing to exercise. This walk amounted to twenty kilometers and three hours together during which they’d laugh and talk together about just about anything they could think of. By the time the Australian explained to him how Big John was having a Pattaya policeman tail Fun, Peter burst out laughing, and exclaimed:
“Ha, Ha, Ha. We both know, Andy, what is going on. That Thai policeman has no doubt caught Fun cheating on Big John, so I’ll bet he’s gone to her and told her, “Fun, you give me enough money and I’ll keep my mouth shut. So he will get money from both of them.”
By this time Big John was already in the airplane on his way to LOL (Land of Lies). Later that afternoon Andy and one of his Aussie pals were sitting at a restaurant on the beach, when Andy thought he saw Fun walking just fifty meters away with a tall man.
He asked the other Australian, “Isn’t that Fun walking down the beach with that guy?”
“It sure is.”
“Well that tall guy is Fun’s mother that Big John keeps telling us about. She’s up in Udon Nowhereland right now being followed by this Thai cop while she’s visiting her mama. Looks like that Thai cop isn’t doing what Big John’s paying him for.”
Andy can be a real smart ass, so he decided to take this one to the limit. After all, Big John was one of his best friends ever, even if he poked fun at him whenever he could. He jumped up from the table and strolled up to Fun and her companion.
“Sawadi Kap, Fun. I see you have friend.”
Then the Australian extended his hand to the man standing next to her. “Hi, I’m Andy.”
The man smiled back at him and replied, “And I am Ian.”
Andy couldn’t wait to get back to his condo and computer. The two Australians settled their bill and Andy hurried back to his condo where he immediately e-mailed Big John: “Fun here near my condo on the beach. Mama with her. He’s a tall Englishman.”
Big John picked up the email at the Eva airlines lounge in Taipei where he immediately emailed Andy back: “Thanks good friend. I have been really stupid. But she’s finished now.”
After Andy returned to his condo to warn Big John, Ding Ding suddenly spoke out: “Fun. She have boyfriend in this condo. He have very big condo.”
Reflecting back on this, Andy commented that Fun must have had Ding Ding’s phone number all the time, and that Ding Ding had known all about Fun’s other boyfriend for an eternity. But there is this Thai woman etiquette. No, it’s far more than that. It’s this Thai people etiquette that runs like a professional American football game. It’s falang versus Thai and the Thais all band together against the falang. So in the case of Fun having two boyfriends, the scoreboard read Thai 14, Falang 0. Ding Ding had been Andy’s live in girlfriend for over a year, and for months she had been quiet about Fun’s cheating on Big John. Although she probably detested Fun for her haughty pretentious ways, Fun was nevertheless a Thai. No doubt Ding Ding probably liked Big John a lot. And who wouldn’t? From what I’ve heard, Big John’s one of the most affable people who’s landed in LOL since the Vietnam War. Before becoming a strip club owner he was a night club D.J. who had a legendary reputation for keeping the club’s customers spellbound. But he’s still a Westerner and it’s “We Thais against all Westerners.” But now that Fun’s been caught in the act, it’s time for Ding Ding to cut her losses, act like a loyal girlfriend and to fess up.
A few hours later, Big John’s arrived in Pattaya and checked into his hotel room. Andy decides to get a massage with him just one block up the street from his condo. Andy gets a one hour massage while Big John has either asked for extra time or has put in for a full two hours. After finishing his massage Andy decided to wait for him in front of a little shop on the ground floor of his condo. The place is like a Seven Eleven or Family Mart but it’s smaller. But you can buy beer there, snacks, cigarettes, and just about anything else you would normally find at a Seven Eleven or Family Mart. Back then there were a couple of tables and chairs in front of the place where some of the condo residents and their friends would often relax over beers they had purchased from the owner.
Inside was the tall Englishman Andy had met on the beach a few hours before. This was an opportunity that was not to be missed.
“Hello,” Andy greeted the man as soon as he walked inside. I’m going to buy myself some beer and drink it outside,” he continued. “I’ll buy you one.”
“No. It’s on me,” the man replied. “And I will join you outside.”
Andy couldn’t wait for Big Daddy to return from getting his massage. The plot was starting to thicken.
As they drank their beers together at one of the tables, Andy asked Ian, “That’s a pretty woman, I saw you with today. Where did you meet her?”
“Oh Fun? She’s been my girlfriend for several years now. I met her at a massage establishment. We’ve been together ever since. When I’m here that is. The rest of the time I need to be in England taking care of business.”
“You are a condo owner here then?”
“Yes. I bought one of the largest condos in the building up on the twentieth floor. And if it wasn’t for Fun, I wouldn’t have even known it was for sale.”
“So you found out all about this condo building from your girlfriend?
Oh yeah. Fun knew all about the condos for sale in the building alright. Andy remembered how Big John insisted on having his picture taken with Fun in his condo just a couple of months after he had moved into his unit. He remembered distinctly how the condo that Ian had purchased had been one of the very last units that was sold. So if it hadn’t been for Big John, taking Fun to Andy’s condo and showing it off to her, she would never have known the place even existed.
“It’s a great place,” she told me. In fact, she got a nice commission for helping me buy the place, and as far as I’m concerned she’s earned every penny of it,” Ian added. “I think she used the money to help her buy her own house a few kilometers away from here.”
By this time, Big John, had finished his massage.
“Big John. This is Ian. Ian this is Big John,” said Andy. “Ian bought a condo here just a few months ago. Seems he found out about it from his girlfriend, Fun, and she got a nice commission out of it.” The expression on Big John’s face told Andy that whatever therapeutic effects his massage had on him had immediately disappeared.
“Fun? Where did you meet her?” Big John asked.
“She was managing a massage place. That was two years ago. I see her every time I come here from England.”
“How much did you pay for your condo?” Big John asked.
“Eleven Million baht. She probably got several hundred thousand baht commission from making that sale happen. But I’m really happy for her. I think she got a big down payment on her house out of that.”
Big John looked thoroughly pissed off by now. Andy didn’t know if he’d stalk angrily off or if he’d just pound Ian into the concrete. Big John had once been a professional wrestler and had even been on television several times so Andy knew he was up to the job.
“Come out to the swimming pool with me, Big John. I need to talk with you in private about something.” Then the Australian turned to the Englishman and said, “We will be back in five minutes, okay?”
Out at the pool which was just forty meters away, Andy said to Big John, “I know how you feel, John. You probably don’t want to talk to anyone right now so if you’d like you and I can just go out a lone and have a few without anyone else around.”
“No,” Big John replied. “This poor guy probably doesn’t even know about any of this. We must warn him about this bitch.”
As they returned to their table, Andy said to Ian, “Big John and I want to have a word with you out at the pool. No one else will hear us there.”
Which was no problem. The Englishman had seemed easy going enough. As soon as the men stepped inside the pool entrance, Big John extended his hand and said, “Ian, I am the other man. It seems we have the same girlfriend and she’s been lying to both of us.”
The three men returned to the table where they ordered another round. After that someone suggested they all go to the Walking Street go go bars together. Ian had his own car while Big John had rented a car and driver who picked him up and drove him to Walking Street. Andy took the passenger seat next to Ian. The threesome had many drinks together in the Walking Street go go’s that night. The next day Big John went back to the massage place and told Fun to go to hell in front of all her co-workers. But as Andy told me later, “I think the other women there all patted her on the back afterwards and told her, ‘Good going girl, it is now Thai 21 points, falang zero.’”
This is a true story. The moral of it is, “After all is said and done , if you can’t trust a policeman, who can you trust?”