Pattaya Daily News

03 November 2010 :: 09:11:18 am 45047

And So It Grows

Following the publication of my last article in the previous Pattaya Daily News (hopefully it will be the first of many), my life has changed in so many ways. The article, you will remember, was a spoof on a Thai Shakespearean playwright. Yes, dear reader, you were had: I made him up, him and his plays such as Hamlek and As You Lick It. He was a figment of my fertile imagination. Since appearing in print, my self esteem has grown enormously. It was always big, my self esteem, now it is enormous. And I got paid for it! People often say ‘Oh the money’s not important.’ Not me. It means I am now a Professional Writer like Charles Dickens or Ian Fleming.
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To date, I have written one TV play, a children’s book, a blockbuster novel spanning two continents and my autobiography: none were accepted for publication! So it was with great pride that I viewed my article. It was not the first time I have appeared in a printed magazine; when I was at University I had a poem published called Ode On A Toilet. As I was the editor of the said magazine, it does not really compare with publication in The Pattaya Daily News.

Now I have become something of a celebrity round the sois of our fair city. To give you an example; I was sitting in a bar in L K Metro the other night, holding forth about Mock Heroic Poetry as written by me and the likes of Alexander Pope. Seated on the floor around me and hanging on my every word, was a motley crew; all seekers after knowledge; all drinking draught Chang bought by me. I was interrupted by one of my audience, a Geordie, I think, as I could not understand a word he said to me. Luckily one of the girls was fluent in all UK dialects and she was able to translate for us both.

Geordie: Did you write that article about Twelfth Night where Sir Toby Belch meets a gel called Kamagra?

Me (lowering my eyes modestly so I could admire our translator’s cleavage): Yes, for my sins, that was I.

Geordie immediately punched me in the face and said, ‘Not funny.’ He left with the girl bringing my Literary Soiree to an end. He took with him a number of my audience. My only consolation was the knowledge that he would be sorry the next morning when he awoke with a Changover next to the translator and realised I had not deserved a loose tooth for attempting to educate the masses.

The money, whilst not sufficient to be life-changing, yet, brought me many new friends. A number of farangs thought I should invest it. They promised me returns of 30 to 40% within two months. I was tempted but I was not born yesterday. I have narrowed the choice down to two options: a very nice Thai man wants me to invest in a pyramid selling scheme involving slimming creams – he reckons the market is enormous on Walking Street alone. The other option is the altruistic one. The reason for my success is down to Pattaya and its citizens. What better way to thank them than to plough the money back into society. My friend Lek reckons I could have a great night out and benefit some of the inhabitants of soi 6 into the bargain. I am leaning towards her way of thinking but then I frequently do most Mondays.

My standing on the Quiz team has grown in direct proportion to my ego. Formerly in 50-50 matters my vote was considered a killer for the chosen answer; now our captain is taking my answer half of the time and, I am pleased to report, my success rate has gone up to nearly 20%. (I still maintain the Horseshoe Falls is in America .)

Lastly my profile about town has risen considerably. Where before I would walk down a soi and be addressed merely as ‘sexy man’ or ‘granddad’, now the girls have taken to shouting ‘Adjan’ (Head teacher or Professor). Many have sought my advice on the correct usage of the dependent adjectival clause in English grammar. Some have suggested Private Tutorial sessions though I declined; being a pensioner, I could not afford the rates.

So where do I go from here? I do not want to transfer to Bangkok no matter what my agent says. Living in Bangkok is equivalent to smoking forty cigarettes a day besides spending two hours in a taxi going nowhere. My heart is in Pattaya – I love the driving, the baht buses, and the beach. As I said at the start, being a writer, the first prerequisite is a fertile imagination.

Writer: Mike Bell


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