Late 19th century. William Gladstone the great prime minister of England enjoyed a slug of laudanum (a form of opium) in his morning coffee and then would go out and run the greatest empire the world had even known.
George Bush is reputed to have given up cocaine before becoming President of the United States.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
Thailand‘s northern province of Chiang Mai has declared five districts disaster zones after temperatures dropped below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for over three days. Some schools were closed when the temperatures fell briefly to 40 degrees.
Does this mean it is the end of Global Warning?
PAPA JOE’S TALES AND FABLES:
THE TALE OF THE POLITICIAN WHO CRIED MERCY
Most people are aware of an affliction called Tourette Syndrome, where a person suffers from periodic outbursts of uncontrolled expletives. To most of us foul or so-called obscene language is merely the urge now and then to expel short burst of air during periods of emotion or fillers in conversation. We have also all met those who fall somewhere between full-blown Tourette and occasional profanity, that is those, usually men, who cannot avoid lacing their conversations with foul language.
I knew a fairly well-known politician from southern California (Several of you reading this I am sure recognize who is being referred to) who was known for his particularly foul and blasphemous language.
Since he was an up and coming politician in the Professional Hypocrite Party he recognized that he would have to get his compulsion under control since his party stood four square for family values and morality. It would most assuredly lose him votes should his speech, say to the woman’s Auxiliary of the local County Club, suddenly be decorated with his most favorite words and expressions.
He realized just trying to suppress the urge to shout out expletives was a losing proposition, after all it was a compulsion. So instead he decided to replace all the obscene words in his vocabulary with the single word, Mercy.
That did the trick. Now when one spoke with him, instead of feeling you were engaged in a conversation with a Brooklyn dock worker, you felt you were in the presence of a minister of god. It was mercy this and merciful that. His career prospered.
I used to like to visit him at his home, he would greet me at the door and say something like, “Mercy, Mercy Joe. Have mercy on me if it is not good to see you. Come in, you look like you could use a merciful drink.”
Which I translated as, “Fuck Joe, you look like a piece of dog shit.”
I guess the moral of this tale is that when listening to most merciful politicians, pay mercifully close attention to what the mercy head is saying and you won’t be mercified.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IT THAILAND:
While on the subject of calling things by various euphemisms, I have been called a lot of different things. I have been endearingly or sarcastically referred to as Joe, Joey, Pookie, Papa (my current honorific in Thailand), Kuhn Joe (My previous honorific when I had money), Papa Joe, Grandpa and so on. I have also been called variously, jerk, asshole, bastard, SOB and various slang expressions for the male member (This latter usually preceded by the word “big” which I guess is better than “little”). Once the secretaries of the California State Office of Planning and Research reputedly voted me “Telephone Jerk of the Year” in honor of my particular brand of telephone etiquette.
While extensive and creative nick names are not the norm in western Europe north of Rome Italy, in Thailand people’s names keep changing. Recently someone who I knew as Ma changed her name to Jess.
SWAC (Which is the shortened acronym for “She who must be avoided at all costs”) originally called “Ying” or little girl in Thai or in Bangkok slang, “little prostitute”, has also been known of as Kuhn Nat, Suphravee, and Natalie. For as long as I have known her several people around Soi 11 in Bangkok have referred to her as that “Notorious lesbian and international prostitute” or NLIP (pronounced EN-LIP). Recently, the lonely widow (you remember her) and others have called her the “Notorious social climber” (NSC). –There is that word “Notorious” again. I think it is better to be referred to as “Notorious” than “unknown”, “Irrelevant” or “Inept.” For example, I would prefer to be known as “Joe the notorious screw up” rather than “Joe the inept screw-up.”
Anyway, I think most of us have been called so many things at one time or another during our lives that over time it becomes more and more difficult knowing who we are.
Also today, I got my re-entry permit (that means I can leave and return to Thailand without losing my retirement visa). This brings me closer to my brief return to the US.
Now the question I am toying with is whether I fly into LA and visit friends there and then to SF and leave from there back to Thailand (or vice versa), or whether I should simply fly in and out of SF and take a quick trip to Southern California during my stay.
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”
- A Lesson from Mark Twain (liveloveandpray.wordpress.com)
- Mark Twain responds to Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer ban (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Mark Twain on Plagiarism and Originality: “All Ideas Are Second-Hand” (brainpickings.org)