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Has Edna gone too far this time?

Another snubbed Brit

Has Edna gone too far this time?

Dear Editor,
The last time I wrote to you I was mulling over what to do about the problem of my teenage daughter’s slippery slide into pre-marital sex due to the sly attentions of a dried squid salesman. I was contemplating having her surgically seen to, but scandalized letters from your readers have suggested to me that this solution smacks of the Third Reich so I have had to think again.
Whenever I have a moral dilemma I turn for inspiration to the writings of my late departed and very much lamented husband, the very Reverend Donald Gosling. Leafing through one of his sadly unpublished epic poems, in this case the seven hundred stanzas of Lancelot and the Lascivious Wassails of Welsh Wales, I came upon the scene where the errant knight tries to liberate Queen Gwenivere from the chastity belt into which she has been confined for seven years by her husband, King Arthur, since the advent of his crusade again the Muslim hordes. The device has been ingeniously fitted with a guillotine to prevent extra-marital intercourse and Lancelot turns for help to the magician Merlin who has mysteriously lost his tongue. But that’s another story.
The upshot was that I realized my late hubbie was communicating to me from beyond the grave. The solution to my maternal dilemma was to incarcerate my daughter in just such a contraption until she was old enough to make mature decisions for herself about her post nuptial gift. In Tabatha’s case this would be when she is about forty. But where was I to find a chastity belt in Chiang Mai. If the ladies of Loh Kroh Road whom I leaflet on a Saturday night are anything to go by, the locals here would have no concept of such an artefact. As the Reverend Donald frequently bemoaned to me, the Thais are strangely immune to Christian conversion. The hill tribes, on the other hand, are not. Provide them with a few blankets to keep the chill off the cold night, a semblance of education and hint of healthcare, and they are only too ready to embrace the teachings of the Lord. And if any group were to have a detailed knowledge of how to construct such a device it would be our first conquest the Akha tribe in the hills to the west of Mae Taeng. I remember how the Reverend Donald would return absolutely exhausted after several months in the mountains there trying persuade the rampant young women of this tribe to cover their indecently exposed breasts. If ever a missionary acquired hands on experience it was here in our early days of bringing enlightenment to the heathen. But eventually, I am glad to say, after a huge donation from some very generous Americans, he succeeded in bringing them all to the Light.
And so it was to Mae Taeng we determined to go. But how to get there? It’s way off the beaten track and far beyond the propensities of my humble Honda Click. Fortunately I know a nun who drives a pick-up truck. Sister Mary Garson is a formidable character. Although only four foot high, she is at least five foot wide and has muscles to match any man. At the tender age of fifteen she was the all in wrestling champion of County Cork. The challenge of off road driving on the slippery slopes of the jungle holds no fears for her. She advised us to meet her at the Mission at 4 a.m. Rising early is no problem for her either. She is often to be found up at the crack of dawn kneeling in supplication. And so we all bundled into her Toyota Tigress and were soon on our way. Being small of stature, Sister Mary might ordinarily have difficulty seeing over a steering wheel, but she has overcome this shortcoming by installing the inflated inner tube for her to sit upon. Soon we were all bouncing along merrily and singing lustily any appropriate hymn of devotion that came into our heads.
I’m sorry; unfortunately I can’t continue the story right now as I have to attend to my daughter who has locked herself in the lavatory again. Every time this happens I have to avail myself of the local handyman’s toolkit. May I write to you again next week and conclude the tale?
Blessings to you all,
Edna Gosling (Mrs)


Another snubbed Brit

Dear Editor
Your British correspondent last week is not alone in feeling ‘more than slightly miffed’ at being excluded from the ‘Toasting the Queen’ party. I have spent my last 13 years here promoting British interests; have saved at least one English life; counselled 3 Brits while they were terminally ill; visited Thai courts many times as a witness or to give character references; assisted legal investigations without being a ‘grass’ and (with my Thai wife as interpreter) helped countless hopeful businessmen and hopeless tourists.
I did this for neither reward nor thanks (happily!), but for several years it has been very pleasant to be invited to these occasional events and celebrate what’s left of my patriotism. Having been snubbed all of a sudden, that tank is now running on empty. And MANY fellow British long term travellers here feel the same.
Wishing some time to get a visa for my wife to visit UK, only for a holiday of course, I must sign myself:
Disgusted,
Tunbridge Wells.