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It’s 2 a.m. My ears are ringing and I realize I’ve left my glasses at home. I feel as if I’m moving through molasses. All I see in this dark room are bright, flashing lights. A heavy bass line is slowly fading in; I can feel the thumping in my chest, where my heart should be. I barely hear a muffled shout behind me and turn to see my entourage sitting on a sectional against a mirrored wall. The ringing in my ears is slowly coalescing into what I imagine is the “Dubstep Dangles Dirty” playlist on Spotify and my friends chanting my name. I look down and can make out what I think is a basket in my hands. Confused, I look up. By then, it’s too late.
For the last month or so, I was traversing Thailand with two of my brothers, lets call them Baloo and Hefe, trying to see and sample a little bit of everything this small country had to offer. Typical of all of our excursions together, there were plenty of drunken fiascos that are hardly remembered, but I’ll happily convey them to you all anyway.
This night was different. It was actually supposed to be our night in. We’d spent all day out on the water and so we were resigned to call it early. We nursed a few beers at our hotel and reminisced on the day, including the booty-ful prospects we’d met at the beach bar. We were about to invite a handful of them over when Hefe’s phone went off. With a humorless face he told Baloo and I to put down our phones, we had more important business to attend.
“What could possibly be more important than Australian girls wanting to come over?” I argued.
He replied with but three words.
“Ping pong show.”
“Why the hell would I rather watch some guys play with a ping pong ball than have this blondie shove MY balls in her mouth?” I retaliated naively.
Baloo went over to speak with Hefe and I returned to my conversation with Ass McGuire. Not a minute later, Baloo and Hefe were dressed to go out and were dragging me to my feet.
“You have to be kidding me, these girls are like Kobe beef relative to anything from home, you can’t find this in the States! What are you doing?” I yelled
“I promise, it’ll be worth it,” Hefe replied. “Just put on some clothes.”
“Stop being a bitch and get ready,” Baloo joined in. “You’ll love this.”
I begrudgingly opened another beer, preparing for a boring night.
We hopped on our rental motorbikes, pockets full of booze, and headed out. Left out of the loop, I simply followed Hefe, our guide for the evening. Within a few minutes, we arrived at a giant sign that read “Walking Street.” For those of you who don’t know, Walking Street is a road in Pattaya full of bars and clubs catering to every vice known to man. Imagine a Red Light District set in downtown Miami.
I wobbled off my motorbike, thanking the Lord that this thing didn’t have a Breathalyzer ignition interlock.
“What kind of ping pong tournament goes on here?” I asked Hefe. “It looks like we’re about to star in Balls of Fury.”
Hefe responded with a laugh and ventured out onto Walking Street, a man on a mission.
Skipping some of the more “colorful” details of the strip, we made our way to a shady looking bar, and after a few drinks, Hefe started plying the bartender for answers as to where we could find a ping pong show. To keep myself entertained, I called out to a local girl nearby, assuming she wouldn’t understand what I was saying. “Hello, beautiful!” As is my luck, she spoke perfect English. “My name is actually Cake, but I appreciate the compliment, cute stuff.” True to form, I responded the only way Harhko would know how, “Cake? What, are you a stripper or something?” She giggled, finished her drink and said, “If you stick around, maybe you’ll find out,” and walked out.
Hefe turned to us with a dejected face, no luck from this place. Baloo recommended we try a different bar; someone was bound to know where to find this thing. I agreed with Baloo, thankful for the opportunity to keep drinking. We hopped from bar to bar, repeating our process at each stop.
Somewhere between beer seven and eight things took a turn. When posed the question about the ping pong show, our bartender, who spoke little English, turned to the bouncers at the door and barked a few words in Thai, ending the sentence with “ping pong show.” The two burly men grabbed us by the arms and led us out the door. Seeing my death before me, I brought my beer along, coincidentally “forgetting” to pay my tab.
Once outside, the bouncer started yelling in broken English, “You want see ping pong show?” He raised his arm from his side. I quickly imagined him drawing his large machete and cutting off my head or my beer-stealing hands. But instead, he pointed and burst out with a loud, monstrous chuckle, “Silly American friends, ping pong show there.” Behind us, and a little ways down the road, was a large flashing sign of a naked woman straddling a rocket. We quickly snagged a photo with these two for posterity and continued our pilgrimage, but not without me paying my tab and leaving a nice tip.
I followed Hefe and Baloo, the two strutting down the road, brimming with excitement from locating this “hidden treasure” in the byways of Walking Street. I was glad I didn’t die but still didn’t understand why this was worth missing out on an Australian blowie.
Arriving at what appeared to be a consortium for every fetish under the sun, I stared in bewilderment at Hefe and Baloo.
“The fuck kind of ping pong tournament goes on here?”
Hefe simply laughed again and walked on in.
The inside seemed to be a typical strip club; dark with an assortment of neon and black lights, loud music, the distinct odor of cigarettes interrupted only by the occasional waft of whiskey or weed. I checked my phone to try to figure out the time but we were rushed by a handful of strippers who took our phones from us. “No phones allowed!” I could see why this place was so hard to find, though I still didn’t understand why they would keep it so hidden. Hefe swung by the stage and exchanged a few words with the MC. Hefe then turned back to us and piped up, “Let’s take a seat, it should be any minute now.” We sat in a cushy sectional against a mirrored wall and ordered another drink, relaxing to enjoy the strip show.
Moments later the MC could be heard over the music, speaking Thai. Hefe retorted, “Almost there, it’ll be right after this next show.” Then our MC repeated everything in English, “I know you like private dances, so how about a PUBLIC dance for our American friends!” He was met by applause from the audience. The same strippers who took our phones then took our hands and led us on stage, seating each of us at an ottoman set up on stage then returning to their seats by the door.
Nine scantily clad ladies walked out from the curtain and took the stage. Panicking, I asked if this was the ping pong show, fully expecting these girls to expose a pair of testicles. Baloo told me that it wasn’t, this was just a dance. This hardly quieted my nerves as the only other time I’d gotten a dance at a strip club, I got pink eye from a lady named Rose. If you ask nicely, I can tell you about it later.
Anyways, the ladies split off, three to a man, then sat us down and began doing what they were paid to do. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t see a thing but the wall of tits in my face. One of the strippers pinched my cheeks, giggled, and called me cute stuff. I had fucking Yellow Fever. Seeing as the compliment came from a stripper who was an adorable 5 feet tall with *maybe* large B-Cups, I should have realized that this was probably something she said to every patron. But I was feeling the sauce so I figured I was just a regular George Clooney.
I only cut through the fog when that particular little lady got behind me like she was big spoon and put her hand down my pants, grabbing Little Richard and giving me a handy on stage. I nearly went into cardiac arrest when the stripper playing jetpack started crooning, “Ooooh, so big!” because I knew I recognized her voice. I turned around to get a look at her face and lo and behold, it was Cake, the girl from the first bar. She winked at me and started gesticulating with her free hand, doing the whole tongue-in-cheek (literally) blowjob motion that every man knows. I turned to face the other two strippers, thanking my tan skin for hiding my red cheeks. The next few minutes seemed to draw into eternity, each beat in the music marking a lifetime.
When the song finally came to an end, I stood up and realized my shirt had been unbuttoned and removed. I looked around trying to locate it and Cake teased me a little bit, twisting my nipple and commenting on how I didn’t need my shirt. Seeing that I wasn’t going to get it back anytime soon, I went back to my seat. Hefe and Baloo had already returned to the wall, each with a stripper on their arms. They all laughed at my toplessness, so I sat down and kept silent. In a moment or so, Cake returned with my shirt and a pair of low ball tumblers. While I buttoned my shirt, she took the seat next to me and handed me a glass of what seemed to be whiskey. I asked her what time it was, trying to gauge how much more I could drink before I blacked out. She told me it was 1:45, which meant I was good for another drink.
Sipping on my whiskey, the MC’s voice rang out in the club to which the audience erupted into applause. Although we still didn’t understand what he was saying, the words “ping pong show” were unmistakable.
Finally the Golden Fleece was before us.
A stripper walked around and started handing balloons out at random, one of them making its way into Hefe’s hands. Confused, I watched as Hefe was helped on stage where a stripper with a blowgun helped fasten the balloon to his belt.
For those of you who don’t know yet, ping pong shows have absolutely nothing to do with the sport we’ve all played while drinking. A ping pong show is an exotic dance with more exotic and less dance, wherein a stripper shoves something in her vagina, then shoots it out. Read: the object does not fall out — it is shot out. Launched through the air. And so I watched as Hefe became a human dartboard for a stripper shooting darts out of her pussy, with the balloon covering his testicles being the bull’s-eye.
The stripper lay on her back, inserted the loaded blowgun, lined up the shot and fired. I heard a metallic ping as the dart glanced off the metal pole behind Hefe. As she reloaded for the second shot (as terrible as that sounds) I think I blacked out.
I started to come to and I slowly started to realize I was on my feet. I look around and see a clock on the far wall.
It’s 2 a.m. My ears are ringing and I realize I’ve left my glasses at home. I feel as if I’m moving through molasses. All I see in this dark room are bright, flashing lights. A heavy bass line is slowly fading in; I can feel the thumping in my chest, where my heart should be. I barely hear a muffled shout behind me and turn to see my entourage sitting on a sectional against a mirrored wall. The ringing in my ears is slowly coalescing into what I imagine is the “Dubstep Dangles Dirty” playlist on Spotify and my friends chanting my name. I look down and can make out what I think is a basket in my hands. Confused, I look up. By then, it’s too late. As my field of view pans up from the basket, I see the stripper on stage; naked, laying on her back, her finger in her mouth, her eyes locked on something above my head. I follow her eyes and I spot a pickle flying at my head.
I will the basket in my hands to move, trying to catch the floating gherkin before it collides with my noggin. In the final moments I reflexively shut my eyes and shrug my shoulders, bracing for impact. I hear a roar from the crowd as the fermented cucumber crashes into my cranium. I feel wetness spread through my hair and I’m not sure if it’s pickle juice or pussy juice. I felt the burn of shame rising up my neck; admittedly preferable to a different kind of burn I could be feeling. Dejected, I turned my eyes towards my feet. But to my pleasant surprise, her pickle had somehow found its way into my basket. Victorious, I grabbed the pickle and held it to the sky, like a Viking holding up his horn in triumph, then pointed it at Cake, mouthing the words “I’m coming for you.” The ubiquitous sound of disgust coming from the audience stopped my celebration and made me realize I should not be touching this pickle with my bare hands, so I put it down and ran to the bathroom to scrub the sin out of my palms.
I returned to my seat to find that Cake and the strippers had disappeared and Hefe and Baloo were ready to bounce. Hefe held up a piece of paper with a phone number on it saying, “Cake offered you some dessert if you’re up for it.” I shook my head no, “If I don’t find her on Tinder, it wasn’t meant to be. Plus, she has braces, and I want a blowjob, not a cheese grater.”
And that is the first of many Siamese Stories that I will never tell my parents, but will hopefully rub in the faces of my grandchildren before bedtime. That is, if I ever have the pleasure of meeting the little rascals..