Tales From a Barfly
Bars and Drunk Driving – a Moral Dilemma
I have received a lot of flak on my Thai Visa Expat forum thread about the story I related concerning a certain German Gentleman – the self-named Mr ‘Ting Tong’ who insisted on driving home drunk last week.
The point of most contention was the fact that Mobi’s ladies assisted the man to get on his bike, and when he crashed into a tree on the other side of the road; they rushed over to help him once again and point him in the right direction.
I can see the point of their outrage. What they are saying is that my staff effectively assisted this man to get onto the road and potentially be a danger to other road users.
I would answer that I agree with them, they are correct, but that what exactly would they have me do?
As it is we are probably one of the few bars that takes any interest in our customers state of intoxication, and we always urge them to be careful. On several occasions we have driven customers (and their bikes) home for them.
We also offer a taxi service to any who want it, but we cannot force anyone to do anything they do not wish to do.
If we tried to limit their alcohol intake, or refuse their custom, we would surely go broke in a big hurry.
Drunk drivers rule the roads of Pattaya, and Thailand in general, and very little can be done to stop this appalling practice until the government and the police make it a priority and take very firm action.
As it is, virtually every bar in Thailand spawns drunk drivers who will eventually drive home and be a potential menace to other ‘innocents abroad’. If Mobi’s tried to take any kind of unilateral action, we wouldn’t last more than a few weeks.
As for the girls who helped Mr Ting Tong back onto his bike. Well, in the first instance, if they hadn’t helped him, there is no doubt in my own mind that he would have eventually managed to do it by himself and driven off.
Secondly, these girls may work for Mobi’s but that doesn’t mean we can control their lives. They were the ones who had been drinking with him and they took it upon themselves to help him out when he fell over.
I may be their boss, but for those of you who know anything about Thailand, you will know full well that these girls have wills of their own and there is no way that Mobi, a lowly farang bar owner, could have said anything that would have stopped them rushing to his aid.
I ask you, in all honesty, if you were running a bar in Pattaya, what would you do?
Late Update – Last night, Saturday, we once again had a drunk Mr Ting Tong to deal with, and once again the girls helped him onto his bike and he drove away.
Five minutes later he was back again, angry at something, but we knew not what. (Whenever he speaks English I can’t understand a word he is trying to say and we usually converse in Thai with a bit of Issan thrown in for good measure……).
After wandering around the outside of the bar for a while he eventually tried to re-mount his bike to go home. The girls started to rush to his aid but this time I said:
‘No! Don’t help him! If he has an accident you will feel very bad.’
They considered this and nodded their heads. We all stood and watched as the drunken idiot tried to go it alone.
It took ‘Ting Ting’ a full five minutes to start his bike (it had a kick start) and he nearly fell over in a hollow in the ground outside the bar , before wobbling back out into the road and disappearing into the moonlight….
The demise of the Dark destroyers, AKA Singha John
I have also received a fair amount of flak for my continual updates on the legendary Singha John, following the recent run-in with him which resulted in one of my young ladies hurling a glass of water at his departing car.
I have been accused of being fixated with him.
Maybe I am.
And, I dare to suggest, so might you if you had been in my shoes and there was a drunken oaf who seemed hell bet on ruining your business, causing trouble and making the foulest and disparaging remarks to ‘you and yours’ without the slightest provocation.
Anyway, fixated or not, I am pleased to announce that he seems to have finally taken his business to another bar.
We didn’t see his face in the bar next door for a full 7 days, and one day I was driving around the lake to do some shopping when I spotted ‘The dark destroyer’s’ trusty and rusty steed parked up at another bar.
Knowing SJ to be a creature of habits, I think I can confidently assume that he will not be back to his old haunt in the foreseeable future.
But who can say for sure?
There is a bar owner – whose real name and bar will remain anonymous, but for the purposes of the tale I will call him ‘Scarface’.
Scarface caught his wife of several years ‘in flagrante delicto’ with her Thai lover and immediately moved out of the marital abode but by mutual agreement, he continued to enjoy his shared his interest in the jointly owned bar.
Most days he would drop by the bar and ensure it was being run properly and at the end of the month he would check the numbers and take his 50% share of the net cash takings.
Clearly this arrangement was fraught with problems, and as the weeks passed the business of the bar went down and down as his estranged wife paid little attention to managing the place.
As a consequence, Scarface’s share of the monthly net takings dried up to a mere pittance.
Scarface made continual requests to his wife to settle the matter and suggested that they either sell the business and share the proceeds, or she buy him out. There was little response, but one day, completely out of the blue, his wife called him and asked him to meet her at the bar to discuss a settlement.
Scarface could hardly believe his ears and he rushed to the bar with high expectations that at long last something would be done and he would at least get some of his money back.
The wife was sitting with her Thai boyfriend (an ex-army type) and he sat down to join them.
unHe had barely started talking when to his sudden shock and surprise, the Thai boyfriend pulled out a gun and pushed the barrel of the gun against Scarface’s temple.
He nearly had the shits then and there and thought that his time was up. He didn’t know what to say or do, but after a few moments of silence, he said very quietly,
‘Please, why don’t you back off a little?’
His wife just sat there and said nothing.
After a few more agonising moments, the man slowly removed his gun from Scarface’s head and put it on the table, but it was still in his hand.
Scarface jumped to his feet and almost ran towards the door, expecting at any moment to feel the pain of a bullet in his back.
But he made it, and he made it to Mobi’s to tell the tale.
He got very drunk and I felt very sorry for him, but there was nothing I could say or do that might ease his plight.
He drove off at around 1 am and I haven’t seen him since.
I do hope he is OK as he is a nice guy and has been very kind and helpful to me.