Spike was a Tasmanian demolition mining expert. Three months of the year the stubby-legged gremlin put down the nitro, TNT, and cordite for a drinking holiday in Pattaya. Mining by explosion is a rough line of work and Spike's charms are few to the eye. Short, loud, brash, and drunk fit a polite description of the Tassie. Expletives were necessary to round out other qualities, but he was a quiet afternoon drinker at Maggie May's on Soi Concrete.
"The drink calms my nerves." His hands had the trembles. His body twitched, as if shocked by Tasers. Proximity to the blasts had ruined his nervous system. He usually sat alone in the bar. Having been married to a Sydney harridan, Spike didn't get involved with Thai bargirls or 'sheilas', so I was surprised to see him sitting next to a cute fat woman in her 30s.
"Meet Pom." Spike wasn't much of a talker. His friend had been with him almost a week. A record for Spike.
Some of his friends said he was getting serious, but a mate from Perth, who had been married to Spike's wife's sister, accepted all bets that Spike would be a bachelor again within three days. The odds were 10-1 and he had plenty of takers. After all Spike's short-times tend to be horror-shows and this girl was a beauty in comparison.
Two evenings later I was sitting at the bar in Spike's hotel. The girl came downstairs crying and sat on the sofa. Spike appeared five minutes later.
"She complained she hurt from too much sex and couldn't do it again. All the girls say that after a few days. "What bollocks."
He looked over to his 'date' with disgust.
I poked him in the shoulder with my index finger.
"That doesn't hurt."
I jabbed him harder with two fingers. "What about that?"
"A little bit."
I knuckled him with three fingers and he flinched, "Watch it, mate."
"Just trying to prove a point."
"Women complain about men wanting sex all the time. Why? Because you would too, if you had a drunk ramming a sausage into you three times a day. Women are soft inside. Men are hard. Gotta hurt."
"So whatcha saying?" Spike was dense as a bucket of mud.
"Just that you can't expect a woman, even a bar girl, to take a pounding and not hurt after a few days."
"Hadn't thought of it that way." His face softened to putty and he winked at his girl.
"So you're gonna give the girl another chance?"
He wasn't going to find anyone prettier during his stay. Then again this is Pattaya and Spike said, "Naw, my love days died a long time ago."
He finished his beer and headed into the night. The woman followed at a distance. Her eyes cleared of tears by the desire for revenge.
The mate from Perth collected his bets. Even at 10-1 he made enough for a good meal at the Lobster Pot. Everyone bitched that they had been set up. The mate from Perth said, "I know Spike 25 years. He lasted nine years with his wife. He hasn't has a bird longer than a month since the divorce. He's no good. If you can't see that, then you're blind."
We heard shouting from the end of the street. It was Spike and the girl. She was hitting him with a shoe. He went down to his knees and took a beating. Everyone at the bar laughed and the mate from Perth said, "Look who's hurting now? Drinks on me."
"What about Spike?" I asked, because he had been laid out cold by hell's fury.
No one moved from their chair, but said in unison raising their beers.
"Som nam nah."
Which in Thai means SERVES YOU RIGHT. We went back to our drinks and minded our business.
The next day Spike was seen arm and arm with his assailant.
He liked the rough stuff.