Bangkok Post columnist
A long time popular Bangkok Post columnist. In 1994 he won the Ayumongkol Literary Award. For many years he was Sports Editor at the Bangkok Post.
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Ever since the horrors of the school dentist who had an uncanny knack of hitting the nerve, I have always regarded dental visits with some trepidation. The very word "extraction" is enough to spark spasms of terror. So last week, as I was sitting in a dentist's chair in Bangkok about to have a misbehaving tooth extracted, I was not exactly a vision of joy.
Surfing through YouTube this week, I came across the novelty Australian song I've Been Everywhere, which I haven't heard for a long time. It doesn't have much of a melody, but it's fun, something we could all do with these days. It is also a useful geography lesson.
When President Barack Obama first took office in 2008, the BBC observed that he would be inheriting "the in-box from Hell" -- and they were not far off the mark. However, Mr Obama's in-tray was rather like a goody-bag compared to what lies in store for President Joe Biden. You wouldn't wish this in-tray on anybody.
The most important news of the week is that magicians are today celebrating the 100th anniversary of a woman being sawn in half on stage. We could all probably do with a bit of magic in our lives at the moment, so let's wave the wand with a quick "abracadabra" and take a magical mystery tour.
A number of readers -- well, three -- have asked why last week's column did not contain the usual predictions for the coming year. My feeling at the time was that with the dark cloud of Covid-19 hovering over us it seemed a bit inappropriate to carry the usual frivolous PostScript predictions. However, I have had a change of heart and considering we are only 10 days into the New Year it is not too late to make silly forecasts.
Admittedly it's is not exactly earth-shattering news, but for the first time in 20 years I haven't spent the New Year holiday in Isan (the Northeast). This was not due to any dramas, but simply a combination of factors that made it more sensible to stay in the Big Mango.
What a dreadful year. We found ourselves having to tackle a whole new vocabulary and most of the words were enough to make even the most optimistic among us depressed. It all began in March with "self-isolation", a horrible expression inferring you have become a hermit, hidden away, exiled, incommunicado, which in fact is exactly what we were.
In the mid-1970s, while travelling on the slowest train in the world from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, I recall reading a substantial chunk of John Le Carre's espionage novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Though not a fast-paced book, it still had more momentum than the wretched train.