“Hi… My name’s Mandy and I’ll be your hostess for the evening.”
Mandy was cute in an obvious kind of way. Not that there’s anything wrong with being obvious. In fact in some ways I kind of prefer it to that subtle cuteness that only emerges after you’ve drunk an evening’s worth of tequila slammers. The problem with Mandy’s kind of obvious cuteness was that it was so obvious to her. Her big round eyes looking like some manga heroine, her cute dimpling smile and her generous helping of fatty tissue in the breast area all seemed to gang up into making her appear the perfect unreconstructed woman. Hell… I was in a Bangkok edition of Playboy circa 1965.
“Okay Mandy. Me and my friends here would like a round of vodka tonics… And do you have any nuts.”
“No. I’m real girl.”
“Peanuts... preferably honey roasted. We’re drinking shorts.”
She collapsed into manufactured apologetic giggles; the kind that works best with Japanese salarimen who don’t care if something’s fake as fuck as long as it’s cute.
“Yes. I think we have honey nuts.”
“Great. Thanks. Beautiful.”
Mr Skegness looked at me as if he was clearly feeling awkward. “I’m not used to places like this. Can you buy that woman?”
“Uh… No. between you and me you can’t buy anyone in Thailand. You can put down a lease but then you’d have to get married.”
Mr Skegness was a partner in a small hotel my friend Vic was putting the paperwork together for. Vic was indisposed at the moment due to a hard night with some dominatrix so me and Bob and Richard were showing him the upmarket end of Bangkok’s grey scene. Mr Skegness did not like to be addressed by his Christian name because it was Bartholomew and I just knew that before the evening was over we’d all be calling him Skeggy. He had the look of stiff dignity which I couldn’t help feeling was a veneer for a shitstorm of perversity lurking an inch or two from the surface.
Mandy returned carrying a tray of drinks and a small wicker basket of salted peanuts. As she lay each drink carefully on a coaster in front of each one of us she looked, if possible, even more obviously cute than she’d looked before. She knew her business too because she always made sure her cleavage was pointing Skeggy squarely in the face. He was the oldest so she assumed he was the one holding the power and the purse strings.
“Would you like something else?”
I smiled and said we were fine. So Mandy planted her sweet warm body on the almond coloured sofa seat right next to Bartholomew Skegness clearly enjoying the fact that she had such immense sexual power over him. He smiled a little awkwardly as she raised his drink to his lips as if he was incapable of doing the job for himself. He took a tiny sip and then took the drink from her to place it back on the coaster. She let her free hand rest in his lap next to his crotch. Skeggy cleared his throat…
“So… Victor tells me you’ve all lived here for quite some time.”
“Yes.” I said. “I can’t remember when I first met Vic.”
“About ten years.” Said Bob.
“The filthiest man I ever met in my life.” Said Richard.
“He’s a first rate negotiator… Very good accountant too. He knows the hotel business inside and out.” I noticed that as Skeggy was speaking Mandy was stroking his nether regions under the table with one hand while giving his tensed up shoulders a squeeze with the other.
“Mandy,” I said. “I think Mr Skegness just offered to buy you a drink.”
Skeggy was about to object but hesitated as she withdrew her hands and made an overstated prayer like wai to him before scurrying off to the bar.
“I have to admit… I find all this a tad disarming. If my wife were here she’d probably get completely the wrong idea and have a fit.”
“Would you prefer to go somewhere else?” I suggested. “Somewhere a little bit more hands off.”
Backtracking Skeggy said “A bit later perhaps. After all. We haven’t finished our drinks.”
“Or the nuts.” Said Bob.
Skeggy was dying for Mandy to return while trying to maintain the demeanour of a sit com vicar.
“She seems like a very nice girl.” Said Richard.
“Very sweet.” Suggested Bob. “She seems to genuinely like you too.”
Skeggy hid a growing smile. “Of course… She’s just doing her job. I’m obviously much too old.”
“Don’t be so sure,” Said Richard. “Your Thai women sometimes prefer a man of experience. A lot of them are looking for a stable older man to get to know them better. Obviously you don’t want to get involved with someone like her but don’t put it all down to play acting.”
Bartholomew Skegness tried a laugh but it really didn’t suit him.
Mandy returned with a drink and clinked her glass with all of ours.
We had a second round of drinks there.
Then a third.
Then a fourth.
As the Mandy bubble grew beyond Bob and Richard’s tongue in cheek jokes I kept trying to puncture it and get Skeggy to want to move with us to another bar. We could always come back to this bar later. But Mandy knew her business well. She could make a girlish pout into the most seductive siren call a man like Skegness had ever experienced in his very normal upper middle class life. I think we could all see that things had gotten out of hand and I even offered Mandy a nice little two thousand baht settlement to leave him alone now but she wouldn’t have it. She wanted him. He was her man and the combined effect of their drinks promised only one possible outcome for the evening’s entertainment.
Skeggy ended up taking Mandy back to his hotel room.
I got a phone call from Vic three days later.
“You haven’t seen Bartholomew have you. He just missed a meeting today.”
“No. The last I saw of him was when we took him to that stupid up market cocktail bar and he took off with one of the hostesses.”
“Bollocks… He’s not in his hotel room. His cell phone is switched off. I had a phone call from his wife saying she couldn’t get in touch with him…This whole deal is about to go tits up.”
“Maybe but, for what it’s worth, she was so fucking cute.”
© Turk Fist. All rights reserved by the author.
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