B A N G K O K    P O S T     F R I D A Y ,      D E C E M B E R   2 6,   2 0 0 3                     P A G E   5

Man of mystery

International press coverage of Nite Owl fails to give columnist just due
      Was interviewed again the other day, by a prestigious foreign publication, for two and a half hours. From experience, when the questions are intelligent and the answers not verbose, it should have taken twice as long-two sessions. In the event, I keep thinking of things I wanted to say but didn't.
      I used to pen an interview column, among other things (e.g. restaurant critiques), way back when. The hardest part, I remember, was getting down as accurately as possible what the subject said and thought, rather than my impressions and point of view. It was more honest and readers could tell the difference.
      A feminist who interviewed me didn't see it that way. She started out by asking me what I thought about prostitution in the Realm. After a few minutes she interrupted me and proceeded to harangue me with her opinion for over an hour, calling me a chauvinist and pimp more than once.
      Whereupon she stormed out of the office, returned to her homeland shortly thereafter and wrote a non-fiction book about the field, with references to me in the index and imaginary quotes in the body (none of which she garnered from my column). Did I let her get away with it? Indeed I did. She'd OD'd on another fact-finding trip.
      The Kiwi crew that came to get my views re the Thai prostitutes rounded up in New Zealand were no better. TV cameras and lights were set up around my desk and the distaff interviewer stuck a hand-held microphone in my face and asked loaded questions about the lack of morality in the Land of Smiles.
      To her consternation, I made the point that Thai prostitutes have the same motivation as Kiwi prostitutes-to make as much money as possible by doing as little work as possible - whatever their cultural backgrounds. As this wasn't the answer she tried to put into my mouth the crew packed up and left without further ado.
      A British team swore on all that was holy to them that they wanted to interview me in order to present a balanced air, unsensational, unbiased view of the nation's vibrant nightlife. They got my impressions for an hour a day for a week.
      I was asked to lead the way into A-Go-Go bars in order to get benign footage for the programme. Playing my part, unpaid as always, I opened doors otherwise closed to journalists. Then I waited to see how well they kept their word. Sadly, they didn't. Their approach was lurid, the dancing was referred to as sleazy and my interview was binned.
      Interestingly, the best interview of me was in a French magazine (translated to me).    Not 100% favourable,  in the end  decent jour-
nite owl
Bernard Trink

nalists come to their ownconclusions with as little prejudice as possible, yet just. There have been other good ones, but this one was outstanding.
      I'm fair game for a hatchet job, generally by wannabes. Kept from advancing by their limited ability, they pull back those who have done so. In print and on the net, they make up lies (e.g. I disparage my reviews) and spread rumours (e.g. I'm ill). 'Taint so.
      A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since I began writing the column in 1966 and I've made sea changes in its format a number of times. The problem now is that the river is silting up. The powers-that-be are determined to stamp out nightlife every way they can, Imposing a 10pm closing time would do it.
      No oasis can survive with so few business hours. Figure most of the staff to be sacked and the lasses to become streetwalkers. Meanwhile, Singapore's nitery entertainment areas are now open round the clock. Any comment would be superfluous.

 The daily temperature is on the wrong side of 20o C, those with tap water showers and no heater have goose bumps while drying themselves. Figure that colds'll be on the increase into the New Year.
 Never, for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions . - Dag Hammarskjold.
 Bridget Jones's Diary 2 has several scenes shot in Krung Thep. Hugh Grant has been spotted on Soi Cowboy. There's some grumbling that professional actresses are playing demimondaine and the local lasses are complaining that their dialogue and behavior aren't authentic. A real life mamasan would add veracity. Agreed ?
 A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. ---Cervantes.
 Michel wishes it known that Number One Bangkok - guesthouse, internet cafe, restaurant, sports bar (Sukhumvit Soi 1) remains in operation. There's no need to cancel your reservations.
 A saying I don't accept is: Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. More to the point is Old age and skill will overcome youth and treachery.
 All the King's Group bistros in the Patpong area'll celebrate New Year with games, shows, prizes, a free drink at midnight of the 31st. Open dusk-dawn.
 My email address is idontgiveahoot@hotmail.com .
 Paradise Entertainment (Raj-Jah Hotel complex),  run by Eddie and
Graham, had its soft opening. Coyote Ugly-style and named after the track by Guns 'n Roses. Paradise City Roadhouse features aged roadhouse decoration with a mezzanine floor that doubles as a stage for live music on special event nights.
   In the bar is a full length 22-foot long American shuffle board and a tournament specification arm wrestling table. A mechanical rodeo bull is inside the arena. The kitchen serves foot-long hot dogs Rock and Blues music. Business hours from 6pm and will soon open at noon. Mosey on over.
 According to L.M. Boyd , that physical fitness routine called sit-ups " wasn't among the workouts of the world before the late 1930s. The military's basic training during World War II spread it.
 FYI Lolitas at Soi 23 will relocate to Soi 8 ( formerly Alley Cats Club ) come January 1.
 It's in The Book of Lasts by Stavros Cosmopulos : "When Nathan Hale was about to be hanged by the British in 1776, he is said to have uttered, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." However, British officer Captain Frederick Mackenzie recorded in his diary that what Hale actually said was, "It is the duty of every good officer to obey any orders given him by his commander in chief."
 On December 31 there will be a Shenanigans Spectacular New Years Eve Party (Pattaya), run by Kim . Carvery and buffet , free door prizes, live on stage Pop's Pattaya All Stars starting at 10pm.
 There's a word for it. Sitophilia' - turned on by food.
 My vote for Best Actor of 2003 goes to Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean.
 Pratunam Cineplex has opened where the market used to be, The upper floors have yet to be completed but the lower foors are already drawing customers. It looks like a cross between the Bobay market and Mah Boon Krong.
 Andy Rooney is America's foremost living homespun philosopher. Not in the tradition of Plato and Kant, think Mark Twain and Will Rogers. Sent by a reader, Rooney gives his reasons for valuing women over 40. Young men are taking them to heart for older women have become the flavour of the month.
 'An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.
 If an older woman doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it, she does something she wants to do and it's usually something more interesting.
 Few women past the age of 40 give a damn what you might think about her or what she's doing.  An older woman  usually has had her fill of 'meaningful relationships'
and 'commitment'. The last thing she wants in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover!
 Older women are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant.
 Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
 Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.
 An older woman has the self assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. An older woman couldn't care less, because she knows her friends won't betray her.
 Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an older woman. They always know anyway!
 An older woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.
 Once you get past a wrinkle or two , an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Her libido's stronger, her fear of pregnancy gone. Her experience of lovemaking is honed and reciprocal, and she's lived long enough to know how to please a man in ways her younger cousin could never ream of.
 Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off that you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
 Yes, we praise older women for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not very reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, beautiful woman of 40 and over, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants that's making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old.    Ladies, I apologize.'