Four rules to live by (and forget about the underwear)

 

Always wear clean undergarments with no holes in them. And so mothers everywhere will warn you. A rule to live by. “What if you have an accident and have to go to hospital?” Well, yeah, eh? But my mother, at least, never told me that red-blooded, hairy-chested hombres such as I would come to be risk even greater embarrassments.

honda dreamOccupational hazards. 

The magazine was going through a let’s-economize-on-expenses phase, is why I was headed back to my hotel in … Read more

Coming clean: Fast lane cleansing

starving writerMy ‘cleansing fast’ entailed, among other means of detoxifying body and soul, ten days of no food and twice-daily colonic irrigations. In my own defense, I did this only in the line of duty as a writer. Plus it involved staying in a pleasant seaside resort on Phuket, Thailand.

For a week and a half, voluntarily and allegedly in my right mind, I refrained from inserting as much as a single chewable morsel into my mouth. I was also subjected … Read more

Home remedy: Physical, mental and spiritual

 

I’ve got a monster cold, the first in years. And the therapeutic effects of last night’s half bottle of wine had clearly worn off by the time I got up this morning.

The fever’s gone, but I remain fluish. So Sara fixed me a mug of hot lime juice with honey, and I chased that with my customary magic potion.

But things remained far from ideal, and the viruses probably reckoned they still had the upper hand. Until … Read more

To the manor born

Jack Shackaway here.

barf

Not long ago I posted an account of a recent encounter with fine wine and free food. But the starving writer’s life is no incessant five-star carouse with mince tarts and Shiraz on all sides. Far from it.

Here it is some time in the morning, I haven’t even had breakfast, and Mad the Maid has just puked all over my balcony. She went out there to clean it for the first time since this building was … Read more

Existential & neural plasticity

helmet pink use

In the last two posts, we’ve seen how tobacco smokers and anthropogenic climate-change deniers demonstrate a similar psychology.

 

Jack Shackaway now looks at a third such group — those, including himself, who take motorcycle taxis in Bangkok. Jack offers this as a follow-up to both my “How I quit smoking” and my “Immortality for Joe Atheist” posts.

He claims the following sketch has been sitting on his computer since back in a time (or a … Read more

Rule to live by #1: Bring black peppercorns to any dope-smoking contest the like of which nobody is likely to win

The fix. Neil Young, in a Rolling Stone interview with Howard Stern, offers this treatment for weed-induced paranoia: chew some ‘black pepper balls.’ I’m thinking he must mean peppercorns.

neil young heart of gold

peppercorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the off chance that peppercorns are the latest panacea, I tried chewing just two of them. Not because I’d been smoking dope, and not because I was feeling especially paranoid. Just because like, whatever, eh? And they were good. Not as good … Read more

Tans for two: Multitasking tea-time

So I’m sitting here on my balcony with this commanding view of rich folks’ gardens, assailed by birdsong from left and right, and I’m bonding with my Bali pig.

In fact I’m multitasking. I’m reading in the sun, improving my mind though not so much I know better than to work on a tan at the same time.

I’m drinking tea—my souvenir sencha from Japan—a rumored antidote to damaged chromosomes. I remain skeptical in this regard, but trust the placebo … Read more

Herbal Happiness (Pharmaceutical Virtues)

Greetings. I’ve been away for a while, distracted by travel, a restive Muse, this and that.

Writers are notoriously perceptive, and so it is that, during my travels, I saw that drugstores were not the same drugstores I used to go to and say gimme some aspirin, or “I’d like a packet of those things, you know … Yeah. No, no! You don’t have to wave them around, for chrissake.” Like much else in our world, things have changed since … Read more

Mysterious Bangkok deaths solved?

Bangkokians fall to their deaths from high-rise apartments with some regularity. These incidents are often ascribed to suicidal impulses, the next most popular hypothesis being accident, as in, “Wow! Look at that moon—it’s almost like you could reach out and touch…”

But read on, because I have a new, improved theory. Recently, in fact, I myself almost fell victim to an especially devious homicide attempt.

A couple of myna birds have taken to nesting in a cozy niche outside my … Read more

Our friend the hookworm


Bill the Mathematician—yes, that’s Bill of the unaccountably broken back—is not always fully recognized as the trendsetter he really is. Right now he’s in Phnom Penh, on his way to the Pasteur Institute to ask for a dose of hookworm larvae. “I thought I’d found a source yesterday,” he tells me, “as PP now has a National Parasitological Center. But somehow they can’t help because ‘it’s time for exams.’ But they did suggest I try L’Institut Pasteur, so I’ll … Read more