Live show

This week Jack is treated to Fat Fat’s live show. Then, compliments of Jack’s own motley crew, Fat Fat is himself presented with a show far livelier than anything he’d imagined.

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • GOURMET ALERT! The government has issued a warning: don’t buy fried grasshoppers from street vendors. It seems people upcountry are netting the grasshoppers in their tens of thousands and then spraying them with
Read more

Thinking it over

This week Mu finds a white hair on Jack’s head, and he thinks it might come from writing brochure copy for Fat Fat.

Current edition. Cover by Colin Cotterill

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • BUT DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH. Tests show there are now three more intersections in the city where it is a good idea not to breathe. Not to worry, though: in ten years or so the planners hope things might improve a little and
Read more

Impressive erections

This week Jack tells Tommy and Willie what he learned so far about security arrangements at Luckyland.


Current edition. Cover by Colin Cotterill

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • EAT YOUR HEART OUT, SINGAPORE. Various interests have announced plans to build what will be four of the world’s ten tallest buildings right here in Bangkok, all of them scheduled to go up in the coming year. 
  • DESIGNS ON NIC-HOOD. Bangkok is at once sprawling ever wider and
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Luckyland dead show

This week Jack receives a gift. Fat Fat also introduces him to the Dead Show.

bookSiam edition (long out of print)

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • APROPOS OF NOTHING. Ambrose Bierce, in his Devil’s Dictionary, defined wealth as impunity. 
  • THEM AND US. One high public official says that the recent raid on the biggest illegal casino ever discovered in the city was a waste of time. Thai people like gambling, he says, and no amount of
Read more

3.8 billion-year-old gadget lust

Gadget lust IV

Human beings – evolution’s cutting edge, at least in our experience and overlooking our possible supersession by machine culture – have recently evolved an insatiable lust for gadgetry, much of it iGadgetry. But is this in fact something new? 

No. Gadget lust first emerged somewhere between 4.5 and 3.8 billion years ago

Plus ça change

Science has concluded that 3.8 billion years ago or even earlier, life on Earth – a vast variety of microorganisms – … Read more

Fat Fat is a mangda

Last week we got reason to believe Willie and Tommy had a plan. But this week Hippolyte Lafleur explains to Jack how he’s in even more trouble that he first thinks.

Some previous editions. Current edition here

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • COME SOON, VOICE-OPERATED WORD PROCESSORS. I heard some people talking, and they said one prominent fatcat has promised to have the hands of a certain reporter who has been indiscreet about how the above-mentioned
Read more

A quiet Sunday at home

Last week Jack tries to explain to Mu what’s happened. Whatever. This week, Willie and Tommy decide they can come to the rescue.

Current edition. Cover by Colin Cotterill

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • SCORE CARD. There have been 16 elections in Thailand since the Revolution of 1932. During the same time, there have been 14 coups—and that’s only counting the successful ones. Meanwhile the man in the street’s reaction to new governments, no matter where
Read more

Pandemic digital bugs

Smartwatch dementia

If her Polar smartwatch tells her she slept like a baby last night, Sara asks, how can she feel the way she feels this morning?

I’ve had similar experiences with my Apple smartwatch. One morning it will report, on the basis of four different measures, I should be all bushy tailed and ready to rock, never mind I can hardly drag my butt to the teapot. The next morning it claims I had no “deep sleep” at all, … Read more

Good help is hard to find these days

In the last chapter, Jack had dinner and a few drinks with Fat Fat.

Some previous editions

Selections from Arno Petty’s Intelligencer and Weekly Gleaner

  • KEEPING UP. Old men are often moved to appreciate younger women. In spirit, at least, they are often so moved — the flesh sometimes needs kick-starting. To this end an enormous trade in everything from ginseng to snake bile to deer antler and rhino horn flourishes all over
Read more

Gooney birds, God and godawful long nights

The noted etymologist J.B.S. Haldane, perhaps more of a wag than most of his ilk, famously suggested that “The Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles.” So I noted in an earlier post (Japanieces, tilefish and things ).

Now we can add the following to our list of God’s attributes. We also have good reason to believe He laughs at gooney birds. Some commentators prefer to suggest He laughs with them, seeing as how He … Read more