The words of the old song filled my head as I stood in front of the customs officer in the international arrivals hall at Chiang Mai Airport. Through the open doors, I could see Mrs. D standing behind the barrier. Her hand covered her mouth as she tried to stifle her laughter
“Muscle massager?” I said hopefully as the customs officer waved the offending item in front of my face.
His frown deepened as his other hand found the second one in my suitcase. The blasted things weren’t even for us. I mean, for Mrs. D. She already had one from a previous visit to the UK. A discussion over coffee with some friends meant that I was tasked with acquiring another two of Britain’s most popular female marital aids (known as ‘Rabbits’) on my next visit.
To avoid any issues with customs, I had removed them from their original packaging, wrapped each of them in a (clean) sock and hidden them in a pair of shoes. Not well enough as it turned out.
There was a sudden silence around me as the officer raised his arms aloft with one in each hand for all to see. I could feel the stares of my fellow passengers burrowing into me and could see children being yanked away with cries of “disgusting!” and “pervert!” as they asked, “What are they Mummy?”
Thoughtfully, I had fitted batteries to both so that they would be ready for instant action in case Mrs. D’s friends were feeling a little anxious when they received their new toys. As I saw the officer’s thumbs inch towards the ‘ON’ switch I realised that could have been another mistake.
Howls of laughter filled the air as the two motorised phalli writhed and pulsated in his hands, the various appendages flapping around at a great rate of knots. The fact that the deluxe model featured lights that flashed throughout its length just added to the overall effect.
Despite my best efforts, the ground did not open up and swallow me. It was with a certain amount of relief that I was marched away to a small room. As I sat there, awaiting my fate, I struggled with the dichotomy of Thailand’s reputation as a sensual paradise and the reality, which is that it is ostensibly very conservative.
Soon after we moved here, Mrs. D opened a shop selling what I can only describe as ‘advanced underwear’. Nothing offensive by our standards but her best customers were kathoeys, bargirls and the occasional tourist. I felt that the chainmail bikini in particular had some potential but alas, her products were probably a bit too radical for the prevalent tastes at the time. There simply wasn’t enough business to keep it going and this was our first real experience of the conservatism in action.
You can still see it today on some of the TV channels. They will fuzz out a gun or a knife when it is pointed at someone so that you can’t actually see the weapon although we all know what it is. They will also fuzz out cleavage. Why? What on earth will a glance of a mammary valley make you want to do? Create a sudden desire for a glass of milk? As Mrs. D often says, “Stand back…these breasts are loaded…and I’m not afraid to use them…”
Speaking of breasts, although you can go to various bars and see acts of depravity that would make a hardened rugby forward blush, you are blocked from accessing some of the more nefarious websites from Thailand. A message pops up telling you that you have been a naughty boy and if you have any further questions, call the number that they show. Has anyone ever called that number? I doubt it. Before I get into trouble with she who must be obeyed, I don’t know about this personally, a friend told me.
Back at the airport, I was given a severe lecture about my role in the corruption of the country’s moral standards by attempting to import not one but two items of debauchery. They were duly confiscated and with a warning not to do it again, I was allowed to leave. I collected my bag and walked outside to meet Mrs. D who immediately started sniggering again the moment she saw me.
“Thanks very much to you and your friends” I snarled, my blood still boiling from embarrassment. “They kept them you know!”
“Never mind dear, as long as you are ok” she said as she walked alongside me. “They will be disappointed. What should I tell them?”
“Tell them to f*^@ themselves,” I said through gritted teeth.
Without missing a step, she quickly replied, “Well they can’t do that now can they?”
I looked at her and laughed. It was good to be home.