Tears of a Clown

Recently, when not torturing my office staff (Lek) by briefly subjecting her to the words over at autocoprophagist and plagiarist, Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng’s site, we have discovered something quite interesting in the bowels of YouTube. Teacher Tim, the clown-in-chief at TEFL International Thailand, has begun posting rather long and intimate (albeit one-sided) conversations about his life, his regrets, and his thoughts, all while consuming rather interesting if not completely inedible breakfasts. Now, Teacher Tim, you may recall, is the shill in residence for TEFL International over on stickmanbangkok.com. His brief, goofy pieces there are meant to encourage pipe-dreamers and sex-drifters, who believe they have what it takes to teach English to Asians, to enroll in a “certificate” course that will inadequately prepare them for an adventure-filled and exciting life of ESL pedagogy as a means to prolong their sexcapades in the lovely Kingdom of Thailand.

That said, Saphan Loy must admit that these new videos from Teacher Tim are quite interesting. If nothing else, they provide an audio-visual record of one man’s experience as a career clown. And for those of you who enjoy oral history from an anthropological perspective, they provide insights into what is likely a disappearing tradition. Sure, there may be circus clowns who are still performing actively with travelling circuses (ask the Ringling Brothers about this one), but I would wager they are few and far between. And frankly, here at Saphan Loy, the consensus between me and my lovely assistant, Lek, is that circuses are just plain creepy. Perform a search on YouTube for “animals attacking humans”, and you are likely to be directed to a grainy home-video (shot at a circus in Russia) where drugged-up lions or elephants are mauling their mildly-retarded or intoxicated trainers. Or, you may be treated to a spectacular and deadly fall from a trapeeze shot during a circus in some European backwater. YouTube also allows you to watch in horror when a motorcycle stunt goes terribly awry with the rider nearly garroted by a low-hanging rope during some other fly-by-night circus exhibition.  And while few viewers have actually seen Teacher Tim’s breakfast videos, we would heartily recommend them. They are honest, without artifice of any kind, and deeply personal. So, why is this important? Like Mobi over at mobithailand.com, Teacher Tim is revealing by example what a retirement in Thailand really looks like when the pleasures of the place have ebbed, or have become too taxing on the body and on the spirit. Or, worse, what happens when one runs out of cash, or begins to lose the plot.

 Bon appetite.

The View from Above

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3 Responses to “Tears of a Clown”

  1. Excellent entry – well to be filed under the “WTF” category.

    Indeed, you pretty much nailed it regarding the kind of “retirement life” that the likes of Disgraced CSUN Economics (Associate) Professor Kenneth Ng have to look forward to.

    Might as well be lauding BangkokBuddy as something to aspire to, as well.

  2. I only got as far as the 2 minute mark. Fish tasting like fish. Amazing. Showers being an American ‘thing’. Hardly. Better than smelling like a European. Lastly, my mother taught me to chew my food with my mouth shut & not to speak when doing so.

  3. BigBlackGulliver Says:

    I think the comparison between Mobi (who I’ve met) and this dude are a little unfair. While Mobi has a drinking problem he is pretty well off. The development where he lives in really, really nice for example. This guy is obviously living on SSI (I hope)
    I believe that Mobi could go back home and live out his years (with hat in hand)…..this guy would struggle to do so.

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