A Bargirl Intervention

Hey guys, it’s Friday again. Time for another frowback to take your mind off your day for five minutes. Harken with me back to last year, when my concern for the well-being of a vulnerable gogo dancer prompted the following. It was a moral dilemma: Whether one should intervene in the life of a girl on the pole with a serious booze addiction…

“When should you conduct an intervention for a bar girl? I mean, their job consists of drinking and dancing for a living. Can you really have a drinking problem if you get paid to do it?

I’m asking because I’m worried about a girl in one of the bars I frequent in Patpong. Every time I go in there, which is around 5 times per week, this particular girl is smashed before 8 pm. She stumbles around, stares off into space, struggles to light the cigarette that I’m sure she’s seeing two of…..she disappears into the toilet frequently, I assume to nap. On stage, she doesn’t dance so much as try to keep her balance. The other girls—even her friends—point and laugh, not in a mean way, but still……I wish they cared a little bit more about this poor girl. My heart breaks a little bit whenever I see her.

If I had to guess, I’d say she’s drowning her sorrows. She’s not what most guys would call ‘pretty.’ She’s 24 years old but she looks like a middle-aged man. She’s slightly overweight, has a big, round face with eyes that are always half-closed. Big ears, big forehead, small boobs. Dark circles under the eyes and a bit of a beer belly. I hope I’m painting an accurate picture. Not to be cruel, but she’s hard to look at. In 5 years of Ponging, I’ve never seen anyone buy her a drink or barfine her, though her friends say foreign customers find her attractive. I’m not convinced. She never misses work, which I take to mean she’s reliant on the paycheck, though I bet she spends most of her earnings on booze. But she’s obviously well-liked by the other girls. I’ve seen them help her on and off stage, fix her hair and makeup, help her dress herself when she’s fallen out of her clothes, and hold her up when she can’t stand straight. But nobody stops her from pouring that beer down her gullet. It’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion. Very slow, very unattractive motion.

So the question is, when to intervene? And who should intervene? And where, and how? OK that’s several questions. But they’re all valid. I know no one would listen if I said something.  I’m just the dude who buys her friend a drink every night while trying to grab a breast or two. I hold no sway. But the girl I buy drinks for is a really good friend of the drunkard. She claims the girl doesn’t have a drinking problem, but merely loves beer. Should I take her word for it? Should I just leave it alone and hope someone else sees the problem and steps in? Is it even a problem? I’m foiled and flummoxed.


Here’s what I think should happen: My girl, the friend of the lush, should grab a couple other girls and have an actual, legitimate, red-light intervention with her. They should tell her that because they care about her, they don’t like seeing her drink herself into oblivion every single night. They should bar (pun) her from libating between rotations, and at the very least, limit the amount of cocktails she can get her hands on. It should happen in the bar, right before they open, and her friends should take rotating turns monitoring her, shadowing her throughout each evening, replacing her alcoholic drinks with bottles of water and cups of coffee.

If that doesn’t work, they should find her a boyfriend. Even if they have to pay a dude to fawn over her. He wouldn’t have to stick around forever—just long enough to raise her self-esteem a little bit. Enough to give her a glimpse of the life she could have. As a matter of fact, I might know a guy who’d do it. He likes chubby girls. The point is, there are steps that can be taken. Whether or not it’s necessary is something I can’t gauge, since I’m just a farang after all, so I could be completely wrong, plus nobody in the bar really cares about my opinion. So I’m just going to continue to quietly suggest to my girl that something be done. She can ignore me but at least I’ll feel like I’m making an effort.

In the meantime, I’m just going to get so inebriated that I either stop noticing or stop caring or both. That way, everybody wins–or loses, depending on your point of view.”

It’s been a year, and I’m happy to report that in that time, our little tosspot has gotten a better handle on her drinking, lost some weight, and even acquired a small but loyal customer following. She seems to be in good spirits most of the time, and always has a smile and a wave for me. Ironically, I’ve since fallen out with my main girl from that bar. She packed on some weight while simultaneously getting herself deep in debt with the Bank of Seven. I finally had to cut her loose. All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Check back Sunday for the weekly, and cheers to those crazy girls from Surawong to Silom Road who make our lives interesting in this—the most exciting city in the world: Bangkok, Thailand. Peace!