The curious boy who had crossed swords with his teachers over American diplomacy ("Stoppage Time", February 14) and the definition of "xenophobia" ("Stoppage Time", June 18, 2014), came home with that puzzled look again. Knowing that he had attended
He sat his son down and placing hands gently on his shoulders, said: “Russia is just a bitch. Just like America, and, probably to a lesser degree, China.”
The following dialogue may not result in the boy coming out top of his class, as he has turned many teachers into his enemies, but it may do him a world of good by getting him to shun a diplomatic career for good.
Boy: You are getting very good at telling when I’m confused, dad. My American teacher said the same thing about the Russians. He said Russia was an opportunist and that it is America that is Thailand’s real friend. Russia is just saying what Thailand wants to hear. But why are you calling them all bitches?
Father: Okay, let’s think of Thailand as a man and America, Russia and China as women. Let’s imagine three sexy ladies, each coming with different baggage. The man was with Miss America, who’s gorgeous and all but has recently ended the romance and put the man in the “friends zone”. Now, my son, take my word for it, don’t ever let a girlfriend put you in the “friends zone.” It would cause all kinds of problems, not least shattering your self-esteem. What you must do, my son, is say to hell with the “friends zone” and look for another woman.
Boy: That’s where Miss China comes in.
Father: Exactly. But Miss China, sexy as she is, remains rough around the edges. She doesn’t know social etiquette that well. For example, when she uses a restroom, she does it quite messily.
Boy: And Miss America is the first to point that out? Will the restroom issue undermine Mr Thailand’s relationship with Miss China. Is that why Miss America is a bitch?
Father: We don’t know, son, so let’s give Miss America the benefit of the doubt. But somehow Miss China’s poor restroom manners are being blown out of proportion by many people who are known to be friends of Miss America.
Boy: You aren’t quite blaming Miss America for overblown criticism of Miss China’s restroom etiquette, so why are you calling her a bitch?
Father: Well, just the way she teases and taunts Mr Thailand, and all the while placing him in the “friends zone” and still bossing him around. Mr Thailand is confused as heck, for sure.
Boy: Miss China seems pretty sincere. She isn’t critical and she gives Mr Thailand quite a lot of space.
Father: You’re right. Every man likes a woman who doesn’t look for lipstick marks on his shirt everyday and doesn’t check his mobile phone every time they meet.
Boy: Then why is she a bitch, dad?
Father: She’s a bit possessive when it comes to property, many of which may not even be hers. In other words, if she thinks she “owns” you, you can be in a bit of trouble.
Boy: I see. You’re talking about the Spratlys, Tibet and all, right? But isn’t that a common flaw? Didn’t Miss England, Miss Spain, Miss Portugal and many others invade others’ homes for fun and stay there for years?
Father: Those women insist they have outgrown their childish possessiveness, but let’s stick with our three ladies, shall we?
Boy: Okay, so Miss China can be bitchy. Now, what about Miss Russia? My other question is: Why does every “American reject” go to Russia?
Father: To further boost the male ego, you need to find someone as sexy, if not sexier, after being snubbed. Miss Russia matches Miss America from head to toe. She’s equally rich, if not richer, and as powerful. Last but not least, if you’re dumped by a girl and want revenge, start a new romance with her enemy.
Boy: You go to another bitch (giggles). But what exactly is with Miss Russia? Why is she a bitch in your eyes?
Father: Like your teacher said, Miss Russia can come across as an opportunist. And moreover, she may want you as a piece of advertisement, a message to Miss America. Which is fair in a way, because a lot of fiction that Miss America wrote did not put Miss Russia in the good light at all.
Boy: I know Hollywood movies that make Russians the heroes.
Father: Those films stick in your mind because they are rare. Anyway, Miss Russia knows a thing or two about propaganda. If Miss America is a bitch for demonising Edward Snowden, for example, then Miss Russia is probably just as hypocritical for taking him in. You see, like Miss America, Miss Russia can be motivated by vested interests. And many of her businesses are questionable.
Boy: So, who is good for Mr Thailand, dad?
Father: His heart and his head are fighting badly, son. That’s all I can say.