Responding to complaints of unfair treatment from beach chair vendors, Phuket police, will from tomorrow be fining anyone found using a chair in any of the provinces restaurants.
Police Major Captain General Jobswurt issued a statement “It has come to our attention that customers are lounging around Phuket’s picturesque restaurants, making them look cluttered, untidy and un-Thai.”
The Thai Navy have suggested that customers might be allowed to bring their own chairs, but restaurateurs have complained this might encourage wheelchair users. “The last thing we need is the place cluttered up with disabled people.” said Samonerra Botox, manager of one of Phuket’s leading seafood chains.
Doctor Buttpowk of Patong’s Orthopaedic Hospital and Mobile Clap Clinic welcomed the initiative. “We get endless streams of overweight tourists coming here complaining of piles and varicose veins. Making them stand during meals will help them lose weight and make them healthier.” He espoused. “If we can now just replace all hotel beds with multi-gyms, they will thank us in the long-term.”
And it’s not just foreigners who will reap the benefits as slimmer, more active tourists. Dr Buttpowk believes the image of fat, rich tourists leads Thai people to associate obesity with wealth and leads them away from the path of ‘sufficiency’. “Pudgy tourists are a bad example, leading Thai people away from their natural, emaciated Thainess,” he told us.
The new rule is not expected to apply to chairs in gold shops provided for police officers sit and consume their doughnuts.
A big campaign is under-way to get Thais to ride bicycles, especially in Bangkok. Not only is it hoped the initiative will reduce congestion in the city, but there are major concerns that ASEAN partners such as Vietnam are leaving Thailand behind in cycling technology.
There is however a problem in that many Thais do not see themselves as natural cyclists. Inventerators from Thailand’s elite engineering colleges are working to overcome this by imbuing bicycles with ‘Thainess’ – Enter the Thaicycle.
The Thaicycle has wheels with three corners which, like the colours of the Thai flag, represent the three pillars of Thai society. The wheels are supported by 12 spokes representing The Dear General’s 12 Commandments.
The Thai C
entral Command Government has already endorsed the scheme: “Thailand will become a hub for bicycle wheels” enthused Somchai Phigginapowk from the country’s Ministry of Hubs. “Whenever the world sees someone riding one of these, they will say ‘There goes a Thai’.”
Although the design has been criticised by the senior ergonomicist to Phuket’s largest ladyboy bar, government scientists stand behind the Thaicycle. “The strength of three transcends mere physics” explained Junta spokesthing Sergeant-at-Alms Maotpeet “The sheer Thainess of this design means it is vastly superior to anything produced by foreign companies with their so-called engineers slavishly following the Western mantra of the ’round wheel’.”
The government is expected to help boost sales of the Thaicycle by imposing a 300% luxury item tax and a stay in the local army camp for all purchases of round-wheel bicycles.