‘No, it’s a good day,’ Mrs Pobaan responds. ‘It’s an even-numbered date in an even-numbered month, which is very good luck. They’ll stay together for sure.’
Fair enough, but it gets me thinking about all the things I’ve been brought up to understand are just not done on a Sunday. For example, a friend introduced me to this rhyme about fish. Actually, it has a tune so it’s more of a song than a rhyme, but short of adding a painful audio file to this blog, I don’t see how I can convey the correct sequence of notes to you. In the absence of same, please write your own music; it could be the start of a great composing career. The admittedly sub-Cole Porter lyrics go like this: ‘Catch no fish, catch no fish, catch no fish on Sunday.’ I think the point of the song is to remind us that the Sabbath is not a suitable day on which to go angling. It’s a controversial point to argue. You may disagree and propose that, for you, Sunday is just about the best day there is for fishing, but until you can come up with a song to express your point of view, who’s going to listen to you? What’s a philosophy without a catchy jingle?
Connie Francis (and others) invited us to kiss them on a Monday, a Tuesday etc, but drew the line at osculation on a Sunday. Sunday, trilled Connie, was her day of rest, an opportunity for well-earned relaxation after six days of solid snogging, which I’m informed can take it out of a girl.
There was once a band called the Scaffold who supported this idea that different days of the week should be reserved for particular activities. Monday is of course washing day, except perhaps for Connie Francis who would surely be in big demand after a day in which her lips were so frustratingly unavailable. My guess is that Connie would be pretty much tied up with kissing for most of Monday.
Tuesday is soup. If that doesn’t sound like a very sustaining plat du jour, just wait because Wednesday is roast beef and Thursday is shepherd’s pie.
At my school, Friday was Black Death. Not every Friday, but when we had Black Death, it was sure to be on a Friday; you could set your calendar by it. Black Death was a very heavy dessert, black in colour and deathly in intent, which they served with custard. It was a bit like Christmas pudding and had the same soporific effect on both pupils and teachers on Friday afternoons when, frankly, it was pretty hard to keep awake if you had double geography or were in Mr Glenn’s algebra class.
So, songwriters and school dinner-ladies have this in common: they believe that different days are suitable for different activities.
As regular readers of this column will know, our life here at Khao Talo Towers is pretty relaxed and, oftentimes, it can be difficult to tell one day from the next. I don’t think it would be betraying a confidence to reveal that Mrs Pobaan and I kiss pretty much 24/7. That doesn’t mean our lips are in constant contact of course, but we are both available for moist nuzzles—on a mutual basis—on any day of the week. Likewise, we may decide to have noodle soup on a Saturday or even a Wednesday. Roast beef is rarely served on any day of the week in our modest residence and neither, regrettably, is shepherd’s pie, so the idea of a weekly routine is not one with which we are familiar, not on this side of the Sukhumvit Road.
‘Except with toenails,’ appends my beloved.
‘Toenails?’ I enquire, believing that Mrs Pobaan has gone down a rabbit-hole (as business folk sometimes call a conversational diversion).
‘Yes. You can’t cut your toenails on a Wednesday.’
‘Why not?’ I enquire.
‘It’s bad luck.’
‘Why? What will happen if I cut my toenails on a Wednesday?’
‘Not you. You’re a farang. But if I cut my toenails on a Wednesday then I’m going to get a headache. And flu.’
‘You’re telling me that people who cut their toenails on a Wednesday will catch flu? How do you know this?’
‘Everybody in Thailand knows this,’ exclaims Mrs Pobaan as if I’m the slow learner who failed to pay attention in one of life’s essential lessons. Then, as an afterthought, she adds, ‘Also fingernails.’
‘So cutting any kind of nail on a Wednesday will result in a fever?’
‘And hair. Basically cutting anything on your body is the same.’
‘So beauty salons must do pretty slow business on a Wednesday.’
‘They can still do highlights,’ says my angel, as if the point was obvious, ‘and curling; but not split ends. And you can’t shave on Thursday.’
‘Thai men don’t shave on Thursdays?’
‘Not if they don’t want to get a headache.’
‘You can’t cut anything on Wednesdays or shave on Thursdays. Is that it now?’
‘Well, there’s the colour of your clothes. You should wear blue on a Friday, yellow on a Monday and I think red on Sunday.’
‘Hang on,’ I say, remembering something.
‘Mmm,’ my beloved replies, sucking on a chicken bone.
‘We were married on the 15th of July. That’s an odd-numbered day in an odd-numbered month.’
‘That’s no problem. If you love me enough, we can stay together forever.’
‘And today you’re wearing a green dress. It’s Sunday; shouldn’t you be wearing red?’
‘Mm,’ Mrs Pobaan replies. ‘I like this dress. It’s Jaspal; very expensive. Should be OK.’