Thai Talk

May 28th, 2009

While I was in Bangkok. Christopher G. Moore, whose wonderful series about Bangkok private eye Vincent Calvino (ten books and counting) is read all over the world and gave me the courage to write the first Poke Rafferty book, arranged for me to meet another favorite writer about Southeast Asia.  Colin Cotterill is the creator of Dr, Siri Paiboun, the 72-year-old (and counting) state coroner of the nation of Laos, and those of you who have never read him have a treat coming.  It was fun to talk (and talk and talk and talk — right through the staff’s post-lunch nap time) with two writers who are so good and so different.

One of the sleepy staff used Colin’s camera to take this picture, in which only Colin looks good.  Hmmmmm.


Turns out the chip in Colin’s camera contains an amazingly complex algorithm that recognizes Colin’s face geometrically, then identifies other faces and assigns them random Doofus Characteristics.  I got, for example, Smug Smile 14 and Chris got the I’m Never Up in the Daytime look so popular among those who sleep in coffins. Colin’s face, in the meantime, got the Not-Quite-Cary Grant morph, that put hair on his head and everything.  (In person, he’s totally bald.)

Just think, in one room: Moore, Cotterill, Hallinan.  If a bomb had gone off, the future of Southeast Asia-themed crime fiction might have been delayed by, oh, say twenty-five minutes.  Maybe half an hour.

If you haven’t read the other two guys, you should.

By the way, Chris Moore owns the airports of Southeast Asia.  Don’t even try to get a book into one of them.

16 Responses to “Thai Talk”

  1. Cynthia Mueller Says:

    OK, I’m trapped. I hadn’t come up with a witty reply to this post, but the captcha is: Nashville hoped

    How can I pass that up?

    I thought the pepper grinder looked pretty attractive, too. It could have just been a proximity issue.

    Why are there two salt shakers on the table?

  2. Cynthia Mueller Says:

    OK, I’ve got a witty retort: Tim, you don’t look smug. You look like you’re trying not to picture Dick Cheney in the buff, and failing.

    (This captcha is almost as good: spectra Detroit)

  3. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Cynthia — Thanks for posting the Captchas. I wish everybody would, when they’re good. (Wait till you read mine at the end of this reply.)

    There are two salt shakers because Thailand is the Land of the Approximate, and two salt shakers is better than none. If there were none, the waitress would say, “No problem” and bring one, and she’d be right — there’d be no problem. Maybe the question should be, “Where’s the other pepper grinder?” And you’re right, some of the Not-Quite-Cary-Grant effect splashed on it.

    If I were picturing Dick Cheney nude, I’d be green.

    Here’s the Captcha: Wife sapient.

  4. suzanna Says:

    Wife Sapient sounds like something from Blade Runner.

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the salt shaker to listen to you three braniacs.

    Finally, a good captcha: Arroyo gang.

  5. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    We had a great time. Both Chris and Colin are bright and funny, and they know each other very well. For the first half hour I felt like I was sitting in the back seat with a couple up front, but they got me over it.

    The Arroyo gang is a group I would join.

  6. Cynthia Mueller Says:

    That could be the name of our little club: Tim Hallinan and the Arroyo Gang.

    My captcha is: New bulking

    Hmmmm…. Maybe I need to lift weights?

  7. usman Says:

    And I learnt from Lisa that I was in BKK the same time as you were.

    That’s why the bomb didn’t go off.

    Captcha: waterway 465,000

  8. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Usman, you should ALWAYS tell me when you’re going to Bangkok. I’m there, or near there, about half of each year.

    And Cynthia, I don’t want top billing. I just sing baritone. Just The Arroyo Gang will do fine. And the “new bulking” captcha was supposed to have been reserved for the weight loss post.

  9. Sharai Says:

    This seems like a good place for me to jump in and appologize for ‘maybe’ getting a little carried away with the LOL post. Suzanna and I had a lot of fun with it, so I thank you for that. I really love and appreciate all the challenges you throw at us to keep our brains warped. I have especially enjoyed becoming more aware of fantastic similes since I’ve been reading your blog and want to share this, from Spider Robinson:

    …slack jawed as a country yokel seeing his first transsexual hooker, awestruck as an atheist in Paradise.

    Also, so he won’t feel left out:

    …so out of touch you might as well be Dick Cheney!

    My captcha is “just inborn”
    How did they know I spent nine years in the Ozarks?

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    These are both great. I’ll make a macro for SJAACYSHFTHAAAAIN

    But I’ll hand-type SOOTYMAWBDC

    LIHAL (don’t ask)

    Just inborn — you got the best one.

  11. Sylvia Says:

    I only come here for the captchas!

    Mine is boer Narodnaya


  12. Sylvia Says:

    Oh no, and as I went to navigate away I saw my next one:

    Potpourri stanza

    My mind is reeling with the idea of vodka drinking Dutch-Africans creating a new form of free verse.

    Very cool.

  13. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Sylvia — What do you MEAN, you only come here for the captchas. With an exclam yet. What about the company? the bonhamie? the intellectual stimulation? the lack of speculation about David Carradine?

    Although you do seem to get especially cool ones.

    I’m shrug Michael this time around.

  14. Sylvia Says:

    This one is “have pintsch”

    Not sure if I’m getting captcha -inched for teasing you or some drunk is bragging about the beers he has left to drink.

  15. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Sylvia —

    Have pintsch, will travel, but not in the right direction.

    Mine is “exorcise seasons.” I have nothing to say about it, it’s just there.

  16. Sylvia Says:

    Perhaps it means a move to California is in your future?

    This is a WordPress blog, isn’t it? I was wondering if there was any chance you could add a link to the comments RSS? I am sure I’ve missed lots of titillating conversation because I’ve forgotten to go back and check for further comments.

    Mine: divvying festival. Possibly as a result of the seasons being exorcised?

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