Old Patong: Superbowl at Thai Garden

One good thing about tv in Thailand, you could see all the big boxing matches, football championships,etc FREE on Thai tv! This was Old Patong at it’s best, before cable/pay tv.

The day before the Superbowl, 1981, we sat lazily with Thai Garden lemonades[two parts Mehkong, one part Sprite with a squeeze of menow[lime]]we were all discussing how great it’d be if we could watch the Superbowl.

Crazy Dave said, no problem amigo, I’ll go into Phuket town and grab a tv antenna and we’ll have our first Superbowl party at Thai Gardens!

Well, after a few more hours, Crazy Dave hoped on his little, but powerful Honda 125cc dual pipe twin cylinder motor cycle equipped with authenic “007” custom exhaust pipes and loudly roared off to town!

A few hours later, he came back to the restaurant with a 8′ long box attached to the side of his motorcycle.

We all gathered round while Crazy Dave and his various rig rat/engineer-on-leave customers all chimmed in with “how-tos” as Crazy Dave finally figured out how to pull all the already attached spines to the antenna.

Now, he climbed up the side of open air cafe onto the roof, finally attaching the antenna, a long cable running thru a freshly cut hole in the roof to the tv…

After much “assistance” we all managed to get Crazy Dave[still on the roof]to turn the antenna the correct direction, NOT north towards Bangkok, but just east where the Phuket tv tower lay on top of a nearby mountain, to receive the proper signal.

Dave crawled back down to his table and held court and we all cheered the upcoming sporting events which we’d be able to see free at Thai Garden.

The next day, we were all there, actually it was at night, the Superbowl was from New Orleans, Louisiana that year, so the game was about 3AM, we all rolled into Thai Gardens, some had of course never left and were already “ready” for the game.

Dave had a huge spread of mexican food, complete with the very first tacos that we’d seen in Thailand! A taco is[usually]a corn tortilla[made of corn flour/maize, usually round like a 45rpm record, or to you modern folks, about twice the size of a CD], the tortilla is folded in half, deep fried, and filled with some type of meat, Dave used water buffalo that day, the appropriate amount of those little green Thai bird chilis, you know the ones that one will take away your taste buds for about 3hrs! In addition, Dave made us the first of his “tequila-marys” which he pronounced “TO KILL YA MAREES”, using tequila instead of vodka, with the proper amounts of tomato juice, menow[lime]and yet more green bird chilis! This was indeed a “hot toddy”, but helped those just awaking, become instantly awake and those that had never left the place from earlier happening to get a “jolt of liquid sunshine” inside their brains.

Daves tacos were the best we’d ever had, Dave was really a gourment in bikers clothing, but he really took care of his pals at Thai Garden that day.

The place was FULL, not a table was empty, expats, farangs, locals, all partying and watching the Superbowl while eating great food and of course drinks, there were a few bets going on the game also.

Naturally it started raining, Dave dropped the outside tarps, somewhat shelting us from the almost monsoon-like wash, it was raining extremely HARD about 15 minutes into the game, the water from the Thai style roof some how found its way to the HOLE that Dave had knocked thru the tiles with a hammer earlier in the day and as we saw the water run down the wall, down the antenna cable towards the tv set, we quickly jerked the cable from the set but not the power cable to the set, with a loud BANG, the tv blew up!!!

The fuse was blown on the power box, Dave was on the side of his place where the power box was with a Bic lighter, trying to find the fuse that blew, as the rain came down like it was never gonna stop.

The fuse finally replaced, the lights back on, Dave went to the back room and brought out yet another TV set, after first plugging the hole with the rather sticky stuff that IS vegemite!! He soon had the game back on within 10 minutes and all was well with the world.

We cheered our side, “they”[known afterwards as the LOSERS]cheered their side, all in all a truly great day and the first Superbowl we saw on Patong Beach.

The sun was coming up over the mountains as the game finished up, we were into our second or third course of tequila marys by then, can’t even remember who won, we all won I guess.

In Old Patong, there were really no losers.

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