Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Writing about Chuck and the Porn Taxi (sounds much more interesting then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) got me thinking about him. I often say that I have met a lot of people in South Korea but most of them just aren't memorable. Chuck is one of the memorable ones.

I met Chuck at a bar in YongAm-dong called Buck's. He was working at one of our competitors, Little America. (For those who don't know Little America is a chain of English Hagwons in South Korea. They don't always have American teachers and some acquire nick names like Little Australia. ) Chuck was rarely sober. :)

When you think of the "bad examples" of English teachers in Korea Chuck would have fit the bill. He was rarely sober and always on the lookout for a good time. However, he was a nice guy and a loyal friend. A lot of Chuck stories I can't/won't repeat here. But it was rarely dull with him around.

One time we were at Carrefore and Chuck bought one of those pump action plastic pistols that shoots little plastic beads. I had met Chuck around 10AM at a coffee shop, he was already in his cups drinking beer. By noon we decided to see a movie but had a couple of hours to kill for the next show. So we went shopping and he picked up the toy gun.

We ended up at the food court and of course being foreigners were the object of some staring and pointing. Chuck was starting to sober up and get a hangover and the mooks were starting to get to him. He had to go to the bathroom so I waited at our table.

He came back with an evil grin on his face. Some kid (8-9 years old) was in the bathroom and kept sticking his hand under the door to Chuck's stall. He warned the kid to fook off (imagine it with a Socttish brogue) but the kid persisted. So, he hauled out his gun and shot the kid in the hand. Opened the stall door and shot at him a few more times. The kid ran out of the bathroom screaming. Chuck calmly walked out and told me what happened.

On one hand I thought it was hilarious and maybe the little shit would think twice before annoying people in a stall. On the other hand it was just a kid plus if he cried to daddy we could end up confronted by a pissed off adjosshi. I figured we should get out of there before that happened.

Eventually, after another adventure, we ended up at our movie. It was "The Core". What a horrible movie. Think of "Armageddon" but in the Earth not in space. Chuck was almost sober now and hung over. That isn't a pretty sight and his tolerance for crap movies is pretty low. He started acting a bit mookish and complained loudly about the crappiness of the film. I managed to quiet him down with the promise of more booze after the movie. We never did finish watching it ... and we were happy for that. We did get some booze after the movie ... and were happy for that too.

Chuck ended up leaving South Korea on a midnight run. His school was having money trouble and was jerking him around. He went to Thailand, back to Scotland, and ended up in Vietnam. We kept in touch from time to time thanks to the internet.

Unfortunately, he died in 2009 after an accident in Vietnam. He was a good person to call friend but at times he could be mookish. Mind you, he would be the first one to admit it when you called him on it. Then he would buy you a drink. :)


  1. No you don't have to qualify that the kid could have be scared. The little shit got what he deserved, that was the perfect response to that situation.

  2. I felt guilty about laughing about the kid for a second or two. I wish i could have seen his face when the gun came out from under the stall ... or the foreigner came out shooting. :) Odds are he stained his shorts.

  3. Very funny. And yes, Chuck did the right thing.