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Spotting Terry McLaurin’s No. 17 in Bangkok

Some nights are better than others

If you don’t know already, I live and work in Bangkok, Thailand, and I have for 18 years.

For every one of those 18 years, I have enjoyed live rock & roll music at a variety of venues, but my favorite is a small bar called Five Star, where the Dark Horse Band has been playing for longer than I have lived in the Land of Smiles.

The highlight of the band is their guitarist — a guy named Jeah (rhymes with ‘yeah’) who is a skilled musician.

I’m not a big drinker. In fact, I have, on multiple occasions in my life, gone years without consuming alcohol. But I do go out for a cheap beer or two now and then, and on Sunday night this week, I went to Five Star to enjoy a little bit of live music and some cold bottles of Leo.

The “boss” at Five Star (not sure if he’s the owner or manager) has, like the band, been around longer than the 18 years that I have lived in Bangkok, so we are friendly with each other.

On Sunday, I had to double-take, because I saw something I’d never seen before. The boss was wearing a Terry McLaurin jersey!

I approached him quite excitedly and asked him where he’d gotten it. He told me that his wife had bought it for him as a present.

That answered my question, but I was left wondering (and I never found out) why she had chosen an NFL jersey, a Commanders jersey, or a Terry McLaurin jersey as a gift for him. That’s something to ask next time I’m there. I guess.

Excited by his Commanders jersey, I opened up Hogs Haven on my phone and showed him the blog, taking care to point out the “Bill-in-Bangkok” authorship listing for several articles. I did my best to explain that I was a Commanders fan and that Terry McLaurin was possibly my favorite player. He seemed to grasp the idea pretty easily.

I cut to the chase quickly and asked if he would be willing to sell me the Scary Terry jersey.

He said that, of course, he would have to ask his wife.

He did so immediately (she supervises the cashier area in the bar) and he came back just minutes later quoting 2,000 baht (roughly $57) as the price. I agreed immediately, and just minutes later, his wife appeared with the jersey, which she formally presented to me. Her husband was now wearing a Five Star tee shirt from the storeroom.

I — equally formally — presented her with 2,000 baht, bowing to her, and she gave me a hug.

They both insisted that I immediately don the jersey in the middle of the bar (though he managed to graciously refuse my sweaty tee shirt that I offered in exchange).

With 98% of Thai people, of course, any clothes that would fit them would be far too small for me, but the boss, while he is about 3 or 4 inches shorter than me, has a waistline that is significantly bigger than mine, so the jersey was a reasonable fit for my substantial 6’2” frame.

And there you have it — that’s how I came to possess a Terry McLaurin No. 17 jersey in Bangkok!