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Around The Sun: Who Can Forget Ted?

Steve Harrison tells of an all-round "battle-scarred'' good guy.

Ted is a loveable character, a gift to any party. He tells great stories while smiling from ear to ear.

He was either born in Canada, or he is an American, depending on which day you ask him. He is always good for drinking sessions, and we've had plenty of those. Ted had a bar business on the beach in Sihanoukeville until the police decided to seize it for themselves. He made regular trips to Phnom Penh. When he was in town it was party time at the Temple Bar.

Ted liked big fast motorcycles. He also had a habit of enjoying copious quantities of alcohol. Now take a man, add plenty of booze, put him on a powerful motorcycle, and something is bound to happen.

Probably half of Tedís trips to Phnom Penh were for genuine business. The other half were to get medical attention from Dr. Gloria. Ted had more accidents per month while riding motorcycles than the average man has in a life time. He came limping into the Temple bar, or was wheeled in by his wife Syna. One time he fell off his bike and lay in a ditch until someone came along to pull the heavy machine off of him. The bike's exhaust had given him a particularly unhealthy brand on his thigh. Over time he had broken arms, legs, ankles, ribs, fingers, toes and. on one occasion, his skull.

At one time I was also involved in a string of accidents. Dr Gloria, who had a dark sense of humour, placed bets on whether Ted or I would be the next to walk through her door. I busted my head twice. On the first occasion eight stiches were required, and on the second 14, a total of 22. Ted bust his head open between his eyes, and the wound required 16 stiches, so I beat him in regard to the head. But he far surpassed me in broken bones.

I never figured out where he got all his money, but he always had enough to buy a new bike and bring it to the bar to show off to the boys. We for our part speculated on how long it would be before he again required the services of Dr. Gloria.

Ted is a great guy to get to know. He can tell you about the back roads of Cambodia, then, after a couple of beers, he will even show you the scars he acquired while exploring them.

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