This is going to be hard - maybe I should have put the picture up after writing. (Wipes brow) Right then...Thomas Paahi. What can I say? I mean, look at that photo. Doesn't it say it all? Um, well no it doesn't actually. You see, I'm pretty sure Thomas didn't look like that for a very long time in his life. It's like he's had a major makeover from the inside and out and the work wasn't done by some reality TV show. He did it himself.
And he certainly had his work cut out for him. Being "put" into a new foster home every four months for the first five years of life means you don't come "out" unscathed. You don't learn to connect to people and "I wouldn't even I wanted to."
So began the cycle of violence and of taking drugs and alcohol that "stopped me from feeling."
Thomas ended up packing a bag of clothes and hiding out at a caravan park in an attempt to break the cycle. "I knew I needed to get into rehab but I couldn't get in for a month so I locked myself away." Thomas' friends were not about to give up on him. Not real friends that is, his drug mates. They came looking for him and when Thomas threatened them with a knife, they called the Police. "I just wanted to go to rehab," he says.
Thomas got his wish and three years ago entered into the Salvation Army Bridge programme. "I didn't like the people in there," he says, "but I had nowhere else to go." There is some laughter in the studio as Thomas recalls interacting with other drug and alcohol addicts and how they "all just want to come up and give you hugs and stuff. I'm not into that. I didn't like it. The first guy that wanted to give me a hug, man, I just wanted to knock him out."
"But now I'm unstoppable. I'll hug anyone in the street."
Oh dear. I've gone full circle on this wee blog. Thomas. Picture. Hug. Questions on Facebook that run simultaneously alongside the live broadcast start pouring in - How old is Thomas? Is he single? For research purposes only, I turn up the volume on my headset. Thomas is 39 and he is single. Little Mexican waves of glee ripple through the Facebook page. "I'm not in a relationship right now cause I need to have one with myself first." Thud. Tabitha posts that she's prepared to wait while some pick haired chick who wishes to remain anon starts up an imaginary online auction and is very much in the run for a date with Thomas until she's distracted by someone flicking her a chocolate fish. It's all quite silly. It's all quite gloriously nuts.http://www.facebook.com/THENUTTERSCLUB?v=wall&story_fbid=10150184077745577#!/THENUTTERSCLUB?v=wall