Thursday, 31 May 2007

Let’s put back the ear in fear!


They are everywhere. When you look up, you can see their black, beady eyes staring at you. But wait. You look to your right. To your left. Everywhere. No matter where you look, you can feel their piercing stare even when you try to avert from their baleful gaze. They smack their tongues, as though they were contemplating licking you. Maybe, even eating you. Alive. Then, all of a sudden, one of them unleashes a sickening sound that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand. You run away, desperate. Desperate to get away before they can catch you. You scream. You shout. Like in the movies, you flail your arms, run aimlessly and somehow manage, inexplicably, to trip on your own feet. And then you hear it. Unmistakeably, it’s the sound of laughter. You turn to see your friends clutching their stomachs, tears stream down their cheeks.

After all, it was only a small house lizard.

I wish I could say that this really happened, but sadly, it didn’t. The terror bit is true, though. On my last holiday trip with my friends, Sardine, was terrified by the plenteous amount of the sticky blighters. When we had to head back to our room she would grab the railing, stick her body to it and walk ramrod straight and wouldn’t look anyway but ahead. Of course, me and Fillit being the not-so-gentlemen, decided to tease her incessantly. “Ooo, it’s looking at yooooooooooouu!” “Methinks the cute bugger is in lurrrrrrrrrrve with youuuuu.” “Wakaka! You be liked by lizzzzards!” You know, the sort of moronic jokes we guys love to pull. It was fun for awhile, but when she turned white (actually whiter, she’s quite fair) and was close to tears, so, we being the ever chivalrous gentlemen, immediately stopped.

On my side, I’m not exactly afraid of lizards but I’m also not fond of them either. It’s when the lizards just pop out, literally out of nowhere, i.e. me wanting to brush my teeth that sort of scares me. And I use sort of very loosely.

Heights don’t really scare me, too. I do get vertiginous but at the same time I feel attracted to it. Odd, isn’t it? It’s like swimming with sharks. I’ve never done it but I would love to. Sharks scared the crap out of me when I was young, no thanks to the monumental and “there’s gonna be some dead fishes by the end of this” movie, Jaws.

My sister always asks me, after watching shows like Fear Factor and The Amazing Race, “Would you do those things?” My response would always be an immediate one: “Hell Yeah!” I want to bungee jump. I want to eat live octopus in a South Korean wet market. I want to chase cheese in Gloucestershire. I’ll eat anything in order to win anything. I want to go mountain trekking with the locals and discover weird plants that may or may not be fatal if I were to touch it.

What’s the point of going through life without taking risks? Wouldn’t it be nice to look back when you’re old and slightly paunchy and go,”Damn, was I stupid! But it was darn good fun!” ‘You only live once,’ so goes the saying and I fully intend to do so. But most importantly, I want to live life to the fullest and have fun while doing it.

Now, would you care to join me for some grub soup? I’ll let you keep the teddy bear. I promise.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: There are some things I won’t do, naturally. For instance:

1. Have multiple hooks pierce my back and be suspended in the air. I’m sorry but looking like a roasted duck doesn’t work for me.

2. Race on the highway with some potty-faced dimwit.

3. Go on a date with the Williams sisters. They really do scare me.

PPS: To Lady Elastic: I'm back and so's the fresh produce!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Guess what, you’re obsolete

Quick! My arm hurts!

Back in the 90’s, the big thing that was happening was the advent of the personal computer. As a not-quite-precocious child, the computer was something alien, a box that displayed a myriad of colours and most importantly, I can play games on it! It helped office people become lazier still by punching in keys as opposed to writing them on paper then cursing your bad luck because you spelt Happy as “Hippy”. The first computer my dad bought was a speedy 100MHz PC from then technology giant, IBM. I remember installing games like Duke Nukem 3D (“Shake it baby!”) and the most influential game of all-time, Quake. It wasn’t a learning tool, no sirree, there was nothing educational in it. It was a mean, gaming machine.

Do you remember when mobile phones used to be of the military-like variant, with its antenna as long as your arm and the whole caboodle weighed more than your two-year-old brother? Now go back and try to remember the days of pay-phones. Ah, yes, I can you see trying to quash that memory out of your mind. I used to carry with me pocketfuls of coins whenever I went out which led many to believe I had elephantiasis. Half the time the bloody phones have their receivers missing and when you do find one it says, “Out of Order.”

Gosh, I so don’t miss those days.

As we march forwards into the indefinite future armed only with our wits and a clean pair of socks, the world that we used to know is slowly but surely getting a makeover. Everywhere you go you’ll see a giant screen that flashes radiant colours advocating the benefits of using Colgate’s teeth whitener. Before this all you got was a drab-looking lady with white teeth on a billboard. All you needed when you’re about to embark on a journey was just your keys and a sense of direction. Now you’ve got satellites guiding you all the way through with a voice that resembles a sultry old maid (if I had one, I’d go for the German man, he’s wunderbar). The humble camera, once the domain of serious professionals in jackets with a million compartments, can now be seen wielded by an able person with just a push of a button. Things that used to take ages in some red room with various viscous liquids labelled “Dangerous” can now be done in seconds. And let’s not forget the times when you had to hold your smile while your dad set the timer and by the time he gets in frame, the camera would have gone off. Another roll of film wasted. Ah, the wonders of the “Delete” button.

Now we have refrigerators that tell us if you’re about to run out of low-fat yoghurt, wristwatches that can tell you where you in the world, even now as we breathe and eat our food we have. Not long now there’ll be digital books. Now, this is something I’m not too keen on. I grew up reading books that have been dog-eared, turned a shade of brown much like mushrooms, and had the name of the owner in illegible handwriting. If the future of reading lies in the digital world then it’s not a future I’d very much like to be a part of. There’s nothing like reading a real book. A real book that has pages that you can flip to create wind on a hot day. A real book that you can read in the train on the way to work and have people craning to see the title.

I love technology, make no mistake about that. Progress is good. But there comes a time when a cold box is nothing compared to a warm voice.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: There are some things I love about technology, like, for instance, the ability to write and publish my thoughts and on top of that actually have an audience, albeit a tiny one. Here's to World Domination!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

If men had periods…

  1. Burping would be made a national sport. The Olympics will never be the same again.
  2. We’ll try to ignite our farts.
  3. Everything would taste like chicken.
  4. If we’re depressed we’ll drink tea. And eat popcorn. Then burgers. Potato chips. Then some more tea.
  5. Nothing in the world—not even an apocalyptic raid of demons—can make us stop watching the World Cup.
  6. The entire period of the World Cup will be made a holiday.
  7. Road rage? Nah, it’ll be Armageddon for that punk who cut in front of us.
  8. We’ll ban women drivers. All of them. Even our Mothers.
  9. We’ll get into a brawl every time someone pokes fun at us. And don’t ever mess with our Mothers.
  10. We’ll go on an electronic spree which means new TV, DVD player, MP3 player, speaker system, etc.
  11. We’ll laugh during horror flicks.
  12. We’ll play Counterstrike until we can’t get up just to settle a dispute over who can kill the fastest using a butter knife.
  13. We think that saying “chicken breast” is funny.
  14. We’ll turn up at work wearing our favourite sports attire and proclaim that work sucks and we’re going home at 5 to walk the dog (or cat).
  15. We’ll watch reruns of Baywatch all day. Particularly for the bouncy life saver’s…beach balls.
  16. We’ll weep to Celine Dion songs…
  17. …and when we finally realise it, we’ll weep because we’re actually listening to Celine Dion.
  18. We’ll whine about the weather report being too dramatic.
  19. We’ll arm wrestle all day.
  20. Never, ever, say that we have man-period. It'll probably be the last thing you say...

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: The author chose to write this under the influence of heavy-duty painkillers which resulted in a distinct lack of humour in his system. He currently does not suffer from any form of man-period.

Maybe next week.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Silence of the Clams*

* = I know, bad, bad title.

You know the saying, “Silence is golden?” It’s a farce. More often than not, silence can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Take for example, these situations:

Lavatory (I love saying this word, it makes me sound posh and rather lumberjack-ish, all at the same time.)

Guys pee side-by-side. We all know that. But what happens when you have to pee next to your boss who’s urinal is only a mere centimetres away? I remember during my days of sitting in a room the size of a—ironically—toilet cubicle, I made it compulsory to get up once every half-hour or so and wash my face with cold water in an effort to stay awake. (Mostly I did it to get away from the annoying colleague of mine who was terribly dreadful to work with.) One day, after clearing a batch of the day’s workload, I went off to the loo for my customary face-drenching, some pushups to keep the bones all fresh, discharging of the wastes, when in comes my big boss, and I mean, the big boss with his suit and tie and thick blazer, discharging his own wastes. Me and him. Him and me, peeing. At the same time. Side by side. I turn my head slightly, his head does the same, and we exchange the briefest of nods and cracked the smallest smile ever known to humanity. It lasted no more than 30-seconds but, by golly, was it awkward as heck.


When there are a number of people on the escalator, it can make for some truly awkward moments. If the person in front of you is of considerable height, you may be staring straight at their lovely (most of the time, not lovely) derriere. Malaysian escalators are about as fast as making a tiramisu without the tira and misu. They’re agonisingly slow. So slow, in fact, that sometimes I forsake my vow of never climbing the steps just to get it over with quickly. And I particularly hate it when couples, especially the ones who looked like they only got together the day before hence the big silly grins on their faces start cuddling each other (their hands oddly straying down south from time to time), stroke each other’s hair as though it was some ritual to delouse themselves and not wanting to let each other’s hand go even when they’re about to disembark the escalator. And I’m just one rung down on the escalator, which gives me full coverage of all the sordidness. If you think that’s bad enough, then you haven’t experienced amorous displays in an elevator before.


Taxi drivers can sometimes be the most entertaining people in the world. And they can also be the most annoying people in the world, too. I’ve had my fair share of drivers and their asking me one too many personal questions and why can’t I speak my mother tongue. But when you get into a taxi these days you’ll say the destination, swap head nods signalling yes, I’ll take you there. No chitchat. If the radio is on the driver will most likely leave it at a channel which sucks.

What about you? Are you just as whacko as I am or do you have no problems in the above areas?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I don’t know why, but I feel like eating clams.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

I’m having a .23 life crisis

I wanted to post a picture of me when I was just a babe. But this pic rocks, don't you think?

For many, turning 21 is a momentous occasion. It’s a badge of honour of sorts, it means that you can vote, legally step into a bar, pub or casino without having to resort to using fake moustaches and ugly Hawaiian shirts that were made in Hanoi. You are now fully responsible for your actions. Whatever you do now will reflect on you till the day you die.

In short, turning 21 is grossly over-rated. But it sure is loads of fun.

It was only last Friday that it dawned on me how much I’ve grown as a person. Or rather, how old I’ve become. My friend, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, had her close friends and family invited by her boyfriend to her surprise birthday bash. I along with Fillit made our way to the swanky and expensive-as-heck Japanese restaurant located at the most haughty and poor-feeling inducing mall in the country with high hopes of having a great time. After almost being strip-searched by the rather overzealous Laotian waiter at the entrance, we were escorted to the booked room, where on the way the smell of awfully fresh seafood was making Fillit and me queasy. When we finally reached the room, the first thing that came to my mind was: who are these young boys and this rather large girl with a rubella mark that resembles a splattered egg? Providentially, I saw the birthday girl otherwise I would have stormed right out. With a plateful of oysters, no less—after all, I was hungry. After the party, we then left to have drinks (read: drinks to make birthday girl drunk) at a more fitting location (read: away from the parents).

Located at Sri Hartamas, once a terrific place to hangout and be seen, it is now a haven for wannabes and pretentious show-offs. It never fails to leave me with a smile on my face. On this occasion however, it also made me chuckle derisively. I didn’t mean to. It’s just that if you were there, you would have thought that this was an outing for wide-eyed, pimply kids who have not seen the city at night, led by three (yours truly, Fillit and the boyfriend) nonchalant, booze-crazy child-minders. And we aren’t even booze-crazy. The birthday girl’s friends, to put it mildly, were so nerdy and innocent-looking it made me look like a seasoned pompous git. And I’m no more than 3 years older than them! The way they handled themselves; the grating, raucous laughter; the childish banter; it all brought back fond memories of when I was their age. I looked at Fillit and said, “Damn, we were exactly like them albeit with much better looks.” He nodded sagely and continued looking at the pretty girl wearing the cowgirl getup.

I used to think I was cool when I was 15. Monstrously wrong. At 18, I thought I was king of the hill. Horribly, ghastly wrong. When I turned 21, damnit, I’m the Supreme Emperor of the Universe! But with a few days remaining as a 22-year-old, I feel lucky. Lucky to have a great family, wonderful friends and a future that doesn’t have Celine Dion songs in it.

This year marks the first time in my life where if I could care less about my birthday, I would. By the way, have I already mentioned that this Saturday is my birthday? Anyway, I was never one to celebrate the day I came into this world. If I had known how crappy the world would turn out I think I would have stayed inside my mom’s uterus. He. He.

Rather gross joke aside, the last 5 years have been a real ride. The day I turned 18 was the day the Chris that you now know was beginning to blossom like a pretty flower. Before this, I was just any other ordinary kid who liked nothing better to do than to laze around and be with my friends. Heck, I’m still am that kid albeit with a much better vocabulary, sense of direction, fashion sense (I think), and just as parsimonious as ever.

Plus, I’m also much handsomer now.

This is a 22-year-old, soon-to-be 23-year-old Chris, signing off.

PS: I welcome presents in the shape of metal CDs, jazz CDs, books (none of that feel-good books, thank you!), supermodels and of course, wishes.