Friday, August 25, 2006

Farting at the Ritz-Carlton

Much to the amusement of Amanda and me, Saffy has recently taken a real shine to a guy in her office.

“Jeremy?” Amanda laughed when she heard about it. “That weasel from your office?”

Saffy puffed up, her heroic bosom straining against her tight tube-top. “Excuse me, but you’re talking about my potential future husband. For your information, I happen to find him very attractive!”

It wasn’t a particularly convincing act. Saffy’s type tends towards the Nordic look – tall, blond, muscled, blue-eyed, chisel jawed and usually with lots of vowels and consonants in their name like Birkeland and Grundtal. Kind of like the models in an Ikea catalogue. Jeremy Chin, on the other hand, is mousy thin, bad-skinned and somewhat height challenged and definitely not Nordic.

“Not that I think you shouldn’t date short people,” Amanda said, her brow wrinkled, “but all your boyfriends have been six feet and above. Jeremy is about four feet tall! You might as well get him to clean your shoes while he’s down there!”

“True, but he’s got a nice manner about him,” Saffy said firmly. “Besides, he’s just about the only straight and single guy in the entire office! Do you have any idea what a rare thing that is in this town?”

A few days ago, I was reminded of Saffy’s predicament when I was in a lift in Takashimaya. As I patiently watched the numbered lights shift between floors, the two office girls next to me were in full conversation mode about the perils of millennial dating.

“So, your date how?” one asked the other.

“Aiyohh!” came the reply. “You know, ah, he had to fart on our first date in the Ritz-Carlton hotel.”

The other girl squealed. Instinctively, I held my breath.

“Some more, he so cheap skate, one. We pay half-half for dinner.”

“Hah? How like that?” You could feel the outrage factor ratchet up in the little lift

“I also say! I ever go on a date with someone like that, everything half-half, even the coffee! But after two times, I say bye bye! Udderwise, cham ah, I tell you.”

“Yah, lor,” her friend said in companionable sympathy as the lift arrived on the ground floor and they got off to tour the Shisheido counter.

When I told Amanda, she sighed. “See, this is what we single girls have to work with. I’m telling you, it’s a lousy stack of cards. If the guys are already farting on the first date at the Ritz-Carlton, can you imagine what they’ll be doing after ten years of marriage?”

I could tell by her furrowed brow that Amanda was trying to imagine it, but even from my perspective, it was not a pretty picture.

Meanwhile, in the cold, harsh, sober daylight, Saffy is wondering whatever possessed her to think that Jeremy Chin had suitable genes to contribute to her unborn child. “He’s a lovely guy,” she said at breakfast this morning, “but the reality is that I’m practically a midget and he’s not that much taller. Our kids would be microscopic!”

Then as she slowly munched on her cereal, a thought occurred to her. She turned to Amanda. “Why don’t you go out with him?” she suggested. Amanda actually hiccupped. She had not seen this one coming. “No, really!” Saffy said, warming up to her theme. “You’re what, seven feet tall? Your kids would have a great chance of turning out with average height.”

“Are you insane?” Amanda spluttered. “I’ve already got a boyfriend!”

“Cockroach?” Saffy said referring to Amanda’s insectile on again-off again beau. “Puh-leeze! He’s an unemployed bum,” she said kindly. “Jeremy, on the other hand, has great career prospects and when you’re a little drunk, he’s actually quite attractive! And I’m sure he won’t fart at the Ritz-Carlton!”

And no, I’m not making any of this up.

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