Wednesday, January 31, 2007

At the Bus Stop

One of the great things about living in cramped Singapore is just how much rich material you can pick up just by standing still. I’m surprised no one has gone around recording people’s conversations. It’s a mother-lode out there. And let me tell you that it’s riveting stuff.

Just the other day, while waiting for the 105 bus, I had my nose buried in a book when I automatically tuned into the handphone conversation next to me where a school girl was updating her friend on her day’s agenda.

“And tomorrow, I have three hours of drama!” she moaned. I wanted to ask if she was being literal, but there was a pregnant pause on her end. “Yeah, he’s in my class also. Do you know, hah, in his boarding school, he played someone called Paul the Rapist?”

And just as my eyes started to refocus on my book, Drama Girl then asked – she didn’t even bother lowering the volume of her voice – her friend, “And what’s the term for when people, like, have it off with dead people? You know,” she went on in a patient tone, “when people boink dead people!” By this stage, I was riveted. I inched nearer while pretending to turn a page. “It’s neuro-pharmacy or something! Neuro-what, ah?”

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MIA with MIW

Hola, happy people...In addition to the regular 8DAYS column (and books - buy more, buy more!), I now have a monthly column with It's all under the "Hear Me Out" link. Check it out for more of my rants.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Porn Free

I don’t know what other people discuss at the dinner table in their homes, but in the little apartment that I share with Saffy, Amanda and my beloved adopted mongrel dog, Pooch, the topic du jour is porn. To be more specific, it’s a topic near and dear to Saffy. Amanda, who went to a Swiss boarding school, usually leaves the table as soon as Saffy broaches the subject.

“You encourage her!” Amanda hissed at me recently as we were in the kitchen washing up after Saffy had spent the entire evening alternately discussing the merits of spaghetti carbonara and the relative strengths of Italian versus Israeli men. She then promptly disappeared into her room with her latest DVD acquisition (‘Angela’s Weekend’) leaving us with strict instructions not to disturb her.

“Excuse me!” I said stoutly as I loaded up the sink with hot water. “I am as mortified as you are! I just find it very hard to get a word in edgewise once Saffy starts talking. And I notice,” I continued, squirting more dishwashing liquid into the sink, “I notice that you’re always very quiet when she’s going on about, uhm, equipment sizes!”

“Well, what am I supposed to say? That I loved the cinematography in ‘Pearls of the Orient’?” Amanda muttered as she vigorously wiped a cup. She paused and frowned as a thought occurred to her. “It’s also a little disturbing to think about what’s going on in her room right now.”

I clattered the dishes loudly in the sink and tried to think about my grocery list.

The next morning, at breakfast, Saffy announced that ‘Angela’s Weekend” was a complete disappointment. At the other end of the table, Amanda sighed, which Saffy ignored.

“I mean,” she went on, “it was just sex, sex, sex! What’s that all about?”

Goggle-eyed, I peered at Saffy over the rim of my coffee-mug. “It’s porn, Saf!” I spluttered. “What do you expect to see – Wimbledon?”

Saffy sniffed. “Well, I know what it is. I just think that they could break up all that sex with something else!”

“Like what?” Amanda shouted, unable to contain her outrage. “A fundraising message from the Dalai Lama?”

Welcome to my new year...