Sunday, December 23, 2012

End Game

If you’re reading this, I guess it means that the world didn’t end on 21 December. I’m also imagining that if the ancient Mayans were still around, their hotline would be flooded by very angry phone-calls.
            As I write this, it’s the week before the long prophesied end of the world.
            “It sounds so ‘Lord of the Rings’, doesn’t it?” Amanda giggled as she flipped the pages of her latest issue of Vogue.
            Saffy looked up from her laptop. Since she’d woken up, she’d been busy tapping away on it. Now, she looked at Amanda severely. “It’s not funny! This could be one of the last few times we’re all going to be together alive! A week from now, we could all be blown to bits!”
            That’s the thing about calamities. There’s always some nut-job out there who’s running around screaming, “Get your children out of here! There’s an asteroid coming!” Or, in the case of the recent movie ‘Piranha 3D’, “Get out of the water! The piranhas are coming through the water pipes!”
            Of course, no one ever believes them. There’ll always be calm, cool, level-headed people like the town sheriff, or the congressman (in the movies, the end of the world always happens first in America), or Amanda who will pooh-pooh the whole thing. “Now hold on here. There hasn’t been an asteroid strike for, oh, five billion years. What makes you think your day-ta is correct?”
            Or, as the owner of owner of the water park in ‘Piranha 3D’ said, “You just shut up! We’re opening tomorrow!”
            Of course, the first person to get blown up, or chewed up by very angry ugly fish, is the disbelieving town sheriff and the water park owner.
            Somehow, people like Saffy end up safe and sound, watching the sun rise the very next day.
            So, my point is this, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from years of watching Hollywood disaster movies, it’s to side with the screaming nut-job and do everything they say. Better safe than sorry, is the motto on my family crest.
            “What do you have in mind, Saf?” I said.
            Saffy looked surprised at the unexpected show of support. Amanda glanced up from ‘Vogue’ and frowned.
            “Well, uhm…” Saffy began. “I think we have two options. The Mayans weren’t very specific about how the world is going to end. Is it a full blown apocalypse in which the whole planet just explodes? Or is it going to be like a biblical flooding?”
            “Go on,” I urged.
            Unused to being the centre of attention, Saffy’s bosom inflated with pride. “Well, if it’s Scenario A, then I think I would want to be sitting on a Singapore Airlines flight to, say, New York, in their Suites. If the world is ending, you might as well be sipping champagne and nibbling on satay sticks when it does.”
            “So, Scenario A, cash in your savings and CPF!” I said.
            “Yes!” Saffy said, and peered at her screen. “But I’ve been looking at my bank accounts and I think I’ll only have enough to get to Penang, if I want to go Business Class.”
            “And that’s only a forty-five minute flight,” I said.
            “I know. So anti-climactic, right? Which is why I’m hoping that it’s Scenario B. Biblical flooding. In which case, we should be ok. We’re on the ninth floor and we’re inland and worst come to worst, we can always go up to the 23rd floor. The water can’t rise that high up!”
            “Interesting,” I said. “So we would need to stock up on supplies.”
            “Which is what I’m looking at now. Cold Storage does home deliveries and I’m thinking we should stock up on canned goods and biscuits!”
            “Don’t forget to get a can-opener,” I said. “Imagine if you had all those cans of food, and you couldn’t open any of it!”
            “Oooh, good idea!” Saffy tapped away.
            Later, it was all Amanda could talk about when she had coffee with Sharyn.
            “They’re completely nuts,” she ranted as she stirred her cappuccino. “And what gets me is that after all these years of working, Saffy has only saved enough to fly to Penang?”
            Sharyn leaned in. “Ay, I ask you, hor, SQ got satay, meh?”
            “Yes, in Business Class, but only on certain sectors,” said Amanda, PPS Member since 2005.
            “Wah, so shiok!”
            “Oh my God, Sharyn, you are missing the point!”
            Saffy says Amanda will have nobody to blame but herself if she finds herself completely unprepared for the Apocalypse. “It’ll serve her right,” she said as she tapped away on her To Do list. “Should we get life-jackets?”
            “Get everything,” I urged.

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