Friday, May 30, 2014

Cover Up

The other day, I was minding my own business on the couch, reading the latest issue of 8DAYS when I suddenly felt like someone was watching me. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m paranoid or anything like that, but I sometimes get this tingle on the skin and I just know that I’m being watched, and usually not in a good way. I don’t know how people like Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr handle it. Their skins must be crawling all the time.
            So, anyway, that’s what I was feeling. I lowered the magazine slightly and peered over the top, and sure enough, Saffy was staring straight at me with a dreamy, faraway look.
            “What?” I said, after a while.
            Saffy blinked. “What?”
            “Why are you staring at me?”
            “I’m not staring at you! What makes you think I’m staring at you?”
            “Cause you’re looking straight at me?”
            Saffy’s bosom inflated in full 3-D glory. “You are so self-important it’s not funny! I wasn’t staring at you! I was staring at Felicia Chin!”
            “Oh. Well, you can read it after I’m done. Just stop staring at me!”
            “I was just wondering,” Saffy went on, as if I’d not spoken. “How do you get on the cover of 8DAYS?”
            I sighed and lowered the magazine. “You have to be famous. Or infamous. You have to be pretty…”
Saffy bristled.
I ploughed on heroically. “You must be in the news for doing something people want to read about. Like breaking up Allan Wu’s marriage or you slapped Fann Wong in public and made her cry and now you want to apologise and confess that you were having a nervous breakdown because you cheated Tay Ping Hui out of all his money and you’re the reason why he’s now living in a cardboard box under the Sheares Bridge and you want to tell everyone that you’re really sorry.”
Saffy sniffed. “I don’t see why they’ve got to make it so difficult. They could do so much better than some of the people they’ve had on covers lately. I’m telling you, I bet I could take a much better picture than Felicia Chin!”
“Yes, but what have you done that’s going to make the rest of Singapore want to pick up the magazine and read about you?”
“Well, for starters, I could tell everyone that you’ve been making up these horrible stories about me and Amanda for years now and that not one word is true! How about that?” Saffy looked triumphant.
“Good luck with that,” I growled. “My star witness for the defence is going to be your best friend, Sharyn! She’ll be up on the stand for days testifying that I left out all the good bits!”
Saffy later complained to Amanda that it’s amazing how she puts up with such treacherous friends. “There he is airing all my dirty laundry in public and making money off it, while I wallow in poverty and obscurity! Honestly, the crap I put up with, I’m practically a saint! How come no one writes about that!” 
            “But why do you want to be on the cover of 8DAYS?” Amanda wanted to know.
            “Well, because it looks like fun! You get to dress up in expensive clothes, have pretty make up, and someone talks to you for hours like you’re the most interesting person they’ve ever met.”
            Amanda pursed her lips. “But don’t we already do that every Friday night when we go clubbing and strange old men try to pick us up?”
            Saffy paused. “Well, yes, I guess so, if you put it like that, but I think it would be fun to be on the cover. Goodness knows I must have a huge fan-base out there that’s just dying to finally meet me. I mean, I’m sure the only reason 8DAYS sells is because people want to find out what I’ve been up to recently!”
            Amanda cleared her throat. “Uhm, I’m in the column too, you know.”
            “Yes, of course you are,” Saffy said, trying really hard not to sound patronizing.
            Amanda reports that Saffy spent the rest of the afternoon standing in front of the mirror trying on different outfits while smiling with her eyes the way Tyra Banks instructs her contestants in ‘America’s Next Top Model’. She’s even taken a selfie photo wearing her skimpiest bikini and created a mock 8DAYS cover.
            Amanda says the coverline reads: ‘Domestic abuse, serial dating and the sad truth about Amanda: Saffy bares all’.
            “I hate to say it, but it is quite catchy!” she mused.
            Sharyn says we’re all clearly very free.

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