Monday, January 05, 2015

Busy Body

Someone really needs to write in to the big bosses at 8DAYS and demand that they scrap that ridiculous Shirtless Guy page. Really, it’s the same thing week after week. Some random guy bulging and rippling with ridges and muscles where they have no business being bulging or rippling. Smiling smugly out at us with their perfect skin, perfect teeth and perfect lives.
It’s just too much.
“Don’t you dare get that page cancelled!” Barney Chen growled at me the other day. “I am devoted to it! I cut out every single one each week and collect them all in a scrapbook!”
“Shut up,” I told him. “I’m trying to enjoy my roti prata right now, and this whole conversation is spoiling my appetite!”
“They motivate me to go to the gym more regularly!” Barney added, though I later told Amanda I wasn’t sure how much more regularly Barney could go to the gym given that he already goes twice a day.
My flatmate was astonished. “He goes twice a day?”
“You think you get a body like his by sitting on a couch and watching reruns of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’? Like we do?” I added very unnecessarily.
“Ugh, have you seen what Rob Kardashian looks like these days?” asked Amanda, Harvard graduate.
As it turns out, the Shirtless Guy page is also Saffy’s favourite. “I just love it when they say that they can eat whatever they like!” she said the other day as she inhaled a bowl of lontong while her latest copy of 8DAYS was propped up in front of her. “I mean, look at this guy’s stomach! It’s all muscles. If it was any tighter, he’d fart! There’s no room for anything else! There’s no way you could fit anything bigger than two bread crumbs into a stomach that tight!”
“And they’re all like five years old!” I said viciously. “Of course you’re going to have a super high metabolism at that age and you can eat whatever you want!”
“I wish they had more celebrities on this page though,” Saffy said, slurping noisily. “It’s hard for me to get too excited about these random guys, though I’m not really complaining. It’s rare to find such wonderfully gratuitous photographs of topless buff men in a family magazine.”
“I wonder what Christopher Lee’s body looks like,” Amanda asked. “Or they should just photograph Allan Wu every week!”
            Saffy gasped. “Oh my God, how perfect would that be? That could be the entire issue of 8DAYS! Just the cover and one single page of a half-naked Allan Wu inside. And nothing else. I’d sign up for a lifetime subscription!”
Later that evening, when Sharyn came over for dinner, the girls were still talking about the Shirtless Guy.
“Eeeee!” said Sharyn with typical eloquence. “You like that page, ah?”
“Who doesn’t?” Amanda asked.
“Ay, I don’t, leh! You find all those muscle nice, meh? Real life where got muscle like dat? I never see before in my life!”
“Well, you need to come swimming with us and Barney Chen,” Amanda told her.
“You could grate cheese on his stomach,” Saffy said happily.
“I don’t like cheese,” Sharyn said firmly. “If you have boyfriend or husband who got stomach like that, you never see dem, ah, I tell you! Dey always at the gym and den, hor, you always so worry udder people like dat Barney Chen want to steal dem! Much better to catch a man with no muscle, den no one will steal him and you have long long happy marriage. Like me!”
Saffy and Amanda cocked their heads, and you could tell that the practicalities of finding and then keeping a faithful boyfriend had never really occurred to them.
“Huh!” Amanda said as she mentally replayed the cast of unhappy relationships from her past. As she later said to us, every single one of them involved a good looking man with more than a definition of pecs and abs.
“And my Bradley looks like a TeleTubby these days,” Saffy said, “but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”
“Huh!” Amanda said again.
“That is a very good theory,” Barney Chen said when she called him. “And also very probably true, especially in my case. You have fun with me, but you wouldn’t want to marry me!”
“Well, I wouldn’t because you know…you’re…uhm…and I’m not…” Amanda trailed off. She rallied. “But I do see your point. So maybe I’ve been too busy being attracted to all the wrong men? Maybe I need Shia LaBeouf, and not Alexander Skarsgard!”
“Well, maybe not Shia, he’s gone a bit loopy,” said Barney. “But you’re definitely on the right track!”
Amanda blinked. “Huh!”

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