The other day, Amanda looked up from her latest issue of Vanity Fair and said, “Poor Jennifer Lawrence!”
Saffy blinked rapidly. “You know, I always get momentarily confused between her and Jennifer Lopez! This must be what it’s like to get early Alzheimers.”
Amanda stared hard at Saffy in much the same way a hungry lion might look at a passing gazelle and sees breakfast.
Saffy shifted in her seat. “Anyway, what about Jennifer Lawrence?”
“She had those sex photos leaked all over the internet! Poor thing.”
Saffy sighed with the delicious horror of it all. “Gosh, if pictures of my va-jay-jay ever got out there, I think I would just die!”
“But why would you take pictures of your va-jay-jay in the first place?” Amanda wanted to know.
“Why do we take pictures of ourselves at parties or by the beach? To celebrate the moment! So that when we’re seventy-five and wrinkly and saggy, we can look back and remember what it was like to be young and taut and everything was a few inches higher!”
Amanda later said that just when you think you’ve got Saffy all figured out, she turns around and surprises you with a penetrating insight like that.
“Of course, that doesn’t mean it was a smart move to take that kind of picture!” she went on. “It’s such a dangerous world out there, these days.”
“You’re beginning to sound like my mother,” I told her.
Jennifer Lawrence’s predicament haunts Amanda. “You just can’t trust anyone anymore!” she said over lunch at Maxwell Market. The air was thick with the greasy smell of smoky fried yummies. “I mean, these hackers are just looking for any opportunity to hack into our private lives and broadcast it for all the world to see!”
Leave it to Sharyn to put things into perspective.
“Aiyoh, you very rich and famous, is it?” she asked, her Coke-bottle thick spectacles fogging over from the steam rising from her laksa. She dabbed at her mouth with a tissue. “If hacker got hack into your phone, what will they find? Phone number for Prada shop at Paragon, pic-ture of the salad you eat for lunch, and Ang-lee Bird app! They want to hack, go ahead and hack, lor!”
Amanda turned to Saffy whose face was currently buried in a mound of mee goreng. “How is this woman your best friend?” she demanded.
Sharyn giggled and waved her orange-stained tissue at Amanda. “Aiyah, friend cannot joke, meh?”
Saffy came up for air. “She keeps me real! But she’s got a point. I’m just thinking of what privacy I’d be losing if someone hacked into my phone.” She fished her iPhone out of her handbag and began flicking the screen. “I mean, here’s a picture of me drinking a glass of Chardonnay. Here’s me and you at Esquina. A picture of a bowl of ramen. A selfie at the fish stall at the wet market. Me pointing to a cake. Picture of my shopping trolley at Cold Storage…Hmmm, there seem to be a lot of pictures of me eating and drinking.”
“My point, lah!” Sharyn said. “Nobody care about us, one, lah!”
Amanda wasn’t giving up so easily, especially not against someone who hadn’t gone to Harvard. “But it’s the whole issue of privacy!”
“Aiyah!” Sharyn interrupted. “No doubt must have privacy, but you must also be – ay, what’s the word, ah, Saffy, you taught me the udder day…”
“No, the other one.”
“Discovering the oyster?”
“No, the other one.”
“Long Dong Silver?”
“No! Aiyah, ne-ber mind. What I’m trying to say is, if you are famous, hor, why you must go and take neck-ked picture on your phone? Ask for trouble, right! Aiyoh!”
Amanda pursed her lips. You could tell the debate with Sharyn wasn’t going the way she’d hoped. “Well, all I can say is that if I ever have a daughter and her naked pictures end up getting splashed all over the internet, I will just die!”
“Yah, true,” Sharyn said. “But if my Jeanette like that, I will kill her first, and den I will die!”
Of course, Barney Chen thinks the whole iPhone hacking thing is just so overdramatic. “Even for me!” he growled.
“But the issue of privacy…” Amanda began. Barney placed a huge hand on her shoulder.
“Girl, please! JLaw is, like, 23. Her body is never going to look so good than it does now. Imagine if she was 93 and she was still taking nude pictures of herself and those got leaked!”
“Aiyoh!” Sharyn said.