Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Tight Finish

Barney Chen says there’s a good reason why he doesn’t like to do personal grooming sessions with a girl.
            “They always ask you the most inappropriate questions!” he complained the other day after a waxing appointment with Amanda.
            Apparently, Amanda had found a really good deal at some dingy old shop in Chinatown and had insisted Barney go with her.
            “Can I just say that it felt like someone was videoing me the entire time?” he growled at me the minute he sat down at Maxwell hawker centre. “And not in a good way either!”
            I looked up cautiously from my mee rebus and wondered where this was all heading.
            The salon was so primitive that the waxing rooms were really just an open space separated by curtains. Sounds of waxed strips being torn from private parts alternated with whimpers of pain. 
            “Is that even legal?” Barney demanded. “That I could hear everything from the next room, I mean? Anyway, there I was on all fours and smeared with wax when suddenly, Amanda’s voice came floating over. She wanted to know if when I was finished, I wouldn’t mind coming around to see if her whatsits were sagging!”
            My spoon dropped into my bowl of mee rebus with a splash.
            “She did not say that!”
            “Who says that?” Barney said, the volume of his baritone rising. “I am seriously so disturbed by the idea! I don't think I could look at my mother in the same way ever again!”
            I blinked. “What does your mother have to do with this?”
            Barney flexed his absurdly huge biceps and rolled his eyes. “Well, she’s a woman, isn’t she? Every time I look at Mummy from now on, I know I’m just going to think of Amanda’s sagging whatsits being waxed!”
            “How old is that guy?” Amanda said when I got home. “What a lot of fuss. If a gay man can’t look at a naked woman’s vajayjay without getting all flustered, then what is the point of us being friends in the first place?”
            “I am sure that this is not the only reason that men can be friends with women!” I said.
            “Not just any men. Gay men!” Amanda stressed.
“But why would you want him to look?” I asked. “Isn’t that Saffy’s job?”
            “OK,” Saffy said, pushing aside her cake. “This conversation officially just got disturbing.”
            “I am pretty sure my whole body is starting to head south and I’m not liking it one bit!” Amanda said before launching into a very detailed anatomical analysis of how even if her body was sagging by one millimeter, it was a completely unacceptable state of affairs. Urgent surgical intervention was required. Saffy was careful to avoid my gaze.
            “I need everything on my body lifted a few millimetres,” Amanda announced. “Maybe even tightened!” Instinctively, I crossed my legs.
“But I want a second opinion before I go see Woffles! And seeing as Barney and I were already half naked during the wax, I didn’t see why we couldn’t just do it right there and then!”
            Silence descended over the dining table and made itself comfortable. I stared hard at a point two inches above Amanda’s head.
            Finally, Saffy spoke up. “Woffles Wu?”
            Amanda nodded.
            “But why would you want to see Woffles Wu?”
            Amanda cocked her head. “Well…why not? Isn’t he a plastic surgeon?”
            “I thought he only did face-lifts?” Saffy said. “You mean plastic surgeons also do…uhm…those kinds of…uhm…they go so far south on the body?”
            Amanda sighed. “Oh my God, honestly, you’re just as bad as Barney Chen!”
            Saffy shrugged. “Well, it’s just such an odd word, don’t you think? I’ve never quite like saying it out loud.”
            Amanda turned to me. “So listen, Jason, can you put in a word for me with Woffles? Maybe he can offer me a discount.”
            “Me? Why me?”
            “Well, aren’t you friends with him?”
            “I don’t even know what he looks like!”
            Amanda frowned. “But he’s got a weekly column with you in 8DAYS!”
            “That doesn’t mean we’re squash buddies!” I told her. “I don’t go into the office. I don’t know what anyone at 8DAYS looks like! Plus, don’t forget, our columns are separated by the Shirtless Guy of the Week,” I added as if that was important.
            “You know,” Saffy began, a contemplative glint in her eye, “maybe while Woffles lifts and tightens your whatsits, he can also give me a butt-lift!”
            Barney Chen says that you couldn’t pay him enough money to do Woffles Wu’s job. “Can you imagine? I’d really never be able to look at my mother in the eye ever again!”


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