Monday, July 09, 2007

I had a dream

I had a dream the other night. I dreamt Hollywood talent search team came to town and somehow I was among the dozen chosen for audition. I was to play James Bond's new thriller named "The spy who love Hot Momma". I was not surprised I was chosen, after all, I'm taller than Danny De Vito, 90 kilogram, dimpled when I smile and dapper than Sean himself. and I can easily tuck in my belly within two weeks of signing up with Marie France, I've done it before and can do it again. You know Mr Bean? I'm like him when I'm slim.

In the movie, I, as Bond, was required to cross dress as a smart talking, charismatic and overwieght septogenarian grandma on a sightseeing tour of North Korea looking for a life partner, since there are many of them balding old bachelors living as hermits in this kingdom. Surreptitously James Bond has to look for the Nuclear Plant and site where they keep the dreaded bomb and to use all my skills and guile honed over the decades to destroy (read detonate) it to smithereen in a way to look like as if its an accident, so the West wont be blamed for this calamity. Smart eh?

As the dream progressed, the skirt chasing despot President Hung Ill Dong, had a fetish for older caucasian women and thats where I traipsed in. Very soon, he was under my spell and I was able to get him to show me where the ka-boom button was, and well, I just pressed it and all hell broke loose. It launched a still under-test underground nuclear warhead and trigger a 10.0 Richter scale earthquake that caused a tsunami hitting Japan, gulp! the waves!!! where's the jetlicopter that M said was to rescue me...That was when I was waken by my wife slapping my thigh.

"Get your hairy leg off my buttock!" she shrieked

"No! I'm going to stop your evil plan," I mumbled "God save the Queen!!"

Bonk! My wife's clenched fist came crashing down on my head.

"What was that for" I said, dazed.

"Pressing my belly button so hard!!" she retorted.

"The Ka-boom button?"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Real Life Misadventure

It all started when my washing machine spluttered: "thumpa thumpa thump....thumpa thumpa thump..." like the beating of the Zulu tribal drums, instead of whirring smoothly. I just bought the machine only 20 years ago and its already giving me this racket. My wife warned me if her eardrum continue to take a beating from this horrendous din, I'd have to buy her a hearing aid pretty soon. I quickly grabbed a calculator and with a few frantic jabs at the keyboard, concluded that it would be more economically viable to invest in a new machine rather than buying a little thingy that you wear on the ear. Besides, my wife, if you knew her, has this inclination to dispense unsolicited advices, and often in a patronising manner; on the merits of au naturel, like eating natural food (as if there is unnatural food), natural herbs rather than drugs and medicine, not wearing glasses and so on ...(oops)

Day two at the electrical store. As soon as the niceties were done, the sales person, a twenty something dude launched into what seemed like Operation Desert Storm, bombarding us with terms like nano silver technology, tornado cleaning, turbo drum and the like. But my wife, bless her, stood her ground and retaliated with even more mumbo jumbos. Whew! I stepped aside and let them talk. God knew what transpired between the two. My role would come later, and sure enough, it came. The Haggle. This is my department and I'm not going to let any smooth talking slickers take me for a turbo spin. I have got the 20 Rules of Sun Tzu Art of Negotiation written on a piece of paper and tucked under my palm.

Finally, my wife standing at a new machine, curled her index finger at me and directed my gaze towards the price tag.

I saundered casually over and looked at the cover of the machine with pursed lips.

"What's the damaged?" I inquired nonchalantly. Rule No. 1, act cool, act uninterested.

When I looked at the price tag, my spectacle nearly drop. "T-two t-thousand four hundred..." i gasped. Rule No/ 14, when ambushed, dont panic. "..but the hearing aid cost only two thousand!!!" I shrieked hysterically.

"Don't be ridiculous, hearing aid cant do laundry"

"I suppose so but can you pick a lesser...umm... cheaper model?" I whimpered "there one over there that cost only RM250 and its qite big too and has got two drums" Rule no. 7, always counter offer.

"Thats a semi automatic model, the extra drum is for spinning dry, its a phased out model and we dont guarantee it anymore" Spiky looked amused.

"So what if its semi auto" I snorted loudly "dont tell me it doesnt wash as clean as the fully automatic ones, right darling? Darling?" Rule no 6, state your position and dont move away from it.

She was already at the sales desk.

"Sign here dear, and do hurry up, we need to pick Ah Boy from tuition" she pushed the credit card slip under my nose with a ball pen hovering nearby. That's it! It was a fiat accompli. I lost the battle no thanks to my loyal wife who jumped ship at the critical moment. Dejected I signed without even looking at the figure.

Fifteen minutes later inside the car, I couldnt understand my wife who usually take eons to choose clothes, breezed through rows of washing machines and was able to pick one up so fast.

"How did you know that RM2,400 is the right machine"

"RM2,400? Dont be silly, I just told them the brand I want and get a smaller model which was not in the showroom, they'll send from their store"

"And the price is?" My spirit soared

"RM1,200. Didnt you look when you sign the slip?"

"But how come you took only 5 minutes to decide on that model?"

"I was already there yesterday with Gladys, my tai chi buddy. Her husband is the boss there. By the way Gladys promised me a free DVD players, for me only, not every customers!"

Hey, who need Sun Tzu Art of War or Negotiation? When it comes to business deals, bring the old girl. She may be dumb, but she's smart!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pauline's breakfast

See? She having a more nutritious breakfast when she eats at home instead of pigging out the the kopitiam.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A day in the life

Write a blog. One day it may go down in History as the diary of a statesman (you) or a tycoon (you) or a madman (also you, like Hitler)

Its 7 a.m., my two legged alarm clock, aka my 20 year old daughter, does her job by giving me a kick at a pre-agreed part of my anatomy, my leg, from the knee downward. I mmmfff and went back to sleep again knowing very well the snoozer function will come into play 5 minutes later. Sure enough, this time a pillow whacked wickedly at my head. MMMMFFF, OK OK I'm up now.

This alarm clock only works on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday though. That's because she has classes in the morning on those days and I have to chauffer her earlier than my usual hour of work. I zombied to the washroom and pick up my frazzled toothbrush, and the toothpaste? Well, it got it belly slit open lengthwise like you do to a chili to rid of its seeds. That is my wife's way to getting at the remaining paste inside instead of using elephantine strength to squeeze out the last drop, all in the name of thrift.

For breakfast this morning, the princess decreed it has to be eating out. Never mind that the queen of the house has already make coffee and toast ready. "Ta pau" uncomsumed roti to office is quite the norm for the Chees.

Not only she gets to decide to eat out, she also pick the kopitiam to patronise and today, its Lee's Cafe, famed for its good business as it has about 20 stalls to choose from. Now to call this coffee shop a kopitiam is actually doing it an injustice to say the least. For within this 4-shoplot temple of gastronomy can be found practically all of Kuching's favourite hawkers' fare. And the variety of food here definitely requires another volumeous write up to satisty your appetite (sorry about that pun) and I'll save that for another day.

After I drop her off at her college, it just a short drive to my shop. Then my daily "exercise" begins. It's squatting down and heaving four %*$£$"! heavy shutters (made of rusty aluminium) upward and swearing Christian-friendly expletives, coz they're not smoothly spring-ed and and you have to curse to lift it! And they spring up with such a racket - gggrrrrreee ccrrraashh!!! that I believe its the reason all rodents and cockroaches around my shop decided to move elsewhere. That's about the only good thing I can say of these confound shutters of my shop.

Sometimes the first customer of the day sets the mood for the rest of the day. And today it's a harried 30-something lady with a frown as she steps into my shop. She can't get to switch off her phone, and she's crying foul as she just bought it two days ago elsewhere and it's "spoilt".
It takes me two seconds to see that it is keypad locked and I solve it for her in another 0.5 second. "Gee! How did you do that?". Nothing, it (the handphone) was scared of me, I deadpan. She sheepishly totters out mumbling some Balkan dialects.

I have all kind of people stepping into my outlet and often, my wife and me had a good laugh when customers like that left. We're used to people thanking profusely and those who didnt utter a single thank you when we did some minor troubleshooting for them. Its all in a day's work.

The phone rings and its the supplier on the line, I rattled off some orders. Then some customers walk in for some reloads which my wife (Beth) attended to. Two dudes saunter in and want to sell a used phone, a Nokia 8250. "RM20.00" I said after examining it for 3 seconds. "Punkie" almost faint, and Blondie's jaw drops almost to his "Peace" belt buckle, as he props up his mate. When Punkie came to, he said "Give me a break lah, brudder", I reply with a take-it-or-leave-it shrug.

They storm out in a huff. 1 seconds later, they came in again. Blondie creaks "Okay lah,
20,20 loh". Its not that I'm trying to make a killing at some folks' expense. Its just that very often we take in scrap iron, worthless piece of sh--, due to some unseen malfunction of the sets, or worse still, shady phone which those jerks got on the sly, we get a lot of hassle for that. Its our "occupational hazard", if you get my drift.

Lunchtime. Ho hum. You'd think we'd be rubbing our hand with glee at the break and with all the goodies spread before us. King Centre is a famed "Glutton Square" of Kuching, yet we're bored stiff. "Every day salt fish also can fed up" explain everything. There are two foodcourts, three coffee shops and about 100 food stalls, how can one be possibly bored? Like I said, salt fish bla bla bla. I just remember, my unconsumed roti - devoured by my wife already! Oh well, its Ah chuan's "Foochow burger"(kompia) for me again.

Unfortunately, we had no time for siesta as the place is too cramp to hung up a hammock. Sometimes a buddy or two would turn up for "high tea" and we'd fire a few round of cannons. Around 3-4 pm, the towkay neo would call it a day as she have to go home and cook dinner. Nothing like home cook! She'd pick up the princess on her way home.

Afternoon is usually newspaper's time as sitting around doing nothing when there's no customers looks kind of silly. I used to have a computer at the shop, and it made me look terribly busy and doing important works when in fact I was doing Freecell or just surfing garbage. Without the computer, the next best thing to look busy is doing Sudoku, which is not giving the impression youre busy doing business, but at least its better than looking for fly to swat.

At nightfall, when the weather is cooler, I can step out without breaking into sweat, and usually launch another round of cannon firing with my neighbour Ah Teck the fruit seller. A buddy also by name of Ah Teck aka Thunderclap for his vocal, always drops by and help the fruit seller peel "bakunong" (buah kerondong), Ah Huat, also my neighbour hawking gifts and trinkets would also join in. Together, we'd catcall and tease the salon shampoo girls when they pass by us on the way to the loo. We'd also cat-whistle at the Filipino ladies staying upstairs lodges when they pass by - all with the approving glances of our spouses!

Shoot! Its 7.05pm! I'm overtimed by 5 minutes, Beth has already gathered up the days taking and the remaining stock in our little black bag and ready to heave-ho another time, only this time its pulling down the shutters crashing to the ground. Lights out and its adios for the day. Dinner at home is another story but its ho hum as my fingers are complaining already, gotta give them rest.......bye.