Sunday, September 24, 2017

Beach Wedding Not

Never.
Ever.
Have.
A.
Beach.
Wedding.

I cannot say this more vehemently. Seriously, especially not in a sweltering tropical country melting under an unprecedented heat wave. Perhaps a possible consideration in far more temperate climes but definitely not in our country.

And for once I'm speaking from real life experience. Though Lissome Lorelei did playfully threaten to let us all bake torturously under the midday sun during her seaside wedding ceremony, she thankfully had a near-glacial tearoom waiting for all her guests to simmer down right after. If I recall there was a mad stampede to rush in for that brief respite right after the vows as well leaving several hapless bridesmaids trampled in need of medical attention!

Apparently though that particular bit of advantageous information seems to have slipped out of the many gushing bridal magazines. Ever the island girl with childhood dreams of a beach party, our Pretty Paisley had almost zero qualms over letting her guests spit-roast under the sun.

Which is how Shameless Shalom and I found ourselves literally sweating buckets during the wedding vows. Though it was apparently still a breezy mid-morning at the tropical beach, it truly felt like we'd already trudged through the heated trenches at Iwojima in our bulky combat fatigues. We would have surrendered ourselves just to find ourselves in airconditioned comfort if we could.

Bla bla bla let's get married! And out of this heat!

Though of course I would never be dressed so dreadfully! So there I was, in my new suit, literally broiling on the beach like one of the barbecued seafood snacks on offer by the seaside shacks.

Whereas our more practical Shalom had put on a shorter cocktail dress though from the excessive perspiration streaming down her forehead, it did very little to cool her down. When fanning myself vigorously with the invitation card seemed more thermogenic than cooling, I was already beginning to wish I'd pulled on a skirt myself.

Nonetheless it was wonderful to see Paisley so happily walking down the aisle. Since she had nary a bead of sweat on her, I assume excessive happiness does temporarily disable the sweat glands. At least for a little while.

For the rest of us, it wasn't so which is how I found myself placing a personal ban on beach weddings. At least for myself. Like why would anyone subject themselves to such inhumane suffering?

Shalom : My God, the pictures turned out amazing. 
Paul : Thank goodness. 
Shalom : The colours. The sun. The beach. 
Paul : No.. No... don't say it!
Shalom : I want a beach wedding too. 
Paul : Dammit. 

So now we know how it all begins.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Oh My English Again

No, this won't be a rant on how young Chinese Malaysians are deliberately eschewing the English language - and even our national language - for whatever misplaced reasons in their naive lil minds. That impassioned diatribe will come along one fine day when I'm finally rational enough to type one out somewhat legibly.

Mostly this has to do with our Ambiguous Aaron - and his dubious command of the language. One would assume that having English as his first language - mayhap his one and only - would automatically place him in the hallowed ranks of prodigious English scholars! Failing that, at least he would have a somewhat passable standard of English.

At least that's what one would like to think.

Thus far, I've let more than a few of his grammatical faux pas slip by without a word since :-

a) I'm not your fecking teacher and I heartily dislike faultfinders
b) I'm not that great myself so why am I pointing out mistakes
c) It must have been a slip of the tongue

Usually I just shrug dismissively and think, surely no one gets that wrong?

Did he just diss the grammar of Shakespeare?

But then came the day when he then decided to diss the Bard.

Yes, William Shakespeare himself. Though I'm far from ye high-and-mighty literary connoiseur, do not ever, ever critique the grammar of Shakespeare in front of someone who spent part of his high school years going through the various tragedies and comedies. Atrocious, Aaron called it, which obviously put me into a flame.

Don't diss the Bard.


Then lo and behold, Aaron spelt the word chilli wrong.

Aghast. Me. In our food-obsessed nation that's about as simple and elementary a word as apple. Before I could falteringly ask for a repeat, he blithely spells it wrong again. Twice in a row, surely it's not a typo, says I. Ever the skeptic, I immediately question myself. Perhaps I've been wrong my entire life and it's actually spelt that way? To the dictionary I promptly ran to check the word out only to prove myself right.

Dammit, he made me doubt myself!

Perhaps in the upper reaches of the Ganges? In some obscure, forgotten corner of South America? Again I desperately search across the length and breadth of Google to find more information only to reaffirm my earlier understanding of the word. Nope, still spelled chilli. Yep, even in Mexico. Well sometimes it's chili.

But never chilly.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Deja Vu

Granted in such a small town, the conceivable choices for chow time isn't all that appealing. This ain't cosmopolitan New York with an exciting new bodega opening up down the block every other week. We'd be lucky if that even happened once every six months over here. In fact take another walk around the block and you'd probably find that lovely new eatery closing up for good before you'd even bothered to come around a second time!

So yes, the choices are sadly limited. There's a very short list of usual suspects with acceptable dining options that we frequent; made even shorter due to the finicky appetites of some of my friends. Worse than the proverbial Goldilocks I swear. Even so, with certain establishments taking the day off once a week, there's bound to be a repeat every once in a while.

Much to the everlasting horror of some of my... more persnickety friends. For some obscure reason, repeats are quite the anathema to them!

Paul : How about we go for burgers at Pop's?
Friend : We just went there three days ago. 
Paul : And so? 
Friend : We can't go again. 
Paul : Like ever? 
Friend : Maybe next week. 
Paul : If you went again, your social rating would fall?
Friend : Maybe we go to Mama's? 
Paul : But we were there last year. Is that alright? 
Friend : Should be. 

Who knows. Possibly.

Even ordering an entirely different menu isn't quite acceptable.

No they aren't hip social media influencers trying to increase their online relevance. Hell, these staid creatures barely have a Facebook presence.

Friend : Wait. I can't go there.
Paul : Why?
Friend : I went there last month!

Paul : OMG A repeat! That's like gonna kill you? 

Seriously I cannot fathom this despite deliberately shoving my feet into their shoes multiple times. I don't see how dining at the same place twice in a week would possibly dangerously undermine their entire sense of self, life, humanity etc.  Would their querulous stomachs rail against such repeated ignominy and call out a hunger strike? Would their oh-so-fussy mitochondrias protest by shutting down energy production due to the repeated source of nutrients?

Obviously I have no comprehension so help me out here, guys.

Me, I order the exact same dish with the same drinks at the same spot at the same kopitiam every single day. Usual servers gotten used to the Paul Special, I don't even make orders anymore but just take my seat expecting the same to arrive. Somehow that hasn't left me feeling at all disconsolate. Or feeling like my life isn't worth living.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Straw to Gold

Ensconced in her domestic bliss up north, it's rare indeed to hear from Pretty Panacea other than the occasional housekeeping gripes when her singing birds and butterflies go on strike. Turns out life isn't all that rosy in the fairytale kingdom even after that perfect happy-ever-after since even princesses have to contend with the monstrous in-laws. Though this time it's not a serpent-haired gorgon-in-law that's the problem but a fellow new bride like her.

Panacea : I have a problem. 
Paul : Told you. Feed the birds more if you want them to hang your laundry! 
Panacea : It's not a housekeeping problem. It's my princess-in-law. 
Paul : How is she a problem? 
Panacea : She's imitating the way I dress! Wears the same clothes! Carries the same handbags!
Paul : So? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 
Panacea :  I swear she has the same glass slippers that I got!
Paul : I've seen her. 
Panacea : You have? 
Paul : I have a magic mirror. Really, you have nothing to worry about. You're comparing straw to gold. 
Panacea : B-but what do I say when I see her in the same gown!
Paul : Compliment her on her fine taste. 

Perhaps it's a problem only a real princess could comprehend since try as I might, I really couldn't empathize with her. Even freshly woken up from her bedchamber with hardly a brush to her lovely locks and nary a gloss to her luscious lips, Pretty Panacea is undoubtedly the fairest in the land and few princesses, and even fewer peasant girls, could hold a candle to her. 

Even more so the lamentable princess-in-law who's... homely at best. 

Hmm. That's the hapless wench who's earned the ire of Panacea? Of what looks does she speak of? 

Imagine spending half a day being sorely mistreated at the aesthetics salon just to come up short against Panacea rushing in for supper with a hasty swipe of a lipstick? No doubt if I were in her princess-in-law's glass slippers, I would heartily dislike Panacea as well. Probably start making deliciously devious deals with the devil to concoct poisonous apples and such. 

Rather than just innocently steal her look. 

The princess-in-law tries. Unfortunately, even lavishly overpriced Birkins dangling from her spindly arm can't compensate for the sad lack of panache to carry it off. Every fairy godfather could easily tell her the ancient adage - You can buy fashion but you can't buy style - but apparently fairy godfathers are in short supply these days. 

So I told Panacea to accept the battle's already long won, not that the final outcome was ever in doubt. Be gracious to the loser at least. That said however, I would still break her glass slippers since there can't be two pairs around!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Miri Lieutenant's Man

Afternoon sessions at the gym are becoming quite a routine for me, not that I've actually turned into a man-beast. Sadly not true though I'm starting to fill out that t-shirt which is fine by me. Note to anyone else reading - don't overdo leg day or you'll never wear slim jeans ever again.

Apart from the occasional desperate housewife who sneaks in for a resentful run on the treadmill, I've noticed the afternoon denizens of the gym come from two specific sorts. Since slick professional fellows wouldn't be waltzing into the gym at such unseasonable hours, it's obvious that only those who aren't working would be able to workout then.

So the first group would be the schoolboys and the collegiates; all far too dangerously enticing despite being practically jailbait. It really should be illegal to look so scrumptious at that age dammit. Enthusiastically bounding in, usually in large mate-y groups slapping each other on the back, they scamper and scuttle from machines to the weight rooms with such energetic vivacity that it's almost painfully distracting.

That, and the neverending display of abs of course.

Basically something out of Fitcasting but unfortunately with clothes on.

Could you show me that move again? 

Then there's the more sinister second group.

Burly, dark and tattooed, grunting, cursing and spitting; I dub these the Gangster Ges. So much less appetizing than the former. Quite apparent that early daytime isn't their usual mode since most come with bleary hangover faces that probably haven't seen the morning sun since they were in blue shorts. These ones specifically come in pairs, hardly ever in crowds. What I assume would be the mob boss and his most trusted lieutenant.

No doubt building muscle for their extracurricular activities later in the night.

And this particular Gangster Ge always comes with his faithful sidekick at the very same time. Oddly enough the lieutenant does nothing but just hang around waiting for the boss to finish his routine. Unlike the forlorn girlfriend waiting in the wings, at least he helps out by spotting for his boss, even hurrying over to refill his canister of water. Very little is done otherwise with him literally just twiddling his thumbs watching over the man pump iron.