Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Of Martinis and Margaritas

Martinis before lunch?

I used to think that anyone who drank even before their breakfast toasts was a serious lush in need of an eye-opener after a desperate night of shameless bingeing. The shameful province of raging alcoholics who develop sweats without their daily tipple. Of course that was before I found myself inducted into the inebriated club myself.

Maybe just a sip...

You see, I've just finished a harrowing period of my life - actually spent more hours staring at the dull pastel walls of the hospital than in my own bed. Haven't done such a torturous back-breaking stretch since my days of internship. Imagine practically living in the hospital from day to day. Felt like I was in a medical reality-based version of Survivor with four varying personalities being incarcerated together on a daily basis in a gulag.

Gotta say now I've finished, I'm pretty good value for money. Working this many hours for such small wages, hell I'm a freaking bargain!

Not the only one who went through this grueling sweatshop / gulag since I had fellow inmates along who shared their tears and laughter with me. Well mostly insane laughter since we were far too distraught from endless work to shed a tear.

Today was liberation day - so to speak.

And as humans, we all cherish our little celebrations. The coming of a new day, the beginning of a new era, the end of a brutal regime! And what better way to celebrate than to share a pint. Slainte!

The bar had barely even opened its doors before we all stumbled in, a gang of sleepy-eyed zombies in search of inebriation - no doubt looking like we'd just done a hedonistic night-long pub crawl. Even the natty waiter seemed taken aback when the entire posse just flipped over to the cocktail menu immediately after he handed them to us. Must have thought we were all sex and the city alcoholics recently fallen off the wagon from the way we devoured the wine list in search of our own personal brand of poison.

Waiter : Perhaps some coffee?
Paul : Why? Do we look like a bunch of alcoholics?
Waiter : Uhh... yes.

Unflattering to be sure. Good help is so hard to find these days.

But over martinis and margaritas, we rehashed the events of the entire month from minor unprecedented storms such as Hurricane Hallie to the regular lashings of mother nature's fury. Seriously. Hell hath no fury as woman scorned.

Still we all survived the storm relatively unscathed. Reason enough to raise a glass.

Or maybe two.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hospital Chic

Yes, I know hospitals aren't exactly known as the marble-floored, irresistibly perfumed salons of elegance and style. What with our drab plastic floors, dull pastel walls and simplistic cookie-cutter design, I doubt our hospitals would be winning awards for creativity anytime soon.

Just take a walk down our plain anonymous corridors and you'll probably find yourself turning corners that you've sworn you've seen before just a minute ago. Seriously, without the proper signs ( and there are few enough of them in place! ) I think many of the bewildered patients would be found wandering through the identical halls forever in search of an exit. I doubt even Gaudi could find a suitable avant garde design to update the sterile design of the modern hospital.

Sure. Strut down the hall in the scrubs...

Don't even get me talking about our shapeless blue scrubs. Designed by Dolce & Gabbana, I think not. Trust me, not even god-like Chris Evans could make it work - not without some surgical alterations to the uniform that is. So you can only imagine what blah scrubs does to the rest of us trolls.

And then we have to add those practical but horrible-looking neon-coloured clogs to the ensemble. Claim excessive comfort if you like ( though I'm dubious ) but those Crocs are never gonna look good no matter how many jibbitz you place on them.

But somehow our very own kleptomaniac nester Lexie Grey makes it work. Hospital chic that is. Seriously. Don't cut it till you've tried it out.

Pilfering generously from Seattle Grace's ample closets to redecorate, Lexie attempts to tszuj up her squalid, roach-infested crapartment to please her displaced / disgruntled roommate. Me, I'd go crazy living in the disgusting hole ( would make me itch for industrial detergent! ) but somehow Lexie manages to make it all liveable.

Necessity certainly is the mother of invention. Vacuum-sealed containers for pasta and cereal. Drawsheets for tablecloth. Underpads for placemats. Unused bed pans for fruit bowls. Discarded get-well bouquets for place settings.

Even the sign stolen from the scrub room gets a prominent place of honour right above the sink. Appropriately enough.

Though I gotta say eeew when it comes to the bed pans, the rest of it actually all turned out rather charming. Martha Stewart would have been proud. If Lexie Grey decides to leave medicine behind, I'm sure she could turn her cheap hospital chic into a trendsetter.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clique This

Cliques. We all have them, no matter how much we might deny it. After all, birds of a feather certainly flock together. Unfortunately not all birds enjoy sharing the stage hence the inherent suspicion ( and dislike ) of the uppity newcomer. The arrivistes so to speak.

Hence a clique :)

Had this thought today when Beercan Boy - of all people - came around for lunch. Seems that he has finally picked up the pieces of his broken heart at last and has started swimming around in the dating pool again. No mean feat for an ineligible guy in his early thirties.

As usual when old classmates get together, we got to reminiscing about our halcyon schooldays. Isn't it weird that it all seems so much better more than ten years later? Could have sworn I bitched and cursed each day I was stuck in the hellhole of martinets, examinations and homework called school :)

Then Beercan rehashed the time-worn story of my wicked days back in the schoolyard. A familiar story - turns out I was the playground bully who kicked sand in the faces of my hapless frenemies. Camped out on our familiar stoop behind the tuckshop during recess, we might have dared the other boys to come close to our territory. Probably peed in a circle to mark the boundaries even. Very West Side Story.

Whatcha looking at...

Why do I seem so detached from the tale? Well, since I'm pretty much senile, I can't recall much of primary school. Reason I've never been able to refute any of their claims that I was the alleged Don Mafioso of the Junior League.

Yes, The Blair Bitch Project. Definitely no designer wear and far less accessories but we might have been the tween queens of primary schoolbrats terrorizing the neighbourhood in between trading cards and playing tag.

At least that's the way he says it. No way to ask Morgan - the alleged victim - since he vanished from sight after being hastily transferred away. Of course, history has a way of being redrawn especially when no one's there to challenge the sketch. I honestly recall being a sweet, shy wallflower who wouldn't hurt a fly.

Beercan : Lies. You were a mean queen.
Paul : You must be joking. I was only 7 at the most. And I was one of the smallest boys in class.
Beercan : You made Morgan cry.
Paul : What a sissy boy.
Beercan : Well, you might have said something like that too.
Paul : Aiks!

Obviously I might have been quite the queen bee myself. Of course I've only heard it from Beercan so who knows! Perhaps the the oceans of alcohol he liberally imbibed during his heartbreak hotel stage might have damaged a few brain cells in the cerebellum.

Of course with his impediments, Beercan couldn't be trusted as a material witness so I called up another classmate who was present at the crime scene for confirmation. Though he was a bastard, he could be trusted on to be totally unapologetically honest.

My ISO : Morgan who?
Paul : That guy in primary.
My ISO : That nobody. Probably deserved it.

Ouch. Looks like I'm the only one willing to make amends. So Morgan, wherever you are, I am sorry. Though I don't recall a single moment of the said event, I hope you haven't turned out too badly. Pray you're not a violent drunk living out a cycle of abuse!

Then again... what the hell, if you are a cute single guy, call me. You can certainly bully me now. :P

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Delivery Part II

You know just when you find yourself feeling so extremely down about work, that Big Fella up there sends a message. Now don't worry, I am not going to start blathering like a crazed prophet about receiving a vision of an angel descending from the heavens with a divine message.

I'm no Eli Stone.

I am a doctor however and I receive my memo from the Department of God somewhat differently. No harps, halos or heavenly choirs.

Seeing Red
All about a man and a baby...

Comes in a form of an elderly gentleman bearing a baby. You see, last year almost exactly to the date, I had a surprise knock on my door while I was on-call. It happened during the wee hours of the morning at about 4 in the morning. Just dropped into runs of REM when I was rudely woken up by a disembodied whisper from the door.

Disembodied Nurse : Doctor, there's a lady in labour in Bed 8.

Not a shocker in the hospital. Certainly not a surprise in the maternity wing.

But in the intensive care unit? Hell, I seriously thought I was dreaming. Scrambled out of bed in my scrubs with my bed hair, hurried over to Bed 8 only to see my semi-sedated patient ( hitherto supposedly concussed with a head bleed ) bearing down with all her might with lil tufts of hair already appearing... way down there.

It was a baby. My first thought was fuck. My last delivery was 5 years back minimum but that certainly didn't stop me. Don't even remember yelling for the delivery set but I do remember grabbing a pair of sterile gloves somewhere.

Wildly premature, desperately ill... and honestly I never thought he would make it. Obviously I was wrong since the father came by yesterday and the obviously healthy baby babbled an audible greeting. And there was my name on his birth cert.

Isn't life indeed wonderful?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Thong Song

Should be obvious enough that I'm pretty overworked this month. Going on a stressful 24-hour call every three days without much of a break in between hasn't been easy. Almost like a repeat of my horrendous internship with more stress and added responsibility. Lesser folks would probably be running amuck through the streets of the city yelling obscenities and waving bloody machetes.

Then again after almost a month, I'm not that far from a psychotic break really.

Fortunately, I've always leant pretty far out over the edge of sanity so it does take away a bit of the pressure. Somewhat. So aren't you glad I still have a sense of humour to help lessen my stress? Of course my quirky sense of humour has me gurgling in laughter at the most inopportune moments usually at the most inappropriate matters.

Imagine chuckling over some inconsequential thing while the dour physicians are rifling through a mountain of case notes at a morbidity and mortality meeting. As Patch Addams found out the hard way, humour isn't exactly appreciated in a hospital.

So you can imagine my surprise when Laidback Larry gave me a reason to smile this morning. Never mentioned him in my blog before but he's been a colleague of mine for quite a while. Hell, I've known him since our rigorous medical school days - and Larry's always been one of most laidback ( hence the name ), affable fellows I've ever known. Relatively scandal-free ( as far as I know! ) as well, obviously one of the reasons I've never had cause to mention him!

Well that's all before I knew he wore red thongs to work.

Seriously. The things you learn in the men's changing rooms.

Seeing Red
Whatever gave you the idea I have a red thong fetish?

Under those preppy clothes or even the boring blue scrubs, there beats the heart of a man who has a red thong fetish. Caught him disrobing in the changing room - don't get any dirty thoughts, Larry's like a brother to me! - and the obvious red thong was waving to me like a flag! Of course he was quick enough to suit up when he caught me staring ( unabashed perv that I am ) but even his reproving glare didn't stop me from letting out a shocked guffaw.

You can imagine how hard I tried to stifle a giggle each time I heard the Thong Song by Cisco replaying in my head during morning rounds.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Murder He Wrote

In less than a week, I'm supposed to make my private debut as a monstrous papa jahat.

Not what you're thinking. As far as I know, Charming Calvin hasn't managed to smuggle an abandoned chinese orphan home in his luggage. Then again time can only tell since he still has lots of unused space to be filled in his 4X4 cargo. Either that or he brings back a Tibetan lacquered cabinet - and something tells me, he'd prefer taking his chances with child kidnapping rather than lugging furniture home from the Panjiayuan market.

And no, we have no surrogate mothers in sight as yet.

So how am I gonna become a father?

It all began with Strapping Shane's idea to revolutionize our time-worn methods of throwing surprise birthday parties. Which can hardly be termed a surprise anymore since it's almost an unenviable duty by now. I can imagine the disappointed hissy fits that would be thrown if a party's not available on the said date :)

So inspired by the likes of Jessica Fletcher or the more recent lady sleuth Samantha Kinsey, Shane with his flair for theatrics has decided to throw a murder mystery weekend instead. So before you can say Murder on the Orient Express, he has already listed out characters, motives and subplots for the blood-and-gore weekend - with me landing a helpful hand to point out some plot discrepancies. And you all know how much I love a good family scandal.

That's when I'm not playing detective and sniffing out the Secret of the Old Clock. After all, who doesn't want to play Sherlock Holmes?

You should die for your sins.. but damn, I can't kill a man with those abs...

Been assigned the role of the obsessive, manipulative patriarch who pops anti-anginal pills intermittently like candy - certainly a role close to my heart. With indescribably ineffectual progeny along with a faithless wife ( appropriately enough took off to try her hand at the Beijing Opera ) and numerous back-stabbing siblings, my character certainly would have just cause for recurring heart attacks! Haven't had the opportunity to play the role in real life as yet so I've been keeping all my nasty, sarcastic barbs in check at the moment - to release at the most inopportune moments on my poor, unsuspecting children.

Who'd probably hate me collectively and conspire to shove me down the proverbial hidden staircase by the end, to be found much, much later by the astonished butler as the body in the library. I wonder whether I'll have enough time to molest the handsome vicar in the drawing room before that.

Of course, as they all say... the best laid plans? At the moment, we're finding it nigh impossible to find the perfect hidden venue to play our no-frills live-version of Cluedo. Doubt my more reticent friends would be able to leap into dramatic hysterics while ruthlessly pointing murder accusations out in the public. So we sorely need privacy.

Bet even Hercule Poirot couldn't find a solution to our problem though. Maybe a Mysterious Affair at Styles? Maybe the Bates Motel?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cure Me


We all know modern medicine describes a zillion and one diseases, and the numbers grow steadily daily - no doubt much to the glee of the sinfully profitable pharmaceutical corps. Hence the ever-expanding girth of our academic textbooks. No doubt if you read a medical journal way back in the early 1900s, it would only be several pages long ( with dozens of unnameable illnesses marked unknown, unseen and untreatable with question marks abounding ) in comparison to the encyclopaedic medical tomes we lug around in supermarket trolleys these days.

Seems like they find some new communicable disease every other day these days.

You'd be surprised to note that the younger the child is, the more the problems. Hence the dozens of tongue-twisting stuff in paediatrics from peculiar genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs Disease to Chokenflok Syndrome. You can imagine the various new titles overworked physicians attribute to them in jest. Day-Sex Disease? The Choke-and-Flog Syndrome anyone?

Of course, be comforted that new revolutionary treatments are also being researched every day...

Usually such diseases are named after the scientists ( who in all probability researched the little known disease ) themselves. But seriously, why would you name a horribly debilitating affliction after yourself?! Or having a monstrous mutating virus carrying your name? Imagine these headlines hitting the front pages of your local daily.

Millions - including orphans and geriatrics - wiped out in struggling third world nation after Plague Paul strikes.

Please. Talk about having your name go down in infamy. I certainly wouldn't want to be likened to a violent ethnic cleansing in a third world country. Nor do I want to sound like a devastating pandemic sent by that Big Fella up there.

Honestly I'd prefer to have a vaccine christened on my behalf. A new drug maybe. Maybe something hopeful and curative like the super-cure-all antibiotic - though we all know it's some kinda medical myth like the Holy Grail.

Sick toddler : I am well!
Mother : OMG. My child! You're saved!
Paul : Yes, his temperatures are normalizing, his blood pressure is within hormal limits. Congratulations. I expect a full recovery.
Mother : OMG. Hallelujah. Praise the gods! Praise Paul!
Paul : Oh thanks, it was nothing. All in a day's work.
Mother : NO! I meant the Paul Vaccine.

Bloody hell. So you know what I mean.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Luckless Lovelorn Lads

Guys, listen up. One of my favourite jazz standards. Yet I find myself hating the lyrics even as I listen to the heartbreaking ( though self-pitying ) song.

If you want something, go for it - most especially when it comes to love. Seriously. Wishing and hoping is all good but it isn't going to mean a thing if you don't ever make a move. After all, faint heart never won fair maiden ( nor knight depending on your personal preference ).

While it certainly doesn't compare to facing an approaching hostile army armed with a dull wooden stick, approaching a lady fair can sometimes seem almost as daunting. Takes a brave guy to make a move. Still much better than being the spineless wimp who never even tries. Usually they end up painfully crucified in the course of the story - or even worse, weeping over a beer bottle at the end of the tale as the hero rides off triumphantly into the sunset with their loved one.

Or as in my colleague's case, they all end up sad and heartbroken as she flies off into the northern wilderness in search of greener pastures.

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know who she is easily enough. After all, her sheer enthusiasm can be pretty infectious. Hell, if I were straight, I'd probably be caught in her fatal siren's call as well - weaving mindlessly in her toils like the rest of her luckless lovelorn lads. Fortunately I don't lean that way - and yet I find myself surprisingly intrigued by her as well. Ever since she burst into our lives like a potent firecracker, her effusive joie de vivre has brightened up many a dreary work day. Certainly not the lush womanliness of Preity Posh or the down-home charm of Shameless Shalom but few can deny her sharp, elfin looks or her sweet, gamine charms.

Certainly not her army of suitors.

Yet she remains oblivious to her beguiling ways. Bewitching her helpless lads with her come-hither smile, not even realizing as they fall to her feet that she has already caught them under her enchanting spell.

I suspect even Bootlicking Bob has gotten inadvertently tangled in her delicious web, rendering him speechless under the onslaught of his termagant harpy.

So you can imagine the sudden hysterical outpouring of emotion when our sexy siren recently announced her going away. Duty calls so she leaves soon for the north. No doubt we'll find the city streets literally strewn with the castaway bodies of her despondent suitors soon as she says her last farewell.

Definitely Maybe
Don't leave me!

Yet till she announced her departure, none of her luckless lads have made a move. Only at the very last moment have they all suddenly collectively crept out of the shadows to make their heartfelt wishes known. You can already imagine her frustration.

WTF! Now he tells me he loves me? I didn't even know we were dating!

Which I find unusual. The lady doesn't even know she's being courted? Takes a fucking year to let her know? Exactly what has gone wrong with straight men today? Procrastination? Diffidence? Stupidity? Perhaps a sheer lack of cojones?

Me, I'd already have attempted unhooking her bra by the third date at the least. Gotten a quick slap for my inspired efforts no doubt but at least I'd have tried. Well that's all assuming I'm straight of course but trust me, you'd know my feelings loud and clear. Probably be posted out clearly in skywriting.

What's the use of hiding? I prefer to know where I stand rather than to pine hopelessly full of regrets for what might have been.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Rice Bowl

The majority of my cousins are in privately owned companies - involved in their family businesses, multinational corporations or venturing out on their own. Leaving perhaps only a couple - like me - slogging it out in the public service.

One of my uncles who has a firm of his own always has a smile and some words of advice when I start to gripe about work. Well, you know old Chinese taukehs - somehow they always seem to have an ancient proverb ready for every occasion. Must be a thumb-creased worn phrasebook they pass around during the meetings of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

My wise ( though occasionally wacky ) old uncle likened his sinfully exorbitant wages to that of a precious hand-blown Murano glass bowl while my meagre salary was described as a weather-beaten but sturdy wooden rice bowl. Whether in the best of times or the worst, I'll still have that relatively steady job to fall back on unlike his means of living which could shatter into irretrievable pieces at the slightest hint of global recession.

An exaggeration, I know.

Definitely Maybe
Tied up at work...

Have to admit though I've never been a fan of metaphors. I usually like to tell 'em straight without frills or flowers - despite the occasional overly descriptive phrases I use :) Still I found his phrase particularly illuminating and have repeated it often enough.

Security. Such a favourite word for the conservative Chinese. Reason enough that our wily parents gently nudge us into supposedly stable, risk-free careers in medicine and engineering. Not that I've had much complaint.

Well, not everyday certainly :P

It's only on occasions such as today that I really start to wonder. Been so heavily overworked for the past few weeks that I'm seeing the ward patients more than my own boyfriend. Hell, I've slept in the hospital twice as often as my own bed at home. Not surprising then that hundreds of overworked, underpaid physicians are leaving in droves for the private sector.

With an equal amount of work and sacrifice in both private and public sectors, why wouldn't anyone opt for Lalique glassware instead?


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pounds, Pappadam and Palm-readers

Been a month since I was down in Malacca for drinks with Preity Posh. Ever since then, she's managed to lose five pounds, gain herself an admiring Pappadam and decided to look into her future. Me, I've probably gained five pounds and five years.

The things you can do in a month.

John Abraham
Come and taste my pappadams...

Far from pining away at home lamenting her lonesome bachelorette nights, our resourceful Preity Posh has actually been out and about securing a hunky Bollywood beau through the irregular ways of letters, text messages, and the internet. Seems like a chance meet with Mr Pappadam months back led to something more, and Posh was pleased as pork pie when Mr Pappadam made a valiant attempt to reconnect.

Pappadam : My sweet Posh, harken to me my love.
Posh : Oh yes, I'll be your palak paneer if you'll be my pappadam.

I bet they are singing Hindi songs around a virtual coconut tree with Posh appropriately dressed in a wet saree while Pappadam serenades her with a hip-hop Bhangra inspired ditty.

Since the fella's miles away, might not have met him yet - but I already like Pappadam. Shows there's a straight guy out there who has the balls enough to date a gal with style, class and sheer fabulousity.

Definitely Maybe

Okay. I should stop teasing them. But you do get the idea that things seem to be looking up on the dating front.

In fact, it's going so surprisingly well that Posh is starting to get cold feet. After all she's been through her share of man troubles. So in these uncertain times, good pious girls like Posh seek the advice of the divine. But since celestial Hindu deities aren't all that prone to drop by for a personal visit - at least not in these godless bourgeouis days - Posh decided to turn to a mystical wise man fittingly enough ensconsed in a secluded yet hilly rubber estate down south.

Notice why they never ever wanna meet at the local Starbucks over latte?

Armed with only a scanty map with minimal details - and no GPS! - Posh has set out to seek uncertain knowledge of the future. I'm already imagining dark, dank annexes with swirling incense, glowering idols and glowing crystal balls. Maybe even a prescient teenage sybil presiding over gaseous fumes in a woodland oracle.

I'm a skeptic, I'll admit. Though I prescribe to certain fanciful notions such as feng shui and fortune telling, I can only readily believe up to a certain point. For instance, I might move the sofa around the living room if told but I'll certainly not break down an entire wall. Similarly I'd take any prophetic Delphian visions from a dubious mystic and his enslaved parrot with a tiny pinch of salt.

But to each his ( or her ) own.

The important thing is Posh believes. So here's hoping that the vaunted palm-reader manages to give Posh exactly the propitious answer that she needs. And perhaps some secret insight to her Pappadam. Me, I'm hoping to attend a Punjabi wedding ( at least ) by the end of next year. After all, I've been asked to be maid of honour! Time to get my kurta, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Definitely Maybe

Sex education has always been a thorny issue in this country. Though I personally believe that it would help in reducing the significant number of teenage pregnancies ( and abandoned babies as not everyone's a lil Juno! ) in the country, I doubt we'd be able to rid the antiquated notion rampant amongst the conservative masses that teaching innocent kids about sex would only encourage them to go forth and multiply.

Let's face it. They are doing it anyway. So why not teach them to be safe? But I am not here to rant about sex education in this country.

After all, I never received any formal instruction so to speak. As I recall, all I had was a lil manual on adolescence that I picked up from the bookstore along with smatterings of the usual peer group gossip ( more like horrified giggles actually ) back in primary school. Back then the boys were all intrigued by the growing hoo hoos and ha has in the convent next door. I couldn't exactly see what the fuss was with the distracting lady lumps! Sure my parents were open enough to have given a talk but hey, which self-respecting boy of twelve ever asks his parents for sex advice?

Definitely Maybe
Dad, what is sex?

Can't imagine my kid ever asking me such a question - and you can imagine what a precocious brat he will be. Sure I champion being thoroughly honest and forthright but just how much can you really discuss with a kid?

Nate : What is sex?
Paul : Sex is when two people meet and then fall in love. And from that love comes you.
Nate : God, that's so corny, dad. You might as well bring up the stork.
Paul : Well, that's the company line and we're sticking with it.
Nate : Well you and daddy have sex, right? I hear noises sometimes.
Paul : Hmm. Actually that's him lifting weights. Really. I swear.
Nate : Right. Do I look like I'm 10?
Paul : No, you're not. And you really should be sleeping earlier - not skulking around with your ear pressed to the door.
Nate : So did you sleep around, dad?
Paul : Umm... sleep around? Of course not. I was a saint.

Maybe I could pull it off with a straight face. Of course I'll probably end his inquisitive questions with a definitely maybe.

Doubt I could be as honest as Ryan Reynolds in the movie Definitely, Maybe when his daughter talks about the penis meeting the vagina. With a thrust. Easy enough to expound in length with a patient in distress but to have that kinda heart-to-heart talk with your own child? I'd be having severe palpitations.

Easier to regress to the repressive age-old Catholic way of encouraging sexual guilt with the sex is dirty spiel. :)

Ryan Reynolds plays Will, a sweet, sensitive modern-day dad in the midst of an amicable divorce telling his daughter played by the adorable Abigail Breslin the story of how he met her mother. But as he tells the heavily censored PG-13 story, he substitutes the names to make it a romantic whodunit so that neither his daughter nor the audience knows which of his leading ladies ends up being the wife. And in the telling finally come to realize which lady actually holds his heart.

But boy, the man certainly enjoys proposing.

Ryan Reynolds
Then again, would you mind?

Then again, it's Ryan Reynolds - and our Pizza Place guy has certainly grown up real well. Who would dare say no? The man can make me call him daddy anytime.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Bachelor

It's meme time!

Not sure if I qualify but I think Strapping Shane would probably whine piteously at me for days if I didn't complete his meme so here goes :) Guess he's trying this meme as a way of lampooning the real thing.

Seriously doubt I'm Bachelor material at all - but since I've been given the license to fool around, I guess there's no harm in dipping a toe into the dating pool.

Bachelor No: ?8

Ball Boy
You do know I don't look anything like this, right?

Name: Paul

Occupation: Doctor

Age: 32

Zodiac: Scorpio

Fave Hangout: Basically haunting bookstores, music stores and curio antique stores. Easy enough to find me in yer nearest neighbourhood shopping mall.

Ability to drive fast and furious despite being in a comatose state after work? Energy to rival a nuclear reactor even at 3 in the morning? Uhh... ability to move an intern to tears with a stare? Not that I've ever done so. Really.

3 things you can't live without :
My books, my music and my laptop. Not necessarily in that order. Without their sweet soothing power, I'd possibly give in to the beast within and run amuck in town maiming and killing. Not a pretty sight.

What is the sweetest thing a guy/girl has done for you?
Don't need lovelorn declarations in skywriting or shining marble halls. Oddly enough, I like the simple things. Charming Calvin shoving lemon lime candy at me just before boarding. My ISO tossing the Hairspray DVD at me just as he's driving away. The thought does count.

The most daredevil thing I've ever done is...
Aiks. This is just a tad incriminating ( and I'll probably deny ever saying it ) but I'll answer anyway. Bungee-jumping, petty thievery and public make-out sessions. All great adrenaline rushes.

What’s one thing you’re glad you’ve outgrown?
Hardly anything. Being adult is already dull enough without giving up some of our silly childhood fancies. If there's one thing, I'm glad - actually glad I haven't outgrown some stuff. Dancing in the rain for instance.

Your biggest mistake is...
Not exactly a mistake but there are dangerous moments when it's 3 in the morning, I'm sitting at the counter staring bleary-eyed at the patient's labile vital signs and I wonder whether I'd be happier in advertising. Doubt it though - have a feeling I'd be swearing, chain-smoking and popping antihypertensives like candy trying to catch up with deadlines then. But I'd be better dressed.

Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?
Whoa nelly. Obviously we'd all pick some impossibly good-looking actor without the slightest resemblance so how about... Chris Evans?

Why do men...
A little difficult to answer since I find men absolutely irresistible. Dirty, sweaty and stinky slobs - yet somehow inexplicably irresistible. Folks who say it's a lifestyle choice have got another think coming. Okay, why do some guys insist on wearing abnormally low-slung, baggy cargo pants?

If you were a product, how would your advertising campaign read?
Paul. So good at being so bad.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ballsy Boys

Work still surprises me.

Or should I say the folks I meet at work surprise me. Honestly I've heard some of the more ridiculous things lovelorn men do to please their cold-hearted dames - but surely none so brave a man as the one I met yesterday.

Doubt many would even consider such a feat of sheer machismo. Hell, more than a few would literally shrink from such a debilitating notion. Bet you guys have heard of the infamous Prince Albert piercing surely. Rumoured by many to enhance the pleasure of the receiver, no doubt through direct stimulation of the G-spot regardless of the sex.

But I doubt many of you would have heard our own local version.

Ball bearings.

Ball Boy
Well, maybe not this big...

Seriously. I'll admit I'm a bit of a blushing virgin when it comes to such endemic penile modification fetishes! Took me half a minute staring at the generous endowment thus embellished - not only were the beads inserted directly beneath the skin, they seemed to be remarkably mobile as well. As it shifted around under the skin, I could barely restrain a horrified giggle.

Hardly surprised by such developments, our worldly Shameless Shalom only says kudos for such kindly consideration for their partners. Could I say she even seemed a little intrigued by the notion? Supposedly it's a common practice in these parts - quite de rigueur amongst certain segments of the indigenous population. I wonder how a piece of metal on the penis could possibly help.

All I can say is ouch. Sent a message to Charming Calvin whether he'd consider such a trial but he only grunted in response. Not a very favourable response, I'll admit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Department Outing

I can't believe you said that!

A phrase I've heard often enough. Honestly, sometimes I can't even believe myself.

Shameless Shalom is sometime surprised by how shockingly open I am in the department. Despite my reservations, I find myself astonished as well by the frequently outrageous comments that come out from my mouth. Hell, it wouldn't take much for any common stranger to guess that I'm quite the raging homo since it's pretty out there. Just a matter of whether you want to see it. Don't think I'd even need a pink feather boa or glittery heels to prove the point even.

Heel Boy
Maybe if I came out in spiky red heels...

Then again, I might have overestimated some folks in my workplace. Nick at work for instance who hasn't even made me out as a voracious man-lover despite the fact that I practically slobbered shamelessly all over his abs.

And some of the girls in my department. Though I have to admit that I try to bite my tongue when I'm around the entire lot.

Just like yesterday when the girls in the workplace were all busy flipping through Cleo's Bachelor List again, oohing and gagging in turn depending on the luscious man-meat on display. Seriously. It was all I could do not to snatch the mag away for my own private perusal. Not that I find them all hawt ( with such awful tastes, the editors should consider hiring gay men to do the man-hunting instead ) but hey, I'm sure there's some sweet eye candy to be found amongst the common rabble.

You'd have to look really hard though.

Paul : OMG. He's bleeding hawt. I'd take him on a dirty, stinking toilet floor. Give it to me. I'm not letting you get a piece of him, you fucking whore.

See. I doubt the conservative tudung-clad mother superiors in the workplace would understand. Immediately struck by both disgust at my perversions and shock at my language, they'd probably suffer from collective swoons.

Of course then, I'd have the magazine all to myself.

Then again judging by the sad haul this year again, maybe I'd better get the hot Singapore version instead.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Northern Exposure

Most guys who enter medical school have a specific goal in their minds - whether for the glam ( HA! ), the gals ( Huh? ) or the inexplicable philanthrophic thrill that comes from giving back to the community.

Frankly I find the last bit the most difficult to comprehend. :)

A few of my classmates way back in medical school used to have secret fantasies of serving the community by setting up shop in the nondescript little villages that dot the country. Hang that shingle over a small clinic out there in the outskirts! No doubt dreaming of kindly villagers marching up from their humble mountainous abodes to their rural clinics with their coughs and colds, vegetables and poultry in hand as token of gratitude. A basic day to day job playing the country physician - tending to simple common illnesses, the occasional uncomplicated delivery, paying the rare house call.

Barring the odd emergency, the simple life really.

Certainly something to aspire to. I'll admit even I was once swayed by such rural dreams.

Of course I came down from that idealistic cloud fast enough. Even way back then I knew a dedicated urbanite like me wouldn't have lasted a month out there in the boonies without going stir-crazy. Probably run amuck with a swinging stethoscope through that rustic one-horse town after several weeks of sylvan contentment. Just one week of shopping at the same limited general store for produce would already drive me batty.

Paul : Could I have Super Noodles instead of my usual Boring Noodles?
Shopkeeper : We don't have that.
Paul : Do you have Semi Superior Noodles then?
Shopkeeper : We don't have that.
Paul : How about Inferior Noodles?
Shopkeeper : No, we only stock Boring Noodles.
Paul : I have been eating Boring Noodles for a year. When can I get Super Noodles?
Shopkeeper : For that, sir, you have to wait for the high tide. Then you gotta take the river down to the next village, stay a night, then take the weekly bus down to the bigger village. There's a store there that sometimes takes a few packets of Super Noodles.
Paul : Is that so?
Shopkeeper : But it might be closed on that day so you have to wait.
Paul : Hmm.
Shopkeeper : OMG. Sir! What are you doing?
Paul : I am strangling you with the boring noodle, what does it look like?

See. I shouldn't be sentenced to the rural counties.

And I'll have to admit I get severe withdrawal symptoms when I'm away from the noxious smell of exhaust.

Jungle Boy
Life in the jungle...

Turns out I'm not the only one as Dr Joel Fleischmann finds himself in similar straits, having to serve his contract after medical school in Alaska. Never actually tuned in to Northern Exposure since I was still stuck in the hell-hole called medical school back when it was airing. Much too busy cramming notes in the late evenings - and calling home to gripe about classes - to run down to the rec room.

And anyways in a boys' dorm, they were usually tuned in to dull sports.

Doubt they would have been interested in a quicky, witty drama about a transplanted Jewish physician from New York finds himself slowly getting to love the small town of Cicely, Alaska - and its quirky, lovable inhabitants. The sort of communal village where one person's laryngitis can fuel endless talk for a week. And the arrival of a moose in town is reason for celebration.

Just a typical fish-out-of-water story set in the frozen reaches of the North.

Worth catching up with, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


If greying hair wasn't already the first sign of aging, I received another just the other day.

In the course of my usual work day, I do my share of bending over - though in a far less enjoyable manner than it sounds. Lest you guys think I'm a slacker at work - just in one day, I set dozens of catheters, intravenous lines and such. Let's not forget giving the occasional chest compression during the course of a resuscitation.

So far it's been okay. However the past week or so, I've been having a hellacious week with on-calls popping up every three days or so.

Then yesterday while I was putting the finishing touches to a double lumen catheter in a patient's thigh, I stepped back and realized that I couldn't stand straight. Not only had my back stiffened after being bent over for at least ten minutes straight, I found myself having to inch slowly backwards like a sedentary hunchback.

Ouch. Would you mind giving me a backrub?

Hunched over and wincing in pain, I came to an epiphany. Certainly a sign of aging, I'm sure.

Ouch. Both on the back ache - and the realization that I'm aging.

Haven't resorted to gum plasters and painkillers yet though. Although I am awfully tempted. Certainly not alone though since after I made my complaint, half my colleagues admitted the same. Talk about work-related injury. But I look at my aging colleagues with their diabetes, gout and hypertension - and I find myself fleeing from the medicine cabinet.

I'd kill for a back massage right now.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Techno-himbos IV : Holy Trackers

The techno-himbo strikes again.

Just the other day I had a friend pick me up at home for dinner. Always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need ( and obviously also those far too semi-conscious after working 24 hours ), Shepherd Stan offered the ride. Since he was the sorta lost sheep who'd misplace his nose if it wasn't fixed to his face, I had some serious doubts that he'd find his way. Realizing that he was getting late - and worried that he was already halfway to Balakong or even Timbuktu, I hastily got down on my knees and prayed.

Just before I mumbled my last amen, Shepherd Stan arrived safely at my door.

Shows that there is a God! Seems like Shepherd Stan had received some divine help along the way. And it was no mere burning bush.

A sign
Sometimes you just need a sign...

Angels from up above had come down to show the way, providing signs and prompts all the way to my home. Like the proverbial star of Bethlehem, a guiding light shining the path to my stable - with pleasant orders all delivered in a smooth, feminine sounding voice.

Minus the heavenly choir.

It was simply amazing.

Paul : You found your way! God hasn't deserted you. Hallelujah!
Stan : All thanks to GPS.
Paul : God Providing Signals?
Stan : No. Global Positioning System.

The far more tech-savvy Stan calls it a GPS receiver. According to Shepherd Stan - who eschews my ideas of divine providence - the GPS uses a satellite navigation system to acquire position data to locate the user on a road in the unit's map database. Then calculates the easiest route to the required set destination.

Of course all I heard was bla bla bla satellite bla bla bla. Heard pretty much the same thing months back when someone tried to explain the mystery of wifi. Much easier to believe it was a miracle. After all, even I found myself tempted to get the sacred talisman myself.

Maybe I could even drive myself to Beijing!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Taming of the Shrew

A spine.

We all need one. The spine is designed to give us stability, smooth movement as well as providing a corridor of protection for the delicate spinal cord.

Most importantly though, we need a spine to keep from bending over backwards for those who'd take unfair advantage otherwise. Sometimes even by those we care about.

Case in point, Bootlicking Bob. Or should I say, Mr Hurricane Hallie - the henpecked husband - as we call him these days. Bet we know by now who's gonna wear the pants in the family so to speak.

To summarize, our mild-mannered Bob has been accused of hanky panky with our presumed temptress, Lissome Lorelei just weeks short of his engagement to Hallie. Despite protesting her innocence and categorically denying the adulterous charges laid on her, Lorelei has gotten an earful of vitriol from the bridezilla Hallie instead.

Deny her and I shall be yours...

Hell certainly hath no fury as Hurricane Hallie scorned.

We have all imagined that poor Bob has been an unfortunate victim of circumstance. Till today when we received word that he has known all along about Hallie's near-hysterical diatribe.

Rather than defend himself vociferously as the wronged spouse, our Bootlicking Bob capitulated instead to Hallie's highly irrational demands - one of which was obviously to start avoiding Lorelei's irresistible company. In fact, he has made it so painfully obvious that he's making a sincere effort to avoid being within a ten mile radius of her siren call that the entire workplace has come to notice!

Therefore inadvertently painting our poor Lorelei as the scarlet lady. And unlike me, Lorelei doesn't delight in being branded an adulterous whore. I wouldn't despair - I'd rush out to purchase the first scandalously red slinky dress just to dress the part of the coquette.

After all, avoiding her certainly doesn't help make him look innocent, does it? Hell, Bob might as well wear a scarlet letter on his chest. Being such a freakishly possessive madame, I am sure Hallie will soon demand that Bob be shrouded in a purdah and kept cloistered in a harem to keep him away from the clutches of other preying women. What next? A chastity belt?

I'd have had a different reaction to such an accusation of course.

Hallie : Never deny the truth, sirrah! On my sainted mother's grave, I swear I saw you carousing in the company of that brass-faced slattern!
Paul : And you immediately leap to such an unflattering conclusion. With such a serious lack of trust, I find myself growing extremely weary of your tiresome company.
Hallie : Then you don't deny the adulterous charge!
Paul : See no reason why I should. Would you believe me if I did? Now, be off with you before I send for the executioner.

Unfortunately Bob shows a serious lack of spine.

And all this tempestuous excitement from a couple soon to be joined in holy matrimony. A toast to them. Such patent distrust and petty jealousies certainly bodes well for the longevity of their association.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Marauding Medieval Mamas

I enjoy my readers.

Don't say it often enough but I do. After all, folks who post their deepest thoughts online always have that streak of sheer exhibitionism - no matter how deeply buried beneath crusty layers of staid conservatism. Otherwise bloggers like us would be keeping our thoughts in leather-bound diaries firmly under lock and key ( like I used to! ) rather than post out loud and proud in the vast, open wilderness of the internet!

I assume the majority of blog readers are guys kinda like myself who enjoy whiling away a ten minutes a day going through the harrowing events of someone else's life. Walk a mile in a stranger's shoes so to speak - to live vicariously through their experiences, hopefully learn a lesson or two, share a couple of laughs and maybe shed a tear. Nothing better to remind us that we're all human after all - and that our experiences aren't all that singular.

There's always someone out there who can empathize after all.

Well at least I thought I'd made a reasonable guess on who my regular readers were. Turns out I was wrong.

Found out this morning that Lissome Lorelei's Mama actually paid a surprise visit to my blog. Talk about court intrigues. Didn't even know that Lorelei has finally found my blog but now her mama knows as well? Telling me in a nonchalant, off-hand manner as she breezed past the pantry, Lorelei obviously didn't realize that I was this close to choking on my morning java.

Good God.
Your mother knows about us?

Needless to say, I was horrified. Could have knocked me over with a feather, I swear! Took me five seconds hastily running through the varied contents of my blog to recall if I'd written anything vaguely defamatory about Lorelei. Apart from wondering briefly how we ever met, I don't think I ever maligned her ( unfortunately besmirched ) reputation which was quite a relief.

Since gosh, her mama reads this.

Not precisely embarassed of course - since a thick-skinned cad like me feels little shame about the things I say - but I guess you could say I was a tad unsettled. Seriously. A protective mama reading my wildly uncensored posts? What would she think?

My reputation. Iago, my reputation!

My dear Lorelei, I must have a word with you!

No doubt Lorelei's Mama is astonished at the foul-mouthed, perverted company that her sheltered daughter keeps.

Mama : My word! Good gracious, my darling daughter, what sort of scurrilous knave is this Saint Wicked?
Lorelei : A friend from work.
Mama : Tsk tsk, sullying my sweet girl's tender ears with such unexpurgated filth. The scandalous shenanigans! The debauched perversions. This certainly won't do! You should take better care whom you consort with, my child.

Wouldn't be surprised if Lorelei's Mama files for a temporary restraining order to protect her daughter from my disreputable self. Perhaps I could disclaim all knowledge of the blog, plead innocence and offer a perfectly baffled face when Lorelei insists otherwise. :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Big Bicep Barry and the Island of the Sea Gypsies

I've severely underestimated Big Bicep Barry.


You all know budding businessman Barry has set up shop hocking flip flops ( and the occasional hamster ) for a steal? Obviously selling beach footwear nets a higher profit than I could ever imagine since Barry recently made enough to finance a brief diving trip to some misbegotten tropical island. Managed to cover his entire expenses - according to him anyway - though I'm not sure if he managed the dive with only the bare minimum of a skimpy thong and an extra-long breathing straw in the deep.

Obviously he's a better sales negotiator than I imagined.

Suspiciously enough he came back unscathed - and relatively unmolested - from the Island of Sea Gypsies. Despite the fact that it sounds vaguely like the name of a B-Grade adventure movie, I am seriously not making this up. Perhaps I'm shockingly prejudiced but aren't sea gypsies just a hop and skip away from being desperate local buccaneers with a jaundiced eye to loot?

Somehow though Barry managed to charm his way around the gullible natives. At least he managed to avoid being shoved into a bubbling cauldron to boil. Even came back bearing gifts.

Nah, it's not the shirt off his back. I wish. And it wouldn't fit me anyway!

Unfortunately he went for the trip and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. Which was still better than what his presumed paramour, Bountiful Betty got.

Paul : You really earned enough from selling flip-flops to finance a trip?
Barry : Are you seriously doubting my superior salesmanship?
Paul : I have my doubts. Have you been offering your customers other more carnal side benefits?
Barry : Told you I don't deal in that. But hey here's something for ya.
Paul : It's a tee.
Barry : Yup. It has fishes on it.
Paul : I prefer them steamed. You got me a t-shirt? What about Bountiful Betty?
Barry : Get her something? What for?

Not that I live for extra tees but hey, it's a free gift. And as it turns out both Bettys - Bountiful and Bony - didn't get one. I know it means absolutely nothing ( and hell it's childish ) but hey, permit me to gloat just a little. :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Other Woman

What would you do if you'd gotten word that your partner was having an affair?

Most folks would assume that I'd throw a violent homicidal rage - and perhaps I did so in my salad days - but I hope and believe I have grown past that. Not that I'd believe just a rumour! First I'd get all the alleged facts straight of course. Believe me, Sherlock Holmes has nothing on a Scorpio playing detective. Then I'd confront the supposedly cheating partner, offer indelible proof and then... walk away.

Seriously. I wouldn't even break a lamp. Time I did a Beyonce. Come on, I have far too much self-worth to weep over the worthless fool who'd play me for a cuckold.

Of course, not everyone's quite as ready to walk away.

Certainly not Hurricane Hallie.

Once she'd heard about the rumours going around the hospital about her husband Bob finding someone new, hysterical Hallie certainly wasn't going to take adultery lying down. Rather than wail copiously while wringing her hands helplessly like my previous cuckolded victim Whispery Wilhelmina, this rather more aggressive harpy called up the other woman - namely my friend Lissome Lorelei - and lambasted her with a vitriolic hail of accusations and threats. And from what I hear, I don't think the harpy, Hurricane Hallie minced her words.

Hallie : You fucking scheming whore, how dare you sleep around with my husband in front of me? And to flirt right in front of my eyes!
Lorelei : WTF.

As you might have guessed, Lorelei didn't even realize she was supposed to be having an allegedly scandalous affaire with Bob. I seriously doubt even Bob knows that he's having an affaire :)

Affair to remember
Me having an affair? Aw, come on!

Needless to say, Lorelei was pissed as hell to be thus branded an adulterous slut. And I don't blame her. Look at it this way. Much better to have been caught with the hand in the cookie jar after taking a quick bite - rather than to have no cookie and yet gotten the burning scold. So not worth it.

Now I believe Lorelei should call Bob up to schedule an affaire.