Monday, June 30, 2008

The Boy Who Cried Sodomy

Gone are the old days when you scheme and plan against your dearest enemy, gleefully imagining all matter of dire straits to thoroughly drown him in while you gloat.

These days all you gotta do is cry sodomy.


Kid #1 : Hey, gimme back my toy!
Kid #2 : No, I'm not! Loser!
Kid #1 : I hate you! Give it back or I'll claim that you sodomized me!

Seems like every other guy's raising a hue and cry over being supposedly victimized. So much so that it's a wonder with the number of aggressive raging homos on the street that we aren't celebrating pride parades this June! Come on, I doubt the percentage of fags has shockingly gone up exponentially this past few years so don't start painting every man pink please!

The boy who cried!

Ever since our ex-minister was charged with the much-decried Section 377, the infamous sodomy claim has been used so often that it's become almost pedestrian to be caught with your pants down with buggery. So common it's hardly worth denouncing with flaming pitchforks anymore. After all, even student leaders, political aides and police officers are flocking to join the seemingly depraved crowd.

Of course crying sodomy seems to be the easy way out. That convenient scapegoat in the Penal Code. Almost impossible to prove with plenty of hearsay - short of keeping stained mattresses as a memento - and yet it muddies the waters by placing the accused in extremely bad light. Let's face it, being caught indulging in homosexual perversions still carries ( unfortunately! ) a certain distressing stigma in this country. Not to mention the fact that engaging in acts of a carnal nature with another man could get you held under the draconian criminal laws drafted in a sexually repressed Victorian age.

Sheep in wolf's clothing?
This is the wolf! He did this to me!

I won't quibble over the matter of rape since unconsensual sex is an anathema to me. Think despicable rapists should be tossed behind bars without a key. But when it comes to what happens between two adults behind closed doors, I think everyone else ( and yes, I mean the sanctimonious morality police ) should just shove off and mind their own bleeding business.

Seems like the hundredth time I'm saying this. Hoped that the frequent use of this antiquated code as a hammer to punish and discredit would prove its utter futility - but that hope was for naught! Time to repeal our Section 377 of the Penal Code before it's misused again, don't you think?

Straight boys, you're not having the last laugh yet! You did know that blowjobs aren't exactly legal in the country as well?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time for a Physical

You know the guy not taken - the aptly named McCute? Met him more than a year ago and have corresponded erratically ever since. Despite having a bit of a lustcrush on the fella, I've never actually had the opportunity to attempt any sort of move.

Or grope as the case may be. Somehow time, distance and interrupting relatives seem to have severely curtailed any vain attempt I've made of trying to get into his pants. That - and our predilection for meeting in highly public spaces.

But as they say, there's always a next time. Turns out I didn't have to wait long for that chance since the medicine fella blew into town just the other day bringing his compact frame, a tight tee and gossip galore.

Seriously some of my favourite things.

You all have to realize that the medical field isn't all that small. Contrary to popular belief, not all doctors know of each other! However that particular fact isn't really applicable when it comes to the homodoctors - who all seem to have a vague gay-dar sense of each other in the hospital grounds. Believe me, it's become less than two degrees of separation for us.

Wonder what kinda games doctors play!

Reason enough that I had an enthused McCute whispering into my ear that a certain surgeon had been seriously probing a obgyn. Sounds innocuous enough till you realize the surgeon and the obgyn are both guys. And the surgeon's reputedly married.

Or at least so he claims.

Paul : An obgyn? Don't even want to know what he does with a Sim's speculum!
McCute : What about the surgeon and his probes?

Low-brow humour aside, it seemed that this torrid little affair was not to last. During one of their private physicals, they both received a last-minute surprise appointment as the surgeon's live-in boyfriend returned home unexpectedly. If rumours be true, they were literally caught with their pants down. Imagine the ensuing hysteria with suicide threats, screaming rows and weeping drama queens.

Seriously. It all sounds like a scandalous Venezuelan soap opera till you realize it all actually happened in our little town. Which totally blows my outdated theory that all doctors are dull, boring sticks-in-the-mud! Naughty nurses, slutty interns and now this! Finally! I couldn't have been more pleased with my adventurous colleagues! :P

Even more pleased with the bearer of such outrageous slander of course.

McCute had some other juicy titbits hidden up his tight sleeve of course but none as titillating as the one I just recounted. Seriously had a far more pleasant time trying to imagine getting McCute behind a dirty toilet stall door ( though he'd have whined about the lack of sanitation ). Me, I'm adaptable. What can I say? Listening to such salacious details only makes me aspire to greater depths of depravity.

When it was time to leave, I decided to give him a hug goodbye. Purely platonic, I swear. But when I drew close, I realized his pouty lips looked wet and tempting - and decided spontaneously what the heck, might as well have a farewell snog.

Eh, there are other far more disreputable doctors around!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Holy Temple of Divine Awesomeness

Seriously. After what an incensed Charming Calvin told me on his return, I think I've finally decided to become a monk.

Well... at least the monks he described for me during his recent pilgrimage to the holy monasteries of Chengde. Though the monks he met were far from venerable ascetics. Rather than being free from such mundane cares as abject materialism, these so-called monks seem to have fleeced his entire entourage instead by offering prayers for coin.

White-washing matters indeed - when in reality it sounded more like religious extortion!

Bogus Monk #1 : Give me money for incense or you'll have endless life cycles of misery and poverty!
Bogus Monk #2 : And your lil dog too!
Bogus Monk #1 : Empty your pockets now! A hundred more yuan and your prayers will reach the ears of Buddha himself!

Obviously the devout followers in Calvin's troupe readily handed over their bulging purses to these opportunistic brigands - no doubt hoping to achieve divine nirvana by paving their way with yuan. With the foreboding threat of endless suffering hanging over their heads ( thanks to the faux monks ), I doubt the terrified pilgrims could have done any less.

Really! Seems like a profitable joint-venture that I should be getting into!

Warning : What comes next is so wickedly blasphemous ( despite being wildly hypothetical ) that religious folks should scurry away.

All I need is to set up shop at a venerable temple. Stumble into saffron-coloured robes and chant some esoteric mantras. Claim divinity and start charging the pious votaries who'd flock to my temple of divine awesomeness to receive indulgences. Seriously.

Follower : Oh father, I have sinned.
Paul : No problemo. Hand over that jade necklace around your neck and all your sins will be absolved.
Follower : Thank you father!
Paul : Oh and that diamond ring too. Om.

Eating miserly tofu and rice for all the devotees to see - but no doubt staging lavish orgiastic banquets just behind the walls of the monastery.

In between serving my profane needs, the novitiates would have to build up their strength with daily exercise!

Can't possibly do all that hallowed work alone of course! So I'll have dozens of gorgeous young novitiates - possibly coerce the devout but dimwitted villagers to offer their virile sons to me for spiritual tutelage. Can already imagine the various heavenly positions they'd all have to master from the Unholy Book of Sodom & Gomorrah.

Novitiate : Am I performing the sacred ritual correctly, father?
Paul : Bend over a lil more. Oh God YES! You're doing it perfectly.

Hell, I wouldn't be the first to attempt a defrocking.

Divine comedy aside, I find it despicable that such opportunistic fiends should prey on the beliefs of the pious ( and their apparent naiveté! ). Really. Granting indulgences? Didn't we get over all this with the Reformation already?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Made of Honour

One of my biggest nightmares is to have my wedding interrupted.

Don't be surprised. I know it's one of the most-played dramatic sequences in romantic comedies - the pivotal scene where the commitment-phobic fella finally realizes his tragic mistake at the last moment and desperately hurries ventre à terre to the chapel to stall the wedding of his true love. All very, very romantic.

Yet I find myself curiously unmoved.

Made of Honour!
Remember! There must be three bows in alternating colours!

Seriously. After all my months of grueling preparation for the perfect wedding - maneuvering between the unreasonable demands of two sets of squabbling in-laws, making sure the pale calla lilies complement the gray coats of the groomsmen and then arranging suitable musical accompaniment with the mellow jazz band... then to have it all spoilt by screaming hysterics as the church door bursts open at an inopportune moment only to squash my decrepit great-aunt?

Commitment-phobic Hunk : STOP THIS WEDDING. I OBJECT.
Paul : Holy Mother of God! couldn't you just forever hold your penis - I mean peace?
Commitment-phobic Hunk : I was wrong. I love you. Don't marry him.
Paul : WTF! You had me do all this tedious work for months only to come barging in at the very last minute - dressed shabbily - yelling embarassingly sentimental mush? Do you know how difficult it is to match the linen tablecloths to the individually calligraphed wedding cards? Do you know how many nights I spent agonizing over the perfect take-home gift for the guests? Take this!

{ gunshots echoing in church }

Commitment-phobic Hunk : Fuck! You actually shot me.
Paul : Only a flesh wound. You'll live. That's for coming late to my wedding.

I'd be livid. Still I'd stop to bandage that wound with gauze. Hippocrates Oath and all that. Not to mention I wouldn't want him bleeding all over my cream-coloured linen tablecloths.

Yet it seems that such overwrought dramatics - what I call Cheltenham tragedies - are serious crowd-pleasers that form the basis of rom-coms lately. Including the charmingly named Made of Honour starring Patrick Dempsey of Dr McDreamy fame as a guy who realizes that he loves his best friend - just a little too late - as she toddles off to bonny Scotland to get married.

Patrick Dempsey!
Hope I'm not too late with my flowers!

Easy enough to come to the conclusion that he's asked to be the Maid of Honor.

Normally I love escapist rom-coms. Kisses, laughter and happy endings - how could that endlessly cliched formula possibly fail?

But somehow this particular movie hit a little too close to home. Once ensconced in the dark cocoon of a cinema, naturally I start empathizing with the characters and it wasn't long before I started having recurring flashes of my ISO and I stumbling through cobbled streets in Edinburgh. Each time the best friends on screen quarrelled bitterly over broken relationships and commitment issues, I could barely repress a shudder.

Seriously. Who's ever actually had a civilized break-up? Certainly not me. Actually kinda glad my ISO and I broke up with a bang rather than a whimper. Quarrelled royally with the prerequisite teary recriminations, death threats and slammed doors. Maybe I did break a lamp as he claims.

Eh. Must have been a hideous lamp.

But let's not rehash old tales! I thought the movie could have been funnier. Better script with some laughs. Probably could have done without the prerequisite macho male-bonding shots ( McDreamy playing grungy basketball in long shorts? WTF! ) just to please the boys. After all which neanderthal breeder would deign to catch this chick-flick without a gal in tow?

Should have made more of the maid of honour bit since it's the catch-phrase of the show. I certainly wouldn't have minded being the maid of honour. Lots of work and responsibilities - but hey it's gotta be a tradition that you get laid by least one of the drunk and horny groomsmen, right?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bowling Sundays

Never let it be said that gay boys only dedicate themselves wholly to frivolous activities such as clubbing, shopping and merrymaking. There is after all some testosterone in the blood for we all participated in a time-honoured tradition favoured by red-blooded suburban males all over the world.

We went bowling.

Yes good old boys, get out those dinky caps and those lame shoes. To the bowl-o-rama we went. Shockingly no one raised a token protest about the sheer unglam factor of the entire outing - not even our resident fashionista Zany Zinedine! Leave it to our sweet Jaunty Jared to come up with a striking suggestion that knocked us all over like a row of wavering tenpins.

Welcome to the Bowl-O-Rama!

So there we were a bunch of flaming limp-wristed folks in the midst of caravan families ( with tots in tow ) and whooping acne-ridden teenagers. The owners of the alley might have noted our obvious fabulousity since we all got into a lane aptly dubbed Back Door Man.

Turned out most of us hadn't bowled in a long time. Me amongst them - last time I dropped a ball had to be almost ten years ago! But I still recalled the hijinks my sophomoric classmates indulged in way back when - including placing fake trash-talk names on the board to flash when we miraculously scored a divine strike. Well it turns out we weren't all that bad ( despite some whining about carpal tunnel injury ) since the screen flashed Slut, Bitch and Bimbo often enough. Really should have put in applications for the Princess Cup Tournament.

Even had occasion for a victory dance from Scrappy Shep - whose birthday we were celebrating incidentally - who did his own sublime version of the Melbourne Shuffle.

The Mamat Shuffle?

Straight boys. Whatchu gonna do.

Thankfully there were some who bowled quite as badly as I did - or at least as badly as I did by the end since we all rapidly lost interest after ten endless rounds. Fortunate for my insanely competitive streak or else I'd have to streak down the lane to dropkick the tenpins in sheer frustration.

Though as awful as we were, I doubt we could be as bad as a cute guy in the lane down from us. Poor fella must have thought of impressing the new girl with his serious lack of bowling skills! What we call the Prince of Gutters. Turns out his particular blushing ingenue was a bowling champ of some sort as she scored several strikes in a row without blinking an eyelash.

Then again, he had an obviously curvaceous bubble-butt when he bent over in his khaki dungarees so maybe that was the draw.

The original Back Door Man?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Original Misogynist

One of the original theories of homosexuality in men was a hatred of women. Or misogyny as it is. Seems like a secret repressed hatred of women is somehow twisted into an expression of love for men. An unusual theory but hey, it was prevalent way back when.

Gotta say I was mistaken when it came to Lanky Lex and his Homo-Panic. After dousing him with several doses of serum veritas - or long island tea in our case, Lex finally let spill the true reason for his near irrational fear of fathering a child.

Far from having a fear of the responsibilities of growing up, turns out that the original gay fella actually has an irrational fear of women.

Unfortunately proving the earlier theory ( thought to be debunked ages ago! ).

Maybe if I close my eyes hard enough, I can pretend women - and their ginormous handbags - don't exist!

Just whisper the words pussy, boobs or tits - and you'd have Lanky Lex shooting through the roof in terrified hysterics. Me, I'm simply not that allergic :) Have actually probed a few breasts in my time and found it soft and squishy - not altogether uncomfortable actually. Although I don't see the sensual seduction of fatty mammaries at the moment, I certainly wouldn't discount finding a woman attractive some day.

A fact that Lex finds utterly disturbing.

Find that funny since I'm sure heterosexual breeder boys out there would find it incomprehensible that we gay boys find dicks and biceps endlessly alluring.

Still you can imagine Lex's astonished reaction when he realized that someone we knew actually tried swinging the straight way before. Totally cliched but it turns out the fella actually experimented with girls in his early salad days.

Lex : OMG! He had sex with a woman! A woman!
Paul : You do know that the majority of men actually do have sex with women? That we're the minority here?
Lex : I know! But he's gay! And he touched a woman!
Paul : You can say it - touched a pussy.
Lex : Eeek! I-I can't!!

Seems like Lex simply can't grasp the idea that human sexuality could be an endless range / continuum rather than a fixed concept of homosexuality or heterosexuality. Obviously he's a skeptic disbeliever of the controversial Kinsey Scale. Flapping his hands wildly at every new revelation from the swinger, Lex became increasingly vocal as he denounced such common heterosexual practices - all the while wincing painfully at the very mention of sexy humps and lady lumps.

As I said before - and will again, Lex is so much more fun with alcohol.

You know, I believe I'll hire him a birthday lap-dance - from a woman - just to see how much he enjoys it. Care to chip in?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Marketplace

Seriously. If I were a bright, brainy bachelorette trolling the town during the weekend and chanced upon the Marketplace, I would have probably voluntarily slit my slender pale wrists out of sheer frustration.

Items on sale at the Marketplace? Deliciously bared male chests everywhere the eye can see. Sweat-trailed biceps and triceps in every dark corner. Tight buns shaking their tailfeathers on the dancefloor. Surely that sounds like a dream bargain to a dedicated meat-eater!

Unfortunately all were most decidedly marked down as gay.

Hmm... As if the competition amongst the treacherous girls wasn't bad enough, now half of the guys are obviously turning to the dark side. An aspiring debutante would be running weeping-wailing into the toilet cubicle right about now.

Debutante : He's wonderful! He's gorgeous. He's smart. He's rich. And he wants my brother!! boo hoo.

Tragic really. And if the decidedly unbalanced ratio of men to women ( possibly 100 : 1 )weren't obvious enough, the queue to the toilets would have been a clue. Rarely do you see endless lines to the men's ( wonder exactly what they are doing taking so long there! ). An unfortunate circumstance for the ladies but judging by the weekend's attendance, an inordinately high amount of cute fellas in town are pretty much involved with each other!

We are LEGION.
And for once, I really believed it!

But then again more manmeat for us. Me, I found myself back transported back to the 90s when I first entered a gay bar and didn't know exactly where to look. Almost had a severe whiplash trying to greedily take in the sights all at once. Talking to a buff guy, I immediately find my curious eye wandering - especially when so much bared flesh is within sight. Seriously, who can help it? Do I stare at his chest? Do I look at his abs? Dare I look at his crotch?

Such a delicious quandary.

Fortunately most of the hunks were too soused to bother much if you actually stared a little too long at their bulging crotches. Hell, planting an uninvited french kiss on some of the boys wouldn't even have raised a complaint. I should know.

Of course I spent half the time watching the stairs warily in fear of bumping into my ex - the aptly-named Insignificant Other. Tired of boozing in fear, I finally gave in early during the night and texted him only to find him semi-conscious at home. Thankfully. Wouldn't do to have him come over, belligerently challenge me to vodka shots only to have me foolishly accept in a false act of bravado!

Reason enough I remained sober enough to watch the merry gay world go by.

So what do straight folks do at gay bars? Me, I finally figured it out after watching a few straight men squire their ladies around the dancefloor. Took me a while though - since I was semi-inebriated with wine, vodka and long island! Not to mention the view was occasionally obscured by clouds of cigarette smoke and tumbling drunks.

Smart fellas actually. Why deal with other testosterone competition at the straight clubs with other sharks hitting on your girl? Just take her to a meatmarket where she can ogle all she likes while you're safe knowing that none of the guys would ever knowingly molest her. Seriously. Talk about relationship security.

Of course that doesn't mean the straight fellas are safe from the occasional drunken gropes :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Climb Every Mountain

Fortunately it wasn't with a gaggle of singing nuns.

Although their saintly prudishness turned out to be eeriely similar.

Still Jaunty Jared made a far better sight in tight pants than a Mother Abbess in a black habit leading the way up the mountains. Just to show our visiting bud Beret Bill the wonders of Malaysian nature.

So after a dinner of cow brains and tendons, then a harrowing spinning drive up the steep mountains, we found out that we had to trudge the last kilometre or five to the top. The rest of the motley crew ( all belonging to the Holy Order of Endless Celibacy ) seemed peppy enough to be hiking hills and vales in the wintry cold of night with blood-thirsty mosquitoes abuzzing. Musically inclined, Lanky Lex even led the crew in humming cheery folk songs about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

Fraulein Maria would have been proud of her charges.

Me, I felt like a crazed militant Nazi wanting to sentence the heartless lot to a prison deathcamp for making me walk a mile uphill. Uphill! Don't they know that superior beings like myself should only be carried up by buff slaves in a sedan chair?



But only barely. Jack and Jill must have been sick in the head. Huffing and puffing up a hill to fetch a view of the city isn't my idea of fun.

Jared : Isn't the wonderful view worth it?
Paul : Don't make me break your crown, Jack.
Jared : But it's beautiful! You can see the vista of the city lights for miles.
Paul : The only way you could voluntarily make me walk up a hill is to have Chris Evans naked and oiled waiting up there for me. By then with that kinda motivation, you'd all be left behind in the dust as I race up the hill faster than you can spit.

Obviously Jared couldn't solve a problem like Paul.

We came up here all the way for tis?! Mother of GOD!

No gorgeous blond Aryan firestarter found at the top of the hill unsurprisingly ( well other than Beret Bill! ). Only dark quiet isolated spots just perfect for making out. A fact that I would have applauded heartily except the Holy Order of Endless Celibacy that I had come with screeched hysterically at such a libidinous notion. They were there only to worship the view. Mother of God! So these lonely goatherds from the Holy Order traipsed around snapping shots of the city skyline.

Obviously these hills aren't alive with the humpy sounds of making out.

But then Jared promised me a better world on the other side of the hills. And you know what, he was right - just after we crossed over the hills and tumbled down to the foot, we arrived at the Marketplace. Yes, that sinful meatmarket of iniquity with soused twinks and barechested gymbots. Seems like the gay city had christened a new watering hole.

Even the prudish crew wasn't immune to the hedonistic charms of the Marketplace. Seriously. Took only seconds for the Holy Order to get defrocked.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Body Attack

Don't worry. I'm not gonna tell ya that I have suddenly been conscripted into the swelling ranks of gay gymbots - putting the entire buff lot to endless shame with my unglam and untoned self. Wouldn't want to have them scurrying out of the showers in droves wailing hysterically at the sight of me. All pumped and sweaty in white towels.

Nice image though.

Of course that gym membership will come much, much later after the oft-mentioned liposculpture! :P If ever.

It's just the term I've heard often - Body Attack. Just the name itself makes you wonder, right?

A Body Attack?

What comes to mind is a deadly martial arts skill - disguised as a sleek dance move - that would render a rabid drooling attacker pathetically helpless in five seconds. Possibly dreamt up by kungfu fighting shaolin monks in a clandestine mountain retreat to the urgent beat of Madonna's latest single Four Minutes. Like a graceful pirouette combined with a devastating kick on the crotch.

Clerk : Oh we forgot to inform you that we have ten cases pending for operative procedures.
Paul : And you accidentally misplaced this important information for the past five hours?
Clerk : So sorry.
Paul : I'm sorry too. I also forgot to inform you that you'll be off duty for the next five days.
Clerk : How so?
Paul : Like this! Yeah, take this Body Attack move of mine!
Clerk : ouch! mommy!

Slide. Bend. Lunge. Then stab the bad guy in the eyes. All while looking like the perfect prima ballerina assoluta. Perfect for slinky fashionistas who lunch in super sharp stilettos to avoid clingy man-worms and bad bargains.

All the while looking sharp for photo opportunities too.

But my online bud Karate Kai - one of the captains in the gymbot corps - assures me that's not the case. Turns out it's a far more benign sport! Definitely not the aggressive pro-violence sort I imagined with a name like body attack. Seems like it's an exercise that helps builds your stamina. More zen than pain. Probably allowing you to run away from the aforementioned violent molester waving a white flag rather than send him weeping like a little girl to the ground with one smooth calculated move.

Making him cry uncle.

How disappointing. And here I was hoping to run around tripping unwary folk ( if not dismember them! ) with my feline body attack moves.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vanity Fair

Flipped through a fashion magazine just the other day and a brilliant idea winked into my head. Now, wouldn't it be cool to have a professional photo shoot done? Sure, my family does one every couple of years in suits and ties - honestly coming off looking like an expanding law firm with crawling tots as fledgling interns - but that's not really the same.

I'm talking about the Annie Leibovitz sort. Like the fabulous semi-annual covers she does for Vanity Fair.

Evocative shot!

You know the kind I mean. Professional studio shots artfully done with anorexic celebutantes gazing moodily into the camera. Arms akimbo in unnatural poses. Nose up in the air. Mouth in a permanent frown.

Always makes me smile inwardly. Honestly, you'd think that a gorgeous successful young actor would be rather pleased with himself! Hell, if I looked like that and earned ten times my meagre wages for cavorting half-naked in a thong on a five star island resort, I'd surely be grinning from ear to ear.

Instead they all look as if they'd accidentally swallowed a sour lemon and don't care much for it.

But it all looks real good so I guess I'd be willing to swallow that lemon too.

Must be a shocker to have me - someone who hates the camera - actually suggest a photo shoot for my friends. But I know the value of preserving an image for posterity.

After all despite the sweet adages, friendships don't actually remain forever ( I know, cynical me! ). Just like a play, not all of us will remain standing on that proverbial stage together - and for a motley crew like the varied friends I have, very little binds us together after all. So some will leave the stage in time to be replaced by bit actors. Some will get involved with the occasional guest star and appear regularly on other hit shows. And yes, some will betray each other by sleeping with another, have a huge-ass hysterical bitch fight and break ties in a disastrous cliffhanger.

Dramatic but you gotta look at it from the gay point of view.

Unsurprisingly my friends are all enthused about the idea of a vogue photo shoot of course. Gay boys can be such hugely enthusiastic kawaii cam-whores! Would have proposed suggestive artsy nude shots but I doubt the Victorian prudes amongst the lot would agree.

Hell, I can't shoot this!

The mark of a great photographer should be the ability to make anyone look good - so I should be quite the challenge! Fortunately with a professional photographer on board, I can hope to show my best angles with expressive moody lighting ( which I desperately need! ) especially since I don't have the time to schedule radical reconstructive surgery / liposculpture. I'll be sure to stand as far away from the super-skinny types so I don't appear doubly large. Maybe hold a prop like a cigar to block off part of my face.

And most importantly studios these days also provide some simple photoshopping - so essential in digital photography these days! Thank God for technology. So goodbye wrinkles and acne.

Hell, it'd be a brand new Paul!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pigs in a Blanket

If you happen to walk by a clothing store and chance to hear some suggestive moans and groans coming from within... I'm sorry. We didn't mean to get so loud.

My ISO : Nothing you haven't ever seen.
Paul : Well you're no longer a boy it seems.
My ISO : Paul, repeat after me. Carbs are not our friends.
Paul : That's your fucking foreplay!?

Have to admit my ISO and I are a bad influence on each other. Reason enough we usually got split up in class seating arrangements each time we got together. Separately we usually don't get into much trouble - we play our parts as responsible matured adults. But when we get together, all hell breaks loose and suddenly we're back in high school engaging in hijinks and getting into trouble.

Like the day we walked by a clothing store with an unattended changing room. We do have a thing for Marks & Spencers. Nothing happened this time of course, we just liked to make some noise.

Reason enough a couple of my friends have made numerous comments whether it's safe to be that close to an ex. Better to err on the side of caution, they say. After all, relationships with the InSignificant Other are always fraught with nervous tension and hidden dangers - fatal attraction amongst other things. Usually I'd be the first to laugh that off. Come on, seriously. Going through another round of painful heartache and relentless headbanging that I did with my ISO all over again?

God forbid, I am no masochist.

An interesting lunch!

Then we had pigs in the blanket the other day and I realized that some dire visions can be shockingly prophetic.

Paul : God, I've been having meat cravings for days.
My ISO : Oh yeah, that good eh? Come and suck on mine instead.
Paul : Don't tempt me. I'd suck you dry in a second.
My ISO : Here. Dare you to take a bite.

I'd be the first to admit that our trashy X-rated talk should only be found between the covers of tacky gay porn featuring hunky East European twinks with lousy accents and big cocks. Certainly not suitable for public consumption - or even the dubious delight of the ogling waitresses - but hey, we can be shameless.

Not as shameless as my sudden unbidden thought when he dared me with that piece of delicious pork chop dripping with cholesterol. At that moment, all I could think was... Bloody fucker, was that a dare? I should show him! Bite on that lush lower lip of his and...

Our eyes met and he had that wicked knowing sneer again.


Not only did I draw back mentally from the licentious thought, I also did that physically as well. Whereupon I practically slid off the stool onto the floor. Turns out my ISO can still be a pain in my ass - and not in a good way. Of course I blame that sudden bit of insane lustfulness on my excessive pent-up hormones during the recent sexual drought. He was hot. He was available. He was offering me meat. How could I say no?

But not only did I refuse his charming offer, I also turned all flustered virgin. Really. Believe me, I have never done flustered babbling nor coyly virginal. No wonder he stared at me like I'd grown two heads when I mumbled some rubbish about having to meet a friend and hustled him off on his scheduled afternoon business meets. So never living that down if he finds out.

Looks like I so need a chaperon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Guy's Guy

See, I'm not really your regular guy's guy. The hail-fellow-well-met bloke with a brash, roguish quip for his mates at the bar before loudly buying them all a round of drinks. Obvious enough from what I've written here before that I'm far from that Shakespearean ideal. Swear I wouldn't even know what to say to such a testosterone-y fella.

Guy : Whoa. Would you look at that car? Hear how that gazillion horse power engine purrs? I bet that baby can really fly.
Paul : Umm... it has four nice wheels?

Sorry. What can I say? My mind wanders when it comes to automobiles. Never could quite see the beauty in chrome, metal and rubber. But gimme a well-built guy and then you'll have me talking a mile. Trust me, I can spot a cute guy 100 metres away.

Or even that perfect window display. Or the perfect souffle.

I know. I can be so gay. So I get worried about the future. What if by some ungodly miracle I actually adopt a son? Would I be able to provide a positive male influence for the child?

Wouldn't want to be totally gender-discriminatory in my teachings - but what if my hypothetical child Nate somehow intentionally gravitates towards the rough and tumble world of sports? Or even - God forbid! - the great outdoors? Seriously. All I know about football is that two teams with guys in shorts fool around with a ball. I can't even recall the number of players.

And if not knowing the facts isn't bad enough, I'm lousy at the game as well. Don't even talk to me about hiking and camping.

Fortunately the world ( and Britney Spears! ) has come up with a viable solution for me.

A male nanny - or manny. Thank God for that Charles in Charge twist. Quite clear from their sporty outdoorsy credentials that these twenty-something mannies are geared toward households with rough-n-ready boys - or perhaps tomboyish girls. Not only do these young buff guys come qualified with relevant child-rearing degrees, they can also come up with wonderful home-cooked meals and fix stuff around the house. They even have a fast appointment interview ( equivalent to a speed dating service ) to hire these outgoing fellas.

Chris Evans
Manny reporting for duty!

A hot young Manny Poppins at home to babysit my son and do a lil bit of housekeeping? Just the perfect solution for me, don't you think?

Paul : How was Nate this evening?
Manny : He was great, sir. Did his homework, then we went for a boat ride down the river before shooting some hoops afterward. Nate even helped me make dinner tonight.
Paul : Whoa. Certainly a productive day. The lasagna was great by the way.
Manny : Thank you, sir. Even took the liberty to repair the kitchen door this morning.
Paul : You're certainly a great help. I take it from the relative silence that Nate has gone to bed?
Manny : Yeah, he was tuckered out after our basketball game.
Paul : That's great, Manny. Now ... let's say you teach me how to play ball instead?
Manny : Uhh... sir, that's not the ball.
Paul : Deep breaths. Relax. You don't even have to call me sir.


Oops, I did it again. So there might be some lil kinks to iron out. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hard Music

Take a look around the hospital. See that guy bobbing his head to the music as he streaks down the halls. No. Not the deranged guy with the wild afro-like hair wailing in the straighjacket.

Look further. The guy in the blue scrubs. Yeah, that's so me.

Catch Grey's Anatomy and you'll marvel at the quirky tunes humming along while the newly graduated interns stumble indecisively over their increasingly complex cases. They're not the only ones dancing to the beat of their own drum while they go about their own work. I have my own theme song playing as I do my work as well.

And it's hard rock all the while.

Please. What did you expect? Enya?

Seriously. At some ungodly hour in the morning, I need - at the very least - Timbaland thumping away to keep me awake and running. Just an eletrifying jolt of snazzy drumbeats to get me going - almost as efficient as that wonderfully piquant hit of java.

Sometimes you need to shut out the noise!

You can't seriously be expecting weepy sentimental instrumentals at the wee hours of the morning? Although the seemingly prevalent soundtrack in the intensive care, the wailing strains of Celine Dion and her ilk would likely put me back into a comatose gaga state just like the rest of my heavily sedated patients. Healing soporific-soothing music the likes of pan pipe strains and erhu strings would definitely push me over the edge into a coma.

And oddly enough the music helps me concentrate.

Usually have my MP3 player themed for work. Of course I usually sprint down to the resuscitation area of the emergency to the whispers of Breathe Me by Sia or Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5. Shockingly apt, I know. Of course I try my best to avoid Take My Breath Away.

Then again, I might just try No Air by Jordin Sparks.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Speed Dating

Somehow a brilliant mind ( though not particularly novel ) has hit on the perfect way for single gayfolk in the city to find their insignificant others!

Speed dating.

Short, succinct and sweet. Could anything be simpler?

Elegant dinner parties for singles would pander to the aspiring ( backstabbing? )social hostess in all gay boys but hors d'oeuvres, social niceties and genteel conversation ( with the occasional slip to verbal catfights ) can sometimes drag on for just a bit.

And you know men can be far more primal ( and impatient ) when it comes to the mating game.

More so these days in the generation that lives on instant gratification. We want everything NOW - and even better, five minutes ago.

Which is why speed dating seems perfect. The breeders have already attempted this method with varying degress of success and I don't see why it can't prove to be a hit with the alternative crowd as well. Just perfect for the shallow, superficial needs of aspiring urban gay men with short MTV-attention spans searching for a partner - no matter how temporary - these days. :)

Kinda wham, bam, thanks-for-the-business-card ma'am.

Whether looking for a cowboy to knock boots with forever or just a quick steamy hustle behind the cantina, speed dating seems to be the way. After all, it gets the prickly introductions out of the way in a jiffy - and frequently advertises the fella's immediate intentions without preamble.

With only five minutes or so to sprint through a date, you know what you're in for after all.

Mike : Hey, I'm Mike. I'm versatile. I like golden showers, BDSM and the occasional fisting. There's a dungeon in my basement made just for me and you.

Getting ready to party...

Certainly no romantic candlelight dinners and walks in the park for this fella. Far different Maslow needs from the guy who'd say this.

Mike : Hey, I'm Mike. I'm an investment banker. If you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain! If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the Cape then I'm the love that you've looked for. Write to me and escape.

Given a chance at a speed dating scene, I'd probably jump at it. Unfortunately in my extremely horny mood, I'm not sure which one I'd call. Despite the sweet ultra-romantic message in the latter, I have a bad feeling the dungeon might just come in handy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Bunny Mafia Presents

Am I the only one who dreads costume parties?

Halloween and New Year's aside, I rarely get that chance to rummage through the costumier's chest but every once in a while, someone decides to hold a party. Just the sheer tension of choosing one particular costume out of the hundreds available gives me the hives! For that one special night, you could be literally anyone - and it's so hard to decide whether to come out as a Mother Superior of the Ecclesiastical Order of Endless Copulation or perhaps a vengeful, cynical Count of Monty Python. Hell, even a Jedi knight!

Or how about the bloodthirsty Scorpion Samurai, scourge of medieval Japan?

With the Bunny Mafia hosts threatening to forcibly dress miscreants ( God knows what they can only dream of ) who refuse to comply with the costume rules, I knew I had to come up with something. Me, I decided to take the safe, boring route and drag out my dusty old scrubs scrounged from way back during an elective abroad. Easy enough to come as Dr McCheesy after all.

Copped a cheap, easy way out.

Getting ready for the party...

Though I had my eye on a particular priest's uniform during the trip to the costumier. After all, I have a nice, shiny crucifix and bible to match. Well there's always a next time. Far more inventive souls dug through their cupboards to come up with Roman footsoldiers and supernatural manga detectives which explains the likes of Phallus Maximus and Kira / L of Death Note fame.

Even a swashbuckling female pirate called Captain Punani.

The things you learn at a costume party.

1) Invariably there are identical doubles.
Two doctors, two romans, two cowboys, two chefs, two construction workers. And a couple of military / police officials. Of course with gay men around, you also have the entire crew of YMCA ( short of the Indian chief! ) out to help. Gotta admit the Indonesian construction worker had great biceps to match the tight white tee though.

2) Inevitably doing drag lands you in the john.
And there they tend to worship the porcelain goddess. Can't be sure why... but I believe the combination of extreme high altitudes ( due to the supernaturally skycraping stilettos ) and free flow alcohol leads to certain inebriation. Then again I could blame the tight corsets.

3) Inescapable fact that someone has to get naked.
Or almost. In this instance, more than one manly chest got bared - and more than one nipple got pinched. Possibly forewarned, Genial Graham a.k.a. Nipples came forearmed and overdressed in lab coat - but the twin toga boys were already half naked anyway ( despite protests that Speedos underneath are adequate for T&A coverage ). Not to mention more skirts were lifted last night than in a raunchy Moulin Rouge matinee.

Black underwear seemed to be the order of the day - though a cute ( Irish? ) Artful Dodger seemed to have cute printed blue boxers on.

4) Impossibly doctors can still get tipsy.
A definite truism. Surprisingly I still managed to see double last night after downing one vodka too many. An achievement of sorts. Good to know since I thought my wild salad days of being thoroughly soused were over.

And as usual some guys are so much more fun after a drink or two :) Our buttoned-up Lanky Lex for instance. Bottoms up!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cancer Sticks

I think smoking rooms should be established everywhere.

Don't get me wrong. I don't smoke.

Enough terrifying anti-smoking posters ( with blackened bits of lung tissue ) pasted all over the hospital walls as a stern warning after all. Would like to say I'm a cigarette virgin but that would be a lie. Experimented before ( you know I'm a curious sort ) but the one time I tried it on a dare, I probably hacked out half my lung. Never really recovered from that traumatic experience. Obviously that was also the last time I ever did it.

Of course, the very fact that my own father puffed away endlessly like a smoking chimney was certainly a deterrent in itself.

Never could stand the cigarette smell - no matter that dedicated smokers would declare it the divine whiff of approaching nirvana! Burnt ashes I call it! Even had to resist french-kissing a dreamy one-night-stand just because his sexy lips reeked of an overused ashtray.

Mind if I light up?

And you can already guess that I'm usually not that discriminatory.

Honestly though I actually respect the right for smokers to light up. After all, the government is still condoning the sale of the cancer sticks ( despite the obvious surgeon general's warning ) so why are we stopping them? Seems to me like a curtailment of their rights to mutilate their lungs. Believe smoking rooms should be set up in certain areas just for them to take their cigarette break.

But please. Not the men's loo. The smell is already redolent enough without adding the exotic tang of tobacco to the heady mix. Sometimes I feel like plastering a radio-active sign to the men's room. It IS that bad.

And in a place like the hospital where smoking's literally banned from everywhere, you can imagine that furtive smokers are forced to gather around in isolated toilets to light up. Hence the endless trail of smoke that comes out from underneath the cubicle doors. Just amazed the fire extinguishers don't get turned on.

Seriously. I wish they'd get a room.

Preferably on the rooftop. Then the smokers can all enjoy their whiff of nirvana and I can go back to breathing exhaust fumes.

BTW my dad finally quit cold turkey ten years back. Not sure if he's feeling fine about that though.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's in a Name

Today I received a wedding card that had me thinking hard.

Perhaps it's a remnant of British colonialism. Or maybe even something much older to begin with - a throwback to ancient Malay feudalism mixed with complex Indian social hierachy perhaps?

Who knows the exact reasons behind them all - but I find a number of my slavish countrymen far too enamoured with social rank and titles! Just whisper the prefix Datuk ( our national equivalent of a Sir though they act far from knightly ) to this sycophantic lot and you'd have dozens of them literally falling to their knees ready to kowtow and obey their every bidding.

Nurse #1 : OMG. He's a datuk.
Nurse #2 : Oh yes, we must attend to their smallest whim.
Nurse #1 : And be ready to offer our bread, our wages and our first-born to them in slave-like homage.

Old-style feudalism at work?

Chivalry speaking
Bow to me dammit! I am a Duke! You are my pawns!

And please don't forget to address them properly if not to incur their utmost displeasure. Whether it's a Datuk, a Professor or a Doctor. Such a social solecism in more liberal republics would probably earn an unconcerned shrug but over here, the offender would probably receive hysterical dramatics worthy of the indignant Queen of Hearts.

If not be on the receiving end of an immediate imperious order of Off with Her Head! After all, who hasn't heard this spoken in a huffy tone at least once?

I am not a Mr.
I am a Doctor.
Of Philosophy!

No doubt such correct social formality should be de rigueur in frou frou state ceremonies ( I blame it on the protocol-obsessed bureaucrats! ) but in an informal pot-luck gathering amongst friends? Firmly insisting on being called by an honorific simply smacks of ill breeding - if not shockingly low self esteem!

Maybe I have been largely influenced by my shockingly liberal ( and vaguely socialist ) parentage since very little of all this impresses me. Always believed that receiving such an honorary title for service to the community should confer humility and a touch of noblesse oblige rather than a dash of snotty arrogance. All men are created equal after all - and tacking a Lordship ( or whatever prefix ) to the name doesn't ennoble them in the least.

Sometimes quite the reverse actually.

Despite that fact, many are quite content to revel in their store-bought chivalry ( note the shocking proliferation of such seemingly distinguised titles in our country ). Puffed up in conceit, they find reasons to drop their titles in everything possible. Reason enough that it's starting to be quite common to see certain peculiar additions on wedding cards.

Dr Lassie Love-a-lot
MBBS ( Narnia ), PhD Lovin ( Telmarine )
Daughter of Datuk Lucky Love-a-lot PRK AMD JXN

Making it resemble her curriculum vitae rather than an invitation to a wedding. Thanks for telling me where she got her multiple degrees. So good to know for matrimonial purposes. No doubt I can purchase a worthy bride or two over there as well.

And I haven't even mentioned the string of degrees and titles listed behind the groom's. A merger of CVs perhaps?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Homo Panic

Talk of babies scare straight men away.

Well, at least the eligible bachelors. Quite obvious the reasons behind it - unwanted pregnancies, shotgun weddings and such prickly issues that would drive fear into the hearts of the insanely commitment-phobic.

Never occurred to me that gay men would feel the same way though. After all, unless we actively seek out alternative baby-making methods, such a question would never arise. Short of a drunken heterosexual experiment, I doubt many rabidly gay boys I know would ever have to wrestle with diapers, prams and baby formula.

Doesn't mean they can't be equally freaked by the frightening thought though.

Homo panic
Get that baby away!!

So you can imagine my gleeful amusement when I broached this subject with Lanky Lex who had a platonic friend teasingly approach him to be the father of her baby. Easy enough for him to squirt out some baby juice after all ( he's dropped more than a few offerings worshipping at the altar of Pavel Novotny porn star extraodinaire after all ).

Rather than laugh it off, our ultra-conservative fella seemed horrified. Gotta hand it to Lanky Lex. Sitting there trying to maintain his cool when I think he was trying his level best not to fall into screaming hysterics when I told him he could be having a baby.

No doubt if he were a cartoon character in a strip, he'd be up there desperately clutching the boughs of the highest tree refusing to come down till I'd retracted my statement. As it was, Lex actually hemmed and hawed for a while before stammering out his charmingly disjointed reply.

Lex : A-a baby! But we won't be married! I-I can't m-marry her!
Paul : So? It's only a piece of paper. You don't have to marry her anyway.
Lex : But then the baby won't have a father!
Paul : That's the marriage cert not the birth certificate. Being unmarried doesn't make you any less of a father.
Lex : B-but the legal ramifications! The religious implications! The effects on my social life! What would people think? What would my parents say?
Paul : It's a grandchild. Your parents would be displeased with the illegitimacy but trust me, they'd grow to dote on the child anyway.
Lex : But I'm not ready!

Obviously the crux of the matter.

Okay. Maybe a rabid atheist like him wouldn't say religious implications. Rare to see him so discomfited with his ears turning pink though. Cute.

Despite the fact that I am already harbouring wistful daydreams about having a babe of my own, I guess not everyone's in the same boat :) Hell, evidently Lanky Lex isn't even in the same channel! Just have to whisper the word baby boom in Lex's ear to have him jump a mile into the air.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Brunch at Bangsar

Is there anything more wickedly satisfying than a light brunch followed by window shopping on a busy Monday morning?

Certainly nothing quite as fun. Everyone else we know is busy griping over their first day back at work after the weekend - and here we three are dining on lurid gossip and chocolate tarts at the Banquet patio. Joined the leisurely ladies who lunch ( right after their mani-pedis and salon appointments ) that is Statuesque Sarah, Fab Fiona - and of course, there's unglam me rounding up the trio.

Take that
You wouldn't believe what the girls have been up to!

Remember what I said about pious convent girls being secretly wicked behind cloistered walls? Certainly no trusting their innocent facades! Well, the same rings true for adventurous female physicians as well - no doubt the true inspiration behind the furious sexual shenanigans of Grey's Anatomy.

Dull clinical lives full of paperwork and casenotes? I think not.

Horrific tales ranged from nightmarish ex-boyfriends to sleek Porsches that double as modified Kancils. Hell, one of them ( not telling who! ) even managed to reprise the role of the bootylicious Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire. Not only landing a McBuff with a silver spoon, a silver Boxster and a sleek ass - but also getting him to propose four times.

Brain surgery
Seems like there's more going on than simple brain surgery!

Count that. Four times. Four times the poor studly fella went down humbly on his knees figuratively. Though she also refused an equal number of times. Feminine indecisiveness?

Paul : You said no?
Faux Marilyn : Of course I said no! I barely know the guy! It's only three months.
Paul : But he had extenuating circumstances which he already explained to you. Honesty is nice in a man.
Faux Marilyn : Much too soon!
Paul : He's a millionaire! Think of the Vera Wang wedding gown. Think of the Manolo Blahniks. Think of the Van Cleef Arpel diamonds.
Faux Marilyn : Ooh.

She still said no to the earnest proposal though.

Which had me head-banging in patent disgust against the faux garden bushes surrounding the patio. To refuse the fella? Didn't Julia Roberts teach us anything in Pretty Woman? When a cute eligible millionaire asks for your hand, you grab the steel cuffs and chain him dammit! Any minor complications later can be easily dealt with.

First wives. Mother-in-laws. Grasping relatives. No worries. I am sure we can handle the lot in due time.

I know. I can be such a materialistic bitch. But when you're swanking in a posh place with thousand dollar shirts ( even got tempted by a pricey / stripey Ted Baker tee ) and 50-dollar sandwiches, you can't help but feel a little avaricious.

Paul : Fine. Think of licking chocolate off his drum-tight abs.
Faux Marilyn : Gulp.

Well that fantasy did leave her thinking.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Kung Fu Fighting

"Hey, stranger. Why don't you eat my knuckles instead?"

There is a hush as the other patrons in the restaurant huddle away.

Good grief. Here we go again. I take another bite of the wonton and signal to the sneering lout to wait. "A moment."

Another ignorant village bully flexing his muscle to pick on the itinerant wanderer. I blithely wonder whether his fingers of his eyeballs would taste better with my wonton soup. No doubt his spilt blood would ruin the taste.

Laying down my chopsticks, I sigh almost inaudibly. The bully tenses, the tattoo of a tiger on his biceps rippling along.

Then I strike. I think his neural synapses barely register my Dragon Claw Strike before the lout is flying across the room to smash senseless against the empty tables at the back. The Deadly Scorpion Sting takes care of the rest of his brutish henchmen.

There's barely time for my soup to cool but I just stare silently at the carnage. Damn. Hope I'm not going to have to pay for the damage.

Obviously I'm not the only one with such dreams since even overweight pandas have such high-flying kungfu dreams!

Just ask Po in Kungfu Panda. Not everyone's as impressed with the easygoing panda's high-faluting ambitions though. His practical noodle-maker extraodinaire dad for one. Nor the other cynical villagers in the Valley of Peace who only sneer at his pie-in-the-sky dreams. And certainly not the likes of the Viper, the Mantis, the Monkey, the Crane, the Tigress otherwise known as the Furious Five.

Of course, Kungfu Panda plays homage to every martial arts movie out there where the hapless bullied underdog finally wins the day through sheer luck, mystical asian know-how and ten minutes worth of kung fu lessons. With the prerequisite wise master teaching ignorant student bit. Or otherwise known as How to Become an Unbeatable Kungfu Master in 10 Days.

Take that
Imagine the mayhem I could wreak!!

Wish I had that particular esoteric handbook. Would be really great to dropkick the mindless fellas who irritate me.

Idiot : Sir, you have to fill up this blue form and the pink form. Then you have to hand the blue form in to the department of mumbo jumbo to get the purple form. Then after that you have to take the pink form and go to the department of rubbish to get it signed. And then you have to -
Paul : Fuck this mindless bureaucracy. Take my Dragon Claw Fist of Death!
Idiot : Ack!
Paul : And that's your liver. Get that signed!

Have a sinking feeling that I'd turn into a kungfu villain though. Being a good guy - ekeing out a living, dressing in tattered hand-me-downs and travelling aimlessly around ( don't they have a regular place to stay? ) to save innocent lives?

Not for me. Usually empathize with the bad boys - even the macho snow leopard Tai Lung beating his chest in this movie. I'd be East Venom for sure. After all, I prefer the high life. And I doubt being all noble will achieve anything other than abject poverty. Probably do the usual villainous stuff - raze some villages, steal some loot and possibly ravish a hunky farmer or three.

Anyway... hell I can already do the wicked laugh really well.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Outrunning the Creditors

My vengeful creditors hate me.

I never spend beyond my credit limit. I pay exactly on time. I pay the full amount required in the statement. And the worst thing - I actually exchange my gift points for exorbitant purchases ( since the points regularly expire annually anyway! ). Definitely the nightmarish stuff that keeps their auditors awake at night. Certainly not the ideal shopaholic spendthrift that most avaricious credit companies would wish for.

You guys do know that the good folks in VISA and Mastercard would prefer that you live solely on revolving credit till breaching insolvency, right?

Of course, by rights it would make more sense to hand me a debit card instead. But since they tend to waive my subscription fees every year - and persistently raise my credit limit, I see no point in changing horses now.

Serious. I'd feel naked without it!

And yeah, I never leave home without it.

So today the previously bickering credit card companies finally banded together in a common diabolical pact to take their revenge - by swallowing my card when I charged it for petrol. Can already imagine the partners in the credit card firm cackling mercilessly away as the card's inexorably munched up by the machine.

You can imagine my consternation. I doubt the petrol station manager has seen such hysterical dramatics ever. After all I haven't lived without a credit card since... my shockingly emancipated 18th birthday.

How times have changed from starting with being a submissive supplementary to a full-fledged member of the freely spending ( on credit! ) public. Never realized how desperately attached I was to a lifeless lil piece of plastic till I saw it being gobbled up into the depths of the unforgiving petrol machine. Hell, that card has been with me - in its various guises - through summertime in London to autumn in Beijing! Seriously, no sale could be complete without it.

Think the first thing I ever charged with my card were return train tickets to Brighton. Which actually landed me a rather good time with a lanky Brit fellow but that's another tale.

No worries for me though. After sending out a desperate cry for help, the credit bad boys have promised me a new card in the space of one week. Time to inaugurate a new card with a swipe.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Jinx This

What has been going on with me lately? Well you heard what I said about packing up to a new workplace? Well I did it again. Certainly no chance to wallow in a rut.

So far though I've got to say things haven't been going well.

Seem to have brought along my infamous jinx. Never considered myself all that lucky. In fact, I would consider myself one of those unfortunate fellas who - though through no fault of theirs - seem to attract minor calamities at work.

It's practically a mutant power.

Crazy lil misadventures happen when I'm around. Reason enough that I've seen most everything written in the medical textbook! I just have to mention some rare isolated disease only to have it falling magically into my lap just the next morning. Almost uncanny how such pretenatural events occur! Hoped and prayed that particular hoodoo would leave me as I hastily decamped from my old hunting grounds but that jinx seems to have stuck.

Dammit. Why am I always the unlucky one found hanging outside the train!?

Of course I've gained no little notoriety. Talk about instant celeb fame as word of my latest mishaps have spread like wildfire through the workforce. Relative strangers are even coming to offer their condolences over my magical double whammy.

Wait. I haven't even started talking about the horrible hours at work yet! Think 12-hour slaveworking days. Deja vu? Seems like my long-forgotten days of sweatshop internship are making a comeback.

Working hard as hell - and all for my pitifully meagre wages that's shrinking considerably with rising economic costs. Soon I'd be lucky to be able to afford a grain of rice per week.

Gotta look on the bright side. Guess I'll lose weight that way.

Obviously have far too many things nagging on my mind recently to bother about the recent fuel increase. So you can imagine how pissed I was to have finished work late again yesterday only to run into penny-pinching city folk who caused massive bumper-bumper traffic jams just to save a coupla bucks on fuel. Definitely no patience to line up in the rolling thunderstorm just to get 20 dollars worth of gas.

Of course if I had a huge four-wheeler truck that could crush minute tinkertoy cars, there might have been less of a traffic jam and more of a pile-up.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Little Men

They say behind every hardened cynic is a disappointed idealist.

And I've come to believe that it is true.

Before my long-ago disillusionment with love, I believe that my annual subscription with Romantics Anonymous was quite alive and well - as was my subtly rose-tinted glasses. Don't know when it happened but it probably began with the discovery of that treasure trove in my mother's old library. No diamonds nor pearls but novels and essays well beyond price, tattered and worn with years of inattention.

Though the pages were creased with age - and riddled with silverfish, they seemed like newly minted friends. And so they have remained to this day cloistered in my own library now.

Started with the regular books boys are handed at a certain age - almost a rite of passage actually. Spent hours with David Balfour on the seas in Kidnapped, ran through the streets of revolutionary Paris with Sydney Carton in the Tale of Two Cities - and of course seeking cold revenge diabolically plotted with the Count of Monte Cristo.

Little Men
Did someone call?

But the books that have remained with me till now isn't regularly read by boys of all ages. Little Women. Even Little Men. What Katy Did. And of course our Anne of Green Gables.

Though suspense and intrigue, spies and kidnappers might interest me, I've always preferred books with family and friends, home and hearth at heart. Deep down, I've always been a homebody after all. So the tales of the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - have remained close at heart. Can almost recite by heart every line from the first chapter right from their complaint about Christmas not being Christmas without presents.

Of course I've always thought that Jo should have ended up with Laurie - though a contrary M. Alcott determinedly switched her suitors halfway ( despite the expectations of her loyal readers ) to have her ending up with a hitherto unknown german professor.

But some characters are always meant to be together - finding personalities and words of their own - they rebel openly against the wishes of the author sometimes. Have to say fortunately not every author purposely prevents a happy ending for her star-crossed lovers. After all our red-headed orphan Anne Shirley managed to find her perfect match in childhood rival Gilbert Blythe forsaking sunbursts and marble halls for a love to last with the boy she once smashed her slate over.

Romantic ideals. In her childish fantasies, Anne once wished for a dark, dashing, thoroughly wicked suitor not realizing that her heart actually lay with the patient sweet man who sacrificed so much for her - and waited long enough for her to finally come to her senses. Reason enough that I just spent a day or two reading through my old copy of Green Gables.

And yes, don't tell anyone but I am a closet romantic still.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I like ruts.

Given a chance I'd probably wallow happily in a deep-old rut for decades.

Yet I have changed my place of work almost four times in that many years. Hardly have time to really settle in before I'm packing it up again. All for the sake of career advancement.

Damn. I hate the wandering nomadic life. I hate living out of what amounts to a suitcase for months. I hate not knowing what's going to happen tomorrow. I hate picking up the threads of a new life in a fuckin foreign land with perfect strangers I don't know.

After all I don't enjoy change. Seriously never liked them. Unlike my mother who relishes challenges and deplores ruts, I don't need excitement and change in my life once every little while.

Stuck in a rut
I know it's crummy, stinky and dirty but I love my rut!
Do I really have to move?

Dull doldrums are for me. Seriously, the duller the better. Guess I was made out to be what used to be the typical Japanese salaryman - that efficient lil cog in the monstrously large machine working 9 to 5 clocking in with the same dull routine every day from womb to tomb. Staying in the same town for decades while bringing up a multi-generational family - becoming almost a permanent fixture in the community.

That's for me. I like digging deep solid roots into a place.

Would be cool to hear of people talking of the old Dr Paul pottering about in his dignified brownstone decades from now.

Hell, that old coot, he's been living there for years. Looks damned serious but wouldn't you know, he actually trips the mischievious vandals who skate by with his cane!

Yeah, that old man :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Miss Whatever

This afternoon I had the most interesting late lunch verging on tea. Seriously. There has to be a term for that... tench? Lea? I'm sure some brilliant wordsmith will soon come up with a funky neologism.

But I digress. What made the bland Earl Grey and scones I was having far more intriguing was the fact that I sat right next to a couple of girls on the table next to me. Little miss fashionistas from their perfectly coiffed socialite curls to the tip of their Manolo Blahniks. Designer clothes, matching handbags and strictly la-di-da manners all around.

Idle Gossip
Gossip Girls!

Lean closer and you'd hear this though.

Socialite #1 : Good fucking God. That Fee is such a bitch. Could you imagine she wouldn't let me sit near her in class?
Socialite #2 : Can't see what Hafiz sees in her! Saw him asking her out for a movie. Is he blind?
Socialite #1 : Eeeww. Fee is so not my friend, you know or not. She is so uninvited to my party next week.

Guess we have the dubious honour of hosting our very own Gossip Girls in the city. You'd have expected such a conversation coming from the sultry singletons of Sex and the City chattering like magpies over their men over cosmos.

The sad thing is the girls with their curled-lip sneers and bitchy attitude were all of 13. If even that.

Shocking, I know. Guess what they warn me about all-girl schools could be true. I had this sudden horrible vision of the future with my niece Chatty Carmen - and even my imaginary daughter Blair - emulating such snotty grown-up behaviour at that premature age!

The idea of any daughter of mine acting in such a manner at 13 had me suffering a keen spasm! Not that they are entirely to blame.

Exposed to the ever-exploitative media at such an early age, can we really blame the terrible tweens for growing up that fast? Fed on a diet of mean girls, diva costumes and labeled handbags ( much more suited for ladies twice their age ), they can't help but fall heedlessly into the consumerist trap. Morphing into mini-socialites toting Pradas and piercing sarcasm.

I can't help but wish they'd spend more time enjoying their playful childhood rather than be thrust into a nasty world of cliques, cats and cads! Why the mindless rush to grow up? There's time enough to be concerned with guys, girlfriends and gossip. Certainly don't hope for a naive innocent but there has to be a nice balance between a country Pollyanna - and the horrific Miss Whatevers I saw.

Shouldn't there be enough time yet to play with the dolls rather than the boys?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Relationship Ultimatum

Sometimes when I watch couples fight, I have a rotten - though unbidden - tendency to eavesdrop. Raucous public altercations in parking lots inevitably draw the eye - and the ears - though you try to resist the urge. Yes, call me a snoop if you wish but admit it, bet most of you guys do it too.

But when you have two guys almost coming to fisticuffs while yelling tearful endearments interspersed with angry accusations, you know you simply can't help but look.

Dammit I saw you cheat on me with that guy!

There is a shameless little voyeur in all of us that delights in that bit of schadenfreude - kinda like errant motorists who disregard moving traffic to stop and stare at horrific accidents ( while busy taking down numbers for their next lottery ). Easy enough to see how those tattle-tale tabloids with the misfortunes of the rich & famous can sell so well.

Some watch these unfolding calamities with a sense of dread hoping that it'll never occur in their lives. A futile attempt since I think most of us are prone to making just the same foolish mistakes. And to have others stare agog from the sidelines as we fall clumsily into the same trap.

Me, I even get to attend the painful aftermath - after one or the other ends up in the hospital with black bruises over their eyes. If not worse. Think multi-storey bungee jump without the rope cord. Makes for an interesting clerking that's for sure.

What I find most irksome ( and commonplace! ) though is the fact that overwrought lovers tend to toss out dramatic ultimatums like gauntlets in the fiery midst of battle.

Suicidal Gal : If you leave me, I'll end my life. I'll take a leap off this lover's balcony! I swear I will.

Of course the usual reply to such unprecedented hysteria would be an admonish, some cajolery and a heartfelt plea for her return to sanity. Usually delivered with a nervous stutter. Maybe an apology or two lest she end up a juicy red roadkill splat on the unforgiving stone sidewalk below.

Fortunate though that she doesn't have a beau with a nasty practical bent like me. Else she would have received a far different answer - especially since I simply can't abide ultimatums.

Suicidal Gal : If you leave me, I'll end my life. I'll take a leap off this lover's balcony! I swear I will.
Paul : Let me move my car first.
Suicidal Gal : My death will be on your conscience!
Paul : Will you just go ahead and jump?

Merciless, I know.