Friday, April 30, 2010

I See Dead People

She looks blankly into the distance, her eyes wide but unseeing, a pained grimace flash-frozen on her parchment-white face. Then quite as suddenly - with a snap - she's back with us proclaiming to all.

"I see dead people."

Horned demon with blood-red eyes?

There on a cabinet at the side of the room where dozens of patients before her have claimed to see a demonic monster sneering at them. You can imagine the entire team of doctors swivelled around to stare at that very spot. Nothing there as expected - no ghouls or ghosts - but who knows what heightened senses were reawawakened during her comatose state.

Sounds like the script from a B-grade horror movie in homage of the Sixth Sense but it happened right today at work. Poltergeists in the intensive care unit? Or typical ICU psychosis?

Maybe ask her for 4-digits?

Whoa! She sees the dead!

Every other sane person would run screaming from such a patient - but of course with the physicians' taste for the macabre, this only lead to us reliving past tales of the supernatural. After all for faithful denizens of the hospital, we all know that we're not alone in the night. Phantom footsteps, grisly cries and creaking elevators are all part and parcel of an every day's work in a hospital.

Eve heard a lone trolley being pushed down an empty corridor past midnight?

Don't think Nervous Nancy's gonna get any sleep tonight.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Passing Hats

Passing the hat used to be something we'd see only on Sundays in church. Little anonymous box makes the rounds amongst the faithful while the parishioners keep a beady eye out for the parsimonious.

At work, turns out it's a time-honoured tradition here to have the hat being passed around. From joyous occasions such as weddings to the more sombre ones like funerals, the donation box gets handed around the department quite regularly. Almost on a weekly basis. In the spirit of charity, offerings are ceded in various denominations according to the generosity and familiarity of the benefactor.

Wholly voluntary of course.

Till now.

Now gimme all your money!

With the superintendent barely a few months away from retirement, her sycophantic subordinates here have been falling over themselves to organize the final send-off. Obviously the grander, the better in their eyes - which obviously requires significant monetary expenditure.

A pound of flesh they figure to extract from the lower-ranking employees.

Office boy : I'm collecting donations for the farewell. This is a name list for the contributors.
Paul : What the hell is stamped across the top? Waitaminute, it's compulsory for some of you to fork out cash?
Office boy : Not very much to pay.
Paul : It's not the amount I'm paying. It's the damned principle. I refuse to be forced into a donation.
Office boy : Only a dollar, sir. We're all expected to chip in.
Paul : Don't wait up for me. If it were legal, I'd rather burn my dollar and smoke it.

Nothing like a bit of compulsion to get the hat full to the brim. Obviously the forced farewell's practically a fait accompli.

Just the words 'compulsory' across the top of the list has the rebel in me seeing red. Forget plain coercion, why not bring out the damned thumbscrews? Expressly forbade my staff from participating in this particular farce - unless they feel so inclined. Don't think anyone should dole out donations if they didn't want to.

As the unsuspecting office boy was frog-marched out without much ado, he naively stammered out a final question.

Office boy : Does that mean you won't be buying a table for the farewell luncheon?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Everyone's a Critic

Perhaps not everyone.

Ebullient Eve in particular.

Remember how I mentioned once that my handful of junior colleagues were all senselessly squabbling amongst themselves? Well the battlefield has been narrowed down to two major combatants. On one side, you have the fast-and-furious Eve with her staccato, painfully cutting remarks. And the unfortunately outgunned, woefully unprepared Nervous Nancy with her treacherous stammer at the other.

Like David and Goliath, it would seem almost like a foregone conclusion - if you didn't count on Nancy's secret arsenal of powerful nervous breakdowns. Seriously.

Unfortunately the brawlers here are all female. Sugar and spice they're not.

You see, our Nancy - in her own lovably clumsy way - stepped on Eve's tail last weekend. Just a lil mistake on her part that caused a cataclysmic nuclear meltdown on Eve's part.

Nancy : Oopsie.
Eve : For this you suffer and die, you little mongrel cur!

Perhaps not as dramatic but the dangerous undercurrents were there nonetheless. Wasn't privy to the ensuing catfight but I certainly heard enough on the department grapevine to shudder.

Of course then we had Nancy having a wet-watery wail in the ward.

Even Grey's Anatomy couldn't concoct such dramatics.

Not even a jaunt Down Under served to soothe Eve's wronged wrath. Every street, every shop, in fact every damned lamppole seemed to remind her of Nancy's wrongs. Left bubbling beneath their professional civility, the simmering tension amongst the girls have even driven the newest - our Garrulous Gwen - up the wall. Hard to remain bipartisan when everyone has an opinion here.

Paul : Can we stop the fighting?!

Till even the most accomodating of the female quintet, Patient Penny, finally gave up and marched to the office.

Penny : I have only one request for our next colleague.
Paul : Yeah, what's up?
Penny : Please let the next one be a guy.
Paul : God I hope so.

I'm reluctantly starting to agree.

A guy under me. Hmm... preferably brilliant, buff ... and bisexual.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brother Knows Best?

My brother doesn't have many opinions.

Or if he does, the taciturn fellow doesn't exactly tell me.

In fact it was only through an entirely roundabout way ( i.e. my sister-in-law ) that I actually found out he knows that I'm a card-carrying homosexual. Not that I've kept my flaming fabulousity a state secret but I've always figured that my apparently obtuse brother didn't have an inkling about my affairs. Or didn't give a tinker's damn.

Turns out he's known for quite a while.

Brother : Of course you're gay. I'm not blind.
Paul : Well you could have told me earlier.
Brother : What? You needed a banner? So when are you gonna tell the parents?
Paul : You think I should?
Brother : Well why not?
Paul : Homophobia? Discrimination? Alienation?
Brother : Rubbish!
Paul : Easy to say when you're not the one coming out. How about you drop some hints to them?
Brother : You've dropped plenty! I'm sure mom already knows. If she doesn't, she must be in deep denial.

Then came this entire soapbox diatribe about gay rights and coming out.

Paul : You want me to come out during dinner?
Brother : Preferably during a lull in the conversation.

Seriously. When I wasn't looking, my sober brother had transformed into a heterosexual Harvey Milk activist championing gay equality. Wouldn't surprise me to know he's been going around distributing PFLAG buttons to his colleagues.

Probably egged on by my shockingly supportive sister-in-law.

Now my brother's even asking me how I'm going to explain homosexuality to his kids. That idea hadn't even occurred to me since I always imagined it a vague issue only to be brought up when they're way past the age of consent. Certainly not as drooling toddlers!

Hmm. Maybe use pictures and puppets?

Friday, April 23, 2010

How to Trash a House in 10 Days

Seriously. Give us ideas. How many ways could you trash a place in 10 days?

Here's the story. With Neonatal Nate finally making his way to these shores, he and Fabulous Felix have been busy building the gay yuppie dream of a suburban bungalow with white picket fences - and yes, a dog. In their case, a singularly precious golden retriever that they purchased on a happy whim. Certainly made quite a commitment.

And with the happy couple going off in a few weeks for a protracted holiday, both home and hound have fallen to the care of Piratin Patty and me.

*insert evil laugh*

Now that their cot and canine have been left to our tender mercies, we have been trying to decide how best to housesit / dogsit. Between tie-dyeing the lil dog pastel pink to actually hocking the hound and replacing it with a cheaper one, we ran through several nefarious plans.

Paul : Ooh, the things we could get up to!
Patty : We could call the dog by a different name! And refuse to tell them.
Paul : Or train the dog to use his current name as an attack signal! So once they call him... *growl*
Patty : Oh, we'll get them, my pretties!
Paul : And their lil dog too!

And that's all for the poor pathetic pup only.

And this is all for Monday. Now for Tuesday!

There's also the lovely suburban bungalow now left open for our merry use. Just a plain TP would be sophomoric. Then came the idea to put up the house for rent to an entire Roman orgy. After all why should Penang have all the gay fun? Or perhaps try out several risky scientific experiments with explosive chemicals. Or maybe send out random invitations to have a wild paintball party in the house. Or play pretend as a real estate agent only to sell the place to unscrupulous drug dealers.

With a wicked imagination in overdrive, the possibilities are endless - and we haven't even started on the plans for the car yet.

Ideas, people?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Showdown with the Fuzhous!

Yes, Charming Calvin finally met the in-laws.

The rest of the family that is. Or at least those comfortably situated within the confines of the Klang Valley - which already numbers something in the double digits. You'd call them the typical Fuzhous. Rowdy, boisterous and utterly tactless, quite an intimidating bunch for a relative newbie to the family.

Worst of all they speak in absolute gobbledy-gook. The near incomprehensible grunt-grunt dialect they call Fuzhou - which for the uninitiated might as well be Swahili. Starting to understand quite a bit when spoken to but in a rapid-fire conversation between my relatives, I still get a bit confused.

Which is why I saw fit to give Calvin a mild word of caution.

Paul : They are different. My relatives.
Calvin : Different?
Paul : And really loud.
Calvin : Hmm.
Paul : Generally harmless though.

Undeterred by my warning, Calvin heedlessly stalked in only to be greeted by a dozen speculative pairs of eyes. Like all our previous guests, I thought he'd be handed a detailed questionaire by my curious relatives.

Hi, Grandma! Here's my special friend.

Fortunately he was spared the usual Gestapo interrogation since part of the group - my cousins no doubt - were still silently trying to figure out how we were both connected. While the other half were thankfully distracted by both my amazing seeing-eye granny and my cousin's latest girlfriend.

Not to mention the fact that my larcenous aunts were thinking of robbing the hotel blind.

Actually noted a surprising lack of curiousity amongst my generally inquisitive cousins! Their usual method of attack is to unceremoniously pounce on the unwary with endless torrents of tactless questions hoping for a careless slip. This time however they remained uncharacteristically silent about the fact that I was unmarried with a close friend intow. Even the usually loquacious Lispy Lori didn't say a word.

Helluva suspicious, isn't it?

Wouldn't be surprised if a number of them have guessed the truth since friend can mean so many things for the younger generation. Since we confab online about everything related to family matters, I wonder whether the cousins actually have a covert newsgroup discussing my sexuality.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too Many Cooks

Love my family, I really do.

But the problem with really large families is the tendency to overreact over the smallest of issues. Seriously. Aided by the technological power of the internet, molehills are magnified into the Himalayas in the blink of an eye.

A black sheep's ignominious transfer to another school generated an entire week's discussion. My second cousin's totally uneventful C-section spawned dozens of text messages and possibly a twice the number of emails. The fall of my grand-aunt merited a webpage detailing her shocking tumble down two steps of ladder ( with various CSI interpretations ), the hysterical reaction of the cousins attending and her subsequent operation. No doubt there would be a video ready to post if my cousin had been able to get her hand on a camera.

WTF! Even stranded out here in the ocean, they expect to come back for a family dinner!

So even my grandmother's simple cataract extraction turned into an complex conundrum involving hundreds of e-mails between the relatives, dozens of urgent referrals to opthalmologists around the world and possibly the booking of several intensive care beds. Everyone just needs to have a say. Wouldn't be surprised if they had lined up a cadaveric corneal transplant along the way.

Seriously. You'd think it was a heart transplant.

Doctor : Are they always like that?
Paul : Please excuse my relatives! They are all crazy!

With all the mindless chatter, there's barely a peep from the patient herself. Hard to get a word in edgewise with the concerned relatives busy answering for her. Poor grandma even went for the doctor's appointment flanked on both sides by an entire battalion of devoted kinsmen.

Doctor : So what's the problem today?
Grandma : Oh yes I have a little pain in my...
Uncle : I would call it more of a discomfort. In her left eye.
Aunt : Oh yes in her eye. And then she had a backache two years back. And then didn't you have a fall before that?
Grandma : Umm. Yeah and...
Aunt : Not to mention that you have high blood pressure? Is that alright?
Uncle : You look uncomfortable, grandma. Let me get you a pillow.
Grandma : No, I don't think...
Aunt : Maybe a cup of water would be better.

Despite their insistence that a doctor should be in attendance, I refused point-blank to accompany them on this farcical expedition. Don't get me wrong. I love my grandma but I think too much solicitude can harm quite as much as too little. No doubt she was being driven quite insane with all that TLC.

Which was really much ado about nothing. Especially when the procedure itself actually took all of twenty minutes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hi Society

With our lives rapidly moving in divergent paths, it's rare enough to find all my friends in one place. Still the Lushes and I do try to keep each other caught up with the news of our daily lives through messages and emails. Our version of the Travelling Pants as it may be.

Though online chat might be de rigueur these days, nothing beats actually meeting up physically over a cup of coffee - which is why I made plans to catch up with all of them this evening. Turns out they have extra gossip to share.

Of course I shared with them my trials and tribulations at work from squabbling subordinates to psychotic surgeons. Loving the work otherwise but that doesn't mean I don't like to gripe.

OMG! Tell me more!

Rather than just tell a story, Fabulous Fiona decided on a show-and-tell by bringing her new beau along. Tough, compact fellow of Eurasian descent. Started interrogations almost immediately but what actually caught my eye was the fact that they actually held hands. Nothing momentous for some of us but a decidedly bold move for a gal who rates holding hands pretty high on the intimacy scale.

Though since last I saw her, Lissome Lorelei has picked up some seriously disturbing eating habits. Leaving me just a tad uneasy. Just read a list of the food items frequently mentioned on her shockingly carnivorous trip.

Chicken testicles
Egg tofu
Iron eggs

As if the menu wasn't enough, an obviously famished Lorelei ( even more reed-thin? ) even smacked her lips repeatedly while rhapsodizing about biting into them.


Pretty sure the more discerning fellas out there would notice a dangerously common thread! No idea where it stems from, possibly symptoms of a deeply repressed misandry? To err on the side of caution, I suggest her current beau keeps his legs crossed at all times - and to avoid heated baths at all costs. Who knows what else this starving urchin would think of munching on next.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Really wish I was.

But in this age of Blackberrys and iPhones - literally strapped to our ears, it's practically impossible to remain out of contact. Whether with family or friends, or even with inescapable work.

Something I learnt much to my chagrin this holiday.

You know why bosses get the big corner office and the overinflated paycheck? Obviously being in charge is pretty much a 24/7 job that doesn't excuse the rare jaunt in foreign climes. Never realized the shocking number of urgent calls I fielded in the office till I'm actually out holidaying.

And I don't even get the bigger paycheck.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean I'm less inundated with urgent requests. These few days only made me realize that I actually get dozens of messages and phone calls from the various departments at work. In spite of the fact that I repeatedly mentioned to the operator that it was international call roaming.

Never knew I was that indispensable. Isn't it weird that such things crop up when we're not at work? From urgent transfers to momentous meetings, they all seem to crawl out of the woodwork to haunt the minute you leave.

Stop calling! Can't you tell I'm busy?

There I was desperately hurrying from red-shirted rebels running rampaging down the streets of Bangkok - and my cellphone starts ringing incessantly.

Of course I was perfectly polite each time they called - despite the fact I felt like pitching my cell into the nearest klong. Had to bite my tongue hard before I gave in to the frightful urge to respond in an unseemly manner.

Colleague : They need the approval from you to transfer...
Paul : Didn't I appoint you to oversee such matters before I left? I recall a document signed.
Colleague : But I still need you to...
Paul : Fucking handle it!
Colleague : Yes, I can do it but...
Paul : I have rebels coming around the corner with sticks and stones! Deal!

Didn't deliver that smackdown of course. Despite my informal hurly-burly manner, we have to maintain at least some semblance of decorum. I was the very spirit of professional courtesy.

Seriously. Stop calling.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get Me Bodied

Have you ever hired a prostitute?

Certainly a thought that ran through my mind during dinner with an aunt of mine. Oh yes, in between dodging red-shirted rebels, I managed to catch a meal with my honorary aunt. A Thai socialite with a dozen of more causes close to her heart - one of them being the ills of prostitution. An ancient trade unfortunately synonymous with the wild. raucous city of Bangkok. In between my aunt's jet-setting ways, it seems she actually tramps through the seedy backlanes to offer aid to these downtrodden blossoms.

Aunt : So badly treated, the poor dears. Locked up in tiny, cramped apartments for months on end by their pimps with only clients coming to visit them.
Paul : Literally chickens in a coop.
Aunt : No minimal wage as well! You can get them for as low as 5 dollars a fuck!
Paul : For that price, I'd hire her to wash my car! Hell, I'd double it. Added bonus if she does my laundry.

Though I joined in her call for the legalization of prostitution, I found myself oddly riveted by the idea that a wham-bang-thank-you-ma'am only costs that much.

Only 5 dollars.

How terribly sad.

For hire?

And yet oddly titillating - though not in the way you'd expect. Since I expected a far more exorbitant price tagged to their amatory skills, it only made me curious to know the going rate for gigolos over here. Hard not think that way after being bombarded with delicious, dark-eyed man-candy all day long. After all, it's easy enough to find a surprisingly spicy Thai hunk offering special services on the sticky classifieds of the free gay rags in town. Just dial a number for a night of wild abandon.

Or maybe just someone to do the laundry.

Though I've never actually done the deed before.

Conservative Christian upbringing aside, I've never actually had the guts to pick up the phone. Hiring randy fellows for sex is all fine by me since I'm hardly a prude. But with all the internet hoaxes and rumours about, I've always feared reprisals from the rent boys. Getting beaten up, robbed and left for dead being the least of my worries. Ever heard of nasty sexually transmitted diseases?

Only one time that I tried dialing a callboy. And even then, it was on a schoolboy dare way back with my ISO. Of course back then the stated prices seemed shockingly prohibitive for two horny, impoverished college students. After all why fork out good money when we can just wrestle in his dorm room.

Of course if it had been a reasonable price...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ring the Alarm

Ring the alarm in a gay club and chances are the gym-lovin' circuit boys would just raise their muscled arms up in the air and wave them like they just don't care.

Seems to be true in Bangkok for sure. With the redneck Red Shirt Rebels squatting in various key intersections in the city belligerently demanding a re-election, something close to a prohibitive state of emergency has been announced here. An ineffective armed response to the situation - with a pacifist government leader unwilling to bloody his hands - has led to a pitched battle for the past few days with significant casualties on both sides.

But despite the warning alarms ringing here incessantly for the past month, the gay community seems undeterred - continuing to flock to the City of Angels without much care.

Just a quick glance around the roster of the fellow passengers on my flight here was enough to confirm the fabulousity of the trip. Dozens of ripped, tanned boys in flip-flops, tank tops and shorts ready to party it down in Babylon / DJ Station / GOD etc ( insert name of relevant gay club ) for the upcoming Songkran Festival. Plenty of eye-candy from the entire region to be sure so the rice queens would be having a field day.

Even a few familiar ones in the hotel I'm staying in. Talk about Two Degrees of Separation. Guess the gay world is certainly smaller than I imagined. Judging by the eligible fellas marching in and out, it's no surprise Kimchi Ken picked this particular hotel.

Unlike the rest of the more intrepid party boys however, Ken bailed on us early on. Perhaps Red just isn't his colour :)

Damn. We're running out of options!

Gotta say it's been an eventful first time for Charming Calvin in this city. Promised him an enjoyable time shopping in Bangkok but that doesn't seem to be the case this time. With the major shopping district of Ratchaprasong being annexed by the rebels, it has become quite a feat for even the most ingenious shopaholics. Eluding gun-toting rebels in red and the boys in blue - well dark brown here actually - has become an almost full-time job for me.

And the rest of Bangkok.

Practically become a daily plan to map out a complex circuitous route that bypasses every major intersection cordoned off by the hillbilly Red Shirts.

Paul : So we take a skytrain down this route, hop off and then join up with the MRT, then come down here to go up the sky train again to bypass that particular intersection. Hopefully get in time before they shut the doors of the malls.
Calvin : Then take a cab back since they might close off the trains in the evening?
Paul : If we can find one willing to make a circle around the city since they closed the main roads as well.
Calvin : Maybe a tuk-tuk?

Certainly not the Bangkok love story we were counting on.

Seriously though, here's hoping for a peaceful end to the seeming impasse between the rabblerousers and the government. Back to the discussion board, boys. Listen to the fabulous fags - make love, not war. About time Bangkok returned to being the capital of the Land of Smiles.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Save the Last Dance

My earnest wellwishers have been concerned of late. With my prolonged absence, it seems Charming Calvin has been stepping out once too often with a certain eligible bloke. Heretofore purely platonic meets of course. Yet of such obvious regularity that my loyal Greek chorus has been prompted to whisper an ominous warning in my ear.

Nothing too incriminating. Just near daily reports of his every move by an entire company of voluntary spies.

Big Brother Watching

One would expect a green-eyed Scorpio to immediately go ballistic - but hell, I've actually gone down the crazy jealous bitch route in my green youth. Broken lamps and screaming hysterics. Oh yeah, done that. And look how that turned out.

Keen to get a rise out of me, Calvin obviously enjoys needling me with constant reminders of this fellow. Yet I'm determined not to give in to the green-eyed monster. All very zen these days, I tell ya. Always stand by the adage that the relationship between boyfriends shouldn't descend into the sick, dysfunctional ties of a suspicious jailor and his unwilling prisoner. There should always be an element of trust inherent in every relationship.

But that doesn't mean I'm turning a blind eye to the friendly tête-à-tête. So I have a special number specially dedicated to Calvin.

Of course though I'm not enacting the jealous lover stereotype, that doesn't mean I'm not keeping an eye on the proceedings.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Truth Hurts

Oh yes, I can certainly vouch for that.

On the event that you tell a white lie ( if there even is such a thing ), beware of Honest Abe spouses close by all too ready to supply the truth instead. Some they are often far too eager to point out any purported mistakes.

Case in point, you see I met a colleague of mine away from work. Since I was a skipping a relatively soporific meeting held more for procedure than necessity, I told him that I'd mistaken the timing of the meeting. Barely missed a beat. Smooth operator, that's me.

Except I'd forgotten all about a little someone who'd overdosed on veritaserum.

Paul : It was today? Damn, I thought it was tomorrow!
Colleague : Well you missed it by an hour already. It's over.
Paul : Doubt they decided on anything though.
Colleague : As usual. Better to just skip it.
Calvin : But didn't you know already? You talked about skipping the meeting yesterday.
Paul : WTF.
Calvin : You even wrote it down on the email. It was at 2 pm.

Oh yes, the white lie went so smoothly till my ingenuous partner came by.

Calvin : Oh yeah, he's supposed to skip the meeting.
Paul : Fucking hell!

Just this close to kicking our righteous samaritan honestly. Unfortunately no amount of eyebrow-raising or nose-twitching seemed to have gotten the message across. Obviously communicating through telepathy only works if both partners speak the same language. Get With The Program is just a lil hard to translate through eyeball rolling.

Fortunately my colleague seemed blissfully obvious of that teensy fact. After all I later found he'd knowingly skipped the meeting himself.

So guess who I'm not calling for an alibi if I killed someone.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I'm With Stupid

These days my mornings are spent doing ward rounds, sipping coffee - and yelling at the administrative department.

It takes a lot of tolerance to deal with sluggish administrative cretins. From the mountains of paperwork piling up their desks, you'd naturally assume that they spend their day literally bogged down by work. And you'd be wrong since each bureaucratic cretin actually assumes only one particular job. So specialized are they that they've even hired one just to keep track of an unexceptional form.

Can you believe what happened to my parcel?

Like Admin Annie who's in charge of mail. Only. Think of her as the local postmistress for a population of 50. Since I had some work documents to mail to my colleague Baba, I dropped it at her cubicle. Seemed like an easy enough job after all.

Paul : I would like to have this letter mailed to Baba.
Admin Annie : Yes, sir.

A week later, Baba still hadn't gotten the brown paper package. Even snail mail through the savage jungles of Borneo doesn't take that long. Which got me just a little pissed this morning. So I blazed a trail to Admin Annie's cubicle to correct this serious omission.

Paul : Did you mail my letter?
Annie : What letter?
Paul : The letter I handed to you last week.
Annie : Oh yes, I mailed it to you.
Paul : You mailed a letter I gave you to myself.
Annie : Oh yes, I did.
Paul : So I got a letter stamped and mailed to myself? Did you think I'm trying to leave an incriminating trail like fucking James Bond?

Despite the fact that I started browbeating her after, the bright sincere smile never faded from Annie's face. Since at that time I was right in her face snarling threats of strangling her with package strings, I'm starting to think it's a botched Botox job on her part.

No one could be that stupid.

Could they?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Friends & Familiars

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that's certainly true in my case. But as usual the cynics claim the reverse to be true as well.

In the case of my friends here, familiarity at work certainly breeds contempt. Since it's a small chain gang they have over there swabbing on the pirate ship, Piratin Patty and her two-man crew - Fabulous Felix and Nutty Nana - have repeatedly slandering the reputation of the lone absentee. Good-natured ribbing mostly since basically the fellow's not there to defend himself.

But it obviously left me with a skewed impression of Dishy Dante. There was no mention of what he looked like so I always imagined a regular straight sloppy joe.

An idea that underwent a total paradigm shift when I finally saw him in person. Left alone with Dante and some rope in a darkened room, I'd probably have ravished his well-formed person. Perhaps Dante might be a tad lacklustre at work but he certainly wasn't lacking in looks. Seriously dishy. Those slim, tanned, doe-eyed Pinoy hunks you see in soft-core gay porn? Well he looks just as good, if not better. Though of course his colleagues - probably inured to his spectacular looks - don't actually see it.

Maybe if I blow-dry my hair?

You'd think this the ravings of a delusional, sex-deprived perv if only my assessment of Dante isn't confirmed by impartial observer Neonatal Nate himself.

Patty : No idea how Dante actually got a sophomoric fan club! His bimbotic
minahs call him all the time! What do they see in him?
Paul : No idea why he's a playa? Hot damn, he's cute.
Nate : Definitely. Though these guys will never agree.
Patty : Who? Nick? Eeew. You gotta be kidding me! He's just blah Dante.
Paul : Dante isn't blah. You'd want to spread that delicious piece of mocha-latte delight on a cracker and eat it.
Felix : But it's Dante. Eeew.
Nana : Double eeew!
Paul : You're obviously confusing his personality with his looks. Laggard at work he may be but that doesn't make him any less good-looking.
Patty : But it's Dante. Eeew.

No getting through to them obviously.

Even with repeated viewings of Dante at work, Patty and her crew still disagree. Familiarity breeds contempt? Can working constantly side-by-side with an eligible bachelor - being exposed to all his endless freaks and foibles - actually turn you off?

Maybe I should talk Nick into wearing skimpy Speedos to work. Perhaps that would change their minds. Certainly would help company morale.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Get Your Shirt Off

I like men. Preferably naked.


Even half naked is fine by me. Of course God has seen fit to grant me my wish by transferring me to a special place where the men seem to have no qualms about disrobing. As always though, God has a mighty sense of humour.

So it is true that the strapping fellows here seem to strip off their shirts at the least provocation.

A bit of rain? Might as well get the kit off since it's wet.
A bit of sweat? Might as well get the kit off since it's wet.
A bit of sun? Might as well get the kit off since it's hot.
A bit of haze? Might as well get the kit off to cover the nose.

You get the idea. Just any viable excuse to shuck their shirts. So it's pretty common here to have half-naked men just strolling down the main streets. Even a handful of guys who for some obscure sartorial reason love rolling their shirts halfway up their torsos. Kinda like a makeshift tanktop.

The better to air their rotund beer bellies of course.

Do I really need an excuse to go strip?

Therein lies the problem.

Forget about gorgeous local Chris Evans lookalikes! Far from being drop-dead gorgeous male models, these proud exhibitionists peacocking about town in their Sunday best all have Body Mass Indices on the far side of 30 - with a Body Fat Percentage far too shameful to mention. Chubby overaged uncles all of them. With guts spilling over the side, there's not a single sculpted six-pack in sight.

Seriously, fellas, it's just great that you have a healthy body image! Living it lard and obviously love everything that God gave ya - but will you please cover up goddammit!

So I did get half my wish. A shame the strapping post-teenage boys aren't emulating their dads. Now that's a sight worth praying for.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Revenge of Mulu

As if I actually needed solid proof to deter me from attempting the ascent of Mulu.

For my fellow countrymen who actually don't know where's Mulu, for shame! FYI, Gunung Mulu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - not too far away from my current location - that encompasses incredible caves and karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting!

That ends my touristy plug.

But I digress. So back to why I won't Mulu. Everyone else here raves about the climb. Oh the lovely views. Oh the amazing scenery. Oh the awe-inspiring caves.

Like that's gonna get me into a pair of hiking boots to risk my life on the karst cliffs. Me, I'd prefer a postcard. Such an adventurous endeavour into the savage wilderness obviously isn't my cup of tea. Short of the mountain peak playing host to a weekend arts & crafts sale with booths manned by shirtless, ripped hunks, I doubt I'd even make an attempt to climb the rock.

Not so for Piratin Patty who has made it her mission to do Mulu.

Patty has of course assured me that the place isn't densely populated with half-naked men. So the chances of me hiking up there are slim to none.

Just last weekend, our intrepid heroine Piratin Patty heroically made her attempt at conquering this monumental boulder. From the tattered bits that crawled back after, I could have sworn she'd left bits and pieces of herself up on the rock. Honestly, you know those slapstick cartoon comedies where the drooling coyote gets smashed, kicked and tossed down a ravine? Then blown up with TNT?

Well she looked a little like that. :)

Paul : OMG. What happened to you? Did you bungee-jump without a rope?
Patty : Mulu happened to me.
Paul : Why are you hobbling? Is that a bandage?
Patty : Beaten by a cliff, besieged by leeches and bombarded by bats.
Paul : Toldja that would happen. Better to stir-fry them with ginger and garlic before it happens.
Patty : Bats taste stringy.
Paul : Did you at least get me a postcard from the top?

Okay, I might have added the bit about the bat attack. Hillbilly Sherpa she is not. Still at least Patty managed the climb. Heard next our daredevil conqueror might try a marathon up Mount Kinabalu.

Even the very thought makes me tired.

Anyone want a well-worn postcard?