Monday, December 30, 2013

That Gay Play

Imagine getting your kit off on stage under the bright unforgiving lights before a packed crowd of extremely judge-y, critical gay men ready to chide, castigate and condemn every little blunder or bungle. Pretty sure that's enough to give even the bravest, ballsiest bad-ass a serious case of the jitters.

Though one of the newbie actors did seem a bit discomfited, the rest didn't seem to have any problems shedding their clothes - quite often enough to give the rest of us severe body issues! Since yes, you gotta have the expected comely eye-candy quotient in a gay play - so right from the very beginning, we had abs and pecs galore in a man buffet.

Evan Siau and John Tan, you've both made me doubly invested in my gym time. 

Which is exactly what I expected from a Chinese play titled People Like Us, recently showing at KLPAC.

Stories of a gay nature aren't all that common especially in these increasingly conservative times so I made sure to book me a ticket. Gotta represent yo! Of course I corralled my Ching Chong-conversant Charming Calvin into joining in case I didn't comprehend a single word of the play.

What I didn't expect was a surprisingly funny well-written script - kudos to William Yap - juggling several man-on-man relationship issues with a fabulous supporting cast. I'll admit I came with serious misgivings about the quality of the production - not to mention distinct doubts about the subtitles since the play was in several Chinese dialects - but they certainly surprised me.

Basically a story of three gay roommates and their individual problems therein - from a committed monogamist struggling with a long-distance open relationship to a relative virgin desperately seeking someone to love in our days of superficial homosocial apps. Not forgetting the prerequisite commitment-phobic playa on the prowl showcasing his enviable abs and pecs as I mentioned earlier!

The entire cast taking the time to snap a pic for posterity - or at least Instagram. 

With a small conspicuous PSA warning bit about the ever-prevalent dangers of anonymous sex, what with the chilling spectre of HIV ever present.

But thankfully it closed with a suitably happy ending which came as a relief after years of watching other mindlessly melodramatic homo-tragedies.

Admittedly an extremely gay congregation over there watching, oohing and aahing each time the handsome actors stripped off an article of clothing. Barring the ubiquitous gay nightclub, I doubt I've ever seen so many flaming homos fluttering in one area. Amazingly spiffy Ching Chong cuties all of them, quite as many perky pecs spilling out of cleavage-baring tanks in the audience as there were on stage! Quite apparent you needn't go that far to find someone on Grindr or Jack'd that night since most would easily be within a 200 metre radius.

Play certainly kept us all well entertained all through the night. A bit shaky on John Tan's part but he's new - and the role did call for a bit of awkwardness so I think it meshed really well with his nervous fish-out-of-water character. The supporting cast were all great - bringing on lots of laughs - as I mentioned earlier. No problems with the language since I understood most of it - and the promised subtitles were more than adequate.

Great enough that I'm hoping the writer gets to writing the sequel immediately as he promised. Definitely save me a seat for the next show!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave Three

By the time I was finally a Form Sixer, I was already dancing merrily down the glorious pink path of my deviant sexuality. Even way back then, the fledgling internet with the familiar bing boing dial-up sound had begun showing me vast new vistas of unexplored gay sexuality - along with obscure signs that things do get better.

Starting then, I didn't see any rational need to be apprehensively coy around the females - since for me, girls were for friends, boys were for fun! Coming out to myself certainly made it that much easier to mingle with the girls. Undoubtedly a bonus in Form Six where classes had mixed genders.

Which did get me invited to parties. Having a popular teenage Lothario for a friend who switched partners several times in a year certainly helped. And if I wasn't sent the invite, I'd still have heard enough about the details through the torrid grapevine to occasionally crash them.

Probably one of the reasons I found myself wallflowering by the punchbowl sipping doctored drinks when I bumped into my ISO. Thumpa thumpa disco music playing in the air, wouldn't surprise me if it actually had been Ace of Base. No doubt it must have been close to Christmas since December seemed to be the month for school after parties.

Though I could have asked some of my close friends to dance, I usually demurred. Not only did I have two left feet which would have been painfully obvious on the dancefloor, I didn't see much reason to slow dance with a girl when I'd much prefer to be grinding with her virile teen boyfriend.

My own gay-dar back then was still in its nascent stage and it didn't occur to me to look too closely on any of the other assembled guests. But just when my ISO walked into my view, it triggered a mini alarm somewhere in my head. Already known him for more than a while but with few gay guidelines to show us the way, it never occurred to me to consider him at all homosexual.

My ISO : What's wrong?
Paul : My bow is askew.
My ISO : Leave it. I'm going to tear it off later anyway.
Paul : Oh.  

Hard enough that I kept hoping to find someone else in school who was gay like me - surely I couldn't be so disconcertingly foolish that I would miss one standing right beside me since forever!

Though my ISO was undoubtedly handsome enough that I would wish him to be so. Then again statistical chances were stacked against me - and I'd had more than my share of achingly painful adolescent boycrushes on straight fellas to know better. No way was I gonna be waiting for a bus that was never coming ever.

No, no, he wasn't gay. That was what I kept telling myself.

But during that party over the punchbowl, I knew things would finally be going my way. It could have been his wicked smile. It could have been that suggestive wink. Or maybe the quick brush of his hand as he poured himself a drink.

Then again it could be the spiked punch but something told me that things were about to get plutonic.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave Two

Thus ends the first part where I came to realize exactly how relentless unstraight I was - which brings me to the second stage.

Before the end of secondary school, I had already pretty much cleared up any of my incessant doubts about my sexuality. Having a dear friend almost descend into a deranged purgatory of his own making while wrestling with his own homosexual demons really simplified things for me. Not to mention with Dapper Donovan regularly flashing his sculpted abs for my wide-eyed perusal.

Yes, I was definitely gay.

But all that only opened the door to Sexy Sanjeev, the quiet, bookish fellow who literally walked into my life with his dazzling smile and a hello. Since I was already known to him - oh my high school notoriety - I didn't even have a chance to introduce myself. Instant best friends we were.

As high school crushes go, obviously I fell really hard, really fast. Didn't take long before I was sophomorically doodling his name on my workbooks, along with the occasional quick sketch of his spectacularly long-lashed dark eyes. If I recall, I even had mementos such as his name tag and his school photo in my desk. Don't even ask me how I got my hands on them.

Of course Sanjeev was straight. Even counting the unfavourable probabilities, he would have been undeniably straight - though I was obviously far too besotted then to see. Not that I expected anything blatantly sexual in return. Just a brotherly hug. Maybe a fleeting kiss. All extremely family-friendly PG-13.

Sanjeev : Hey, wanna go for a swim this afternoon?
Paul : Umm... with you?
Sanjeev : You had someone else in mind?
Paul : You in speedos?
Sanjeev : I wasn't planning to swim in a burqa, of course swimtrunks.  Unless you'd want to see me naked.
Paul : Umm... you naked. I think I'll need to be excused for a moment. 

If Sanjeev even knew of my increasingly apparent boycrush - which I actually think he did, he thankfully never ever said a thing.

It took a brief summer holiday to end my sadly one-sided crush. Blame that and the crappy transport system. Back then I needed to change several bus routes just to get to his house - yet I did so just to spend some time with him. Till one afternoon while being painfully rattled in the rickety, slow-moving stage bus, I was solidly hit by an epiphany.

'Where the fuck am I going with this?'

Maybe it was the sweltering tropical heat evident enough in the airless confines of the bus. Maybe it was the jolt of the bus on a particularly nasty bump. It was then that I realized how hopeless things would be. Crushing on someone relentlessly heterosexual - no matter how accepting he might be of me and my sexual predilections - would be ultimately futile. Being platonic friends was all our straight Sanjeev could ever offer and for me to hope for anything more would be simply... pathetic.

Needless to say, I got off that bus and on to the next. Heading the opposite direction.

Each time I play this song, I remember we once exchanged similar Christmas gifts - bearing Mariah Carey's Christmas CD. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave One

Name three things. Well, the three things that clearly defined me as a raging homosexual back in high school. Unlike some of my friends who came out late in their teenage years, I knew pretty early on about my predilections, or at least had some inkling of where exactly I would be heading sexuality-wise.

Which obviously brought me to that quick grope at the end of my schooling career up in the school chapel with my ISO.

But let's start with the initial beginning. Though I've had my nervous doubts about my apparently deviant sexuality, it didn't actually become all too clear till my fourteenth. Or was that my fifteenth birthday. Since I was an avid reader with books piled up all over my house, it was easy enough to purchase gifts for me since almost any reading material would have suited me.

Turns out my rambunctious group of teenage boys mischieviously decided that a raunchy Mills & Boons would be the perfect gift. Not that I minded - after all I still loved my romances, no matter how sappy or generic they may be. Simply Sam had been chosen to make the purchase and I'd been dragged along to pick the gift. Always trying to keep their cool machismo, cocky schoolboys don't actually bother to pick and choose gifts after all.

Paul : Man, what would he do if I were to jump him? 

It was the time our curly-haired Sam picked up the book that I realized that I might not be entirely straight. Obvious enough that Sam was thoroughly heterosexual though, what with his youthful adolescent gaze mindlessly transfixed on the trashy book cover showcasing the curvaceous swell of the heroine's evidently generous breasts.

But that wasn't what got me turned on. The faint flush of pink on Sam's fair cheeks, the almost insignificant rise in his breath rate signifying arousal and that unmistakable swell in his burgeoning crotch - thanks to his rambunctious teenage hormones, entirely visible even through his horridly shapeless olive-green pants.

Basically Sam getting all hot and bothered - got me all hot and bothered. If I hadn't been dead sure that he would wallop me - not that he would have succeeded, I would have certainly tumbled him right on the floor of the bookstore. Appropriately enough under the aisle of romance.

Even then I managed to at least reach out for a shockingly daring squeeze of Sam's thigh. Sent a quick thrill down my spine. Such a thing as homosexuality had barely even entered into our confined world back then so Simply Sam wouldn't have given it a thought.

Me, it was as if a door had just opened.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Candy Cane Christmas

Taking the time to write some lines here in the triumphant aftermath of our annual Christmas fete in Netherfield. Striped candy canes line the halls, wine glasses tipped on every irregular table and the perfectly wrapped presents under the tree have been tossed all over by guests on the hunt. Don't you just love Christmas parties!

This year with our regular party caterer taking a brief hiatus for the season, I was left with little choice but to scout for a nearby teahouse to deliver food - all of a shockingly non-halal porcine nature.

Fortunately for me, my non-kosher guests didn't seem to mind. In fact I think they actually relished the sinful taste of some ham and bacon. 

And nothing says Christmas quite like a roast pig all dressed up in festive red and white. 

New guests on the invite list this year, one of whom came with some delicious notoriety seeing as Mad Madison was erroneously painted as the highly despicable ex-girlfriend of someone we once knew. At least that was the sum of the stories we were told - which I tend to listen with half an ear since malicious gossip tends to tear down reputations bit by bit with each salacious retelling. Always two sides of the story in any breakup, no matter how outwardly cordial. 

Madison : Quick! Tell me what the bastard said!
Paul : Do you care?
Madison : Not really. 

Glad to know that the raging rumours aren't entirely true since I find our lady in red, Mad Madison absolutely delightful - far from the grasping temptress I had been led to believe. Someone I would no doubt be proud to call friend one day. 

Madison : So what have you heard from him? 
Paul : Your ex? 
Madison : Some horrible things no doubt?
Paul : Isn't that what exes are meant to do? 
Madison : True. 

As soon as I start getting to know her better of course. 

Something another guest - our Diffident David - is unlikely to do since he seems mortally terrified of women. Poor fellow crouching furtively in a darkened corner of the party room nursing his drink hoping no girls would come close with probing questions - a bit hard to do when I kept dragging him into the limelight. No doubt if Madison or any of my comely nurses had approached him with a suggestive come-on, David would have jumped out of his skin. 

Unusual for a budding homosexual! Maybe David needs to grope some boobies to be convinced that girls don't actually have cooties

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Forbidden Fruit

Undoubtedly the ultimate bane for all homosexuals. Wouldn't surprise me if the devil himself had placed the deliciously tempting yet undeniably straight Adam in the sumptuous garden of Eden just to entice poor deviant Steve into eternal heartbreak.

Despite what some hysterically homophobic conservatives would claim, heterosexual men still outnumber the rest of us gay fellows - and probably will for a long time coming. So ever since the proverbial first homo fell for his straight brethren, that painfully futile boycrush has been a chronic affliction for all gaykind.

Dangling that gorgeous unattainable boy in front of us and yet denying us a bite? Talk about eternal punishment much worse than just an Adam's apple.

Ever since I realized the sheer pointlessness of falling for a straight boy ( almost inevitable once you're indoctrinated into an all boys school ), I've tried my best to avoid that very situation if at all possible. Close encounters with hunky yet unavailable straight men are a definite no-no, most especially if they are just the sorta irresistible dreamboat that might trigger unwanted fantasies. Don't even think of just being friends since the temptation to want more is almost impossible.

Nipping that growing infatuation in the bud is the best advice I can possibly give.

Unfortunately wishing, waiting and wanting is all you're gonna get. 

Which is what we failed to do for our new friend here.

Of course we met him recently - way after poor Diffident David had fallen for the forbidden fruit of straight boyhood. Lachrymose fellow that he is, no doubt there were many dismal melancholy evenings of woebegone weeping over some long cherished memento. Probably a few nights of All By Myself ala Bridget Jones as well. Admittedly hard to break away from the crush when the object of his affection remains close so tearing him away - at least for a little while - seems to be the best solution.

Paul : Falling for straight boys. Ouch. 
David : I know. 
Paul : And he's never gonna love you back, at least not the way you want him to. It would be like Fabulous Felix falling for a girl. 
David : True. 
Paul : Having a quick drunken one-night-stand isn't gonna solve anything.
David : He wouldn't go for it. Not gonna happen. 
Paul : You could always drug him!
David : Of course not! I don't do that.
Paul : Then rather than moon fruitlessly over him, walk away from him quick. 
David : But he's my friend!
Paul : And he knows you have a crush on him. 
David : Yes. 
Paul : So he'll understand. You can't possibly get over a guy when you're constantly under him!

Me, I would have gone for that drunken one-night-stand suggestion but then David's a better man than I am.

Shy fellow that he is, David balked at our other suggestion - which was a wild, no-holds-barred mind-blowing sex orgy that would dropkick any other rational thought out of his head.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Curry KitKat?

I've heard of misheard song lyrics - come on, we've all messed up some songs only to realize the unfortunate mistake later at karaoke - but certainly not a song that's not only mangled, garbled and crushed... and then co-opted for an entirely new term.

Over dinner after a long day at work, I learned that the nurses here can be endlessly inventive with their native lingo as well. Especially when it comes to discreetly ogling the boys.

Nurse : Oh all the cute boys. So curry kitkat!
Paul : Sorry what?
Nurse : Curry kitkat!
Paul : Kitkat what?
Nurse : It's what we term well-muscled boys. Curry kitkat?
Paul : Because they like curry? Or kitkat?
Nurse : No, it's from the song. You know... 'curry kit kat boom boom pow'?
Paul : Oh good God. You mean 'gotta g-get g-get' from the Black Eyed Peas song?
Nurse : Yeah, curry kitkat!

Supposedly the boom boom pow bit emphasizes the ubiquitous pec twerk. But rather than focus on the boom, the nurses decided to dub it the curry kitkat. So the more manly buff a dude gets, the more curry kitkat he is.

So do I pass muster? 

Don't ask me where they ever get such novel ideas.

Talking to these nurses turned out to be an experience all in itself - almost like travelling to a foreign land to converse with enigmatic hand signs. Needed a bilingual dictionary just to decipher what they meant by their surprisingly canny observations.

Just in case you have no idea what song I actually mean. Yeah, it took me a while as well.

So new word of the day for me. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

That Gay Cousin

Quite obvious that I'm an advocate of the 'Born This Way' genetic theory to explain budding homosexuality. Simply put, short of someone with severe sadistic tendencies, why would anyone bother choosing this burdensome problematic path?

Which made me wonder today as I was sifting through my extensive family mail. With more than fifty first cousins at last count - and that's not adding the next generation, wouldn't it be fair to conclude that there would be more than one homosexual in the family? Other than fabulous me I mean. Since most of my fellow peers have dutifully done their familial duty by wedding, bedding and breeding hopefully in that order, I assume the majority would be relentlessly heterosexual.

Thankfully straight but not narrow.

Well all except for one.

Who might not be straight at all. Something I came to realize just today. Younger kid brother of Macho Mike... let's call him Meek Mason. Well he's no longer a kid now, should be all of thirty at last count.

Now you see me, now you don't.

But for some reason I am beginning to think he might be gay. Mason has always been kinda reclusive, keeps to himself and his usually unseen friends. Even seated at the dining table where it turns to din and chaos with my loud, hyperactive relatives squabbling over food, our covert little fellow hardly speaks a word beyond an unassuming grunt. That goes for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner as well where he makes a momentary appearance and then - just blink - and he's gone.

Supposedly out all night with that pack of mystery pals.

Quite a feat to remain undetected in that small town - especially one that includes my passel of frightfully nosy cousins the likes of Lispy Lori and Lanky Lacey. Never been any fair maiden attached to his name as far as they know. Not even the faintest whisper of scandal has ever reached their notice.

Hell, like I said we have a family newsletter / forum on Facebook with everyone included - from my nonagenarian granny to latest infant in the family - and yet he's not a part of it. Or barely makes a peep which is why I don't even recall his existence.


There must be something hiding in his closet. Could be his deviant sexuality. Could be a secret fetish for cross-stitch. Or a real -life corpse.

Either way it has made me maddeningly curious. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Grinch

I guess I do have a little cantankerous Scrooge in me.

Will : They are celebrating their anniversary.
Paul : After one month?
Will : Yeah! Great news right?
Paul : That's not much to celebrate!
Will : Aww.
Paul : A month is not that long! I've had butter that lasts longer.

Undoubtedly it makes me feel like a grumpy Grinch picking over such inconsequential issues since we should celebrate the small things that matter, even the smallest milestones.

But really... celebrating a one month anniversary? I understand if it's a private matter between two lovers but announcing the date for all to hear expecting hearty congratulations? Would they expect flaming fireworks followed by a balloon parade? While everyone's wishing them the best, all I could come up with was a nod of acknowledgement at best.

Maybe a light supportive pat on the back.

It's only a month, for chrissakes.

One month? Really?

Sigh. Certainly a tragic testament to how long gay relationships actually last that we prematurely rejoice over flimsy flings that last slightly longer than a week. Deliciously syrupy romance flicks would have us believe that true eternal love can miraculously happen in a matter of days - though we know that's largely unfounded in reality - but is it even possible to even know everything there is to know about someone in a short span of four weeks? With only one month struck off, the relationship hasn't even reached the longevity of a paper anniversary which signifies a whole year.

After that handful of dates, I would still be unsure whether I like the fellow, much less commit to an anniversary celebration.

Bah humbug much?

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Boy With The Bread

Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents. 

Many Christmases ago - almost twenty five to be exact - I picked up a tattered old hardcover titled Little Women ( spoilers ahead but if you haven't read the beautiful classic by Louisa M. Alcott, shame on you ). Until now the initial paragraph still rings as clearly and plaintively as it did when I first read it that rainy evening in December.

Of course then we had the original Little Women love triangle - a controversial subject that still draws impassioned rhetoric till now. In that first flush of impetuous youth, I never could quite understand why the main protagonist, our raging proto-feminist Jo March refused point-blank to commit herself to the handsome, passionate rich-boy-next-door, Laurie. Instead she seemingly settled with the far less personable, more sober and methodical Friedrich Bhaer. Seemed like an unreasonable cop-out by the author back then.

For the impressionable kids born this heavily computerized centurywho would probably eschew paperbound books, the relevant example would be Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame picking stolid baker boy Peeta over fiery revolutionary-miner Gale.

The Boy With The Bread

To pick someone completely different rather than someone of like mind and thought?

Took me years to understand the reasons why but with reasonable hindsight coupled with both age and some minuscule measure of maturity, I can finally nod my assent. With my ex-boyfriend, I've had all the intense raging fire I could handle. Just like me, I picture my ISO as a spirited ball of flame, all energy, fire and life blazing through the many obstacles ahead - certainly sparked each other off plenty - but when we clashed as we often did despite sharing so many similarities, it seemed as if all that was left was bitterly scorched earth.

Simply exhausting I'll admit.

Whereas when I think of Charming Calvin, I do feel a steady sense of calm. Sure our stolid fellow does teeter and wobble at times with his incomprehensible botherations ( body image issues much? ) but I have high hopes that he'll be rock steady enough for me when my flame threatens to sputter out.

So that's why, despite vastly differing personalities, I've grown to understand the choice of the German professor.

And the boy with the bread. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

His Desk My Desk

After countless years of interminable stagnation in his characterless cubicle, Charming Calvin recently made two unexpected leaps from one company to the next. At the mind-boggling rate he's changing companies in the past year, I can hardly keep track of his latest head office. Wouldn't surprise me that Calvin would one day haltingly surface from the dark bowels of the underground only to find himself at the wrong office tower.

That of course hardly leaves him time to decorate his spartan office cubicle. Apart from the leafy plant which I practically forced him to purchase at gunpoint, all he has on the table are the usual office accoutrements provided by the company; basically a chair, a desk and the computer. Which I find undoubtedly tragic.

And mind-numbingly anonymous.

This time the cubicle walls are so low you could even throw spitballs at the unfortunate opposite.

Paul : Some wallpaper, some photos, some little knick knacks, ye olde plant... all those would do wonders.
Calvin : All great ideas but I think people will be shocked to see the plant even. 
Paul : Even the plant!? 
Calvin : Maybe a mug. 
Paul : Good God.

Engineers! The Dilberts of the World!

Gotta love them. Would hate to be in their office though. Drive me insane wanting to paint all the dull greige cubicles neon pink or something.

Not even a wall hanging? Seriously?

Fortunately... even though medicine has a well-earned reputation for being such a creaky, old-fashioned establishment, there has always been a serious soft spot for eccentrics.

In fact when I actually had an office, there were three leafy plants - one of which had practically grown monstrously into a thriving ecosystem of its own, possibly generating its own weather patterns. The sadly plain notice board had been wallpapered with pastel green chinoiserie patterns with forest green pins to match. Pictures of my travels along with Chinese opera postcards were littered all over. Medical textbooks - arranged according to colour - were clapped in between two busts of acupuncture heads. As a nod to the exotic frontier I had been posted to, an ornate Iban pua kumbu had been suspended on wooden beams behind my chair, along with the woven rattan bag I brought to work.

And that's not counting the couch with the pastel cushions.

And my own lamp that I painted with happy chic designs.

So gay, I know.

Maybe I should introduce Calvin to Jonathan Adler.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Unfriend You

Back in the heady desperate days of high school, it's hard to be alone without a close coterie of chums. Shallow though it may be but frequently high school popularity was erroneously measured by the number of friends you had listed on your cellphone, no matter how staunch or steadfast they may be.

Me, I always had my best buds who I could count on to go to the wall for me. The rest I relegated to mere acquaintances - and believe me, I drew the line quite clearly.

Doesn't seem to be true for everyone though.

Felix : Hi! Are you free? 
Paul : Somewhat yeah. 
Felix : Just found myself stranded somewhere. Could you give me a lift?
Paul : Where are you?
Felix : Oh after lunch, my friend left me in the middle of a highway to run some errands and I need a lift.
Paul : You just got abandoned by a so-called friend who left to run some errands?
Felix : Yes! Could you come pick me, pretty please?
Paul : What kinda errands? Saving the world from invading aliens? Delivering a life-saving vaccine to a dying mother?
Felix : Nah, he had to buy some vegetables.
Paul : WTF.

Yes, ditched by the side of the road for an insignificant errand. Even a mere one-night-stand would have been more courteous.

Felix : Dammit there really are no buses. Do I really have to sell myself for a ride? 

Me, I would have punched that so-called friend in the kisser. Then if he was lucky, I would have just unfriended him publicly. Really you can count that as lucky. Usually I would have hexed him, maimed him and burned down his house for good measure.

Do that to me and you're certainly no friend of mine.

And yet ever-ecstatic in his dizzying rainbow world of flying unicorns, candy floss and go-go boys, Fabulous Felix remains utterly unscathed by this sudden betrayal. Far from turning all vengeful demon, he seems to have so easily forgotten all about the perfidious desertion and whatever lame excuses had been summarily chucked at him as the car was leaving him behind in the dust.

Seriously, does he need a Smack of Sobriety from me?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Tale of Samson & Calvin

Budding astrologers would have you think that boys in November ( and late October like me ) make the most monstrous green-eyed monsters, proverbial Scorpions perpetually on the lookout to lethally sting those who prey on their precious possessions.

I won't deny that oft-quoted maxim since more than a decade ago, I did turn quite decidedly frightful. In fact, from what I hear from my ISO, I supposedly grew pointy devil horns and spouted flames from my nostrils. Not exactly the fuzzy forgiving sort the ruthless Scorpio.

Yet time - and experience - does blunt those horns. Douse those flames somewhat. And lest you think I'm only tooting my own horn, I actually have a tale to back it up.

Just the other day Charming Calvin made an impromptu visit home - something about a twisted ankle which gave him much-needed time off from work. His imminent return usually heralds an entire string of dinner parties and scheduled meets with the local hidden homosexuals.

Paul : This is a friend that we've been meeting up with lately. His name is Samson. Stays just around the corner from us. 
Calvin : I think I've met Samson. 
Samson : Yeah we met a few times before. Hey how have you been doing?
Calvin : Doing okay. Been a while though since we had dinner. 
Samson : We used to see each other regularly back then. 
Paul : Interesting.


And there goes our scandalous Calvin with his past illicit affaires. Obviously I don't get all that green eyed.

Right! And now you're telling me? 

Well maybe a tinge.

For someone who prides himself on knowing, it was a slight blow to my overweening ego. Surprisingly close to reaching for a leather glove just to smack Calvin for not giving me prior warning. Years ago, I would probably have demanded a written detailed account of each and every meeting, possibly with incriminating photos, videos and receipts attached. Perhaps signed with blood for good measure.

Now I just turned to him and asked.

Paul : Sex buddy?
Calvin : No!
Paul : Hmm. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Just Can't Wait To Be King

As our aspiring lion king Simba would put it.

Something I used to think myself as well. Ah, the things I would do if I were king!

Then I started playing the highly addictive, terribly complex Crusader Kings II - the type of grand strategy game so intricately byzantine in nature that it takes several aching hours just to read through the inch-thick manual. And that's before even starting the staggeringly confusing in-game tutorial detailing the dozens of minute political moves possible.

But I managed.

Basically you're the unenviable paterfamilias of an obscure titled family out at the far edges of the European chessboard - if that's what you desire of course - with every intention of enhancing the reputation and prestige of your dynasty to rival that of the Borgias or even the Tudors. Full of political intrigues and dynastic manipulation... by hook or by crook.

Turns out it's not that great to be king.

Really, some of the ignoble Machiavellian decisions made would have been nearly unthinkable in real life. Monstrously calculating more like.

Dedicated family man definitely won't be in the cards. Far too busy conquering neighbouring counties and plotting mayhem with the local nobility, it leaves little time for playing cards with the numerous children. And let's face it, it gets increasingly hard not to see them - as well as the rest of your extended family - as helpless yet marriageable pawns to be sold off to the highest bidder for that advantageous alliance.

Marrying my jinxed half-sister off again for the third time is getting boring. Fortunately the French brought delicious man-candy to the wedding. Man, that Duke of Bordeaux is damned gorgeous. Maybe I should fabricate a claim on his lands, invade with overwhelming force and then make him my unwilling sex slave. 

In less than a day, I'd denounced my barren queen, had her imprisoned - then divorced, and then married her exceedingly fertile half-sister who then presumably had her ultimately poisoned. Then my only legitimate son and heir who refused to have himself married, found himself unwillingly stripped of his titles. After a disheartened letter of dismay hastily despatched to me, my unfortunate son realized my ambitions of having him married to a foreign Duchess only to find himself crippled and maimed after doing battle in her name hundreds of miles from home.

Which left me with my dimwitted bastard son who I hastily legitimized much to the horror of my family. But so terribly foolish and idiotic was he that I found it easier to have him speedily assassinated - rather than to have the vassals revolt over his ill-bred stupidity - the moment my new wife found herself enceinte.

Not exactly a paragon of virtues. Seriously, decay of moral values much.

Homosexual characters abound but as of now, I have not been able to manouevre them into lustful immoral relationships. Damn. You mean I can't have a horny royal in charge of buggering all the hunky manservants? Bring a hopeful nation down to its heels just to bed the handsome deposed prince?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Ponzi Steals the Show

Or like Poppy Ponzi calls it - in a more politically correct manner - all about Network Marketing.

From Charles Ponzi all the way down to Poppy, that infamous moneymaking scheme frequently revamped, rehashed and rebranded to fool a whole new gullible generation. Vaguely based on a pyramidal scheme with new deluded members adding to the ranks with mindless fervour - while parting with just a negligible fraction of their hard-earned wages.

All in a bid to double, triple or compound their investment in a matter of months.

Don't ask me how... but I somehow got conned into attending a Network Marketing spiel for an obscure new company whose name currently escapes me. Actually I was unwittingly ambushed and dragged there. After practically forcing you in at gunpoint into what seemed like an unfortunate captive audience, the entire crash course on marketing their products comes out firing like a rapid-fire hail of bullets.

Of course I remained utterly impervious to their oft-repeated spiel. Sorry Poppy but I ain't buying.

Seriously? Didn't Ponzi schemes go out with the 90s? 

Yet for cynical disbelievers like me, there's always the idealized images of those who have come before with their ill-gotten gains - usually in the form of a lavishly decorated luxury automobile. Nothing like a shiny sportscar to convince the naysayers.

Poppy : Do you understand the entire lecture? 
Paul : It's not that complex. You didn't actually have to read every line on the slide. 
Poppy : Must lo. In case you no understand. 
Paul : So to be a member you have to hand over money, whereupon you'll give me some dubious products in exchange. Then I'll have to con a couple of my friends to do the same for me to continually feed this entire pyramidal scheme. 
Poppy : Well not to put it that way. 
Paul : And then I could be a Knight? Or a Marquis or something? Is there a ceremony?
Poppy : Knight first!
Paul : In your entire lecture, you hardly ever talked about your products. Doesn't sound like it's all that good. 
Poppy : Sure good one la!

Of course I never said that. Wouldn't want to be hounded out by the overzealous advocates with broken bottles of their inferior products. Obsessive multi-level marketers might get their immediate downline to come beat me up - and you do know their downlines go on literally forever.

Don't get me wrong, I can easily see the allure. Sounds like a good idea to most young idealistic cash-poor youths who would do literally anything for a quick buck. Judging from everyone else seated in the room, obviously their target audience. What more for those with the unenviable gift of the gab, certainly easy enough to convince a few unfortunates to part with only a small portion to be a member creating a downline.

What I wanted to ask was what would happen when there's finally no one left to fuel the entire payment scheme. The perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to sustain the scheme. So never be the last to join in on a Ponzi.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Grinding Tofu

Rarely indeed do you hear me speak of my sapphic sisters.

Mostly because I believe they are far better at blending into the heteronormative background than us blindingly flamboyant fags. Flaming pack of fags strutting down the street certainly draw far more unwanted attention than a group of butch looking females lighting up smokes in a corner. Even then you never can tell - gay-dar doesn't work in this case obviously. Seriously, lesbian ninja much?

Till now, the lesbians that I do know personally number less than five - and even then I wouldn't call these girls extremely bosom buddies. Perhaps from a serious lack of commonality - such as an uncommon interest in dicks :)

Be that as it may, one term has always made me curious. 磨豆腐. Basically it means grinding tofu in Cantonese - and actually refers to the act of being a lesbian. Obscure enough term that even our good boy Charming Calvin hasn't heard of it.

Never could fathom the maddeningly cryptic description. Either it crudely suggests two women grinding it up against each other, referencing the grinding stones used to make tofu. Or perhaps the lesser known legend about wrapping a tofu slab in a silk sleeve as a makeshift dildo.

Man #1 : How about we grind some tofu?
Man #2 : WTF Are you speaking Chinese?
Man #1 : Doesn't it mean something like frottage?
Man #2 : When it refers to lesbians, maybe!

Obviously that term scares even the orthodox Hasidic Jews since they've banned students from eating soya in a senseless bid to reduce homosexuality. Just like our ill-advised authorities and their homophobic practices, they also allow mindless prejudice to blind them to simple logic. Supposedly the students in a yeshiva have been forbidden from trying soya products due to the unwanted hormones. Making them feminine, turning them gay... hopefully in that order.

Or perhaps they have heard about grinding tofu?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Confession is Good for the Soul

Rare indeed to catch me with a wide, sincere smile, especially on photographs. Unlike my more ingenuous friends who grin shamelessly from ear to ear the moment a camera shutter clicks, I'm usually uncharacteristically sullen in pictures, perhaps a hint of a knowing smirk at the most.

Which is why Charming Calvin decided to give me that gift for my birthday last weekend.

I don't think I've stopped smiling since then. You see, it's been a long while that we're together. And we tend to takes things for granted after a while, even relationships. Sometimes we even lose sight of what we loved about each other right in the beginning. Some of his more exasperating idiosyncrasies start grating, gradually driving me certifiably insane; no doubt the same happens to him as well with me and my endlessly provoking ways.

Nobody's looking! Maybe I can smile in here!

And then every once in a while he does something wonderful.

Like a disconcerting public confession. Just imagine what I felt when I found myself tagged on a post online.

It all started during a time when blogging was all the hype, before people started spilling all their thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or finding each other using social apps on smartphones. I used to be a blogger and I followed his blog religiously. He writes very well - funny, opinionated, sarcastic - it's like music to my ears reading his entries everyday. And my, the number of fans he has, would be awesome if I had just a quarter of his.

I thought to myself, such a person must already have a boyfriend (our sexuality wasn't a secret in our blogs), and even if he didn't, he wouldn't want a nobody like me. I had just started exploring the gay community around me and I didn't have confidence then. He was so popular in the gay blogosphere, surely a lot of people were lining up at his doorstep.

Still, after contemplating it for a few months (due to the fear of trying to make friends with someone out of my league), I decided to write to him. I sent him a fan mail which I thought was really embarrassing. I wasn't expecting a reply but to my surprise, I did. He was very friendly and funny. We exchanged emails and subsequently decided to meet up.

As we were in different cities then, he drove to mine and picked me up at a train station. Eager to please, I prepared a present for him, even though it was our first time meeting each other. Yes, I'll admit I was a bit desperate, but it was a sincere gesture really, and one that sealed the deal, according to him.

We became a couple, and it's been 7 years now, even though he would tell people that it is 8. We don't know when is the anniversary, just vaguely around April to July. This comes in handy as there wouldn't be any reason to argue about forgetting the anniversary now.

They say opposites attract, it couldn't be any truer on us. I'm introverted and he's outgoing. He loves to read while I hardly do so. I'm a bit OCD while he's a bit messy. He prefers walking about to shop and I like sitting down for tea. He's strong and healthy while I'm an incubus of viral plagues. Who knew we could be together for this long? Perhaps that's why they say find a person who makes you feel complete, because that's what I feel when I'm with him.

Our relationship isn't all easy breezy. We are apart from each other most of the time in the past 7 years, and I'm talking oceans apart. The dreaded long distance relationship that ruins countless couples, be it gay or straight. But we managed, we trust each other. Maybe I am just naive, but you either trust or give up the relationship. Because staying in a relationship without trust is self-torturing and emotionally taxing. It does no good to anyone.

His birthday is coming up and all I want to say is, thank you for loving me, just the way I am. Happy birthday my dear, I love you.

Of course I was terribly embarassed. Conservative old-fashioned fuddy-duddy that I am, public displays of affection are endlessly shocking to me. Would probably have hastily hidden behind a pillar if anyone was watching. Appalled that everyone was out there reading and possibly commenting unfavourably on our relationship.

But was I secretly preening to hear the man I love proclaim that fact out in the open?

If you could only see the smile on my face.

Look on my face? Priceless I tell ya. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brief Inspection

They always say that real life is never quite as glamorous as reel life.

Like me frequently insisting that unlike the much idealized medical dramas on the telly, dashing doctors aren't all that common in the hospital corridors. Few overstudious nerds resemble the impossibly delicious McSteamy - and after a hectic 12 hour shift, most look like unkempt dishevelled zombies just waiting to tear the heads off whoever blurts out the next banal statement. And trust me, you'll hardly ever find flattering medical scrubs that actually fit that well.

But my sad prejudice only extends to my own career milieu.

Mention lawyer and I immediately melt into a steamy puddle of unbridled lust. For despite what my lawyer buddies keep telling me, I still find it hard to believe that the legal firms aren't teeming with sharp, sexy solicitors steaming up the boardrooms with their innate sex appeal and rapier-sharp wit.

And the suits. Seriously. Almost every man turns out well in a suit.

For instance our incredibly dapper Mr Agos here. So many indescribably perverted things I would do to him.

Which unfortunately isn't what happens in real life.

Paul : Here I am hoping for a Cary Agos.
Beagle : Reel life and real life lawyers are worlds apart!
Paul : No sleek suits? Surely the male interns wear deliciously slim fitting trousers as well!
Beagle : I've never seen a male intern squeeze into anything smaller than a size 38. Not in this firm at least.
Paul : Good God but interns are practically children! Waist of 38?
Beagle : Law firms have notoriously well stocked pantries. Steady stream of Oreos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, tea fingers and breakfast buffet of nasi lemak, mee goreng or beehoon.
Paul : Dammit, we only had cream crackers and endless coffee in our hospital pantries! Luxury would be instant noodles!

And the Legal Beagle tells me most of the boys don't wear suits. At least not regularly.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Birthday Blues

Decidedly not mine though.

Ever since I was a child, my overly conscientious mother has taken particular care to organize our neighbourhood birthday parties with specially dishes, delicacies and desserts. Way before fabulous party planners had made their presence felt here, my micromanaging mother already had entire soirees planned right down to the most trivial decorations. As we grew up - and sadly away from such seemingly childish pursuits, we could always depend on that annual cake with a candle on it. Not to mention the indispensable red wine mee sua for the occasion. Invariably a reason to celebrate when it comes to my mother.  

Obviously something I inherited from her. Always liked my parties

Brought up in an entirely dissimilar environment, Charming Calvin has a different approach to parties. For instance the coming birthday party for his little nephew this weekend, rather than take my simple suggestion of getting balloons, soap bubble blowers and popcorn, Calvin eschewed the lot and went for a small consolation gift instead. If I had my wherewithal, there would have been a circus elephant, stage magician and several dancing pandas. 

Grrr. Stupid Paul. Going to such lengths for a kiddie party. 

Then again I like to overdo things. He prefers it a little more understated. 

Hard to blame Calvin though since incidental birthdays didn't figure large in his family timetable. Such insignificant events to mark the passage of time might as well be forgotten. Always the pragmatic lot, the Borgias have much better things to do rather than quarrel over party pennants and gift ribbons. 

Well ilustrated by this shocking exchange a few weeks ago at the Borgia Family compound. 

Calvin : I'm heading out for a dinner. 
Madame Borgia :  Again? Why? Another of Paul's parties? 
Calvin : It's for a birthday. 
Madame Borgia : Oh. How festive. Who's birthday is it? 
Calvin : Mine.
Madame Borgia : Oh. Are you sure? 
Calvin : Yes, it's my birthday.
Madame Borgia : Nice. Enjoy yourself.

No, they don't appreciate birthdays as much as we do. 

Which is odd. Life gives us so much crap some times so why not take the time to enjoy the small joys we have! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Lush Garden Wedding

Well it's about time someone tied the knot :)

In a surprisingly sweet turn of events, turns out Fabulous Fiona is the first one down the aisle. After receiving the all important proposal from her longtime beau, she set out efficiently organizing her own violet-and-olive themed wedding, planning everything from the lunchtime menu to the dinner dresses.

All I had to do was get my suit ready - along with a suitably matching batik bow with both those colours.

For the rest of the Lushes, we were just too pleased with her choice in men. Sweet, easygoing, unassuming prince of a fellow. Always makes me smile thinking of the first time Fiona brought him over for the introduction.

Paul : Wow, amazing name!
Fiona : Yeah, he's great as well. British Thai mix. 
Paul : OMG He must be incredibly hawt!
Fiona : Umm...
Paul : With the winning combination of Thai and British genes, he must be tall, fair and undeniably gorgeous!
Fiona : Not really ... though from my point of view, he is handsome. 
Paul : That's really all that matters. 

Then again I'm a half-Thai troll myself.

What I initially expected! Ashita Xu Chaemchamrat, far from a troll.

More importantly though, the planned wedding gave us all a chance to get together after so many years apart. Shameless Shalom finally back home in Malacca in our old stomping grounds, Statuesque Sarah creating a fearsome legend for herself in Singapore while Lissome Lorelei does her usual swimming to-and-fro between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

And me languishing on the other side of the Big Puddle.

So we made the most of it by renting an apartment together for two nights of dinner and drinking. Not to mention dozens of embarassing selfies hours before the wedding. I had to make my new bespoke suit worth it, didn't I? 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Pink Blood Test

Each time an inane politician in our country comes up with something insanely homophobic just to garner popular attention, I just shake my head with a sigh thanking God that I'm at least working with some relatively mature, tolerant individuals in the medical field. Very few reputable medical schools around the world still offer archaic arguments that homosexuality is a disease, even fewer would attempt to cure it.

Sure there would be a handful of close-minded zealots prejudiced against homosexuals but I still have faith that they would treat them as well as any of their other patients regardless of any ill feeling. Hippocratic Oath and all that. 

Then something like this controversial article comes up from the Gulf States and I have to wonder. 

As a brief summary, a medical test is being developed by Kuwait which will be used to 'detect' homosexuals therefore preventing them from entering any of the Gulf States. Yes, basically a medically sanctified gaydar. No mention on trying out those experimental investigations on the unfortunate local gay fellows already within their increasingly homophobic borders.

Oh no it's the religious police again - and I think they are carrying syringes this time around. Man, is that a new fetish like the whip? 

Let me be the first to say that any sane, rational physician who would claim such a monumental scientific discovery should have an immediate CT brain since something incredibly vital seems to have gone missing. 

Basically get his head checked.  

What exactly are they implying? That homosexuality is a detectable virus that can infect the susceptible common man? Or that perhaps something irrevocably changes in a gay man's DNA that is easily verifiable on a simple medical test? Either way if it can be proven by basic science, that would confirm that homosexuality is inherently biological, proving the 'born that way' hypothesis. Nature rather than nurture. 

Guess Gaga was quite prophetic. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Shirts Off Now

Over in Bali where it's shirtless men galore.

And we're talking about really buff, tanned surfer dudes with excellent sculpted physiques, not the potbellied ah peks airing their rounded tummies here. Or the ancient super-tanned bules escorting the fawning local Balinese boy toys.

Welcome to the islands!

So I'll admit the island is really good for eye candy browsing. At least for me. Pretty boys as far as the eye can see, stripping off their batik shirts at the very leanest excuse to bare their chiselled torsos. Mostly Caucasian sorts who noticeably chafe at the sweltering tropical heat since the hardened locals tend to keep their shirts on.

Certainly not an unwarranted striptease on a main street right outside a cafe. Like this handsome fellow did right by our table, though he didn't have all that much on apart from his ratty shorts and well-worn Bintang tanktop. Not that I minded the impromptu burlesque show.

Unfortunately it turns out the harmless sexperience was a little different for Charming Calvin.

Paul : Man, that guy has a rockin bod.
Calvin : And such nice skin.
Paul : Super smooth and tanned yeah.
Calvin : Sigh. Wish I had such a body. I am growing so fat.
Paul : You see a cute fella and you think that?
Calvin : Yes, I need to diet. Lose 'em love handles!
Paul : Focus on the cute guy. I see a tight fuckable ass like that and I want to spank it hard repeatedly. Period.

No envy. No jealousy. Like appreciating a beautiful work of art, it stops there. Just sheer admiration. And maybe a quick spank.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Why There Are No Balinese Cookbooks

Like seriously.

Don't get me wrong. I love the island. Absolute tropical paradise. When it comes to theatre and dance, painting and sculpture - I doubt many places in the world could possibly compare to this small yet enchanting haven of arts and culture. So many amazing sights to ooh and aah over that it was wonder I even managed to find the time to have regular meals.

Which I did... much to my ever growing disappointment. Turns out the wonderfully talented Balinese must have concentrated their prodigious efforts towards perfecting their arts in the temple workshops rather than refining the far simpler, more humble art of cooking in the kitchens.

Not that the food doesn't look simply stunning.

Man, what can I have for lunch today?
Just that the bland tastes of the local food honestly cannot compare with the delicacies of the neighbouring regions such as Thailand and Malaysia. Perhaps a touch of bias? But since I loved everything else about the island, I tried my very best to love the local dishes as well but by day five of my stay, I'd practically given up on the Balinese menu.

Paul : What's wrong with the food here!
Calvin : I have no idea. 
Paul : The spice route runs through here. Did they somehow miss the boat? 
Calvin : So I take it that the babi guling isn't that great?
Paul : Not really. Roasted pork back home blows this out of the water. 
Calvin : Agreed. 
Paul : Now I know why they don't have that many cookbooks. 
Calvin : Very true. 
Paul : I'm gonna live on steaks and chips from today.

Best thing I had was corn cob roasted on a beach.

Or maybe instant mee goreng - which is delicious but isn't particularly Balinese.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Get Me Out Of This Airport

Not that I ever did but you'll probably never hear a word of complaint about our airport services after this.

It was my second time to Bali after almost a decade of being away. Long enough that I could hardly recall the lurid circumstances of my last trip. Still I did remember having a wonderful time which served as a good enough reason to talk Charming Calvin into heading there on an impromptu vacation.

OMG How do I get out of this airport!

Unfortunately even the first landing was horrific enough with the plane hitting the ground hard enough that the breathing masks crashed down from the ceiling. Who knew that my first shot here would be a hasty instagram shot of my mother looking aghast with breathing masks draped carelessly around her shoulders!

And that was before we descended into the hell of immigration in the airport. If I hadn't known exactly where I was, I would have thought we'd fallen into a haphazard riot of unwashed OZ surfers with Rastafarian dreadlocks.

Calvin : Are we in the right queue?
Paul : Hell if I know. There are hardly any signs.
Calvin : Oh wait, this looks like the visa on arrival queue. 
Paul : I see the immigration queue on the other side. Oh wait, was that the queue for the toilet.
Calvin : Damn the queue is crazy long.
Paul : I think we might be here till the end of our trip. 
Calvin : Wouldn't be surprised. 
Paul : Are we even in the right queue?
Mother : We are never coming back. Like ever.

And that was before coming upon the smallest baggage carousel ever - shocking when you realize that Bali has international flights coming in almost every ten minutes.

Sabarlah Menanti. In Malay, that literally means to wait patiently - like the lyrics to the lovely song below.

But the minute we stepped out of the airport into the beautiful magical paradise that was Bali, everything changed. Almost like falling under a spell. After barely a day on the island, even my adamant mother changed her mind about never ever returning.

A note to future visitors - the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali will be moving to a brand-new state-of-the-art premises by the end of the month, so fear not! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Sacrifice

Grateful village headman offers his one and only daughter to the returning champion after managing to overcome deadly peril against all reasonable odds. It's a familiar enough dramatic trope that most of us have heard some version of it - even as impressionable children listening eagerly to the much-repeated fables. Bet no one ever thought to ask the poor soon-to-be-affianced girl exactly what she thought about being so cheaply bartered off to some random stranger.

Never did see myself in the role of the vaunted hero though.

And I certainly never wanted to have a vulnerable virgin bride placed at my doorstep. Not even the fairest in the land.

Partly the reason why today's extraordinary incident left me utterly dumbfounded. Decidedly worse than any of nurses' previous feeble attempts at matchmaking.

Lady : You're a really good doctor. A lifesaver! 
Paul : Well thank you. All in a day's work.
Lady : Are you single?
Paul : Umm... yeah?
Lady : You should marry my daughter.
Paul : What?
Lady : Really! She's a very good girl. Studying in college. Quite pretty too!
Paul : What? 
Lady : Here's her number. Take it down.
Paul : You hardly know me!

In my years of work, appreciative tributes from patients have ranged from floral bouquets to boxes of chocolates; never have I gotten a wife-to-go instead. Hope she wasn't intending to skip on the bill.

Hi, my mom asked me to follow you home? 

Much to my endless consternation - and to her daughter's red-faced embarassment since she was standing barely five feet away, the lady insisted on jotting the number down - along with other pertinent details - on a notepad. No doubt if I had demurred any more, she would have shoved me unwillingly in the direction of her mortified daughter. Far from helping, my conspiring nurses stood at the sidelines snickering over my patent discomfort.

Of course if she'd offered up her eligible son, I might have been a little more agreeable. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mid Autumn Fasting

Soon as the Hell Gates come to a deafening close in early September, it heralds the coming of the Eighth Lunar Month on the Chinese Calendar - and subsequently our preparations for the annual Mid-Autumn Gathering at Netherfield. Just planning a party might sound deceptively easy - but soon enough you'll find yourself knee deep in preparations with detailed dinner menus to prepare, various caterers to choose, multicoloured lanterns to pick from...

Dammit did I forget to order candles? 

And of course, delicious savoury mooncakes to indulge in. Generally eaten in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. Legend has it that the mooncakes were embedded with secret letters, not to mention coded with messages on the patterns on the pastry surface, to start a rebellion in China under the rule of the Mongols. Though I assume few of the malcontents had the time to read since most would have gobbled up the sweet treats.

Something most apprehensive gay boys these days avoid with a vengeance, considering the thousands of frightful cholesterol-laden calories concentrated into one sinfully decadent golden-hued slice. So much so that most partake of only one meagre piece for the entire festive period, choosing to hand the rest out to their less watchful friends.

Like myself.

Which I find a pity since I adore the tempting treats. Certainly not the newfangled snow skin mooncakes with alarmingly outlandish flavours such as kaffir lime or musang king durian; just my classic baked lotus paste with double salted egg yolk will do well enough for a traditionalist like me.

Contemplated getting several gift boxes as I usually do this time of year - none for the finicky health-conscious in-laws of course - but I decided not to keep that many for the coming soiree. With almost all my anxious weight-watching friends, and that includes my nurses, seemingly on a fad diet for the past few weeks, it seems as if there might be some trouble finishing the lot.

Nurse : Ooh but we love mooncakes. 
Paul : Don't think I'll get that many this year. Who's going to finish them?
Nurse : Of course we will.
Paul : What about your diet?
Nurse : Forget the diet. It's a once a year thing.
Paul : You just swallowed one teensy baby carrot for lunch. 
Nurse : Which makes the mooncake so much more worth it.
Paul : If I get a whole lot, you'd bloody well make sure you finish them all. I'll stuff the lot in your mouth so help me God.

Though something tells me I'm going to end up dining on mooncakes for several nights after the party. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Standards of Gaydom

Sometimes it's not that hard to understand why most heterosexual men still remain vastly terrified of homosexuals as a whole. Our presumed sexual voraciousness and apparent irrational need to convert them to our debauched ways aside, our straight brethren must find it nigh impossible to live up to the impossible standards set by us.

Well maybe not by me - but by the rest of my fabulous gay brothers. With homosexual men generally deemed to be funnier, wittier, better-dressed, even better-looking by the far more discerning females - something we see regularly played to stereotype on the mass media - is it any wonder the already overawed straight boys would feel just a teensy discouraged? Rather than simply lounging in their grungiest boxers like the manly cave slobs some of them are, now they have nattily-dressed fags to compete with. Literal near-perfect Ken dolls some of them. How not to feel intimidated!

We have to keep up some standards!
Like it or not, every so often even I feel a tad daunted by the excessive standards set by us gay men. The Best Little Boy in the World hypothesis for sure. Quite exhausting merely trying to keep up with the gay Joneses.

Especially when they constantly keep reaffirming such double standards.

Jones : Oh that guy's cute. Well for a straight guy anyway.
Paul : For a straight guy? What do you mean by that?
Jones : Well he's a cute guy by straight standards.
Paul : Straight standards?

Jones : You heard me. 
Paul : Meaning he wouldn't be cute if he was gay?
Jones : Of course. Probably just average for a gay man.
Paul : Ouch.

Looks like even we hold other gay men to higher standards. Guess I was right to feel disheartened! If I slip up one morning, do I lose the pink passport?

Then again if I'm a hideous troll by our impossibly high gay standards, does that mean I'm actually somewhat doable in the straight world?