Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spoilerphobia To Cliffhangers

Spoilerphobia is becoming a real thing these days.

Sadly increasing in victims day by day despite the faithful reassurances from their friends, many of the unfortunates carrying this contagious disease wail endlessly over symptoms that range from being deathly afraid of the inevitable reveal of the suspenseful plot twist in a blockbuster horror film to near daily anxiety dealing with the perpetually leaked stab-murder plotlines in the weekly Game of Thrones. To them spoilers would literally be the coming of the apocalypse heralding the end of the world. Infected with the unfortunately incurable spoilerphobia, hapless patients come up with various coping mechanisms to deal with the ever-persistent encroachment of the internet into their lives.

I should know - since quite a few of my friends have been grievously taken by the disease; the handful who shriek hysterically at the merest hint of a spoiler during a regular conversation. Some childishly shut their ears chanting lalala mantras to deflect spoiler arrows while the persistent few hike themselves up to a mountain hermitage to avoid the inevitable. Fortunately none have vowed vengeance on the woeful announcer with whispered murder threats unlike the more advanced sufferers of spoilerphobia out there.

Me, I always find any plotline that hinges purely on a single spoiler - isn't really all that worth reading or watching after all. The appeal shouldn't lie solely on the power to deal that shocking whammy but how the subtle plotlines weave together to that particular scene; so that it essentially warrants a second or third viewing.

In fact I sometimes rush right to the end just to get a vague impression of how the entire story comes to an end. Really, if the majority of the characters I care about end up butchered mercilessly anyhow, why would I inflict masochistic punishment on myself by persisting in such lachrymose tragedy?

You know this really isn't going to end well.

Instead I hate cliffhangers. Not only when it comes to our general entertainment but when it deals with normal everyday conversations. Don't you just hate it when someone tells you something but leaves it hanging?

Friend : Oh I've got something to tell you.
Paul : What is it?
Friend : Maybe tomorrow la. Not so important now.
Paul : Do you want me to stab you with a fork?
Friend : Later la. 

Seriously. Give me a cliffhanger and I'll want to hang you over a cliff.

After leading me on with such scintillating conversation, now you're backtracking instead? Could you just spit it out already? What's with M. Night Shyamalan and keeping me in suspenseful teeterhooks? Unsurprisingly it's always the patients with spoilerphobia who display the vexing tendency to leave with cliffhangers. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Little Steps to the Borgias

As much as I keep using the much publicized tagline 'It Gets Better' on the impressionable youth, I really can't say it holds true for everyone - even more so when it comes to Charming Calvin.

Till now our poor fellow holds the unenviable award for Worst Coming Out Story - that I ever heard about in real life of course. Pretty sure there are far more harrowing contretemps out there but for the sadly uninitiated, that long ago tale involving Calvin might hold little interest and far less intrigue since there's actually very few dramatic hysterics in comparison.

Nevertheless amongst my small but fortunate circle of friends, Calvin did have the most traumatic gay debut with pawangs and psychiatrists making a thoroughly unwelcome appearance at that party. No doubt that explains Calvin's sadly cynical worldview when it pertains to coming out! Then again what would you expect when it comes to the outwardly quiescent yet inwardly histrionic Borgias?

But even with the Borgias, things are progressing on a far smoother path these days with his family even extending invitations to me for certain family occasions. It Gets Better. Really. On those social evenings I'm usually on my best behaviour, endlessly ebullient to the point of excessive effusiveness just to keep the straining conversation plodding along despite scant help from taciturn Calvin and his frustratingly laconic family.

Who obviously all stare as if I'm the crazy chattering clown hired to entertain the guests - but I've grown quite resigned to my lot.

Who knows, one day I might just edge out the hapless Benedicta to be her favoured court advisor.

After all just the other day Madama Borgia even attempted the shadow of a gracious smile when she saw me crossing the sacred threshold of her demesne. Rather than hastily sketch the sign of a cross ( or whatever his family is wont to do to keep the devil at bay ) to ward me off. A far cry from the first few dinners we had together when she could barely hold back her bitter bile at the sight of the aberrant creature that's me.

Little steps I call it.

Though Calvin obviously scoffs at my laughable attempts to turn them up sweet, he has severely underestimated the chilly determination of his boyfriend. Not only shall I make his sister-in-law Miz Borgia an ally, I shall win over his mother too.

And perhaps find out the monstrous secret under the family home as well.

I shall prevail.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mystery of the Missing Underwear

Remember the time I mentioned the unreasonably spartan environment in the men's locker room? Short of the occasional dirty shoe, anything remotely dissimilar would immediately stand out in such stark surroundings which is how I chanced upon something quite surprising today.

Leaving sports shoes behind, I could understand. Prepared for every eventuality, even I switch back to my work loafers before I leave so it stands that I could reasonably lose sight of my gym shoes when I hastily pack to head home. Items specifically used in the gym such as dirty sweat towels and used socks come with the territory as well.

Maybe even the odd misplaced headphones. Or a water bottle.

But today as I was stepping into the shower, I noticed something floridly scarlet on the floors - made even more blatant by the pristinely white tiles. Surprisingly a pair of men's underwear. In fact a red pair of briefs seemingly crumpled and tossed aside.

Thankfully not mine. Though I'd be curious if someone wanted to snatch mine.

So who could it belong to? Casually discarded underwear would doubtlessly be de rigueur at the best gay clubs but here in our suburban neighbourhood gym, it's just a little out of the common. So I was left wondering how someone brazenly left the gym apparently without his knickers on, all free-balling!

Since I have no clue to the original owner, I shall persuade myself that he looks just this fetching in his red briefs. 

The more sensible amongst you - or rather the more sadly unimaginative - would of course point to the fact that some boys actually come with a full change of clothes to the gym showers, which includes a new pair of underthings. All of which would easily explain the briefs forlornly left behind.


My thoughts are thankfully far more sensational and lean towards the idea that the racy scarlet briefs were left behind after a hurried tryst. In the gym. In the men's locker room. Ooh la la, how very deliciously scandalous. Now I'm only left wondering which of the brawny college boys I'd seen earlier grunting and groaning had been involved in the above affaire.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Break A Sweat

It has been one long hot summer.

Perhaps even one of the hottest ever recorded; certainly far warmer than any I've ever encountered. And when it comes to this perpetually hellish town, you can just imagine the slow burn as even the road tar melts under the scorching rays of the unforgiving sun.

Fortunately I have the sweet respite of my perma-chilled, hermetically sealed workplace to escape to when the oppressive heat starts wilting even my super starched shirt collars. So basically it's a championship sprint from the relative cool of my parked vehicle to my swinging office doors which takes something less than two minutes. Even with that brief flashburn of sweltering summer, I can already feel the top of my head sizzle.

And not in a sexy way.

Man, to be that cool breeze. 

Not as lucky some of my other friends such as Lanky Lex who braves the killing heatwave as he rushes for the public transport everyday.

Lex : I'm perspiring even after putting on antiperspirant!
Paul : You use antiperspirant?
Lex : Doesn't everyone? 
Paul : Never in my life. I don't sweat much. 
Lex : It's a problem when I wear work shirts. Stains the pits!
Paul : Wow. Maybe a different kinda fabric? 
Soldat : I think if Paul sweats, I'd have turned into a dehydrated raisin. 

Soon enough the conversation inevitably devolved into a comparison of deodorants, antiperspirants and various clothing material - not that I could contribute much since apparently I have the sluggish sweat glands of a frozen reptile. True enough though, I don't sweat much. Hence my propensity to pile on layers even in our sultry tropics.

So despite wearing work shirts since I stepped into the working world, I have yet to develop sweat stains on them. Much less be one of those fellows who get all sweat-drenched from head to toe after a quick round in the sun.

Maybe it's plain luck. Or perhaps a bit of science!