Monday, October 16, 2017

Kira Kira Killer

After the initial arrival misery and malaise, I usually bounce back from the terrible ordeal pretty rapidly. Not only do our travels not last very many days, we also usually have a really full schedule to cover.

And let's face it, once I'm signed on for a holiday I'm usually pretty much indefatigable for the entire length of the trip, barring the occasional unforeseen affliction. Unlike the more sedentary Charming Calvin who prefers a more leisurely vacation of course.

Therein lies the problem which is easily encapsulated by our vacation photos after. In the early mornings, he's usually the chipper robin while I'm disembowelling morons before my wake-up coffee; by evenings after our endless walks however it's usually the opposite with him looking like an extra from The Walking Dead while I'm bouncing off the rafters.

Sometimes literally.

And we walk and we walk and we walk all night.... 

Though I usually have a certain itinerary planned for the entire time we're there, it's usually entirely flexible depending on our whims and fancies. After all it's truly a free and easy experience. So I usually walkabout aimlessly with only a couple of must-see sights on the map that I want to cover. Hardly any outlined treks to religiously follow since I love the occasional stroll into the unexpected alley or dori as the case may be in Japan.


Of course that makes me cover a really large amount of mileage, which is alright by me since I tend to walk really, really fast. Spurred on even more by more travelling adrenaline, and maybe a lil bit of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Not the case for our slow and steady Charming Calvin so that leaves him utterly grouchy by the end of the day.

So you can imagine how grumpy he was when I abruptly made a plan to find a handicraft centre in Aoyama late at night on our first day there.

Poor fellow. Unlike the near unforgivable time I made him trudge through a chilly autumn night through the Quai Anatole France by the Seine, this time he found it a tad more tolerable though he still did give me the cold shoulder for at least half a mile down Aoyama Dori. Just about the distance between us when we're walking since his speed is perhaps half of mine which leaves me standing around waiting for him to finally catch up. Fortunately a plate of really excellent tuna sashimi perked Calvin right up.

Which gave me time to really ponder over the truly baffling maps of Tokyo, and we're not talking about the serpentine subway maps yet.



Friday, October 13, 2017

Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring

Charmed by Kyoto the last time we went, it wasn't hard to decide that our next trip would lead us to the other end of the renowned Tokaido road which is Edo. Otherwise better known as Tokyo 東京都 these days. A brand name known the entire world for that captivating mix of the ultramodern to the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and futuristic androids to age-old ryokans and ancient temples.

With my debilitating insomnia coupled with an innate fear of flying metal boxes, the first days are usually miserable experiences for me but this time, a mixture of steroid-powered caffeine and the scent of autumn in the air spurred me out into the bewildering subway system of Tokyo the moment I dropped my bags at the hotel ( ironically called Innsomnia ). In a bid to avoid building train lines under the Imperial Palace, most transportation tracks belonging to two different companies go in tangled circles all around, which in a city touted as the most populous metropolitan areas in the world, leaves a bizarre, mind-boggling spectacle that takes several minutes to sink in.

And a couple of exhausting days to adjust to.

That's not even counting trying to make sense of the kanji, hiragana and katakana script written all over the maps.

Though it's rare to find a train carriage just that empty in Tokyo - well maybe at really unseasonable hours. 

Judging from the endless concrete towers surrounding us threateningly, we were definitely nowhere near provincial Kyoto at all. Even the crowds seem to have quadrupled with masses of suited salarymen pouring out of every nook and cranny of the train stations in perfectly timed intervals.

But I've never been one to hibernate on my travels so it was off to nearby Omotesando with their tree-lined avenue full of branded boutiques for a quick walk and dinner. Charming Calvin wasn't terribly amused to be dragged out of his extensive unpacking rituals but he certainly wasn't going to be left behind so off he went. How were we to know that the Japanese aren't too fond of modern-day conveniences such escalators and elevators? Steps and stairs everywhere we turned with the elevators tucked away in forbiddingly concealed corners.

Apparently the Koreans must have learned this bit from them.

So with our mildly befogged brains, we walked the length of Omotesando gaping at the beautifully dressed Tokyo hipsters in their trendy leather jackets and skintight selvedge denim. Fortunately we'd managed a quick shower and change otherwise we'd probably be hounded out of that posh enclave for dressing like abhorrent hobos.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Blowjob

One Blowjob doesn't necessarily turn you gay.

Let's face it, boys are boys and they do love their little scientific experiments especially when it involves the excitable lil fella down below. Even though it was kept clandestinely hush-hush in my all boys's school, most would have noticed the illicit hanky panky going on between some of the more adventurous schoolboys in the secluded corners.

Doubt any of them would even think to consider themselves gay, then and now. Just a bit of handsy sophomoric fun between the boys, especially when opportunities to get off successfully are hard enough to come by at that jailbait age.

Not that I ever did any of that, well apart from some hasty making out sessions in the darker corners of the school chapel. Hardly enough time to progress past a quick handjob, much less giving a proper oral. Just never know who's going to be bursting through the doors! Terrible enough to be breaking dozens of religious doctrines in a day; what more to present such a spectacle of prurience to a man of the cloth.

Maybe a second round? 

But when a friend keeps insisting that the cheap trick he has been seeing is impossibly straight, it does make me wonder.

Friend : Yeah, I actually gave him a blowjob. 
Paul : Well that doesn't necessarily make him gay. 
Friend : He asked me for another. And I did it again. 
Paul : Oh. Twice? 

Well, perhaps one blowjob doesn't turn you homosexual. Fun times for all and all that.

But two consensual blowjobs?

Makes one wonder. Maybe you could chalk up that first blowjob to simple curiosity and fervent desperation - but the second time around does make it a little more suspicious. Moving towards the second has turned it from an experimental try to becoming something almost habitual. A lil crooked perhaps; down the Kinsey spectrum from totally heterosexual?

Surely he didn't hate it all that much if he's begging to come for seconds?


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Beach Wedding Not

Never.
Ever.
Have.
A.
Beach.
Wedding.

I cannot say this more vehemently. Seriously, especially not in a sweltering tropical country melting under an unprecedented heat wave. Perhaps a possible consideration in far more temperate climes but definitely not in our country.

And for once I'm speaking from real life experience. Though Lissome Lorelei did playfully threaten to let us all bake torturously under the midday sun during her seaside wedding ceremony, she thankfully had a near-glacial tearoom waiting for all her guests to simmer down right after. If I recall there was a mad stampede to rush in for that brief respite right after the vows as well leaving several hapless bridesmaids trampled in need of medical attention!

Apparently though that particular bit of advantageous information seems to have slipped out of the many gushing bridal magazines. Ever the island girl with childhood dreams of a beach party, our Pretty Paisley had almost zero qualms over letting her guests spit-roast under the sun.

Which is how Shameless Shalom and I found ourselves literally sweating buckets during the wedding vows. Though it was apparently still a breezy mid-morning at the tropical beach, it truly felt like we'd already trudged through the heated trenches at Iwojima in our bulky combat fatigues. We would have surrendered ourselves just to find ourselves in airconditioned comfort if we could.

Bla bla bla let's get married! And out of this heat!

Though of course I would never be dressed so dreadfully! So there I was, in my new suit, literally broiling on the beach like one of the barbecued seafood snacks on offer by the seaside shacks.

Whereas our more practical Shalom had put on a shorter cocktail dress though from the excessive perspiration streaming down her forehead, it did very little to cool her down. When fanning myself vigorously with the invitation card seemed more thermogenic than cooling, I was already beginning to wish I'd pulled on a skirt myself.

Nonetheless it was wonderful to see Paisley so happily walking down the aisle. Since she had nary a bead of sweat on her, I assume excessive happiness does temporarily disable the sweat glands. At least for a little while.

For the rest of us, it wasn't so which is how I found myself placing a personal ban on beach weddings. At least for myself. Like why would anyone subject themselves to such inhumane suffering?

Shalom : My God, the pictures turned out amazing. 
Paul : Thank goodness. 
Shalom : The colours. The sun. The beach. 
Paul : No.. No... don't say it!
Shalom : I want a beach wedding too. 
Paul : Dammit. 

So now we know how it all begins.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Oh My English Again

No, this won't be a rant on how young Chinese Malaysians are deliberately eschewing the English language - and even our national language - for whatever misplaced reasons in their naive lil minds. That impassioned diatribe will come along one fine day when I'm finally rational enough to type one out somewhat legibly.

Mostly this has to do with our Ambiguous Aaron - and his dubious command of the language. One would assume that having English as his first language - mayhap his one and only - would automatically place him in the hallowed ranks of prodigious English scholars! Failing that, at least he would have a somewhat passable standard of English.

At least that's what one would like to think.

Thus far, I've let more than a few of his grammatical faux pas slip by without a word since :-

a) I'm not your fecking teacher and I heartily dislike faultfinders
b) I'm not that great myself so why am I pointing out mistakes
c) It must have been a slip of the tongue

Usually I just shrug dismissively and think, surely no one gets that wrong?

Did he just diss the grammar of Shakespeare?

But then came the day when he then decided to diss the Bard.

Yes, William Shakespeare himself. Though I'm far from ye high-and-mighty literary connoiseur, do not ever, ever critique the grammar of Shakespeare in front of someone who spent part of his high school years going through the various tragedies and comedies. Atrocious, Aaron called it, which obviously put me into a flame.

Don't diss the Bard.


Then lo and behold, Aaron spelt the word chilli wrong.

Aghast. Me. In our food-obsessed nation that's about as simple and elementary a word as apple. Before I could falteringly ask for a repeat, he blithely spells it wrong again. Twice in a row, surely it's not a typo, says I. Ever the skeptic, I immediately question myself. Perhaps I've been wrong my entire life and it's actually spelt that way? To the dictionary I promptly ran to check the word out only to prove myself right.

Dammit, he made me doubt myself!

Perhaps in the upper reaches of the Ganges? In some obscure, forgotten corner of South America? Again I desperately search across the length and breadth of Google to find more information only to reaffirm my earlier understanding of the word. Nope, still spelled chilli. Yep, even in Mexico. Well sometimes it's chili.

But never chilly.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Deja Vu

Granted in such a small town, the conceivable choices for chow time isn't all that appealing. This ain't cosmopolitan New York with an exciting new bodega opening up down the block every other week. We'd be lucky if that even happened once every six months over here. In fact take another walk around the block and you'd probably find that lovely new eatery closing up for good before you'd even bothered to come around a second time!

So yes, the choices are sadly limited. There's a very short list of usual suspects with acceptable dining options that we frequent; made even shorter due to the finicky appetites of some of my friends. Worse than the proverbial Goldilocks I swear. Even so, with certain establishments taking the day off once a week, there's bound to be a repeat every once in a while.

Much to the everlasting horror of some of my... more persnickety friends. For some obscure reason, repeats are quite the anathema to them!

Paul : How about we go for burgers at Pop's?
Friend : We just went there three days ago. 
Paul : And so? 
Friend : We can't go again. 
Paul : Like ever? 
Friend : Maybe next week. 
Paul : If you went again, your social rating would fall?
Friend : Maybe we go to Mama's? 
Paul : But we were there last year. Is that alright? 
Friend : Should be. 

Who knows. Possibly.

Even ordering an entirely different menu isn't quite acceptable.

No they aren't hip social media influencers trying to increase their online relevance. Hell, these staid creatures barely have a Facebook presence.

Friend : Wait. I can't go there.
Paul : Why?
Friend : I went there last month!

Paul : OMG A repeat! That's like gonna kill you? 

Seriously I cannot fathom this despite deliberately shoving my feet into their shoes multiple times. I don't see how dining at the same place twice in a week would possibly dangerously undermine their entire sense of self, life, humanity etc.  Would their querulous stomachs rail against such repeated ignominy and call out a hunger strike? Would their oh-so-fussy mitochondrias protest by shutting down energy production due to the repeated source of nutrients?

Obviously I have no comprehension so help me out here, guys.

Me, I order the exact same dish with the same drinks at the same spot at the same kopitiam every single day. Usual servers gotten used to the Paul Special, I don't even make orders anymore but just take my seat expecting the same to arrive. Somehow that hasn't left me feeling at all disconsolate. Or feeling like my life isn't worth living.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Straw to Gold

Ensconced in her domestic bliss up north, it's rare indeed to hear from Pretty Panacea other than the occasional housekeeping gripes when her singing birds and butterflies go on strike. Turns out life isn't all that rosy in the fairytale kingdom even after that perfect happy-ever-after since even princesses have to contend with the monstrous in-laws. Though this time it's not a serpent-haired gorgon-in-law that's the problem but a fellow new bride like her.

Panacea : I have a problem. 
Paul : Told you. Feed the birds more if you want them to hang your laundry! 
Panacea : It's not a housekeeping problem. It's my princess-in-law. 
Paul : How is she a problem? 
Panacea : She's imitating the way I dress! Wears the same clothes! Carries the same handbags!
Paul : So? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 
Panacea :  I swear she has the same glass slippers that I got!
Paul : I've seen her. 
Panacea : You have? 
Paul : I have a magic mirror. Really, you have nothing to worry about. You're comparing straw to gold. 
Panacea : B-but what do I say when I see her in the same gown!
Paul : Compliment her on her fine taste. 

Perhaps it's a problem only a real princess could comprehend since try as I might, I really couldn't empathize with her. Even freshly woken up from her bedchamber with hardly a brush to her lovely locks and nary a gloss to her luscious lips, Pretty Panacea is undoubtedly the fairest in the land and few princesses, and even fewer peasant girls, could hold a candle to her. 

Even more so the lamentable princess-in-law who's... homely at best. 

Hmm. That's the hapless wench who's earned the ire of Panacea? Of what looks does she speak of? 

Imagine spending half a day being sorely mistreated at the aesthetics salon just to come up short against Panacea rushing in for supper with a hasty swipe of a lipstick? No doubt if I were in her princess-in-law's glass slippers, I would heartily dislike Panacea as well. Probably start making deliciously devious deals with the devil to concoct poisonous apples and such. 

Rather than just innocently steal her look. 

The princess-in-law tries. Unfortunately, even lavishly overpriced Birkins dangling from her spindly arm can't compensate for the sad lack of panache to carry it off. Every fairy godfather could easily tell her the ancient adage - You can buy fashion but you can't buy style - but apparently fairy godfathers are in short supply these days. 

So I told Panacea to accept the battle's already long won, not that the final outcome was ever in doubt. Be gracious to the loser at least. That said however, I would still break her glass slippers since there can't be two pairs around!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Miri Lieutenant's Man

Afternoon sessions at the gym are becoming quite a routine for me, not that I've actually turned into a man-beast. Sadly not true though I'm starting to fill out that t-shirt which is fine by me. Note to anyone else reading - don't overdo leg day or you'll never wear slim jeans ever again.

Apart from the occasional desperate housewife who sneaks in for a resentful run on the treadmill, I've noticed the afternoon denizens of the gym come from two specific sorts. Since slick professional fellows wouldn't be waltzing into the gym at such unseasonable hours, it's obvious that only those who aren't working would be able to workout then.

So the first group would be the schoolboys and the collegiates; all far too dangerously enticing despite being practically jailbait. It really should be illegal to look so scrumptious at that age dammit. Enthusiastically bounding in, usually in large mate-y groups slapping each other on the back, they scamper and scuttle from machines to the weight rooms with such energetic vivacity that it's almost painfully distracting.

That, and the neverending display of abs of course.

Basically something out of Fitcasting but unfortunately with clothes on.

Could you show me that move again? 

Then there's the more sinister second group.

Burly, dark and tattooed, grunting, cursing and spitting; I dub these the Gangster Ges. So much less appetizing than the former. Quite apparent that early daytime isn't their usual mode since most come with bleary hangover faces that probably haven't seen the morning sun since they were in blue shorts. These ones specifically come in pairs, hardly ever in crowds. What I assume would be the mob boss and his most trusted lieutenant.

No doubt building muscle for their extracurricular activities later in the night.

And this particular Gangster Ge always comes with his faithful sidekick at the very same time. Oddly enough the lieutenant does nothing but just hang around waiting for the boss to finish his routine. Unlike the forlorn girlfriend waiting in the wings, at least he helps out by spotting for his boss, even hurrying over to refill his canister of water. Very little is done otherwise with him literally just twiddling his thumbs watching over the man pump iron.




Monday, August 28, 2017

To Speak or Not To Speak

Whispered secrets are shared mostly in confessional boxes where the sacred seal of confession sufficiently conceals whatever misdeeds and misdemeanours might have been committed before. Outside the hushed sanctity of the church, things get a little bit more complicated especially when unsubstantiated rumours start gaining more traction with mounting visible evidence lending credence to the heretofore questionable fact.

And by that I mean Ambiguous Aaron.

Once upon a time a possibly Maybe Gay, doubtful events of late however seem to have sufficiently confirmed Aaron's deeply closeted status. Not only is there the same ubiquitous 'friend' wherever he travels - which is suspicious enough, validated statements from his hometown have basically settled the case of 'Is He or Isn't He?' for the rest of us. Apparently on some long forgotten occasion, he once professed his sexual proclivities to his inner circle of intimates and that lil nugget of information made its stealthy way across the seas to us.



Didn't even have the need to call in the big guns!

Of course knowing the fact and hearing it straight from the reticent horse's mouth is a far different thing. Till now despite our attempts to present a thoroughly welcoming, supportive front for his much delayed outing, Aaron stubbornly clings to his purported heterosexuality with persistent appeals to recommend him to the eligible bachelorettes in our circle. 

Therein lies the problem. 

A new dillemma? 

Not that any of us would knowingly lead some innocent damsel to her sacrificial doom on the altar as the unfortunate gay bride - or tongqi 同妻! Far from it since we tend to steer the more oblivious fillies in the opposite direction away from him - but apparently we do occasionally lose sight of one or two. Unbeknownst to us, Aaron's buttoned-up conservative demeanour has somehow bespelled someone that we know.

Or at least the devastating charm seems to be taking slow but steady effect.

Paul : This is starting to be a problem. 
Calvin : How so? 
Paul : I think she's starting to like him. Subtle but I think it's there. 
Calvin : Aiyo. 
Paul : Perhaps a hint of warning in her ear? 

So do we tell the friend our growing suspicions about his assumed heterosexual facade? Or do we keep the sacred seal of confession even though he hasn't technically come out to any of us yet?


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Miss Independents Club

Don't get me wrong, self reliance and independence are wonderful traits. Something most of us would do well to inculcate in ourselves.

Only some of the Miss Independents I know seem to go overboard with the virulent D.I.M. Syndrome - and by that it means Do It Myself; a newly discovered infectious disease that seems to affect most young Miss Independents of a certain age rendering them physically and mentally incapable of accepting help. Any offer of aid is immediately repudiated with a vehemently impassioned nay followed by the pridefully repeated 'I Can Do It Myself' mantra.

Miz Independent : What if my car breaks down? What if the car battery dies? 
Paul : You're not living in the jungle. You're basically in a small town where everyone's just a couple of minutes away. 
Miz Independent : How will I get to work? 
Paul : Just tell them the car broke down. Get someone to pick you. Get a cab. Get an Uber. 
Miz Independent : I can't possibly do that! I should be able to do it myself.
Paul : What's wrong with getting help? 
Miz Independent : I must be independent and self reliant!
Paul : And walk to work? 
Miz Independent : Maybe!
Paul : Or how about a car battery charger?
Miz Independent : Yes! I have to depend on me! I want independence!

Made it sound almost like an energy drink. Wouldn't surprise me if our burly frontierswoman wanted to live a self sustainable life in her own sturdy treehouse - made with repurposed timber chopped with her own fair hands - and grow her own organic food.

D.I.M. Syndrome! It's a real thing, I tell ya!

Honestly though, never have I understood the women of today's single-minded obsession with being independent and self reliant. Since I'm pretty certain none of the boys I knew ever had such frenzied fixations, I can only imagine it is something they all learned back in school! For all I know, perhaps the schoolgirls have been secretly shuffled away to secluded mountaintop convents just to have the oft-repeated mantra on autonomy and independence drilled into their young malleable minds. 

Or perhaps something insidiously mixed in with the rubella vaccines only given to teenage girls? 


Or maybe we have Destiny's Child to blame for it! Obviously the theme song for all the Miss Independents throwing their hands up at them. 

Maybe all my crazed suppositions are wrong but surely there has to be a Miss Independents Club out there with clandestine meetings disguised as book clubs along with regular weekly pamphlets covertly cloaked as frivolous beauty magazines. Otherwise how are they all being plagued with the exact same symptoms of D.I.M. Syndrome? All of them seem to have something to prove... but to whom?

For me, I think I would much prefer to be a lethargic potentate with thousands of slaves at my beck and call. Self reliance? Pshaw! Hell, I wouldn't even lift a finger to feed myself if I could! 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diffident Dress

Don't get me wrong. Though I do have certain fastidious scruples about proper attire, I certainly don't contemplate showing up at a summer pool blowout all bedecked in a frilly silk ballgown. Let's not be totally daft. It's all about dressing for the right occasion; which means those stained t-shirts and ratty shorts that you wore while cleaning out the dusty garret last weekend simply shouldn't make an appearance at a dinner party.

And absolutely not to a wedding banquet. Have some respect for your troubled hosts please.

Yes, laugh all you like but I've seen that particularly graceless faux pas take place a couple of times. In fact our very own fashion blunder Reasonable Remedy did it twice, right in front of our very eyes so that my eagle-eyed nurses felt compelled to immediately post up on Instagram for posterity! Terribly judgemental they have become as well though I've tried my best to rein them in.

Or at least prevent them from emphatically pointing out the deplorable flaws in public.

Though sometimes it can be a little bit hard to judge!

However what I didn't expect next was a surprisingly patronizing critique from Diffident David instead. For someone like him - like the ultimate slob Lanky Larry - who obstinately champions the Get Casual Everyday Cause to find someone's attire absolutely execrable, I find myself absolutely flabbergasted. Have I finally successfully converted him?

David : I'm just surprised you didn't make a comment about his dressing!
Paul : Why? 
David : He looks terrible. 
Paul : In t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk? 
David : Yes!
Paul : You wear the exact same thing all the time. 
David : That's different. I wear better. 
Paul : In t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk? 
David : Mine is more fitting!
Paul : I hate to break it you but still t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk. 

Try as he might to convince me, I really couldn't tell the difference. Even with high-definition pictures to prove his point, I couldn't see it. Sure, the t-shirt was a tad less unkempt. Maybe the shorts were a little smoother and newer. But overall let's face it, it's still t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk.

Selipar buruk just means lousy flip flops over here.

Wait, did that mean he doesn't actually like what he wears himself?

Sunday, August 06, 2017

All By Myself

Certainly not a theme song I'd recommend for anyone other than the eponymous Bridget Jones but these days I think a friend of mine might appreciate it. Remember the taciturn someone I once mentioned who drew the line between her super-tight BFFs and the rest of her ignominious generic Fs?

Well, let's call her Anxious Annie.

Delayed flights are not uncommon, and over here with the tiny runway coupled with the numerous domestic flights, it has become an almost daily event. Almost impossible for anyone to even confirm their flight ETAs, even once already safely boarded on the plane. For Anxious Annie however, the very notion of a flight delayed would certainly spell a catastrophe.

Annie : I realized I was all alone. 
Paul : In the airport? 
Annie : Yes. 
Paul : Aren't there dozens of other passengers around? 
Annie : Yes. They immediately all took out their cellphones to inform someone of their new arrival times. They all had someone. I had no one to call. 
Paul : So? 
Annie : I am all alone. 
Paul : There's no need to call anyone when you're going for a business trip. You could call a taxi. 
Annie : There's no one I could call!
Paul : Uber? 
Annie : Nooo....

Well perhaps my bleak pragmatism wasn't exactly what she needed at the time. Diverted by her disquieting mental ordeal, I might even have chuckled. Probably one of the reasons I've been ingloriously bumped down to her forgotten second tier compatriots.

What? So you were singing All By Myself at the airport? 

Shoulder to try on, I can provide but you'd probably get a painfully realistic dose of tough love first.

Though I found the reasons obviously simple enough, I hesitated to even tell her. There's only so much you can reveal when you're cheerlessly mucking it up with the other shoddy acquaintances beyond the true friendzone, and not living it up with her cozy intimates. Would speaking the truth only leave you even farther in the cold?

So let me tell it plainly enough, Annie. Tragically there's no one to blame but yourself. It's hard to find a friend to call when everyone else has been placed at chilly arms' length, while the ones you count as real BFFs aren't actually that emotionally available. It's all about the science of friendship which means also being a friend, so hiding in seclusion and refusing friendly overtures isn't going to help. Being closed off only denies real intimacy between friends which is why there's hardly anyone around to call when emotional help is needed.

Really... that's the problem. Tough love, like I said.



Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Weird Things with Gay Couples

Haven't gotten around to putting it up but I just have to, even though it's a year late throwback, but hey doesn't mean it rings any less true. Especially since Charming Calvin and I get the first part all the time.

Stranger : Wait, are you two a couple? 
Paul : Yes. 
Stranger : I thought you two were brothers. 
Paul : I introduced him as my boyfriend. 
Stranger : Are you sure you're not brothers? 
Paul : Yes. 
Stranger : Stranger things have happened. 
Paul : Stranger than brothers saying they are together? 

Really. Not the first time we've gotten the baffled look since appallingly, Chinese fellas with square faces and dark-rimmed spectacles frequently get mistaken for one another. Usually to cover up their obvious gaffe, they follow it up with the common Chinese phrase 夫妻相 to mollify us after so it's all good.



Fortunately some of the gay stereotypes are actually true when it comes to me so the nagging questions on fashion and interiors are all fine since hell yes, I do have vehement opinions on that. Not too sure how Charming Calvin feels about it but busily snacking on the party hors d'ouevres usually saves him from answering.

And hey, if you're almost the same size are your man, it basically doubles your wardrobe. Isn't that the best part about being in a gay relationship? Never actually tried on his shirts since I actually have an embarassing number untested and unworn in my closet but I've definitely pulled on his shorts before. Way back when we were first dating. Having to dash off for work emergencies doesn't leave me much choice unless I carry spare clothes to change everywhere I go.

Which I do these days of course.

When we travel, I have to admit there are times when our clothes strikingly match, though never ever on purpose, but we still draw the line at getting couple t-shirts.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Boy with the Beanie

Men are visual creatures. Let's not deny the fact that the majority, even those happily involved in serious monogamous relationships, do spend a lot of our time scoping out the scrumptious eye candy around us. Certainly no serious intentions to buy to bring home but it's always fun to blithely window shop every once in a while.

Of course, plain gawking all by itself wouldn't be half as fun without the recurring conversation that crops up every once in a while in my circle. Hard not to when it's a gaggle of appreciative gay men downing expresso shots at a cafe whilst lustfully appraising the hot virile fashionistos who saunter by.

Friend : I should try a beanie. Makes a man look real good. 
Paul : No it doesn't. 
Friend : What do you mean? Just look at the hottie that just went by. 
Paul : He's a gorgeous attractive young man. He makes the beanie look good, not the other way around. 
Friend : What? 
Paul : Look at it this way, if a portly unsightly fellow were to wear a beanie, would you think he looks good? 
Friend : Not really. 
Paul : Then the beanie doesn't work. However put any man in a suit and they generally look better. 
Friend : Never thought of it that way. 

Of course several weeks later, he'll cheerfully forget and drool over a sexy hunk with a painfully hip man-bun; all the while imagining that a man-bun makes everyone look good.

No, it doesn't.

Usually it's the beauty of the man that makes the dress look good so don't be fooled by the art of marketing. There is a reason the wily advertising gods utilize impossibly attractive, genetically gifted models to deceptively fool us into believing that particular brand would make the homeliest of us look quite as mesmerizing.

The chiseled cheekbones and the body makes him look good. Not the beanie. Really. 

Man-buns? Beanies? Backward baseball caps? Cargo shorts? Three quarter pants? Rompers? Sure, they are all comfortable but trust me, they won't make you look good. Not unless you resemble the godly Chris Evans. If that's the case, even a misshapen gunny sack would be highly flattering.

Same goes for tattoos, permanent or otherwise.

Serious. If the item of clothing or accessory really can aesthetically improve someone's looks, it would work on most anyone. Even the plainest bridge troll around, and I do mean me. Till now, I find only a handful of accoutrements singularly successful in that sartorial endeavour, and that's a beautifully tailored fitted suit. Anything else, you better don't believe it.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pitch Perfect

Though there will always be the occasional eccentric such as Ambiguous Aaron who shudders at the very thought of karaoke and made a solemn vow never to step into such a den of iniquity, I think it's safe to say that most other regular folk do enjoy the occasional turn with the karaoke microphone. Hands up if you're Asian of course. And yes, by karaoke, I mean the Asian styled karaoke boxes with the private rooms and booths for the self-effacing shower sopranos to step out into the limelight.

Unlike the ones more prevalent in Western countries where wannabe stars sing publicly on a stage only to be jeered or booed off if the singing is off pitch. With crazed caterwauling masquerading as a tune, I wouldn't blame the unfortunate audience for targeting them viciously with broken bottles.


Generally from all the times we've headed for karaoke, friends I know here seem to fall into two categories!

The first whom I call the serious karaoke persona preparing to audition for the coming season of The Voice. Bet you'd all have seen this dogmatic fanatic rifling through the exhaustive song list searching for their one and only torch song - no, they won't try a new unversed song! - while professionally adapting the pitch and tone of the melody to their own voice. Then they stand up to ceremoniously switch off the vocal track, the better to listen to their own special delivery of the song of course.

Mind you, they invariably sing alone - so don't even dream of butting in when they're belting out their oh-so-precious theme songs unless you want a microphone tossed at your ear. It's their fucking moment and you'd better know it.

Seriously, the stage was made for them so I don't know why they aren't all getting on it.

Especially if you looked like this, I guess.

I come in the second category. Always think karaoke should be a fun event just having a group of like-minded friends to gather around. Honestly the worse you are as a singer, the better so there's nothing to be embarassed about. Isn't that the very reason we all booked a private room rather than yodel mortifyingly in public?

And come on, no way any of us could sing better than the original! If I did, I would have already cut my own album for sale. Or at least have a dedicated Youtube channel to peddle my croons.

These days I also find karaoke boxes a good place to pick up catchy new hits that you've never heard of since there's always a ready set list of popular hits played by the other customers there. And really, short of having gratuitous shots of half-naked hunks gyrating throughout, when else would I ever willingly sit through the entire music video?


Then again, maybe this is the way to get Ambiguous Aaron to come over!



Friday, July 21, 2017

Past & Present Friends

It's hard not to compare what we had in the past when we're reluctantly faced with contrasting individuals in the present. Sometimes it's like comparing the sharks to the sheep.

Hard to explain why but the people I hang around with seem almost impossibly discreet, not only with their secrets, which can be almost understandable, but also with their more mundane day-to-day pursuits such as work and play, which I find absolutely baffling. Playing their cards close to the chest would be an understatement. At times it's like heading out for supper with a mysterious group of covert operatives on a clandestine mission, all on a calculating bid to see who can reveal less about what happened during their day. Not only do they mention little of what they do away from the rest which makes it ever more perplexing, their social media presence can be even more inscrutable. 

Perfectly curated with little or no pertinent information on their lives.  

Wait, that's the deep dark secret? Gosh,  after all that overblown hype, I would have expected a dead body at the very least. 

Little knowing that presenting a totally blank profile to the world only makes it even more suspicious. If not for several unexpected misadventures, I probably would not have uncovered many of their secrets. Not that they were exactly earth-shattering illuminations that would change civilization as we know it, truly far from it. 

So why the secrecy? Withholding information and deliberately screening confidences is hardly the way to make friends which is where my friendzone draws the line. Sadly, second-tier acquaintances they shall remain whom I shall keep at arms' length forever which is a sobering thought that does leave me a little wistful.

How much easier it all used to be! Whereas in the past I used to have really sharp, direct, extremely plainspoken friends who rarely hold back with their opinions. Almost everything is right there upfront practically in your face so there's little to guess what they are feeling or thinking. #nothingtohide

Shalom : I can't stand it anymore!
Paul : What's happening over there? 
Shalom : Not at work. I mean on Facebook and Twitter, what's with the cryptic comments? 
Paul : I hate them too. 
Shalom : Why can't they just spell it out? 
Paul : I think straight-talking shooters like us are a dying breed. 
Shalom : It's like they want people to know and yet don't want to. They want their privacy and yet want to tell the world. What's with putting up a confusing status and then not explaining it! 
Paul : I've gotten inured to their antics. These days I just zen out and ignore them. 

Think the bland regular sheep these days would dub us all as intense


Monday, July 17, 2017

Headphones

Even with the recent uncalled for changes in our medical career that does naught but complicate our daily lives, there are days that I am still glad I heeded my parents' repeated warnings and headed down the path towards medicine rather than turning towards the other default careers of nerdy Chinese boys in our country such as engineering and accountancy. From what I hear of what goes down in those chilly air-conditioned cubicles filled with automated drones, I wouldn't fare very well there.

Think unprecedented mass murder.

Since let's face it, being perfectly courteous and sweetly politically correct would only edge me inexorably towards madness. Not to mention the endless well-meaning but sadly futile proposals by Human Resource to build a better work environment - I mean come on, haven't we already debunked the moronic idea of hot desking?

In medicine, we do have a saying for such harebrained schemes - If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Though even I would begrudgingly admit our abrasive work culture needs to be toned down a tad since most days, our ghastly consultants resemble more closely the devilish Miranda Priestley than the politically correct namby pambies championed these days.

So you're the feeble little weenie who thinks I don't look approachable? 

For instance, we had this interesting anecdote just the other day when a friend of mine found herself mildly censured for wearing over-ear headphones at work. Such seemingly innocuous conduct and yet some of her meddling colleagues had apparently deemed it unacceptable.

Carenina : Usually I wear them so that I can focus on the work. 
Paul : As usual. 
Carenina : Apparently though, wearing headphones makes me seem unapproachable. 
Paul : Why should you be approachable? Are you a hooker on the streets looking for a john? 
Carenina : No!
Paul : Tell your subordinates to find some balls if they want to ask you something. Gosh. 

Seriously. Much ado about nothing?

Of course in the wishy-washy land of the cubicles, such strident rejoinders would probably earn a horrified gasp, several fainting swoons and possibly an urgent letter requesting an explanation of the unintended work aggression. No doubt Kitty Kat could recall the heady days of working with the overly politically correct Kumbayas.

So let me rephrase my previous plans about regulating the tension in the medical workplace. I would much rather have our pithy honesty rather than the overly correct communiques preferred by most multinational corporations where treachery is concealed by sweetness.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back to School

Thankfully not for me since the idea of prepping for examinations again gives me the hives.

A bit unsettled since the recent recession inconveniently rightsized a large number of the lucrative careers in oil and gas here, Charming Calvin has been filling his time with educating our mostly apathetic adolescents in mathematics and science. Surprisingly a childhood dream of his brought forward by a series of unfortunate events. Despite the tedious mental chore of refreshing one's memory with such complex calculus equations, Calvin seems quite up to the task of teaching a dozen or so disinterested teenagers in the classroom.

Me, I've always balked at the idea of teaching. Having both parents as teachers have taught me that despite what the erroneous detractors say, education isn't something as simple as scratching words on a blackboard for the students to magically grasp. Takes so much more than that which is why I always imagined my pitiful efforts at teaching would literally be the disoriented one-eyed man misleading the blind!

Not so for Calvin!

Hot for teacher indeed!
Going back to school however has turned out to be quite an inspiration. In fact teaching the young and far from willing minds on the manifold virtues of trigonometry has spurred his very own need for self improvement which is how he one day came up with the idea of continuing his academic scholarship.

Calvin : What do you think of further education? 
Paul : Do it. 
Calvin : Would it be good to continue..?
Paul : Do it. 
Calvin : Should I take up my masters? 
Paul : Do it. 
Calvin : That was a quick response!
Paul : Do it. You'll pass with flying colours for sure. 
Calvin : You're already giving me stress and I haven't even signed up for the course yet! 
Paul : Would you rather me say you'll flunk out? 

Seriously, he's a bright young fellow and I'm sure he could manage the relatively straightforward course hobbled on one leg with one hand tied to his back. Even then, I'm pretty sure he'll easily wipe the floor with the rest of his loser classmates with the exams and the coursework.

Yes, that's the kiasu lil me coming out again. Turns out that's not exactly the supportive encouragement he needs - says I'm giving him undue stress over performance anxiety - but I doubt I could provide any other. Maybe a bit of playacting as teacher and student?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Best Foot Forward

Paul : Oh let's take a group picture. 
Aaron : Oh no, I'm not ready. My hair is in a mess. I'm not dressed. 
Paul : That would teach you not to go out looking like a rumpled hobo out of a dumpster. 
Aaron : Don't tag me yeah. 

Which has become almost his vaunted catch-phrase.

These days apart from the hipster millennial eschewing modernity by shunning the internet, even that reclusive mountain hermit probably has a Facebook account. Or a Twitter account. And that Instagram account. No doubt all perfectly curated to exhibit their best online presence for their selected audience.

Their best foot forward since God forbid someone actually catches them looking less than what they are supposed to be.

Which is why Ambiguous Aaron religious untags himself from photos he finds himself looking so much less than presentable. Unsurprisingly often though since he strangely adopts a sloppy hobo beachwear look whenever we all have dinners out. Really boggles my mind sometimes since why would you knowingly want to look terrible? Doesn't stop his need from wanting to eradicate the picture unsuitables that's just shy of fleek since everything else on his album is perfectly crafted to present a rigidly professional, suave appearance more suited for LinkedIn.

Perfectly packaged for your consumption. 

He's not the only culprit afraid of being caught out looking absolutely disastrous. That I can at least vaguely understand.

But these days I even have Miz Grundys who are afraid of having fun. Or at least terrified by the idea that someone out there might actually catch them in the unforgivable act of having a lil bit of fun.

Grundy : Not too many pictures yeah. 
Paul : Afraid of overexposure? 
Grundy : Not really. Just can't be having too much fun. 
Paul : Too. Much. Fun. 

Really. What is that? We're out having a civilized dinner. Not downing tequila shots and smoking marijuana at an underground midnight rave - which I would honestly rather be doing. Not my friends though. Apparently there are freakish oddities who would prefer to be seen as desperately diligent drudges with their noses permanently stuck to the grindstone.

Or at least to have their Facebook appear that way.

Fuss much? Don't think I've ever put that much thought into what I'm placing up online. As long as I don't have disgusting crud hanging off my face, I'll post it up.


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The One Where Everyone's Gay : The Raya Edition

Dinner with the parents is always fraught with danger.

Even more so when the parents are devout God-fearing Muslims and you just invited a gaggle of flaming gay men over for nasi kerabu dinner.

Rather than the hilarious opening act of a heady CW sitcom, this actually took place last weekend for the recent Raya celebrations. Ever the eternal optimist, Kitty Kat ignored the religious condemnation concern and bravely welcomed the deviant lot of us to her open house. Already apprised of her parents' increasingly orthodox leanings, we all promised to be on our best #masc #butch behaviour.

Of course our ever welcoming hostess told us to ignore all that and just be ourselves but hey, we obviously aim to pass. Feather boas, high-pitched squeals and limp wrists all packed away into the proverbial closets. Practicing our high fives and fist bumps several days beforehand, Fabulous Felix and I were already all ready to bro it out.

At the most we would have gotten a diverted chortle from her husband.

Gay? We're not gay. Who's gay? 

Turns out there was hardly any mention of it during dinner where we wined and dined on the most delicious raya spread ever, with hardly any burning pitchforks or conscientious sermons! I was hoping for at least one impassioned  'Return to the godly path, my son' but nothing was said apart from repeated entreaties to enjoy ourselves.

Or at least that was what we thought till much later in the evening when we'd all made our way home. And we were all ready to clap ourselves on the backs for being able to successfully pass for straight! Apparently Kat's mother had already known that at least one of us was the dreaded homosexual which is how Kitty Kat and Sober Sam soon found themselves cornered with dozens of urgently curious queries.

Mother : So which one was the gay one, my dear? 
Kat : All of them. 
Mother : Oh my God, I was feeding all the gays? 
Sam : Did you intend to starve out the gays? 
Father : But they didn't look like gays!
Kat : What kinda look is that? 
Father : The gay look!
Kat : Anyway not all of them are out yet. At least one still in the closet but he hangs around with the other boys so surely everyone knows. 
Father : But you guys hang around them too! People probably think you're gay!
Sam : But we have a child now!
Father : The lengths you guys go to keep it a secret.

Absolutely hilarious. I couldn't have written it better!

Wouldn't surprise me if the indignant father spent the entire weekend eyeing Sober Sam askance.

It did however explain why the parents spent the most part of the evening hiding from the heathen lot since as we all know, homosexuality is highly contagious. Fortunately for gay tolerance, the parents did however acknowledge that we were all nice boys - even better since we cleaned up after ourselves - so there's a high chance we would have favourable prayers said in our names!



Sunday, July 02, 2017

Clandestine Coupling

When I first fell in love way back when, like those wacky kids in musicals I felt like shamelessly dancing and singing it out from the highest rooftops. Though those warm fuzzy feelings had actually crept on me unknowingly, the final realization dropped suddenly like a literal bomb. It was simply exhilarating. Despite the fact that I was unorthodoxly in love with a boy, that didn't stop me from wanting to yell it out loud and proud.



Those irritating Facebook posts that you see coming up from lovey-dovey couples who have just committed into a relationship, yeah that would have been me several years back.

Which yet again seems to be wildly nonconformist here.

According to popular opinion here, dating seems to be a dangerously taboo word here with expressly vanilla heterosexual couples, something most of us would assume perfectly apropos with public appearances, preferring to have their clandestine love buried deep underground. Rather than share their feelings with their friends and family to breathlessly await their expected approbation, they prefer covertly whispered confessions behind closed doors away from the prying eyes.

I think this is far enough. No one we know will ever see us date here!

Egregious examples I have aplenty; starting from Pretty Paisley with a bit of a segue to the Dangerously Devout Duennas all the way to the very latest which would be our holy Miz Grundy. Just imagine her unspeakable horror when I accidentally bumped into Grundy during one of her secret dalliances. Her beau was all welcoming smiles of course but Grundy was close to breaking down into a fainting swoon.

Miz Grundy : Umm.. 
Paul : Waitaminute, you're dating him? 
Miz Grundy : Yes. 
Paul : That's great. 
Miz Grundy : But I'm not ready to tell anyone yet. 
Paul : Why? Is he a wanted criminal? 
Miz Grundy : No.
Paul : Is he a troll? 
Miz Grundy : No. 
Paul : Oh dear, is he married? A celibate priest? 
Miz Grundy : No! No!
Paul : Is he into something kinky? Does he beat you? 
Miz Grundy : No!
Paul : So what's the problem? 

Boy meets girl. Boy dates girl. It's not at all complicated.

So really why the secrecy?

Made me curious enough to post it all online! Are we just making our lives ever more complicated by anxiously overthinking? Quite a few claim a crippling fear of the imminent publicity especially with the uncertainty in their budding relationship. All I can say is Pshaw! Come on, all relationships regardless of how committed are still basically uncertain. It will fumble or fly regardless of the spotlight shone on it. Ignore all expectations and enjoy the time together.

And for God's sakes, you're not even gay. Why the heck are you hiding?


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Where Have All The Slutboys Gone

Never could understand slut-shaming.

Till now I find it an awesome, highly complimentary word and if I weren't actively participating in a specifically monogamous partnership, I probably would have a tramp stamp with the perfectly calligraphed word Slut printed across my lower back. After all if all the parties involved are in the know, what's wrong with a gorgeous singleton making the rounds expressing love and desire in the best way he or she knows how?

Forget about even suggesting orgies to them!

But that's me. Lately, I find I'm in a tragically dwindling minority when it comes to sexual liberation. 

From Soho to No Ho. 

Whereas several years in the past, I used to have party gals like Piratin Patty and Fabulous Felix around who had little to no shame when it came to scandalously taboo topics - and even less when it came to expressing themselves, these days I keep bumping into straight-laced Miz Grundys who blush at the mere mention of the word. sex. Really, and I once had dear friends who'd barter trade a quick fuck for a ripe green pomelo.  

And I was the staidly conservative creature!

Not that I could ever bring up such a disreputable topic in our table talks these days! Lawd-a-mercy, what would people say!

Paul : Oh maybe you should ask him out. 
Grundy : Gracious no! How could I?
Paul : Just ask him out. 
Grundy : But I can't. 
Paul : You want me to do it for you? I'm sure he's up for a one-nighter too. 
Grundy : Oh wow. Don't say it so loud. 
Paul : No one's listening. 
Grundy : Anyway there's no sex before marriage. 

Which is all fine and good of course. 

Though I still gaped a little. In this day and age? Haven't we progressed passed that yet? 

Evidently folks here have gone back to the Little House on the Prairie. Our demure lil miss certainly isn't the only one though, even Diffident David has come across just a tad priggish when it comes to such salacious matters. To the people I know now, it's all about love, commitment, sharing similar interests and goals etc. Basically Mills & Boons without the scorching almost-sex on the beach. Some indecently shocking hand-holding at the very most. 

The doe-eyed romantic in me loves all that of course but there's also a pragmatic sexual beast in me. I mean, let's scratch all that, doesn't anyone just want a quick hard fuck anymore? There's a time for chaste hand-holding with momentary pecks on the lip but there are moments when there's the need for a no-holds-barred, no strings-attached orgy, no? 


Seriously, when did we exchange Samantha Jones for Jane the Virgin


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Glass Closets

People in glass closets shouldn't throw stones. 

If that hasn't become a commonly used phrase, it certainly should - especially since it concerns two of my friends currently at loggerheads. Well perhaps that's overstating the facts a tad but they have been covertly sparring on the field of conversation; though they both might deny the outrageous insinuation since the pair are deathly afraid of calumny.

So let's place Diffident David in one corner; bantam chicken tough and defiantly padlocked in the closet regardless of any well-meaning attempts to break him out of it. While on the other side of the ring you have Ambiguous Aaron, someone we've taken to calling the Maybe Gay. Although there have been a lot of hints and suggestions from him - not to mention an almost substantiated rumour, he hasn't as yet confirmed our growing suspicion.

Really, why bother hiding in the closet when everyone can see through it?

Aaron : You're gay!
David : You're gay!
Paul : You're both fucking gay. Get over it. 

Though they are both in equally fragile glass closets, they seem to have no visible qualms over throwing stones at one another.

Even out in the public. One would think being on the downlow themselves it would make them less likely to out someone else instead but they seem to almost enjoy goading each other out of the proverbial closet.

Aaron : Why are you so afraid? 
David : I'm not afraid. You are the one!
Aaron : We are alright with you being gay. 
David : What about you!
Aaron : This isn't about me. 
David : You don't say me ah, you also the same.

So on and on, back and forth it goes. Tiny little pebbles carelessly cast at glass closets causing minute cracks to form. While the rest of us watch eagerly waiting to hear the shatter, smash and splinter of their cowering screens.

At this rate, we won't have to pay for atonement waffles for a really long time.




Monday, June 19, 2017

Take Me To The Movies

Or maybe not as the case may be for Diffident David.

Those who know me well would know that one of the Chinese dialects that I can speak, at least relatively intelligible to most native speakers, would be Hokkien. Commonly spoken up north in Penang, where almost everyone converses in the native speech including the local neighbourhood Indian tradesmen, and also further south amongst certain enclaves like Malacca and Klang. However like many other less crucial dialects such as Hakka and Teochew, the heavyweights of spoken language such as English and Mandarin have threatened to overwhelm their already dwindling significance.

Even my own brother has started speaking the most peculiarly accented Hokkien ever.

Hmm who do I speak to then? 

As a consequence, it's nigh impossible these days to find little children who can actually carry an entire conversation in a local dialect these days. A serious problem faced by the directors of the local film You Mean The World To Me when they searched for child actors who could speak Hokkien dialect competently. Pretty sure most of you would have missed the movie but You Mean The World To Me tells the semi-autobiographical tale about a director who returns to his hometown to shoot a film about his own family.

Ever ready to support a locally made film, even more so that rare Hokkien film, I was one of the first to attend the screenings here and really glad to say that I enjoyed it immensely. Certainly jumpstarted my terribly rusty Hokkien ear since I hardly speak it here these days. A few words I immediately knew the meaning of once I heard it spoken in context but nearly impossible to recall several minutes later.




Even more heartening to the LGBT folks watching, there's a small, almost imperceptible hint of homosexuality that you'd probably miss if you blinked a little too hard. Obvious enough if you'd picked up the hidden cues along the way but sufficiently ambiguous enough to slip past our increasingly bigoted censors. After all there are so many ways one could interpret that revealing little scene.

Though even that insignificant bit seemed worrying enough to cause Diffident David some fright.

Paul : So didn't you bring your parents to the cinema?
David : I kinda changed my mind.
Paul : Why?
David : Umm.. I was worried they might suspect.
Paul : That you speak Hokkien?
David : No. The gay thing.
Paul : The gay thing is so vague I might have dreamt it up.
David : But...
Paul : If your parents picked up on that tiny glimmer of questionable information, they definitely would know you're gay.
David : Umm...

So rather than coax his demurring parents to the cinemas, David tried his best to dissuade them for fear of inadvertently outing himself. Sadly a loss of two seats at the screening.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Better Things

Did things actually get better?

Almost a decade back, I brazenly celebrated a shockingly public Valentine with Charming Calvin right in the centre of a crowded restaurant. Rather than shuffle us off into a darkened corner to hide our shameful existence, the uncanny waitstaff purposely shepherded us straight into the focal point of the entire establishment, even making sure the giant spotlight hit us right so. Not that we needed the limelight since we were painfully the only male couple there.

Still, no one made a fuss. Hardly anyone blinked an eye at the both of us sharing a bowl of pasta or two, though we thankfully refrained from a shamelessly cliched Lady and the Tramp reenactment.

That had to be almost ten years ago.

Most would think with the steady march of time and progress, things would only get better for us all. If that's really true, then I find it really hard to understand why the people I know here - from Jocund Jonah all the way to Ambiguous Aaron - seem to be far more closeted than ever I was. Far be it for me to blithely presume on the complexities and complications in their lives that would prevent them from opening up but it still makes me wonder.

Perhaps I've been living in a liberal humanist rainbow bubble all my life, filled with magical sparkles and flying unicorns!

And the real world is just a sad, sad place.

Nonetheless it was quite disheartening to see a newly met gay brother hiding right there in the open. Not only was he deliberately scrunched into his chair - seriously a hard task to hide his obviously musclebound physique, he also had a suitably shady cap to squash over his military buzzcut possibly hoping to hide at least half his face.

Seriously, you ain't hiding this much handsomeness!

Though God only knows why he has to hide that personable face.

Practically a wanted fugitive literally hanging over the edge of his seat ready to make a hasty escape each time the door bell jangled to signal a new entry into the cafe. Could it perchance be someone he actually knew? Could they tell from our swishy fey presence that it was an all homosexual gathering?

And I didn't even have my pink feather boa with me.


Monday, June 12, 2017

The Spiritual Sheep

It's certainly not fun being the black sheep in the family.

Not that I would know since I'm one of those horrifically accomplished older cousins ( always a benefit being born earlier! ) frequently pointed out as an example to my younger cousins, much to their everlasting dismay. Wouldn't be surprised if I'm quite heartily despised by the lot!

Of course I dislike such odious comparisons as well since it's also downright embarassing. That said, being the putative paragon in the family does however have its little benefits since most of the family gossip ends up coming my way. 

Aunt : Oh no, you're so good. I'm sure you can do no wrong. 
Paul : You must have me confused with Harriet.
Aunt :  You really won't believe what my son has been up to!
Paul : Ooh tell me more. 

With very little persuasion on my part, the story of the black sheep of our family, Richie Runt, came spilling out. Last we all heard of him, Richie had been happily masquerading as a dubious snake oil promoter whilst hiding his true ambition to be an enterpreneurial street tough. Facts a lil hard to swallow since he's a little bit of a runt - think Macho Mike could crush him with a thumb - but odder events have happened, I'm sure. 

Not forgetting the fact that Richie frequently zigs when we expect a zag. 

Which is exactly what our boy did. Though my pragmatic grandparents might be the least superstitious folk around, that doesn't necessarily ring true for Richie's maternal side who dabble in chicken-slaughtering, idol-shaking shamanism. Didn't take long for him to realize that particularly esoteric career path might be more suited to his specific set of skills rather than amateur small town gangsterism. 

Unsurprisingly it didn't take long for him to conveniently level up on his arcane accomplishments; proficient enough that Richie was quick enough to come to my grandmother's rescue when she heard scratching noises in her bedroom at night. Rather than accept the general family belief that we had monstrous rodents roaming the old coffeeshop walls, he insisted that it had to be restless spirits.  

Grandma, this is all I need to write on the walls!

Obviously my sensible grandmother was unimpressed with such blatant chicanery.

Even less so when Richie took it upon himself to perform a quick exorcism. Have to say with his appropriately sullen expression perpetually shrouded by his Goth black hoodie, our emo boy did look the part. Forget about laying out plans and stratagems for days! Several deftly written sigils on the aged wooden walls followed by a whispered line of sacred mantra was all it took to banish them all!

Efficient indeed! I started wondering whether I should hire our new family Shaman to help the Borgias guard their ancient hell portal instead!