Ever wondered what happens when a person is radiated with too much Chinese romance novels? Here’s an example to give you an idea :
The incident happened many years ago. I was only 9 years old or something (I can’t remember the exact year). The night was serene and all of my family members were sleeping, when the goddamn phone rang. It was those old phones that had a mechanical bell as alert and was kinda loud (note: mobile phone was not invented yet).
Thinking that it could be one of those lewd teenagers again (that had been prank calling our homes ever since my sister reached her puberty), everyone sort of ignored that call and continued with our sleep. But then, the phone continued to ring until it became too annoying to be ignored, as none of us could actually sleep with that perpetual ringing going on. Then I heard somebody yelled “HAIYAAHH!! [cue in some unintelligible profanities in CAPS]!!!” and came stomping out of the room. It was my mom.
Curious like any other 9 year olds, I took a peek into the living room, anticipating something bad to happen. That’s because my mom’s like a bear. If you wake her up from her sleep, she’s going to make you her snack. Alright, my mom then petulantly picked up the phone and screamed into the handset (following conversation was translated from Hokkien)
Mom : “WHO IS THIS ???”
Caller : “….”
Mom : “[insert more unintelligible profanities]. YOU BETTER SPEAK UP YOU @#$%&X+/@ ! ”
Caller : “Aunty… I am Ah Seng…”
Alright, I’m gonna have to pause here and do some introduction about Ah Seng. Ah Seng was my sister’s friend (Ah Seng = a very typically common name like ‘John’. It is said that if a meteor were to struck right in the middle of Penang, there will be at least a 50% casualties named ‘Ah Seng’, no shit). God knows where she befriended him, but he seemed to be a nice guy. Been to our home before, in pretense of borrowing our toilet or something, and my mom kinda felt comfortable with this Ah Seng guy. My perception of him as a 9 year old? He’s just another dimwit that was stupid enough to date my disastrous sister (let’s give my sister a name, shall we ? Let’s call her Beancurd).
Now back to that ass creaming phone call
Mom : “AH SENG !!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS THE TIME NOW!?”
Ah Seng : “Aunty, I’m sorry. I need to talk to Beancurd right now… please let me talk to her…”
And my mom proceeded to yell for my sister (‘wake up bitch’ or something), passed the phone over and went back to sleep. When my sister took over the phone, she began to shout at Ah Seng like a skank who had just been mugged off her libido and slammed the phone down. It was cruel and fast… she then got back to her bed, covered herself with a blanket. About a short while later, as expected, the phone rang again. This time, my sister was already sound asleep like a dead log and again, my mom had to answer the phone – but this Ah Seng, didn’t even give my mother a chance to shout at him, because he started crying on the phone right away
Ah Seng : [wails on the phone]
Mom : [freaks out] “WHO’S THIS ???”
Ah Seng : “Aunty [sob sob] … it’s me Ah Seng… [sob] Beancurd ditched me…[wails out loud]
Mom : “JUST GET ANOTHER GIRL AND STOP CALLING THIS PHONE NUMBER, YOU @#$%…”
Ah Seng : “Aunty, [sob] I’m now at your apartment’s foyer… can you ask Beancurd to meet me? If she doesn’t, I’m gonna kill myself right now” [SLAMS PHONE]
It freaked my mom alright. Apparently, Ah Seng had been calling from a public phone right below our apartment block and as he had hinted, yes, my sister dumped him that day and he threatened to kill himself if Beancurd didn’t see him pronto.
The reaction? My mom frantically dug Beancurd up from her deep sleep while shouting “sei lor! sei lor!”. And that was when my sister started to freak out as well. Ironically, I was very amused by the whole thing, as I didn’t think Ah Seng would be successful in his missions that night – in both killing himself and winning Beancurd back. Even if Beancurd were to mend back the relationship, she would dump him again. No shit. That’s because my sister’s so predictable, and cruel.
Alright, I saw my mom and Beancurd discussed about some plan. I couldn’t hear what they were discussing because they shooed my nosy ass back into the room by my mom. They then went out to negotiate with Ah Seng about 5 minutes later and didn’t come back for another hour or two. (I was already sound asleep when the whole deal was over).
But from my mom’s description (the next day) about Ah Seng that night, she said that he cried like there was no tomorrow and was holding a broken bottle shard against his wrist (what a sissy way to kill oneself). My mom said that she had to spurt heaps of bullshits (advices that old people would dispense without logic…) to calm that agitated prick down until he finally dropped that glass shard. Beancurd? Well, she was basically petrified watching the whole episode of bummer unfolding before her eyes. But on the next day, I heard her boasting about ‘someone who’d kill himself for her love’ to her imbecile cronies on the phone. For hours. [Girls...*shakes head]
Many years later (still years before present), as I suddenly recalled the whole funny incident, I curiously threw Beancurd some questions :
Me : “Hey, you remember that incident of that stupid guy Ah Seng who tried to kill himself for you?”
Beancurd : “Yeah, the guy who lives at XXX Road” [XXX is a road name which I wouldn't want to reveal for confidentiality's sake ...]
Me : “That happened like, right in the middle of the night, right?”
Beancurd : “Yeah”
Me : “I have been thinking – the bus service stops before midnight, he was too poor to hire a midnight taxi. And he didn’t have a motorcycle or any transport either… do you think he actually WALKED to our place?”
XXX Road was in the city area and our flat was situated about 10 – 11 kilometers away. o_O
Beancurd : “Hmmmm… come to think of it, most likely… yeah.”
Me : “And after mom settled him off, he had to… like… walk all the way back home?”
Beancurd : “Damn ! that is like… 10 – 15 minutes’ drive from there!” [dumbfucked]
Hadn’t it occurred to him that he could have :
1) taken a bus to our place in the morning or afternoon?
2) not to kill himself but kill my sister?
3) or better still, felt thankful to rid off my disastrous sister and take a bus to somewhere else to celebrate instead?
4) with another hotter looking girl ?
You know what, I suspected that Ah Seng read too much Chinese romance novels. He must have fantasized his whole life as if it is taking place in some fictatious romantic story… and was finally snapped back to reality by the sore blisters at the soles of his feet for walking a distance too long.