Archive for the ‘characters’ Category

August 10, 2017

clarence


If you have a pre-teen or a young teenager in your home, you’d probably know who ‘Clarence’ is (pic above). It is one of the popular cartoon shows on Cartoon Network, featuring the adventure of a dimwitted happy-go-lucky rotund kid called ‘Clarence’. It is said that watching the show will lower your IQ by a few digits but, I think the number should be way higher than that.

There were a few times I watched this show with my daughter, and I couldn’t help but got reminded of a boy in my childhood that deeply resembled Clarence. He wasn’t my friend but, I did play with him a couple of times around the neighborhood (it was a ghetto). I wanted him to be my friend but, every time anyone sees him and asked him to join in with the group, he’d feign cool and walk away – which was funny in a way because he looked anything but cool. He always sport a pair of faded Doraemon sweat shorts, pulled way up above the waist, with his sweaty marked T-shirt tucked in. He looked like a more buffoon version of Clarence, and no one would take him seriously. Maybe he’s just not a people person (which is strange, because I thought I’m not a people person, and I was apparently better than him).

There was once, (I didn’t know how) I was at his place, probably talking about something and we had a disagreement. I didn’t know what we were disagreeing about but, we were just 7 or 8 years old. Probably arguing about how Ultraman eats with that stupid mouth. Anyway, the disagreement escalated into an intense moment, and seeing that Clarence was half a head taller than me and about 1.5x bigger, instead of foolishly take him head on, I used the door to my advantage and slammed it on his face. It hit his face so hard, that the door wobbled for a few seconds… and Clarence stood stunned for twice the time it takes for the door to finish wobbling. Then he broke out in a high pitched wail, like he had been clubbed with a medieval blunt weapon. I wasn’t going to wait for his parents to show up from the inside, so I skedaddled to the nearest elevator and disappeared from the ground zero.

I didn’t see him until a few days later with his grandma. He had a swell on his forehead that made him look even more ridiculous. When he saw me, he pointed me out and his grandma gave me an angsty lecture in Teowchew dialect, which I couldn’t understand shit. I only heard her say a lot of #$%^& and ‘Ling Ling’, which I presume was his name (until I came across the cartoon Clarence). I don’t remember how I reacted but, I think I flipped both of them a bird and got the fuck out of there. That was my last interaction with Clarence a.k.a. Ling Ling, but I did see him around the Air Itam district with his mom (never seen his father, he was raised by his mom after his grandma croaked)… selling lotteries for a living (never seen him in school uniform as well, probably too poor to go to school).

Till this day, I felt bad for slamming the door at Clarence. Did the door hurt him too bad that he couldn’t keep up with his education and that was why he had to drop out of school? Could he have had a better life if he didn’t get hurt by the door that day? I don’t know man. He was already wearing rubber band sweat shorts way above his waist before the incident… so… I use that fact to placate myself that I didn’t ruin his life or anything like that…

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July 13, 2017

dumbass hafiz

If you’ve been following this blog closely (which I suspect you haven’t been), you’d have known about some blockhead contract engineer in my team who goes by the moniker ‘Hafiz’ in this blog (not his real name of course). He’s as dumb as a rock, and he never ceases to amaze me with bloopers after bloopers (you can read about one of the events here if you missed it).

Seeing that he’s posing more harm than good to the department, his contract was not renewed and he was asked to leave the team. But for some unfathomable reasons and a twist of extremely good luck, he managed to convince a sucker from another department to hire him and landed himself a sweet permanent position in Company T. Good for him. His last day at our team was last week, we bade him a good riddance farewell and sent this wrecking ball of a lifeform off to another poor sod’s misery.

But before he left, he was duly reminded to return all the departmental items (standard operating procedure) and because we all worked on trust, none of us checked if he actually did that. Andddddd…. that was a mistake. After he left, I discovered something was missing from the lab that’s very important. For the sake of confidentiality, let’s just assume that it’s a briefcase full of spark plugs. Those shit are expensive so, I had to go after him. After confronting him via Skype, I managed to arrange with that klepto for a meet up to get back the briefcase…

“Hafiz, bring the briefcase. We meet at your building’s lobby, today, 5pm. I will send someone to collect the briefcase. Don’t fuck this up, ok?”
“Sure, I will bring the briefcase. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Simple, isn’t it? He just needs to show up on the agreed time at the agreed place with the briefcase full of spark plugs and goddamn hand it over to Igor, my trusted friend who is big and strong enough to wrestle a fucking hippo with his bare hands.

Guess what Hafiz did? He showed up WITHOUT the goddamn briefcase. He was standing there at the lobby like a dolt when Igor saw him. Igor then went apeshit,

“Where’s the briefcase Hafiz!? You better don’t mess with us!”
“Errrmmm errr…”

Igor was a short tempered person so, he grew tired of Hafiz’s shit, fast. Igor did a grapple on Hafiz’s skinny ass arm and made a Armbar legsweep maneuver on him, onto the lobby floor. Writhing in pain, Hafiz wriggled like he’s trying to embarrass himself with a lame breakdance move. Then Igor flipped Hafiz facedown and gave him a Stepover armlock camel clutch, which made Hafiz squealed in agony like he’s getting a colonoscopy with a forklift chain. Then Igor picked him up like a ragdoll and gave him a 360 piledriver onto a teak coffee table’s edge, sending splinters all over the fucking floor, cracking his skull open like a Japanese sea urchin delicacy. Then Igor picked up Hafiz’s brain, which is about the size of a rat’s left testicle, and ate it.

In an alternate universe, Hafiz asked Igor to wait at the lobby, and disappeared into the building to retrieve the briefcase – because he only remembered about the meet and forgot about the fucking briefcase. *facepalm*

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June 28, 2017

strangers of the world

I’ve came across many kinds of people in my travels for both work and leisure. Some good, some plain ass bad. Thought of writing my personal impression of them here.

Taiwanese
Best of the bunch. I love the Taiwanese. I’ve visited Taiwan twice in my lifetime, and both times, I was impressed with the hospitality given to me. The Taiwanese people are polite, courteous and most of them would go out of their way to help a stranger (I’ve encountered twice of such situation). Hell, even the taxi drivers are awesome (that’s rare)! Have you ever heard of a taxi driver giving you a discount because he feels like doing it? I once came to a total TWD 1.2k on the meter, and the taxi driver would just go ‘no dude, just give me TWD 1k and enjoy your holiday’. In Malaysia, you’d be lucky you don’t get mugged by a fucking taxi driver.

Balinese
I find them laid back, professional and friendly. As a Malaysian, I have to admit that I sometimes do stereotype the Indonesians in general as ‘not trustworthy’ – given the stories I hear about Indon maids abusing children and how some of the unemployed illegals committing various crimes in our shores. But the Balinese, are nothing of that sorts. I feel safe around in Bali and the whole Balinese society gives me the impression that my personal space is respected – although one can tell that they’re a little bit biased to be nicer to white travelers.

Germans
Germans are best described as apathetic. They like to mind their business and it’s none of your business. They seldom smileI believe most of them older folks do not like Asians, and they’re just being content with whatever shit their government left them to deal with. I once walked into a beer garden, a few of the tables stopped whatever they were doing and stared until we had to bail the place out of sheer uneasiness. I mean, what the fuck?? I did meet a few friendly old folks in the countryside though, but they were speaking German to me. When I was there, I did not feel welcomed at all (esp. in bigger cities) and we’d be very selective where we eat lest we’d get into an undesirable situation.

Singaporeans
I’ve been to Singapore shitloads of times, even lived there before. Singaporeans remind me a lot of the people of Penang, although we’re really different. They’re as apathetic as the Germans, and everyone seems to not care about anyone at all. They’re fast paced and feel self entitled to everything. The younger gens tend to look down upon Asians (especially if you’re from Malaysia) and their charm will be cranked down 150% to ensure you get a shitty attitude treatment if they have to deal with fellow Asians.

Chinese (China)
I’d call them – ignorant. They can be loud and excessively annoying. They’re well known to be rude as well. They’d jump queues, they’d push you away to be in your spot and the ladies scratch their poontang and pee overtly in public. At China, the people there give you the feeling that everyone is after your money. I do not feel safe in China at all. But I believe this only confines to those people who do not get much education and from rural kampung areas. Those from big cities will probably be little bit better.

Americans
The Americans can be as ignorant as the Chinese and as self absorbing as the Singaporeans. The older folks can be racists, they especially harbor a lot of ill feels towards the Asians (like the Japanese/Chinese/Koreans) – as testified by one of the Irish descent guy I met – it’s because they lost a few wars to the likes of us. I don’t know how true was that but the younger ones seem to be free of this issue. In big cities, I don’t feel safe wandering into areas that I do not know.

Hongkies (Hong Kong)
The Cantonese tend to be apathetic and plain rude. They do not seem to believe in courteousness. Try to ask for directions on the street, you’d get shunned. Try to deliberate on the menu inside a restaurant, you’d get shouted at. It’s rare to find someone in HK that would go out of his/her way to help a stranger. I speak fluent Cantonese and is familiar with the place, and yet I don’t feel welcomed at Hong Kong. It is a place you’d only enjoy by simply ignoring its shitty inhabitants inside. I fucking hate the Hongkies (more than I hate the people from China).

Koreans
The South Koreans are friendly and professional. Hospitality is as good as the Taiwanese. They have a high functioning society and everyone is considerate towards making Korea a better place. Place is spot clean (I think Korea is cleaner than Singapore). In comparison, I wouldn’t deem them as the type that would go out of their way to help a stranger like the Taiwanese, but they’d help if requested (as opposed to the Hongkies, which would avoid even eye contact when help is requested).

Thai
Land of smiles. Yeah they’re friendly, make you feel welcomed and all but, you’ll get the feeling that they’re doing it for the money. Their friendliness is in proportion with the money you’re going to spend there. Not as bad as China but, the feeling’s present – that your wallet is in the watchful eye of the friendly people there. They’re courteous alright, but you don’t get the feeling of trust around in Thailand. Something seems to be off. I do not know why.

benchmark – Malaysians
I generally hate people so, don’t worry about me being biased towards our own countrymen. Malaysians are average. They’re friendly, not rude (exception on some hawkers in Penang) but they can be annoying sometimes. The taxi drivers here are not trustworthy, and like Balinese, they’re a little biased towards treating white folks better. Some small Chinese merchants still overcharge the foreigners just because they’re from abroad. Despite all that, I’d feel welcomed and safe around Malaysians, but would still practice common sense caution from roaming into dark alleys or lest visited areas.

I’ll add more as I travel…

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December 23, 2016

BBQ pork bun

As I lean back on my seat, my ear angle gets into the wave path of BBQ Pork Bun’s rhetoric about his organization’s plan in Company T. His sharp voice stabs my drums, and I momentarily get jolted up from my zoned-out moment. I can see projectiles of his spit landing on the hot projector on the table, while the rest of the audience in the meeting room shift themselves uncomfortably in their seats in preparation for a long meeting ahead. It has been close to 25 minutes since he was given the 10 mins slot to talk, and from the look of his animated form, I reckon he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

BBQ Pork Bun has been one of the most-talked-about managers in Company T. He holds a very senior position and has a big group of people under his leadership. He is the next big star that is going to win the talent show. Unlike his prospects on paper, physically he isn’t very well endowed. He’s about as small/short as the size of a hemorrhoid in a midget’s ass, middle aged and is as ugly as fuck. Beady eyes, whisker-less square face and is afflicted with crop circle sized male pattern baldness. His forehead is so bald, that if there are sweat beads on his scalp and there’s a spotlight shining on them, it’s going to reflect glittering lights like a fucking disco ball. He looks as if God hates him.

But for what he lacks in looks and charm, he makes it all up with intelligence and sports. The fucker has a PhD in nuclear physics or something. There’s no opinion that he can’t retort. He volunteers to build robots for kids during his free time, and is as athletic as shit. On any normal office day, you wouldn’t have second guessed that this motherfucker could slam dunk or does a jumping smash in badminton. That’s why the management likes him heaps, because he can do everything. Like I said, he’s the next big star in Company T.

He is one of the very few people that I hate and respect at the same time. Hate him because he can’t stop being so damn annoying by being so good at everything and respect him for being so abled in spite of his disabilities. He should be a poster boy for all bully victims in the society. Motherfucking BBQ Pork Bun. There’s fucking 35 mins left to go, and I hope BBQ Pork Bun would stop talking already.

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February 22, 2016

this CNY

I had the rare opportunity to rendezvous with a childhood friend of mine named ‘Wai’ this CNY. I’ve known Wai since I was 9, and this CNY, we would have known each other for almost 30 years (I’ll be turning 39 this year)! His mom and my late mother were BFFs and that was how we got acquainted. We never got off to be considered as BFF ourselves like our mothers but we were quite close as kids along with his younger brother whom we fondly called ‘FatKid’ (they also have a younger sister, but we weren’t close). I’d go to his village at Paya Terubong (a spot now developed into a big ass sports complex) whenever my mom visited his mom, and I had fond memories of us cycling, flying kites and hanging out by the filthy stream that ran behind his zinc-roofed house.

It wasn’t long after that Wai’s parents had to leave to work abroad and we lost contact with each other for a few years… up until circa 1991 when his parents returned and moved to become our neighbor a couple houses away. That was when we spent a lot of time hanging out (I’ve actually written a piece of bike crash adventure with Wai back in 2004 – link), and visiting his house – which his dad extended to incorporate a small women’s shoes manufacturing workshop, and he worked with his dad as a cobbler (he already dropped out of school then, and I on the other hand, earned some extra money doing odd jobs helping out at his family workshop). His younger brother – FatKid – was still schooling then, but eventually dropped out as well, and but instead of being a cobbler like Wai, he was in the sales at the family shoe outlet at the city (Chowrasta Market) so, he wasn’t around at home much. That explains why I was closer to Wai than with FatKid.

Then in 1994, Wai accidentally knocked up his teenage girlfriend and was forced into marriage. After that marriage, his family moved away from that workshop house for reasons unknown to me. That was when we lost contact again, until this CNY, when a classmate of mine – Paul – hooked our contacts up. So how did Paul managed to hook us up? Well, hear this, this is when it gets really interesting – Paul was married to Wai’s younger sister. So, in the grand scale of fate, Wai somehow became Paul’s brother in law (both whom I’ve known for years). The thing is, I hung out a lot with Paul in 1993/1994, and he had even visited my house back when Wai’s family was still living a few doors away from my house. So, some time in the past, Paul and his wife had crossed path and they didn’t even know it. Something trivial but nevertheless interesting. Anyway, I hadn’t contacted Paul himself for years until we stumbled into each other at a wedding banquet of another classmate’s, and got to talk about Wai and this rendezvous. That’s how I managed to meet Paul and Wai again this CNY.

That was like, close to 22 years I had not seen Wai. The first thing he said to me was, “Dude! You’ve grown so huge now!”. Figures… I was no longer 16 and have grown quite significantly over the years. But Wai was still in his scrawny frame, just like how he was when I last saw him. He has aged a lot, his face is now wrinkled like his dad, and there’s this permanent scowl on him that told me he had been through a lot, and had waddled pool deep of shit in life. He also talks different now. We used to banter about stuff when we were teenagers, but now it felt like we’re both strangers brought from 2 different dimensions to live back the memories we’ve shared at one point in life in the past. My views were later attested by Paul, over the beers when Wai left earlier in the evening. Wai had since split with his wife from that first marriage, and married the 2nd time with another 3 kids (His son from the first marriage is now 22 years old). Wai is now a business partner for a construction firm at Johor and is doing well for himself, but before he landed this stable life, he had been in a quagmire of debts and was even into drugs. It was through some sheer determination that involves a new found faith that put him back on track in life to provide for his family. I mean, I couldn’t be happier for him… he’d been to the bottom and back. Not many people can do that.

Anyway, as we drank into the night, Paul and myself did our own rendezvous talking about our own stuff (with another classmate who joined later). But deep inside me, I couldn’t stop recalling the memories of our old neighborhood, and think about the bike stunts we did at the kampung, and the simpler life we had back then. The smell of rubber glue from the shoe factory. The Carina Lau lookalike prostitute we ogled next door. The schoolgirls next block we got infatuated with. We’ve certainly came a long way.

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