Archive for the ‘flashbacks’ Category

February 26, 2004

from hero to zero

Circa 1991. I was riding on a motorcycle with my childhood buddy – Wai. Both of us didn’t have a license to ride back then because we were still kids. But we’d get our fathers’ motorcycles during the weekend to ride around the off traffic network of dirt roads around the village.

It was business as usual for both of us that particular weekend afternoon – we rode to the further edge of the village to perfect our wheelie skills. When we were done having our dosage of fun, we rode home through a less traveled path, but one that was frequently traveled by both of us. We were riding side by side without our helmets… doing about 60 kph, and were chatting. But when we came round a curvy stretch of the road, we suddenly met a fucking kid riding a cheap ass bicycle right in the middle of the road. At 60 kph at a curve, and the proximity of the stupid kid, it was impossible for us to brake our bikes in time. So we did what was necessary and out of reflex – we dove our bikes off the road into some bushes to avert a potential catastrophic collision.

Wai went to the left and I went to the right, and everything went blur after that. All I knew was seeing myself airborne and landed hard on the ground, and also the loud crashing sound of my father’s motorcycle. I didn’t know how it happened but, it was pretty nasty. When I got up from the fall, I noticed a few things around me,

1) my father’s bike was badly wrecked several meters away. The gear pedal was bent backwards and the brake jammed.
2) my knee was bleeding profusely.
2) Wai, was nowhere to be found, but his bike was in someone’s compound.
3) a group of villagers was advancing towards our direction.
4) the kid was unscathed, but he was wailing like somebody had just punched him in the face.

I thought my friend Wai had ran off on foot, freaked out perhaps. So I shifted my attention to my father’s bike, that looked as if it had just been ran over by a truck. I was still groggy from the crash and the first thing that crossed my mind was to fix that goddamn gear/brake, and to cover up as much as I can, or my father’s going to kill me.

I made a beeline towards a nearby house to borrow some tools – but I was instead yelled by a housewife for riding recklessly around that area. Already feeling nervous about my impending fate awaiting at home, I cussed back at that lady “Damn old cunt” and went back to my bike. That was when I heard the commotion from the advancing villagers, saying that ‘there is another guy unconscious in the bush’. I was like, “Shit, that must be Wai”. Sure enough, it was Wai. I saw a man pulling him out from the bush and carried him to a nearby clearing.

I wanted to help but, there were already a few of the villagers there helping him. I figured that I couldn’t be of much help anyway, so I decided to go off on my own – to fix my bike especially – and went back to attend the wrecked bike… made a few crude adjustments and finally managed to get that thing back on its wheels.

On my way pushing the bike out of there, I encountered some irritating housewives in pajamas jeering at me, but I ignored them – for I was too worried about the bike to give a fuck about anything else. The kid was unharmed… and that was the most important thing –> hell, that’s a hero’s mentality.

I pushed my father’s bike for about a good 200 meters, before reaching in front of a house with an old man out at the compound. I requested to borrow a hammer to work on the gear pedal from the old man, and unlike those good for nothing housewives, the kind old man obliged.

Having gotten a hammer, I started to work on the bike immediately, and while I was busy working on it, a middle aged man who resembled George Harrison suddenly approached me from nowhere and asked me a few questions:

“Are you ok boy? do you need to go to the clinic or something?”
“I’m ok thanks… but my bike’s not doing good”
“What actually happened back there?”
“We were just riding like usual… and then there’s this fucking stupid kid standing right in the middle of the road”
“And then?”
“What do you think, uncle? We avoid him lah! And crashed.”
“Oh… ok”
“That stupid kid’s parents ought be put to sleep for letting him stray on the road like this… cheeeebyee… ”
“…”
“Do you happen to see my friend? I saw him passed out back there, do you know how is he doing?”
“He got a bad gash on his forehead. Need some stitches… someone already sent him to the clinic”
“What about that kid? Is he alright?”
“Yeah… he’s doing good. Just shocked… still crying”
“Fucking kid. Not even a scratch… cry like a sissy some more”
“…”
“Do you happen to know the kid’s parents? Perhaps you can yell at them or something…”
“Errrr… I’m actually the kid’s father”

I was stunned and speechless after learning about the fact that George Harrison was the kid’s father. With a beet red blushing face, I dropped the hammer and immediately bailed the place out of sheer embarrassment. I got a great deal of scolding from my father after that… but what hurt me the most was – to become back to zero for scorning the kid’s father without the blink of an eye.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | Comments Off
February 14, 2004

big trouble on little plane

I recalled of an encounter I had on a plane a few years back.

I was in an Austin bound flight from Fortworth for a business travel. Sitting next to me was a skinny ass Vietnamese old lady. Very old, about 60 – 70 years old. I was sitting by the window and that old lady by the aisle.

Halfway through the journey, granny decided to have an idle chat with me. Not wanting to be a rude, I tried to be nice to her and gave her a few short replies (as I was too fucking tired from the long haul flight and besides, I’m not the kind of person who likes to chat with strangers). But granny was relentless with her topics, she would continue to talk about stuff that matters not to me. I tried to grab some magazines to discourage her from talking to me, but the effort was futile.

It wasn’t long before she started to get curious about me. That was when she started to ask all sorts of questions like – how old are you young man? where are you from? why are you here? wanna have sex? Ok, I made up the last one. But I was beginning to get annoyed. I just wanted to be left alone because I was fucking tired…

But no. She wouldn’t leave me alone. She would tell me stories about her family, and other shit that I absolutely have no interest about. I was beginning to suspect something wrong with this old lady. But my mind kept telling me that she was just probably too lonely on the fucking plane and she needed to talk.

She finally stopped after talking for what it must be like 15 minutes and then went all quiet. I thought I could finally get my much deserved rest, but I was so wrong. When I was trying to take a short nap, I suddenly heard a faint sound of someone breaking wind. I was like, what the fuck?? Did I hear that wrongly? Then it came again, this time, a little louder and when I looked what was that old lady doing – she had both her legs up on the chair (she’s really skinny) and was enjoying her fart!

Yes! She fucking farted! Right beside me!

The repugnant smell of her flatulence then started to waft towards my space… and it was terrible. I was gasping for air and was giving her a look of contempt. But instead of at least apologizing (though it would not really help to clear the air), she was giving me this dirty smile… you know… the kind of smile with a message “you ain’t smelling the worst yet, son”.

Miraculously, her act of terrorism was limited to only our space – because I can see the other passengers were not having the same trouble. The old lady seemed to be able to control the sphincter of her anus – where she would be able to limit the amount of gas and noise level to dispose just enough mayhem to fuck those who did not submit to her conversation. Yep, she did that to me because I tried to avoid her.

And she farted several times more throughout the journey, and I was stuck there because she was sitting by the aisle and mine was inside by the window. The only means of escape was to break the window, and get vacuum sucked out from the plane. Probably I might land on something that would cushion my fall from 30,000 over feet from the sky… but, the probability would definitely be lower than striking a lottery. So, bummer.

I had to endure the whole ordeal all the way to Austin… occasionally switching between pillows and my hands to mitigate the odor. You can just imagine my peril, fart gas in my seat, hangover and deprived of sleep… gosh. Luckily, it was just a 45 mins connecting flight… or I would have suffered brain damage for the lack of oxygen.

Lesson learnt – always take the aisle seat. If you happen to meet any weird people next to you, at least you can bail to safety…

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | Comments Off
January 29, 2004

Libra : Denise & Kelv

*Circa 1992. I was 15 then, working as an intern in an advertising firm called Libra.*

The workshop that I was working in was situated at top most floor of the building and had 2 staircases leading up to it. One being the main staircase, and another secret staircase (which was off-limit to everyone) directly linked from the boss’ office.

The boss and his first wife (Miss Wong) would use that secret staircase to pay us surprise visits from time to time. And we would be damned if caught shirking off inside the workshop. Of course, that never happened before… that was because we had eyeeeesss around the premise. Alright, that was the introduction of the secret staircase. Here comes the main plot.

The boss also had a son and 2 younger daughters. His son was alright. The guy would snuck up to the workshop from time to time to romp around with us. But the boss’ daughters on the other hand, were the complete opposite. We fucking hated both of them. The elder one, Denise, was about 1 – 2 years my junior (about 13 yrs old), while the younger one, ….. let’s not bother about her. You see, Denise was a fat and fugly creature, with a bad attitude to boot with. If she sees us shirking, she will go all out to complain to her mongoloid father… the boss. That was why, our ring of cronies inside that workshop never actually liked anyone from that Wong family (except the son).

After I started work at Libra for about 2 weeks, my fat cousin brother – Kelv – joined the company. Just like myself, he worked as an intern in that workshop and we had a great time working together.

One very hot afternoon, all of us decided to take our shirts off to bear with the sweltering heat. The idea was unfavorable to Kelv as he didn’t really like the idea of showing too much of his doughy physique overtly like that. But he was left with no choice, as it was freaking hot in there… After dawdling for a while, he couldn’t take any more abuse from all of us… he finally took off his shirt like a man.

But Kelv was kinda worried about the idea of Denise storming into the workshop, you know, he didn’t want her to see him shirtless like that. I guess he was too embarrassed about his body or something. So, he gave us an order, if we see Denise coming up from the secret staircase, give him a hoot – he’ll dress the fuck up. We’re like, alright man, don’t worry about it, continue to do your work or something.

Fast forward a few moments later, we actually heard some footsteps coming up from that secret staircase. Johnson peeked over from the top and saw Denise on her way up from below. Kelv was busy working on something and was completely unaware about her coming. That was when Johnson suggested we keep quiet about it and see how the encounter turns out. So we hid ourselves and peeped at the whole incident in hiding. The anticipation grew as Denise ascended near where Kelv was happily working on his stuff… and some of us were already suppressing ourselves from laughing…

When Denise came into the workshop, she started wondering where did everyone go. Hearing noise from where Kelv worked, she sauntered over to ask him about us. That was when Kelv had the fright of his life. He actually shrieked (it was like “Eeeeiiaaaaiii !!”) and dashed into a nearby storeroom… slammed the door shut and locked it like he was being chased by a gay werewolf. Somewhat startled, Denise went to the locked storeroom door, knocked and asked him what the hell was wrong with him. With a terrified voice, Kelv bleated “go away! go away!” from inside.

The rest of us were just laughing and having stomach cramps. It was definitely a day that Kelv will remember for the rest of his life… and I haven’t seen him take off his shirt in public ever again.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | Comments Off
January 20, 2004

fire

Kids are obsessed with fire. No doubt about that. I am no different from them when I was a kid. I did many crazy and stupid things with fire back then. And always do it when I am with my cousins – I never actually did it alone. Maybe part of the reason was, we knew nobody will believe anything when there was no one around to witness your feat.

The sight of fire burning anything… was a mesmerizing sigh for our immature brain. Explosions and the destruction caused by fire were the coolest thing. To us kids (then), fire were the root of all evil and all cool things combined. And it costs only 70 cents to buy a lighter.

Following were the stuffs I did with fire when I was a kid :

1) cooked with a discarded pot. We dumped everything we could find into it. Wild berries, earthworms, ladybirds, candles, leaves, mangoes, etc.

2) burnt a hole on a neighbor kid’s shirt and laughed out loud (with my cousins) during Chinese New Year. My cousin ended up paying that kid 10 bucks for the damage.

3) detonated a drum of diesel (it probably wasn’t diesel, but it looked like diesel) during Chinese New Year. We weren’t there when it exploded. We started the fire and bolted off – only to discover it disintegrated to pieces the next day.

4) dumped firecrackers into a mailbox full of letters during Chinese New Year. It was fun to see smokes billowing out from the gaps of the mailbox.

5) burnt a pile of discarded newspapers inside a big metal container. When the fire became too big, we had to put it out using a fire extinguisher. Once fired the extinguisher, the metal container exploded due to the built-up pressure inside… and the whole place eventually became charred with carbon debris… including ourselves.

6) lit and dumped firecrackers into drain cracks where a big community of roaches known to dwell. Even poured kerosene to torch the hole up. But it didn’t work due to lack of oxygen.

7) wrapped crackers in newspapers and lit them up before dumping into the drain. When it exploded inside the drain, we would be so awed to it blast the drain water everywhere from the explosion.

8) shot countless of firecracker rockets (during CNY) at countless dogs and cats in the neighborhood.

9) shot countless of firecracker rockets at neighborhood kids. When they shot us back, we would engage each other like we’re in a war…

And much more that I’ve forgotten.

I felt so lucky to be alive and in one piece after all those mischievous deeds I did together with my cousins from hell. Maybe part of the reason was, because I’m smart. All the kids back then were smart. We knew about the risks of playing with fire… and always did them with proper manipulation. We did not take any unnecessary risks.

But the main culprit isn’t probably the fire. The main culprit is the fact that when kids got together, they do dangerous stuff that they don’t normally do when they’re alone. Just watch out for them. Especially during Chinese New Year… when kids would turn into little devils… destroying everything with fire…

To all the wonderful people out there … have a happy and safe Chinese New Year.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | Comments Off
December 31, 2003

2003 roll up

2003 is coming to an end. This year, it has been both good and bad year for me. But overall, I think it has been a good year. A good year because I am still able to muster my strength to party, and live my life like a normal person as of the moment I am typing this. If it’s not a good year, then I must have been being very optimistic, which is still a good thing.

At times of good, I have been enjoying them veritably – like getting real drunk when I’m suppose to drink. And at times of bad, I knew I had tried my best to take the challenges like a real man like I’ve been taught – like not to rant when my mom asks me to buy a piece of belacan (shrimp cake) 5km away.

But I will always remember 2003. Seriously. This is the year that I made many difficult decisions (to go for pizza or nasi kandar? just kidding). A year that brought rife changes to my life. A year that made me a real adult. This year, I lost 3 important people in my life. My paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother and my father… It was sad but, I’ve managed to get myself over it.

Well, there were good things that happened in 2003 too. Bitch-ass motherfucker Rob finally left the company for good, and I don’t have to suffer under his moronic reign anymore. Then I got promoted to a 2nd level engineer, which is kinda sweet. I cleared 80% of my credit card debt and accomplished last year’s resolution – to get a vacation off at least once every year. I went to Hong Kong this year. Not too bad.

There’s going to be a new set of goals after tonight. Here’s the unofficial list :

– clear off the rest of my credit card debts and cancel them for good. Too many cards.
– get myself another car. (I’m eyeing a Honda Jazz now..)
– vacation to Australia / New Zealand
– get an SLR digital camera
– a new mobile phone if the old one gets uppity

If I manage to achieve only 50% of them, I’d be happy enough.

As you may have noticed, most of my goals involve spending. That means, if I manage to dig enough money, I will not have any problem accomplishing them at all. So if any of you guys feel rich or something like that… you can perhaps donate them to me. I will spend it well. I promise.

Alright, that’s about it. Happy new year to all of you out there. To those who condemns my blog at deathtobloggers, if you are reading this, go fuck yourself. May the fleas of a thousand camels masturbate in your armpit.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | Comments Off