Friday, May 20, 2011

Rear Ended

There are many amazing streaks in history. Jose Morinuho went undefeated at home for nearly a decade, Floyd Mayweather has his 40-0 undefeated boxing record and Tiger Woods has scored so many affairs with hookers without taking home a single STD.

For me, it was staying accident free on the road for 12 years. That one time where I got hit while being stationary in my parking lot doesn’t count just as oral sex wouldn’t because it’s really just one person doing everything.

As with all dream streaks, I knew this fairytale would end one day, because it just sounds ludicrous to be on the road 2 hours a day everyday and not get hit by consequences. It’s just like partying in Bangkok. You are not going to hook up with a myriad of women from the clubs without fortuitously locking lips with a ladyboy.

It was just that the occurrence was unacceptable, and by my liberally ductile standards, there aren’t many things I deem unacceptable in society. I think mini skirts are perfectly acceptable even for higher institutions, unless it comes paired with horrible panties.

I think disabilities are acceptable, even leakages in condoms. I think eating food off the floor is acceptable, so long as it’s within the three second time frame. I think cheating is acceptable and even living with hepatitis, but being hit in the back from a start-stop traffic is exactly what I would render a ‘discombobulation’.

It’s embarrassing to begin with because it had to take a magnitude of stupidity and retardation, the kind that you would see in kids who eat ice cream through their eyes, in the reflexes of a sloth on weed, or in suicide bombers. And every time you recount being hit in that situation, people snigger because accidents don’t get any pussier than this.

My friend had his car blown up into flames on CTE. I got a baby bump in the back.

Everything happened like a highlight reel. It was one of those moments that your thought processed at a speed that even a supercomputer would have been proud of. When I saw the rear view mirror of the car and that insidiously looking provisional plate that was stuck on the top right of his mirror, I knew that an impending collision with inexperience was on the cards.

What I didn’t get was why would anyone be accelerating, especially when there was a tail of traffic easing and braking intermittently at every 30 or odd metres. And yet what I saw from the rear mirror looked like he was trying to put his air bags to test from the way he was bolting forward.

I braced for impact. It was nothing short of dramatic. I tightened my grip on the steering wheel, and I had my foot so far down the brake pedal it was amazing that my foot hadn’t gone through the floor. And I muttered a single word of faith,


As soon as I felt my car jerk forward with a thunderous thud that sounded nothing short of a majestic fart from Zeus, I slumbered into a liminal state of denial.

Got so suay meh..”

In that instance, a million expletives flooded my mind that would have made a gangsta rap sound like a gospel. I think I probably cursed in every language known to man. I was reeling from the shock and impact but primarily still fighting reality, trying to make sense of the absurdity of the whole debacle. How do you get hit with such impact in the slow moving traffic?

It was then that I realized that stupidity was capable of far greater wonders than fate, chance and even a Maybelline make-up counter.

When I finally got out of the car, it felt like an eternity, like I was hit last May and that I went through an entire Christmas still wondering how I got hit. I was pissed and a part of me was trembling with anticipation, because I was undecided if I was going to start yelling or run back to my car if he came out with a bat.

I was pissed because I found myself standing under the morning sun gesturing to the driver who was still in his car. It was hot, I was beginning to perspire and I was wearing a neatly ironed shirt that did not appreciate heat or perspiration.

When he finally got out of the car, I discovered that it was a young boy who looked like he had just gotten his license from a cereal box cutout a month ago. He was nervous, dumbfounded for a good part of the time, apologetic when the situation called for it, but above all, looked like he was prepared to give a blowjob to settle everything.

I hardly bothered speaking either. I made my sentence in clear concise words that I felt were cordial enough to keep him from peeing his pants, but perspicuous enough to let him know that I meant business.

It was a carnival of emotions that started off with, “what the fuck happened” to “give me your driver’s license” to “how do you want to settle”, ending off with what could have been a candid pickup moment had it been a she instead of a boy; “I’ll call you later.”

The damage to my bumper was nothing the sort you would find in a destruction derby. It had scratches, my reverse sensor was knocked out, but for a good part of it, there was surprisingly no indentation, though there was a small crack with flaking paint.

I cannot say the same for his. He deserves it.

I did the standard protocol of taking down his contact – and this time checking to see if the number was correct -, his I/C and driving license. I snapped some pictures, one of my damage, one of his – to gloat over mainly -, and a couple of the situation to illustrate clearly that he was at fault. We then agreed to settle it via insurance, to which at this point the old man in his passenger seat came out to offer his apologies.

I do not take the time to smile at him, nor offer him a hug or handshake, just so to remind them that I am a badass.

As soon as I got back into my car, I see this man running towards my car from my side mirror. Could it be that some kind soul is coming forth to offer his services as an eye witness? Or perhaps a friend of theirs trying to dispute the case?

He: “Hello, I understand you just got into an accident. I have a car workshop and I can offer you very good price for the repairs.”

I don’t know it this was a scam or if the guy was a shark because it felt like he had the ability to sniff out accidents from a mile and be there instantaneously. Or perhaps it was a mere co-incidence. If it was, then his sheer diligence and commitment to work deserves some praise because despite me telling him that I have a workshop and that I am not concerned about repair cost, he insisted that I took his name card and ‘consider about it’.

I sat there for nearly 2 minutes turning down his offer and it felt like I was at a time-share conference, being badgered by hard-sell quips, because ‘they are just doing their job’.

Two hours later, I called LB to tell him about the accident because both of us have the exact same car plate number. He was not the least bit impressed.

He: “Dude, a motorcycle just caught fire right before me.”

This day sucked. I didn’t even have the best story of the day.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Butterfly Votes

There are things that define us as Singaporeans; National service, multiple uses of tissue papers, chilli crabs, strange un-explained obsession with Hello Kitty, singing the anthem without knowing the meaning and that pink IC.

And then there’s that one privilege that has eluded so many of us because we stayed at the wrong places, or maybe because there was only one voice in the government and that whimper became a silence. It was the right to vote.

This was the vote that would supposedly shape our nation, and I’m not talking about finally having a Chinese Singapore Idol or for your favourite local artiste, but about social issues, better financial support and giving new people a chance to earn a lot of money.

It’s the only thing that every one talks about these days and it just reminds me that age is catching up with me, or perhaps I’m just hanging around the wrong people. I’d be honest with you, politics bores me, right until the election rallies come along and I get an information download of the current affairs in real-time drama – but mostly hilarious.

When it comes to politics, I am as adequate as Gandhi would be at Haute couture. I know the opposition is hot on the PAPs heels, I know that there are issues on rising cost of living and I know there are calls for transparency. All these are as appealing to me as a tub of lard.

We want better housing, better schools, lower rental, but have we also forgotten about life’s other daunting problems like the rising cost of alcohol and lack of Trance clubs?

I voted today. Finally. After years of wondering if moving out was the only way I was going to get a chance to drop a piece of paper in the ballot box.

I always imagined it would be empowering, or emancipating to some extent. Or when my vote was cast, that there would be a effervescence of contentment or maybe a kicking doubt wondering if I made the wrong choice.

But no, there was none of it. If anything, it was the nagging blister on my feet and the sweltering afternoon heat that was punishing me for not voting in the morning. It was intoxicating for the best part of my 2 minute walk over to the polling station, in some part believing that my vote was making a difference, of having a voice – finally -, but as soon as my vote was dropped, I realized that the only good thing that came out of it all, was the off in-lieu entitlement for today.

Do I know who’s going to win? I’m pretty sure I do.

We are going to win. Singaporeans are going to win, because despite what the results might be I think I hear that whimper that had gone into silence again. It made a sound and it was heard. And there will be a reply…