Saturday, April 21, 2007

Let's take a break from PPQ.....


Hi all!


I found this from Nadnut:


We all have things about our friends that make us slightly envious. Not in a bad way, but in a ‘Wow! I wish I had that person’s boobs/eyes/money/relationship/nose hairs/whatever.’ So tell me what about me makes you envy me. . . then post this in your blog and see what makes me envious of you.

******************


I only realise I have great depths of envy only after commenting on her entry, telling her what I envy about her. A sign of person with low self-esteem.

So trying hard to remember the TS theory, this is a rallying call to those out there who reads me. Is there something you want to tell me?

Let's make it a frank feedback. good stuff and bad stuff, all comments welcome. everyone always needs to hear both sides of a story (although in my blog, its always one-sided).


PPQ series will resume after this message.




OUT!


AKK

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol 10


Hi all!




As usual, the disclaimer: if you have been reading the series, thanks again. if you have arrived by accident, after a long while, or just passing through, pls click on the right side panel for the start of this series (vol 2 will connect you to vol 1, vol 6 will connect you to all the previous vol on this series). Very sorry about this, but we are in the mid-end of a running series, so there's a lot of character buildup and plot twist, so pls take some time to update from the start. :) Thanks!


It's highly impossible for me to even stick around on anything for so long, so having the PPQ series reach its 10th episode is a wonder in itself to behold, not just its contents.

so while everyone has been faithfully updating on the series, i thank you all. Hope it has been as exciting to read as it is to write.

Without further ado, here's the latest installment.


*************************************


'The weighing machine is spoilt!' came the plaintive wail as i walked over. It was a Wednesday Evening and the office gym was packed with office people trying to get fit. Well, some will walk leisurely and pose in front of the mirror after every pump of the iron, while some, instead on concentrating on their breathing, are furtively looking around the room for someone 'to lend a hand to', it takes all sorts to visit the gym. PPQ, for all her flights of fancy, religiously uses the gym really to get fit. I mean, I think so. Well, what i really think, i probably can't write down or ppl will say I'm biased.


In any case, today is to answer the OTHER question that has not been posted in the previous entry, mainly because our subject wasn't PPQ last time. It's to disclose the 5kg-bag-of-rice-overestimate to our darling innocent. Actually, this episode almost didn't happen. After i had given PPQ the challenge and the hug (which I've been bathing 5 times a day to wash off the imprint unsuccessfully), in typical AKK fashion, I've gotten lazy and tired again. You see, the immediate gratification of emotional uncertainty i bestowed on her had been served, resulting in a sudden accumulation of gym 'hurghh!!!' (pumping grunts) per week, so after the 3rd day seeing her enter the office looking grey-eyed and 'ouching' her way tenderly whenever she moved from her seat, I had naturally felt guilty enough to not go through with the final insult to injure her equally tender emotional status by showing her I wasn't that heavy to begin with.


So this current episode exists because after the Bacardi moment, a close fren of mine, who had been following my series diligently, almost collapsed in agitation when I merely hinted that I was going to be nice about the whole weight issue. After enduring a half-hour of scolding, first on my laziness, then on PPQ's lousy-shame-to-all-women tirade, said fren finally cajoled me by saying that she is much too interested in what PPQ's reaction would be than to worry about the morality of sniggering at other people's weaknesses.


Hence I relented and played out the whole scene with artistic aplomb.


Never let it be said that AKK is a bad fren. The glee that came with it is moot.


Back to the scene of the crime. PPQ's wail carried like a whale's ultrasound. It was too soft and high to be detected in normal-day communication, but its persistent tinny texture grates on the chalkboard of your nerves so much that while you probably missed the dialogue, you can easily detect the buzzing quality fom across the length of the room.


For my part, I had also diligently took up exercising again. It's true that motivation can drive a person to do great things, but motivation from PPQ drove me up the wall. Never had I felt so much energy at the prospect of starting the exercise regime once more. Perhaps anyone would be able to throw off that mantle of disgust, but every single step I pounded onto the treadmill, a litany of 'I want to be smaller than PPQ' rolled off like a tape recorder.


So by the time Wednesday came around (so good I was, I gave her 2 weeks), I was feeling great and happier than ever. seeing her walking over to the scale made my heart leap in joy (and shudder at my fren's chiding). Now's the time.


'What is?' I chirped from behind her. I had been running, I'm sure she smelt me first. PPQ did an impressive pirouette in horror. i must admit that ever since she started irking me, every single action of hers looked over-done and cutesy. She's the equivalent of a wet market Auntie in Ah Lian get-up with full make-up. OK, so I'm getting personal, sue me. Never tarry with a woman's weight.


'Oh Akk,' she breathed, chest heaving in affront. 'I think the scale is spoilt. It's showing the wrong numbers.'


I looked at the electronic scale. It was patiently registering '0' while waiting for a customer.


'I don't see how, it's balanced.' I pointed out.


'I'll show you.' and she stood on it. The electronic numbers jumped to 60kg.


'See?' she exclaimed. 'It's spoilt! a week ago, it showed me 58kg! There must be something wrong. I worked out quite a lot, should have gone down again this week.' Her voice was pitching higher, an indication her Majesty is getting upset.


'I really am 58kg!' As if I didn't believe her. 'Why don't you try it and tell me if it's showing a few kgs heavier. If I remember, you're 57kg, right?'


She remembers! Why am I not surprised?


I shrugged and stood on the scale. Unlike PPQ, I kept all my gear on, shoes, towel and handphone. The numbers whirred and settled, to my delight, on 50kg.


I heard a gasp behind me and had to keep a straight face. It was that or start sniggering. The heavens had suddenly decided to rain lavishly on PPQ's parade. Not only was I a rice-bag lighter, according to the scale, I had gone down another 2. Furthermore, she had apparently gained some since last week.


I turned around. What was on her face was indescribable, like art is sometimes indescribable. Closest I could get? Possibly art by Edvard Munch.






















Note the twist of the hips.




The actress in me raised to the occasion. Somehow seeing her overly bewildered look had made me slightly pissed too. What? Like I really don't look my weight at all? Geez....I forced a surprised look that mirrored hers and used the same breathless voice she used on me. If she had been less shocked, she would surely recognise the caricature.


'Oh My GOD!!! I'm so light? It can't be! OH my GOODNESS!' I gushed, pretending to be amazed. Then the metaphoric knife stab. 'Man, I think you are right! The scale doesn't seem very accurate!' I frowned concernedly at her horrific expression.


'We need to tell the trainer.' I continued. 'People can't go around imagining they are heavier or lighter than they should be.' And promptly I left the scene and made a fruitless trip to the staff room and made them fruitlessly switch the machine on and off using, of all things, PPQ as their weighing gauge.


I slipped away to bathe when PPQ got all angry trying to explain away to the staff why she should be 58kg, not 60kg, do you understand me? I did not put on any weight! the scale is still spoilt! And she lost 7kg, how is that possible, your scale is so unreliable!


While things couldn't have ended better in such a cinematic way, I was feeling slightly out-of-sorts the rest of the day. I supposed it's the guilt. I'm not that nice a person, but feeding people their own medicine has made me sick, because some people's medicine are really hard to swallow, even for themselves. While PPQ is probably suffering from the episode, she'll no doubt have learnt at least one thing she should never do. Comparing with others. If I were in her shoes, I'll probably never talk about my weight again and instead quietly lose all my kgs until I can finally fit that dream dress I bought to motivate myself, then go to work in triumph.



So for the next day, Jill and another close colleague, Keisha, after chortling delightfully at my summarised account, began to note a slight droop in my smile, so affected was I. Uncertain of my feelings (probably PMS) and knowing that I was being childish for cranking PPQ up, I kept to myself at the workplace. The self-imposed punishment ended abruptly on day 2 when Jill and Keisha yanked me out from my lab and plonked a bottle of Bacardi raspberry (yay!) unceremoniously on my lap in an undisclosed location (meant for slacking...SSShhhh...).


Then Keisha, the tall Amazon, who can easily fell me with a punch, sat across me in a serious manner and began her story.


***********************************



Keisha was a strapping tall lady with a very well-proportionate figure. And because of her height, she'll never be described as slim or small. She had wide shoulders that would make any model green with envy but meant she only wore size L clothes in the Asian context. To put it as accurately as possible, Keisha is eye-catching because of her height, straight shoulders and toned figure in the local sense. She had that kind of figure most men would look twice in admiration and women to look twice in awe, and not always positively. The word 'petite' will be applied to her only in a Caucasian community. What I am trying to say is: She neither fat nor consumptive. She is just right for her frame, but insipid stoopid Asian women will call her a Giant or simply Large.


And thus, the camera reverses and pans to a scene in the pantry a few months ago before all the hoo-haa started. It arrows in on one such stoopid, insipid woman, who was clueless that she'll be arguing with the weighing scale come the future. If she had known, she might not be snacking so happily on corn chips then.


The issuing conversation occurred when another colleague entered the pantry.


'These corn chips are great! You want some?'


'Oh no! No nachos for me! They just go directly to my hips. I like them so much that once I start, I cannot stop, confirm will turn into an elephant!' joked the slim colleague.


'Nonsense!' exclaimed PPQ, who couldn't stop eating the chips. 'If you are an elephant, I must be a dinosaur.'


On cue, Keisha entered the pantry to see both gals laughing. She smiled and asks, 'What's so funny?'


A sudden burst of more laughter from PPQ, who was clutching her stomach from an inner joke and then...


'Oh wait! If I'm a dinosaur, then what is Keisha?!'




**********************************************


Scene changes back to the present on a half-drunk AKK, a steadily drinking Jill and a slightly doused Keisha at the slacker's corner.


'What indeed!' Keisha huffed, waving her Heineken furiously.


Then she turned on me, who was hooting at her predicament.



'What did you say? What did you say?'



'What can I say, right? Treat the whole thing like a joke lah! Laugh along and say 'must be bigger than dinosaur lor!''


'Aiyo! So lame!'


'I cannot think of anything bigger than a dinosaur what!'


I hooted again. It's true! I myself couldn't think of a bigger animal than a dinosaur.



'Godzilla?' Piped Jill.


'You think I never considered meh? But Godzilla and Dinosaur both same size!Cannot!!' wailed Keisha in mock despair.


'Muahahhaha....' we roared in our chairs.



We laughed ourselves silly till we had no more strength, then packed up the room, removed all evidence of alcoholic involvement and went back to work with clorets in our mouths. I had regained my balance and had forgiven myself. Eating your own mdedicine might be bitter, but dishing it will make you ill.



This episode is dedicated, although they would never know, to Jill, for that slight on singlehood, and to Keisha, the Whale (we finally found one bigger), for that slight on her Amazonite frame.


Thanks for the timely intervention.




OUT!


AKK

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol 9

Hi all!


For those who just came in, welcome! we are nowin a full fledged running series. so feel free to scroll down for the earlier volumes. from volume 5 onwards, there are links to the first one, so thanks for taking the time to finger-clcik a little while longer.


for those who have been following, here's the latest longest episode yet.


I think you all must be waiting with bated breath to the answers to all your questions about the PPQ stories. Me? I confessed to much glee with the outcome of the series so far. Everything is so beyond expectation that I am absolutely flabbergasted. This episode will be no less dramatic. Please do remember that the whole story is true so far. There’s no addictives, MSG or other artificial colouring and flavouring added to this spicy drama. I swear. I really wouldn’t have cooked up such a storm.

So the following questions which I know you readers are thinking of, because I have thought of them myself, you’ll finally get the answer to. I’m proud to announce that I have diligently taken down all your questions and posted them to him, so it’s straight from the Horse’s mouth, LK himself. Under zero influence and hypnosis somemore! He was most willing to share.

And they are:


1. The reason why he never mentions he’s married till now.


2. Whether he told PPQ he is married.

3. What’s with the flowers on the first date?

4. How does PPQ know about the cookies? This one, I really want to know....

5. What, exactly, does he think of the fish porridge episode?


So the camera pans back to LK and AKK seated across each other over a large expanse of the meeting room table. The Ikea clock ticked its way to 7pm while the scanner hums contentedly in the background, minding its own business. Another 30 minutes and the whole thing will be done and it’ll be time to pack up and go home.


Contrary to popular belief that I’m not cut out for hard work, after the initial first so-called request to extend beyond office hours for LK, I got to entertain a few more other clients with the same treatment. Mainly because they really are nice and their bosses have finally come back from the Spring holidays to bug them about work progress. After a while, I’ve decided to hell with the office hour restrictions. After all, if the hoteliers are serving their customers ‘beyond the call of duty’, I figured that if I’m free that weekday evening, I might as well be putting a few more hours to prevent my clients from crying, which the female ones will do, since the experiment is usually kaput when it’s not ‘run’ on time.


Of cos, once an extension happens, I usually will go back to the office slightly later than usual the next day. At the end of the month, I still manage to churn in a tidy amount of profits just by being flexible with the opening hours, so why not? Boss’ happy that I seem to work longer than usual, clients are happy that their experiments are ‘served’ and I get a few more hours sleep into the morning.


So it’s a typical day at work for me. Just to set the stage, clients either sit with me to check the scan between breaks in the meeting room or to come back to collect when it’s done. LK chose the former so I was sipping my normal evening coffee kindly produced by Jill before she left while he took his lunch/dinner. I have found out that while most of my female clients eat lunch and skip dinner, it’s the other way around for the guys.


It was all good till the issuing spill from the overturned cup of kindness from Jill (hey, it rhymes!). Which left me bereft of fortification in the face of his bald statement and shall I say it, slight anger that he should chose such a moment to enlighten me and make me lose my drink. (see the previous entry)


I pulled away after he gave that cryptic answer. While a part of me is singing the high chorus for this extreme piece of juice sure to spruce up my diary, another part of me was aghast with the thought that this man is trying to play with us all. While I still believe that giving a gal flowers was a great ladykiller move, I don’t think it’s justifiable to do so after said ladykiller is married, yes?


I mean, what is he trying to proof by roping them all up like trophies when he’s obviously not available anymore?


Great! I miss my kopi and I need a Bacardi right now….



‘Why don’t you,’ I put a hand up and put the whole length of the table between us. ‘Tell me the whole story.’


He sighed and leaned back on his chair.


‘I knew people are going to look at me this way the way you are doing right now. It’s hard to change people’s immediate opinion about others.’



I bristled. I was playing the high horse and wasn’t counting on him frankly accusing me of being ‘like the rest’.


‘Sorry.’ I sighed. ‘I promise to keep an open mind.’


‘OK’ he was back to grinning again. ‘The truth is…..well, the truth is that I’m in the midst of separation.’


‘How young are you?!!’ I was aghast. He didn’t look a day over 30 and he’s getting a divorce already??


’28.’


I had a God-awful thought.


‘Oh man, she found out about the flowers, didn’t she? Your flowers for PPQ? Arrghhh….’


He laughed ruefully. ‘Nah, although it would be nice to be the one who hurts, but actually my wife left me.’


‘Why?’ Because you were infidel? But I did not say it out loud.


He crossed his ankles and lean back to stare at the ceiling. This time I would be lying if I didn’t mention that his eyes glimmered in those few short seconds under the lights. At first, I was indignant for myself, wanting to throw him into the mold of a stereotype so he wouldn’t accuse me of being narrow. However, seeing those liquid eyes suddenly brim made me feel like the worst sinner ever.


I have made a grown man tear up.


And then my timer beeped its 15th minute and made me jump in my chair. It was a complete anti-climax, but I leaped up gladly anyway and left him to recover while I check the machine.


By the time I was back, he seemed more normal, like his usual cheery self, although his eyes looked more red than usual. The suaveness had gone from his shoulder. LK has become more human. The chair creaked and he began his story.


It was by all accounts, a very sweet love-gone-wrong story. They met in school real young and spent a decade together as a couple, studying together from JC to Uni, finally accumulating in a wedding after their graduation. Newly wedded, they were poor but ambitious. The girl, in fact, had plans for post graduate studies overseas.


‘To where?’


‘Oxford’ and no less, she said. She wanted the best but wasn’t able to get a scholarship. He was ready to indulge her fully, being the newly blessed man. He never thought they could never work anything out, they had been through lots of thick and thin together. Although the entry fee alone was enough to cripple the couples’ finance, they both took multiple jobs to save. Boosted by his wife’s very obvious ambition to get a doctorate, he plunged in his whole savings into her venture.


‘The money was used for what?!’ I repeated.


‘Meant to pay the tuition fund. I took a scholarship which paid my Uni fees all the way till PHD.’


‘I don’t get it, why is there a need to save money to pay them back when you are on the scholarship?’


‘Because I didn’t want to carry on after graduation and the clause was to pay them back in full if I stop after graduation. Anything after that will be considered bond-breaking’


I gasped. ‘So you gave up the opportunity to buy your way out so she could have her dream.’


‘Yes, I never wanted to be a scholar or a postgraduate. In fact, I always wanted to go into finance, stop all this research thingy.’


‘So now that you are in it, how long is the bond?’


‘6 years, it was a longer version since it was a tuition and research scholarship combined.’


Fuck.’ I swore.


‘Yes.’ he agreed somberly. ‘Absolutely fucked up.’


‘You are a damn poor thing.’


‘Tell me about it.’


‘So when did you realize something was wrong?’


He shrugged. ‘The usual. We use to hold long distance calls every week. When that got too expensive, we relied on emailing. Then after a while, she said she was on a camping course with the school. Didn’t write for 2 weeks. I believed her.’


‘What was she doing then?’



He ignored my question, eyes glazed in remembrance. ‘Immediately after that, she called me and cried on the phone. I thought she was sick or got into an accident.’



‘She told me she found another guy there. Told me she couldn’t take the distance. She told me she wanted a divorce and then,' He turned his grave eyes at me. I stared back, soaking up the whole story.


‘She told me he was a banker and that I should be happy for her because she did not have to worry about money anymore.’


Fuck.’ I swore again. I couldn't help myself.



‘Not really. I would have flown over in another 2 weeks to surprise her. It would have been our 2nd year anniversary. It was good that she told me earlier, I cannot imagine being stranded in a foreign country knowing I wasn’t welcome.’



I sniffed. Sometimes things just have to seen as half-full even when it hurts like blazes.



‘How long has it been?’



He closed his eyes. ‘2 years. I haven’t seen her in a long while. The next trip back, she’ll be here just to sign the papers. I cannot imagine what I’ll do if I were to suddenly see her in front of me again.’



The timer leaped into life, slamming him back into the present and throwing me off my tiny perch on the seat (so engrossed I lean forward too much). Thank goodness for timers! We hurried back to the machine the final time and retrieved the data. I surreptitiously dried my eyes while the CD-R revved to life on the computer. Now I wonder if it would such a good idea to continue with the PPQ series, because it’s so invasive. I feel like a paparazzi who goes around collecting stories of other people’s private life and splashing them like front liners. Who would have thought that LK would turn out to be the one carrying the burden of hurt and anger? Compared to him, PPQ just had a nice walk in the park. Imagine if your other half, someone who pledged his/her whole life to you, turned around and said good riddance, even after you had done everything in your power to pledge your own life to theirs.



I was getting more and more upset. LK apparently send money to her every month as he slogged his way churning out tons of data in my lab, while she was happily studying away in prestigious Oxford and canoodling with a banker. Of all the things to say, she had to talk about money!



‘Oy, hello?’ I started and hastily blinked. I had been staring at the CD-writer till the CD popped out and had made no move to pass the data over to LK. I took it and handed it over while he peered at me closely.



‘There’s no need to get so upset.’



‘I don’t think I have the right to say this, but I think your wife stinks.’ I blurted out.


‘She doesn’t! Don’t say that!’ It was LK's turn to bristle. 'I didn’t tell you this so you can pin all the blame on her for our failed marriage. We got together too soon and married too early, we were both too young and I was too na├»ve. It takes two hands to clap.’



‘You’re right. I’m sorry.’ I apologized, all contrite. Things just happen sometimes. Perhaps it was the best course of action for all. Everyone moves on. At least she wasn’t cheating on him. He didn’t have to know anything but she told him anyway.



He smiled. ‘That’s why I tell you.’



‘What? Tell what?’



‘About this. At least you listened. I don’t want friends to drum up a personal vendetta against her just because I’m the one being dumped. It’s been better for me now. After a year, everyone starts forgetting the story and stopped looking at me with sadness. It’s easier to go through the motions everyday that passes.’


‘So I take it you did not tell PPQ?’ The journalist in me is remembering all the questions posted.


‘Right. About PPQ. To tell the truth, when I saw her at the seminar, I thought she just might be somebody who could be special to me. And knowing we are all connected made it just a tad easier to invite her out.’


‘So the flowers did mean something.’


‘Yes. It did. I lied to myself that I was accompanying a friend, in truth; I think I subconsciously agreed to go because I also needed some encouragement and some insights. Seeing her there was a step to venture into expanding my life again emotionally.’


I got it. ‘She was your first date since, that’s why you tried to celebrate.' With a pretty gal, flowers and a nice dinner.


‘Yes.’ his eyes mellowed again. ‘The flowers were for her, but I bought them because they were, to me, a symbol that I’m trying to move on. They meant more to me than she’ll ever know.’


‘So how are things between the 2 of you?’


‘She is a nice girl.’ He tried to speak carefully. ‘But we don’t have much in common. And frankly I don’t think I trust her enough. She strikes me as the jealous type. Oh, you better be careful.’


‘Me?’



‘You really should see her face when I off-handedly told her about the cookies.’


‘So it really was you!’


‘I’m sorry.’ He grinned. ‘Did I cause any trouble?’


‘Nah.' like cobwebs, i waved away all the trouble and stress PPQ ever caused me. 'I guess you know by now she has got the hots for you.’


‘Believe you me, I didn’t encourage her anymore beyond the flowers. I even paid her back for the porridge.’


Strike 3! ‘And how was the porridge?’ I asked.



‘Cold.’



‘No, serious.’


‘I was a bit freaked out, to tell the truth. It’s sweet but I don’t even remember telling her I was going back during the weekend.’


‘She must have hung on every word you were saying.’


‘As I said, a bit freaked out right now.’


‘You led her on, with the flowers and everything.’


‘I'm sorry. I led myself on too.’


I nodded. Somebody was trying to chase his own ghosts away. ‘Did it work?’


‘No.’ he sighed mistily. ‘I miss my wife still.’


He held his experiment and CD and grew silent. I waved my hands agitatedly.


‘Get a grip. If you blurb now, I’ll blurb too. Then my eyes will become smaller than they already are.’


He pinched his nose. ‘Right right. Guess I need to tell PPQ straight huh?’



I said. ‘Well, she isn’t the most subtle of people.’ And I really wanted to add ‘you’ll probably have to hammer it into her head with a mallet.’ But I didn’t.



‘Yah………. I’ll probably have to hammer it into her head……... u OK?’



‘Good luck.’ I coughed.


‘That bad huh?’ We walked out the doorway so I could send him on his way.



I thought about her and what she did throughout the whole series, then opened the security door for him.


‘Ok lah. She just needs to grow up a little.’


‘Don’t we all?’ His voice echoed down the corridor as he walked off.


Knowing exactly what he meant, I waved him Goodbye.


And so the camera pans out AKK as she diminishes in size and dims.


OUT!


AKK.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The sad Ping Pong Queen Vol. 8

Hi all!


To recap the whole series, pls read the entries below, all are in running numbers and I assure you, has links to the previous volumes from Vol. 5 onwards. Sorry, i getting lazy....




Usually when I write something like ‘spewed the kopi’, I don’t usually mean it really that way. It’s probably like a drip from the corner of the mouth. Since I’m on for creative writing, words always tend towards being slightly exaggerated. So if anytime I ever wrote that I ‘spilled’, ‘spewed’ or ‘choked’ on ‘soup’, coffee’, or ‘bread’, I probably at most dripped a little or a hand capped in front immediately to stem the flow. In fact, except in the movies, I don’t even reckon it might be possible.



As usual I’m wrong. I can officially announce now that I am capable of such an action--spewing a true fine mist of kopi spread across a large surface area worthy of Mr Kleenex.


I had to blame it all on LK.



‘Actually….I’m married.’ LK announced somberly.


Cue the spewing of the kopi siu-dai and cup overturning….


‘Oh shit! Sorry! Did I hit you??!! Oh God, you’re MARRIED??!! Oh no, it’s spreading, take the cloth!!’


And the conversation broke in the midst of this interesting revelation as we 2 scrambled to clean up the meeting room table. Thankfully I had forsworn to only raise the PPQ vs LK topic after everyone had gone home or I’m sure to cause a ruckus.



*******************************************



And the whole day has started as promising as it will sure to end on his proclamation. PPQ, as I have once mentioned, has been actively trying to slim herself down from her obese days. While she isn’t exactly skinny, I’d say she’s only slightly fleshy. Which is usually less than what I say about myself, because the invincible A has announced very frankly that I am now under the term ‘chubby’. However, since he seems to like hugging the new me this much, it’s not a cause of much concern for me.


Once I would probably have said that I suspect PPQ of being unusually tactless, now I’m closer to saying that not only do I think she knows exactly what’s going through her mouth, she’s probably assessing your facial features for a reaction as well. The sneaky little creature….


‘Akk, can I ask you a question?’


Oh man….can I say no? I had begun to fear her opening statements.


‘How much do you weigh?’ she inquired politely, I’m sure my over-active imagination thought it saw an extra glint in her eyes.


I sighed. As usual, the day is too early to play games.


‘I’m a hefty 57kg.’


OK, so I lied. I was closer to 52kg, but whatever makes her happy. Incidentally, always always tell other gals a higher number when it comes to weight, especially the ones whom you know are actively trying to lose some, because for the simple fact that:


a) You don’t want them to whine more about how much heavier they are. Key word is ‘more’ because they’ll definitely whine, but telling them you are heavy too gives them less license to go pass a certain time frame.


b) Gals trying to lose weight happen to feel more charitable to those who aren’t watching theirs. Knowing that you are as heavy/heavier/will soon be heavier than them will make the office culture a better place to work in. For one thing, they are more likely to help you out. Whoever wants to lend a hand to that teck-goh that runs the biathlon every month, that over-skinny, anorexic, salad-touting over-achiever….bet she don’t need me to help pass the fax over. She can surely walk over and collect it herself, she might welcome the exercise….hah!


c) You don’t really want them to suddenly open their eyes big big and say, ‘Really??!! Oh my God, you’re so light? I mean, you’re so light!! Oh…My…God….’ And either win the Grammy for Best Pretense, or Best Knifing Moment.



The outcry from her lips screeched through my pre-caffeine head and her eyes had come to widen to that sickening extent I’m starting to hate.


‘Really??!! Oh my God, you’re so light? I mean, so light!! Oh…My…God….’ Apparently, my one-bag-of-rice over-estimate was not able to take away option C in PPQ’s case. She won the latter but completely lost the first award.



‘Really….I only look heavy, but I was told I’ve got the bones of a bird’, I gritted it out. Already, my blood pressure is rising to the occasion. I can also see the top of Jill’s head over at her cubicle grow still. She overheard the whole exchange.



My MSN pinged. ‘Want Bacardi?’ it was Jill. Ever since the smses, Jill and I have been actively having what we call ‘Bacardi Moments’, which is in the face of impending PPQ-related stress, to drop everything and have a toast of Bacardi or any alcohol-related drink to cool down. We are now currently having a lime Bacardi hiding in the fridge.



‘Not yet’, I pinged back.



‘Akk, I’ve decided to take control of my life,‘ PPQ suddenly announced seriously. She’s been acting like this at funny times during the whole week. ‘I shall not be so upset at being single anymore. There’s nothing wrong, ‘she intoned, she eyes shining with inner light while I imagined Jill hiding behind her cubicle and cringing. ‘in being single at all.’



‘Absolutely,’ I repeated. ‘Nothing wrong.’ And then, refusing to handle this conversation myself anymore, I added, ‘Rite, Jill?’


I heard some choking noises emanating from that end. My MSN immediately pinged an emoticon guzzling beer. Someone’s experiencing her Bacardi moment right now.


‘Rite rite…*koff*…best thing that ever happened to me…’ coughed a reply from the corner while PPQ started guiltily. She did not realize that Jill was at her desk. The MSN pinged me a second emoticon from Jill, this time with one emoticon strangling another.



‘In fact,’ PPQ continued, looking around to check more carefully that there’s only she, me and Jill currently avaible. ‘I’m going to start living for myself.’



‘Good good.’ I murmured and went back to my typing….I’d heard all these before.



‘In fact, I want to make myself prettier.’



‘Good good…huh?’



‘Akk, I’ve decided to give myself a goal.’



‘What goal,’ I asked suspiciously, my fingers floated over the keyboard.



‘I want to look smaller-sized than you.’ She exclaimed.



My Bacardi moment has arrived. More coughing issued from one useless corner of the office while I stared at PPQ blankly, wondering if I had just been bit by a hitherto barking toothless puppy who suddenly grew 4” canines in one night. I, who had given her the TS theory. I, who should be thanked endlessly for my morale-building on her current insight to Life, was being issued an insult.



Thankless little C*** B**. I had never been this roundly introduced to such a 2-face in my life.



‘Fine.’ The Lime Bacardi is starting to sound super-enticing. Jill pinged an MSN message which I am sure to kill her for later. ‘PPQ 1, AKK 0!!! Fight!!!’



‘Are you OK with that?’ PPQ asked. I no longer wish to know who she is anymore beneath her seemingly guileless demeanor.



Suddenly, I have an idea. ‘Sure! I’ll going to take you up on this challenge!’ I replied cheerfully.



‘But I wasn’t…I mean, I wasn’t trying to say you’re….’



‘Of cos not! No one ever says anyone’s fat these days. But I got your point!’ I continued. ‘In fact, that’s exactly what I needed to motivate myself! Yes!’



‘Yes?’



‘Yes! you and I can both strive to be thinner than the other! We will then both benefit greatly! I can see that now.’ I swung my arms and gave her a big hug.



‘Such a motivator, you are!’ I look into her terrified eyes. AKK, the cool aunty in the office with the hansem husband, is now taking on a new project with renewed zest.



‘er…er…’ she stuttered helplessly.



‘In fact, I shall start today!’ I waved a finger at her. ‘Don’t slack ah! You’ve got to be smaller-sized than me.’



With that, I left the office.



5 mins later, Jill found me in the pantry nursing a half-bottle of Bacardi Lime.



“What was that about? You’re going to get skinny for her?’



‘Nah, I’ve been exercising anyways, it’s no bother. I’ll give her a week to catch up.’


‘A week to what?’


‘A week, ‘ I repeated. ‘before I look for her in the office gym and we both compare on the electronic scale.’



‘So?’



‘So….,’ I passed her the unfinished alcohol. “So… she’ll kill herself wondering how I managed to shave off a bag of rice in a week’s time.’



‘You’re evil.’



‘Only to certain people.’ I replied.



****************************************************



‘So let me make this clear.’ I said weakly to LK later in the week after we had cleaned up the spill.


'Yes, I will tell you all, ' he salaamed.


‘You are married.’


‘Yes.’


‘Rather like me. '


‘Yes.’


‘You have a marriage cert, not just the tea-drinking thingy.’


‘Yes’


‘You are pulling my leg.’


‘No.’


‘Who knows about this?’



At this, LK leaned and whispered in my ear.



‘Now you do.’



I have a bad feeling about this……………



Stay tuned!!!!






OUT!


AKK