Friday, 18 May 2007

Resounding Responses

I was casually browsing through my bulletin board in Friendster just now when a particular topic happened to grab my attention.

It was titled "Why guys don't pick up the phone or reply messages". A tatty little voice at the back of my head instantly told me that this was posted by some clueless girl who doesn't know that the boy she's chasing after is just not interested in her. Alas, the bulletin was posted by a boy whose face I did not care to give a second look. Still, I clicked the title and braced myself for the worst.

Imagine my mild amusement to find out that it was actually a survey, rather than a 1500 word long essay with a central theme of adoloscent heartache. In the survey, quite a number of respondents had already left their opinions on why guys don't answer the phone. A few example answers are - and I am not making these up:

1. Silent mode + off vibrate = Tak Perasan

2. sbb dia tengah bz with another gal

3. tgn pth sbb xcdent..due² tgn..kaki plak kene simen lagi parah

4. Kijer banyak...due date dah dekat

5. mati kut!

Actually, if boys were to be honest with themselves, they would tell you that half of the time all those excuses given - on why the phone was left ringing for half an hour, or those 29 messages left unanswered - are really lies. And that goes especially for number 5.

The real reason why girls are almost always left feeling disappointed when hoping for a reply from boys is that because boys - bless them - are just plain lazy to do so.

I myself have been guilty of neglecting my phone quite a number of times in the past. It is because of the simple reason that my phone is a clamshell, making it a tiresome chore to flip the darn thing open everytime a message comes in. In fact, during certain circumstances (such as sleep, or in the midst of an intense gaming session), the amount of effort needed to slide my thumb under the top cover and flip it is so great, that it is equatable to making crop circles or perhaps even conquering Mount Everest. So much so that I just give up on whoever it is that just sent me that text message.

So girls, I am telling you this: do not take heart if your calls go unanswered, or your messages unreplied. He may be in the middle of something important, such as receiving the Nobel Peace Prize or discovering a new species of Venus flytrap. But most of the time, it is because he's just a plain sloth.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Concerning Housework

You may have noticed, while watching The Naked Chef playing fast and loose with egg flippers and colanders and the rules of English syntax during that series they filmed in his own home, how everything inside was clean and orderly. The kitchen counters polished, the cushions fluffed, the aluminium fairly trembled from a hard good brush. Not only was the place spick, but it would take a hard judge not to affirm that it was span as well. Looking at that house, the heart grows heavy. How pristine! What a joy to live there! What works I could achieve! Do not be deceived, dear readers. There is a reason for such cleanliness: the Naked Chef is evil.

Not only that, but he also makes a lot of money, that he can afford someone to come around every day with a canvas bag of steel wool brushes and soft cloths and other cleaning utensils, and make it all look shiny. In fact, that would be a good tip to achieving a clean home yourself: hire someone to do it for you.

Of course, this is only applicable if you're a male. Now, I don't want to sound sexist - I never want to sound sexist, especially when I am saying something sexist - but men and women have different relationships with housework. I'm not saying that women enjoy doing housework anymore than men enjoy driving around in circles when they're lost rather than stop for directions, but unlike men, women see a need for housework. Even left alone and to her own devices, a woman is more likely to rinse out the glass before having another drink. I have been told that women, whether living alone or together in a group, own such items as sugar bowls and saucers. What's more; they actually use them.

This is just not the way of your typical man. The typical man is one of nature's greatest pragmatists. Just take a look at the careers of the philosophers and rational skeptics, and I think you will find that they all learnt their trade during their bachelor years, asking "If a floor is mopped and nobody comes in to see it, has it really been mopped at all?".

Note: These arguments were used when my mum instructed me to clean out my room today. They however, found scant favour with her. Unfortunately, mums are made out of sterner stuff.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

The Discerning Bachelor

You might wonder what I've been up to so far during this holiday. The answer is quite simple actually - I've been watching television. In fact, a bit too much for my own good I suspect. Watching too much television is never a good thing for your mental health, especially more so when you have nothing to sober you up - an anatomy textbook, for example.

But even worse than watching the telly for hours at end is watching those absolutely horrible programmes so sneakingly labeled as 'reality shows'. I remember a couple of years back, I sat down through 50 of the most depressing minutes I ever hope to witness on television.

Was it the evening news? It was not. Was it the first half of a Bundesliga match? No it was not. And neither was it the second half.

It was a show so bad, it had me pinching myself just to make sure it was really happening and not just an awful manifestation brought about by my dreadful imagination combined with eating a cheese sandwich too close to bedtime.

It was a show unsurpassed in my memory for plumbing the terrible shallows which the human heart is capable of. It was The Bachelor.

The Bachelor is - or rather, was - another addition to the already large family of reality TV programmes. But unlike such flimflam and flummery such as Survivor and Big Brother and The Apprentice, the reality in this show is all too painfully evident.

The bachelor of the title is a good, wholesome American by the name of Alex who is allegedly quite a catch. And if you happen to believe the producers, he's more than just a catch - he's the whole sardine run. In a brief biographical sketch, we are told that Alex is handsome, that Alex is rich and that Alex used to swim a lot when he was in university. We are also told by his optimistic mum that Alex is unmarried because he 'hasn't found the right girl yet'. Aww. Poor Alex.

But no, lucky Alex! For he's about to meet the right girl! More than twenty women from all around the States have been mysteriously sourced by the producers - through classified advertisements and cards left in telephone booths, I would assume - and they are going to spend the next several weeks vying for the honour of marrying Alex.

Does this sound perverse to you yet? Does it sound like an inversion of all that marriage is supposed to represent?

We are then introduced one by one to the participants. Why, I wondered, are they doing it?

These women wanted to marry, the same way they once wanted Malibu Barbie for Christmas and that was that. They all spoke the language of love. "I believe in true romance," said one contestant. "I believe in love at first sight," said another. "I believe that there is a soul mate out there for everyone,". None of them demonstrated the ability to hear to what they were saying.

Needless to say, The Bachelor was appalling to watch. In the (supposedly) climax of the first episode, Alex speaks briefly to all 20 plus women, then evicts 10 of which he finds least appealing. They stand facing him in a semi circle of frozen grins, like waxed beauty queens.

I was frozen with pure fear of what might come next. I never did find out.

Fast forward to the present, and the producers have done it again with - no prizes for guessing - The Bacholerette, which is even more awful as it now rhymes with Laundromatte.

Oh, the humanity.