Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Special October Feature: RM1.JPG (Part 4)

Back from Singapore. It's nice and all, but you just kinda miss how much Malaysia sucks after a few days. Ah, home sweet home.

And are we still at October? Good grief.

RM1.JPG (Part 4)

"Let's see," Leong adjusted his glasses one more time. "And what did you say this was for again?"

"What do you want to know for?"

"Whoa, chill man. Just trying to make sure I give you what you want."

"Just remove the words."

"How detailed do you need it to be? That's why I need to know what you're using it for."

"As detailed as possible."

"Ho boy." he patted his brow. "Not gonna be easy. How on earth did the text get there anyway? You don't have any layered files?"

Ray had to bite his tongue to keep his temper from lashing out. After much effort in vain to remove the words himself via online Photoshop tutorials, he finally relented and sought the help of Leong, his ex-colleague who also happened to be a part-time graphic artist.

"I don't know. Just remove the words."


"What do you think now?" After over 2 hours and no less than six separate amendments, patience was running thin in the room. Ray was proving to be a very difficult customer indeed.


"Looks fine to me."

Ray widened his eyes and stared at the touched-up file for a full minute. The colour was fine. The texture was fine. The shape was fine. There should be absolutely no reason anyone would suspect it had been tampered with.

But it was just so obscenely obvious that there was something wrong. It looked horribly different from the original.

This was one of those things his logical mind hated. There was nothing - UTTERLY NOTHING - that he could put a mental finger on. Something was horribly different, disfigured even, about it and there was nothing he could do about it.

"Still not there yet."

"You must be kidding me!" Leong retorted indignantly. "We've been going back and forth a million times already. I think it looks fine."

"Trust me, it doesn't. Looks very, very strange."

"What is? Tell me."

"I don't know. Just do your job, okay?"

He heaved and fiddled a little more, clearly unhappy.

"How's this?"

"No. Even worse."

"Ugh! That's it man. I just don't get what you want." he threw his hands up in desperation. "What is this for anyway?"

"Just. Do. The. Job." Ray snapped, trying hard to maintain his composure.

"Is this even legal?"


"Hey, hey," Leong stood up. "You're acting weird here. Sure everything's okay?"

"Everything's OKAY. Remove the words. Just remove the words."

"I can't, man. We've been trying for hours now."


"Yes I know. But I just can't do it. Maybe you should pay more for someone better. I know this guy-"

"I should pay more? PAY MORE? HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU WANT?"

"It's not even about me! It's about how much you're willing to pay for someone else!"

Without even realising it, Ray gave Leong a hard slap across the face.

He staggered and tumbled over slowly, more out of shock than pain, before a heated glare escaped his eyes.

Like possessed, he leapt and tackled him to the ground, forcing slaps on a covering Ray. Ray tried to fight back, but Leong was surprisingly strong for his size. They scuffled for a while, trading blows in an increasingly intense manner, when everything halted to a deafening CRASH.

The laptop cable, caught in the chair wheel, had dragged the laptop off the table to the shiny marble floor, where it now lay motionless and picture-less.

To be concluded.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Special October Feature: RM1.JPG (Part 3)

My apologies if you've been kept waiting for far too long! Been very caught up in the annual whirlwind that is VBS (Vacation Bible School) these past 2 months, which explains why updates have been even fewer and further in between than usual. This year's VBS was an especially tricky affair, with the storied Graduation Concert replaced with a Carnival on the last day. So instead of handling a group of rascals, I now had to work with about 20 groups of rascals. Okay, so some of the rascals did turn out very helpful after all. Throw in the task of directing SIX separate sketches (English and Chinese versions over 3 days of VBS) for the Storytelling session, and there you have a load that I would surely have collapsed under if I was still working full time.

I guess the lesson this time around was on working with people. Many of life's little lessons over the past 2 years came ringing back in my mind, in the process revealing sides of me that I was surprised to see. Surprised in a good way, but still surprised nonetheless.

Well, it has been nothing short of wonderful. But now that the dust has settled, it's time for life to move on. Such as updating my blog and satisfying the millions of readers out there.

P.S. I know I know, it's really horrible having to wait 1 whole month for a single update. Not like it's a Lord Of The Rings trilogy or what. I PO-RO-MISE that the RM1.JPG story will be completed by this month, okay? Lots of love.

RM1.JPG (Part 3)

"Here," Ray smiled broadly, dumping a whole bag of RM1 notes on the counter. "Seven thousand three hundred and ninety-nine. Count them all."

The bewildered salesman sifted through the notes one by one. After an hour and half, they finally verified that his notes were real and there were 7399 of them in total. With that, Ray was able to take home his brand new Bravia Plasma TV amidst suspicious glares from every worker in the shop.

He couldn't care less. He just loved the feeling of superiority money brought him.

It wasn't even like he had to live with guilt or fear. For one, his money wasn't illegal and the police could never come knocking on his door one day. Also, his income was inexhaustible. If anyone robbed him or anything, he could just - you know? - print some more.

With each note he printed and cut, he felt himself growing into someone different. Someone with less worries. With more freedom to do what he wanted. Someone who need not care too much about what was right to others.

And of course, this is where the story has to take a turn.


It all started when Ray got home after buying the Plasma TV. Having installed and tested it, he felt bored and decided to print more money first, just in case. After all, it wasn't every weekend he got the chance to be alone. His wife was at her mother's.

As always, he double-clicked to open the file. Then he saw it.

There, in bold black type, sprawled across the Agong's face:


"WHO DID THIS?!" He slammed his fist against the table in uncontrollable anger. "WHO??!"

There was no way anyone could have known about it! He had been extremely careful every step of the way. No one could possibly have been able to access his files. Not his co-workers. Not his boss. Not his friends. Not even his wife!


Wait! Didn't he have a Plan B?

Of course! He backed up all the files! He was a genius!


Unable to read. The file might be corrupt or incomplete.

"Impossible." Ray mouthed and inserted another CD.

Unable to read. The file might be corrupt or incomplete.

He cursed under his breath. This couldn't be happening.

Unable to read. The file might be corrupt or incomplete.

Surely there had to be just one working file. Just one.

Unable to read. The file might be corrupt or incomplete.

"NO!" He flung the entire stack of CDs against the wall. "NOT A SINGLE ONE! NOT A SINGLE ONE!"

He had gone through every single file in his Recycle Bin, C and D drives and external hard disks. Even the original file in his pen drive was missing. All he had left was the disfigured file in his private folder.

He racked his mind over and over to study if anyone could've somehow touched his files. Nothing. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing. It was just a gigantic black whirl of nothingness.


After three hours, Ray managed to list down all his available options:

a) Discontinue printing.
b) Continue printing notes with additional text.
c) Ask his wife to find out what happened.
d) Try to find someone to Photoshop the words away.

B and C were almost immediately struck off. B was almost sure to land him in prison, while C was both not a solution and highly damaging to his marriage.

"No," A voice in his head said. "I cannot stop printing the notes. I'm already halfway to becoming rich. I can't stop now. Not now."

So it became clear. He had to either Photoshop the words away himself, or find someone to do it.

To be continued.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Special October Feature: RM1.JPG (Part 2)

By the third day, Ray had cleverly figured out a way to print more notes nightly and yet still catch up on his sleep. He would leave the printer on for the night to print one side, and then flip every sheet over the next night to print the other side.

It worked perfectly well. All he needed to do was sleep a little later than his wife, and wake up before her to hide the printed notes.

Using this method, he was able to print 450 over 2 nights (his printer could only fit in 1 ream of paper at a time). That worked out to RM225 per night, which was RM59 better than the first night he did it manually.

All while maintaining a relatively healthy schedule of sleeping at 2am and waking up at 6.30am (his wife slept at 12am and usually woke up 7-ish). He needed to stay up late, as it took a fair bit of time to cut the printed notes. However, cutting was needed only on alternate nights. Otherwise, all he only had to load in the paper and clock in to bed at 12.30am.

After a month of madness, he sat down bleary-eyed to count his earnings.

Printed: RM6624
Spent (Printer ink, paper): RM320
Profit: RM6304

"Six thousand and three hundred!" Ray could hardly contain himself. "That's even more than what I make!"

He kept counting again to make sure. Ah, the sweet, sweet smell of accomplishment. And money.

Now, he had to plan ahead. This golden goose needed to work overtime.


"Another printer? What on earth for?" Ray's wife was in a fit upon seeing a brand-new printer beside their old one.

"I told you I need it. Anyway, I paid for it myself okay?"

"Are you mad or something? I've never even seen you use it. And now you buy a second one!"

He pretended not to hear her.

"You're hopeless with money."

He couldn't let petty squabbles get into his head. He was already setting his sights on a cutting machine.


Soon another month passed.

"Yes!" Ray put his pen down on the final amount.

Printed: RM16428
Spent (Printer, printer ink, cutting machine, paper): RM2040
Profit: RM14388

"Well, who's hopeless with money now, huh?" he mocked his wife in his head.

Speaking of which, he hadn't spoken to her in over a week. Not out of choice, but necessity. At the same time, his boss
had issued him two warning letters for being late to work. Social life was also pretty much a thing of the past.

But none of it mattered, for he was RICH! Legitimately filthy rich.

And there was going to be more from where it came from.

To be continued.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Special October Feature: RM1.JPG (Part 1)

Oh lookie! October crept up to us again without anyone noticing. And if you recall, October is always *supposed* to be a very special month here in Twisted Tales, seeing that it marks both birthdays of the Creator and Creation. Author and Authored. Blogger and Blog. Whatever. It crossed my mind to do a 'Best of Twisted Tales' retrospective, which would make even more sense this year seeing that it's the 5th full year of Twisted Tales' existence now. Though posting has drastically slowed down these past 3 years, there're still a ton of gems for us to revisit. Sounds like a yummy proposition.
But no, says I.
Don't get me wrong, though. It wasn't because I didn't want to come across as a self-absorbed egomaniac who harped solely on past glories. I still am. It was because I came up with this really cool piece that refused to be condensed into a throwaway Story of The Day.
It's been a while since we've done this, but... here we go!

RM1.JPG (Part 1)

You know how sometimes weird files mysteriously appear in your pendrive, and nobody has any clue how they got there?

It happened to Ray.

This is the story of a man who one day found two new files in his pendrive, RM1_front.jpg and RM1_back.jpg.

Mystified, he tried printing both files front and back.

The results were unbelievable to say the least. The printed copy perfectly resembled a new RM1 note, down to the squinting Agong and double serial number. Even more amazingly, the file could somehow transform the texture of ordinary A4 paper into that of an RM1 note, complete with silver-coloured lining on the back.

He couldn't believe his eyes. He tried printing a couple more, and there they were - crisp and fresh-smelling as from an ATM machine.

Determined to put this anomaly to the test, he went to the mamak stall downstairs, ordered a packet of limau ais and handed the man two of the notes he had printed and cut out himself. Surely he would notice something strange about it?

He didn't. He just took it, gave Ray 80 sen change and continued bobbing along to generic Hindi music blaring from the cheap speakers.

Ray felt his hands grow cold.

He had, literally, printed money.


Now being an accountant by profession, Ray was careful and calculated in preserving his new-found treasure.

Of course, the first thing he made sure was not to tell anyone about this. Not even his wife. Especially not his wife.

Next, he made copies. Scores and scores of copies, as many as it took. This was not going to be a story that ended with the pendrive becoming corrupted, that he was sure.

Once all the copies were safely stored and his wife safely in bed, he went to work. Working overnight, he managed to print 166 notes before dozing off at 5am. That was RM166. Not bad for a night's work.


The next day at work was hell for Ray. Something's got to give when you sleep for 2 hours before getting through an 11-hour day. He zombied his way through, before plonking asleep at 7pm at home without even taking dinner. Next thing he knew, he was awake at 1am, sleeping wife beside.

With a mind of their own, his feet led him beside the printer.

Time to get to work again.

To be continued.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Dim Sum Love Story

"So you like her, huh?" Loh, the resident taikor (big brother) of the dim sum place winked. "Go get her then!"

"But... she's always with her friends." he sighed.

"That's the way girls are, mate. You just gotta get to them."

He stole another glance at her. There she was, lovely as ever, bubbly as usual and surrounded as always.

Like him, she was new to the dim sum shop and all its hustle and bustle. The steaming buns, puffy tarts, clattering saucers and frantic pace - it all took some getting used to. He was glad to have an angel like her to make the passing hours easier.

But she never looked at him. Maybe once or twice, but he was sure it was just a normal look that she gave to everyone else. The sort that she could also give to the passing customers or scurrying workers. Or anyone else in her sumptuous life which sadly, he didn't feature much in.

"Someday I'll talk to her." he told Loh with a tinge of resignation.

"You can't think that way! She might be gone someday, and so might you. You gotta make that someday today."

"Really? How? Do I ask her out or something?"

"Course not! You really are inexperienced huh?"

"That's why I'm talking to you."

"You said that she's always with her friends. Why don't you get to know her friends then?"

"Um...okay. Sure you can't come with me?"

"Wish I could, but you know I gotta stay here."

"Oh yeah. Behind the counter."

He took a deep breath and tried to act normal. Perhaps now would be a good time, she didn't seem too busy. Though she was still with her friends. Sheesh.

But wait! She was going somewhere. He would have to be patient first.

His eyes followed her to one of the tables with a lone gentleman. She smiled at him, and he did so likewise. Oh wait... he wasn't smiling at her. He was on his mobile phone. Jerk.

The blabbermouth continued to yak away into his cheap phone, laughing embarrassingly loud at regular intervals. All the dim sum on his table went untouched, while she strangely continued to wait for him in silence.

A full three minutes later, enough time for his tea to become cooler than it should be, he put down the phone. And proceeded to do the single most disgusting act he had ever seen.

He locked lips with her.

Right before his very eyes, he pressed his lips against her unabashedly, face devoid of emotion.

She looked happy.

It was more than he could take. The next chance he got, he left his place and jumped to his death.


"Alas," lamented Loh as a diner emptied him into a plate. "Their love was never meant to be - a siu mai and a har gao."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Facebook Fantasies

2.15pm in the office, after lunch.

Everyone typed and clicked diligently, eyes fixated on glowing screens. Presumably working.

Tap-a-tap-a-tap-a-tap. Nobody asked, nobody told. It was the unspoken code of the After Lunch Hour. It wasn't started or taught by anyone in particular. You just knew.


"Stop it! I say everyone, STOP IT!"

Sure enough, they did. Why the sudden outburst?

It was Jeff, the extremely ordinary guy.

"You!" Jeff pointed at Ling, who was on the verge of adding her 627th friend. "Have you forsaken your friends in real life for virtual ones?"

Her face went red like a virus alert.

"And you!" He turned to June, who was uploading photos from her latest date. "Has your vision of reality been so obscured, that you see events only in photos and images? Were you really present and living in the moment of your dates? Or were you too busy just snapping away?"

She was so tempted to digicam this absurd moment, but stopped short.

"And you!" He grabbed Siva at the shoulders, who was restarting an umpteenth round of Typing Maniac. "Don't you have a job to perform here? A career to build? A world to conquer? What happened to that gung-ho intelligent executive who impressed me so? Has he been reduced to #4 among his friends in Typing Maniac?"

Siva hung his head in shame. After pausing the game, of course.

"Listen, all of you!" Jeff folded his arms. "Enough of this madness, I say! Have we become slaves of the digital age? Look at our relationships. Our work. Our homes. Our lives, for Google's sake! Thing weren't always this way. When was the last time you remembered someone's birthday by yourself? Caught up with an old friend just because? Took the time to really ask others how their lives are? Or is there no more need for such things, because friends are now a click away, and every detail of their lives cheaply displayed for all?"

"All I ask of you today, brothers and sisters, is that we take a moment to ponder what we want our loved ones to remember of us when we're gone. Shall we be loving brothers, sisters, spouses, children, friends? Or mere photos and names, indifferent to the people we claim to connect with? Don't be just another contact. Go home today and make someone who matters smile."

He slumped back into his chair, exhausted from the impromptu speech.

The others just shot each other confused glances and minimised their Firefoxes. Back to work. It was almost 3pm, anyway.



Monday, August 31, 2009

House of small cubes

Ack! I'm not dead yet, people. A lot has been happening these past nearly-two-months. So much so that I ALMOST went an entire month without posting. ALMOST.

Well actually... this is being posted 2.40am, 1st September. Tweaked the date on Blogger. Guess that counts as cheating.

Anyway, I'm working on another piece at the moment. Hope it'll be ready by tomorrow. For now, here's a really sweet and touching short film I found on Facebook. Some Oscar 2009 winner to boot too. It kinda reminds me of the Pixar animation UP, though I haven't watched UP yet.

Enjoy it with a loved one!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The End

Today, it finally happened.

I've come to the end of a 2-year dream.

A dream I've shed and shared much tears over.

Dreams are nice and blissful.

But at the end of the day, they prove that you're still asleep.

Guess it's time for me to wake up and face the truth.

Farewell, sweet dream.

They say all ends are merely beginnings to a new story.

Let's see.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dreams On Paper

It was an action-packed afternoon in the office. I was rushing out for a meeting when this Twisted Tale came without warning.

The story is told of a pile of different papers telling tales of their vivid dreams.

"I shall capture the moments of the world." bragged Photo Paper.

"That's nothing." Tracing Paper cut in smugly. "I'm going to see through things of the world."

"Your dreams are all but thin and flimsy," boomed Art Paper. "I, on the other hand, create the space for imaginations to come alive."

who're you calling thin and flimsy.

The papers turned around.

"Oh lookie," Sand Paper barked. "It's Tissue Paper."

"Hey... that's not nice. Be kind to him, will you?" Sugar Paper frowned at such rudeness.

Mahjong Paper snickered. "I can bet you that's not going to happen."

fine then. i'll just go away and wipe my tears.

"No... come back!" Sugar Paper called after him. "See what you've done?" She pouted at the other papers.

Everyone glared at each other.

"Ah. If only she was me, she could erase all the wrongs of the world."

Everyone turned to see who it was who spoke so powerfully.

"For indeed, it is only I who possess the powe-"

"SHUT UP! YOU'RE NOT EVEN A PAPER!" Everyone yelled in unison.

Poor Liquid Paper slunk away, white in embarrassment.

"Ahem." Came another voice from behind. "Want to know what I can do?"

A collective groan arose.

"Let's not even go there, Toilet Paper."

And so the story went. It is, after all, every paper's dream to change the world with what he or she is created for. Simple though they may be, folk stories abound of individual papers who have made all the difference in history. Take for instance the Declaration of Independence. An unassuming piece of papyrus milled from the remote forests of Pennsylvania, bred and selected from hundreds of thousands of its kind. Who would've ever imagined it was this one piece of paper that liberated the world's greatest power of today. It is the hope of someday becoming the Paper That Changed The World that drives every paper to give the best in all they do.

But as they say, many things in life are unequal. Even as the papers stood there engaged in petty squabbles, one paper amongst them all stood in still confidence. Far from being the strongest, biggest, thickest or fanciest sheet, he nonetheless possessed the captivating aura of a paper that was like no other. He had no need for witty rhetoric or impressive fronts. All he needed to do, simply, was to be himself and allow the people of the world to work their magic on him.

He was A4 Paper.

And he knew that he did not have to fight for attention like the other papers. No matter what fate had in store for him, he was destined for glory. He could end up in a school being part of a future inventor's thesis. Maybe in a research lab as part of a revolutionary blueprint. Or even a major political agreement in the hands of world leaders.

But as things turned out, he ended up in the most promising place of all - a multi-million corporate office.

He arrived one inconspicuous Monday morning, part of a family of 500 per ream. A young lady set them beside a huge printer that churned out dozens of his kind daily. Some of them gave their lives to proposal sheets, some project agreements, the less fortunate ones invoices. But all of them made a difference in the world.

Within three days, his turn came. Our A4 friend could hardly catch his breath as he was loaded into the machine, eagerly watching those at the bottom get printed one a time.

20 went into a tender in the morning. Another dozen to a stack of department reports. Some more and more, more and more...

Until it came to no more.

Next up was him.

This was it. His turn to change the world.

"Judy, can you print the construction contract for me? Client requested for a hard copy."

A construction contract! Fancy that!

Those were worth millions at least!

He was so excited he almost crumpled himself.

As she pressed Ctrl + P, he inhaled deeply and waited for the printer to set things in motion.



"Judy, what's that awful noise?"

"Aiyah! Sorry ah boss. Printer jam. I print another copy yah." Judy frowned as she scrunched up the misprinted copy and threw it into the wastepaper basket.

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Starbucks Story

"Can I have a Starbucks coffee, please?"

I glared disapprovingly at him. "What? Are you mad?"

It was a lazy Thursday afternoon after lunch. We were walking back to office when he suddenly got this idea from goodness-knows-where.

"Well..." he gazed longingly at the glass entrance. "I was thinking that it's been a while since I had a Starbucks."

I marched in, took a good look at the price list and almost fainted.

"Fourteen bucks! Do you have any idea how much that is?!"

"Yeah...that's pretty expensive I guess."

"If you're really feeling thirsty, can't you get something cheaper instead? It's just liquid anyway. Maybe a soft drink from 7-11."

"Or we could, you know," I made the sarcasm in my voice apparent. "Walk up a flight of stairs to the office and drink some water FOR FREE."

He looked down. Trying to hide his disappointment. Badly.


"Argh," I slapped my forehead. "You're making me feel bad on purpose. I know you are."

"All I'm saying is that... I deserve a treat after having worked so hard lately."

"Worked hard? Excuse me? Did I miss something here? Didn't you leave office early yesterday?"

"Says who! I left at seven-thirty. And that was because I had somewhere to go."

"Excuses. You usually work much later than that."

"And I don't want that. Is it wrong to not work like mad for once?"

I kept silent and took a good look at him. There he stood before me, barely 24 of age, a proud young man with his own hidden frailties and insecurities. He had no problems giving his best, but lately I could tell it was eating into him. Cracks were beginning to show on his glossy surface.

Perhaps I had been pushing him too hard. Expecting him to always do the right thing. Know the right words. Carry out the right tasks. Go that one extra mile, exceed that one expectation.

He was only human, after all. As highly as I thought of him sometimes, he couldn't be perfect. He shouldn't.

"All right," I said to him. "We'll get your cup of coffee. My treat."


A strange feeling of lightness came over me as I handed the fourteen bucks for a chilled Java Chip with whipped cream on top. It made me happy to see him happy for once.

Taking the stairs back to office, cup in hand, I couldn't help smiling to myself.

Have you given yourself a treat lately?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Girl & A Wedding Dress

Oh no. I think I'm addicted to designing chic lit book covers. This story came to me during a drive by the renowned SS2 bridal street. Didn't turn out the way I expected it to, though. See what you guys make out of it. Credits to Wen Cheng for helping me touch-up the last part! =)

This story begins with a lovely girl who just turned 28 last month. She's attractive, smart, chic - and she's picking a wedding dress!

"How about satin white? You can't go wrong with that." Wanda the shop assistant beamed at her.

"Really? You think so?"

"Uh huh."

She stroked her cheek for a while, envisioning the ceremony in her mind. Weddings were always so hard to plan for. Sometimes people told her that she was too much of a perfectionist.

But it was a wedding! The sweetest day she had dreamed of since a little girl. It had to be perfect.

The adorable flower girl and ring boy stepping down the aisle.

Will they forget their steps? Will that boy just blank out?

Oh, don't be such a worry wart, you.

The rows of smiling guests, all rising to greet the soon-to-be Mrs. Taylor.

Mrs. Taylor. Oh gosh, what a name.

She couldn't help giggling a little. How inappropriate.

And of course, the blushing bride, gorgeous in her flowing dress, the radiance of every day of her life spent picturing this moment reflected in her eyes. This moment, so simple yet beautiful in execution, the purest of leaps of faith, the most perfect of beginnings and endings.

She would walk up beside the man she chose to belong to. They would recite their vows together, both willing this moment to both be done with and yet somehow last forever. They would then whisper their "I do"s, not sounding quite as articulate as they had always imagined themselves in front of so many. Finally, he would turn to her, lift up her veil, gaze knowingly into her eyes and share with her the first lover's kiss of many to come.

Not a single soul in the hall would be seated. This was, indeed, the story they had all been waiting to see. A story that was starting and finishing right before their eyes.

How lovely, she gushed in her heart.

"Hello? You've been thinking for a long time." Wanda snapped her fingers at her face, concerned.

"Huh? Oh, I..."

"Or perhaps lavender? That's very elegant too."

"No," she shook her head. "White. It has to be white."

"You sure?"


"Okay then. Miss Carrie!"

A timid bride-to-be, all 26 years of her, stepped in.

"We think this dress suits you best."

Miss Carrie clasped her hands in joy. "Oh, it's lovely! Thank you so much, Wanda. And thank you too, Ally. You're the best wedding planner ever."

"My pleasure, darling." Ally smiled in return. "Every girl deserves to look unforgettable on her wedding day."

Another happy girl. Wonder when my turn will come.

This story ends with a lovely girl who just turned 28 last month. She's attractive, smart, chic - and still single.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Funeral

They stepped forward in an unwavering line, solemnly paying last respects.

"He was so young."

"He always seemed so happy."

"He never failed to make me laugh."

That's nice to know.

"Remember the jokes he used to tell?"

"Of course! And those silly faces."

"I remember his stories."

"Ooh...yes! He used to write a lot, didn't he?"

"There was this story... about some girl... what was it again?"

The Toll Gate Girl.

"Can't recall. I like the one about the pencil."

"Didn't read that."

"You should have. It was hilarious."

"But then again, most of them are."

"He's probably meeting those ghosts he wrote about."

They all laughed at once.

They like my stories.

Uncomfortable silence ensued.

"Well. There goes another fine young man."

"Yeah. That's life."

More awkward shuffling.

"I wonder what he really was like."


"He was funny."

"And cheerful."

"But I sense there was more to him. Beneath the laughter, the jokes and the stories."

"He just never told us."

"Yeah. The other side."

"What a pity."

Heaving sighs as downcast as the morning itself, they threw in a final clump of dirt and turned to leave.

They never really knew me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Life Is A Mess

My life is a mess now.

And the last thing I need is more advice.

I need time.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Do you enjoy procrastinating?

Putting off till tomorrow what you can do today?

I am the world's biggest fan of procrastination.

I tend to only do things when I feel like doing them.

If I don't enjoy it, then it can wait.

The story is told of a drunk man who reached home late one night.

As he was reaching for his keys to open the door, he dropped them by accident.

The keys fell somewhere dark, away from the glowing street lamp.

"Oh my," he thought. "How on earth am I going to find those keys in the dark."

"Maybe I'll search for them under the light first. That'll be easier."

So he searched, searched and searched under the light.

He couldn't find the keys, not even after an hour's work.

Of course not! The keys were out there in the dark.

But he would rather search in somewhere he was comfortable first.

Which, if you think about it, translates into a waste of time.

It's funny how the little things eventually trickle down to the big things.

Each time we procrastinate, do we in some way procrastinate our happiness?

Each time we say "It will settle itself", do we leave our happiness in the hands of others?

Each time we continue searching under the light, do we miss out on the keys to happiness hidden in the dark?

It is one of life's tough lessons.

I guess I'll sleep over it tonight.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

People At A Park

They say this story was told by Nelson Mandela, the former South African president.

It begins, as inspirational stories usually do, on a cool breezy morning in a park. Several early birds jogged round an asphalt path as others sat admiring nature's handworks.

Mr. Mandela observed a jogger looking increasingly frustrated. Sure enough, he stopped a few minutes later and took off his shoes in a huff.

Our president strode over and patted this young man's shoulder. "What is the matter, son?"

Startled, he paused to catch his breath. "I've been a winner all my life."

"That's good."

"But not today."

"And why is that so?"

"See that old man there?" he gestured. "I've been trying to catch up with him the whole morning. I can't. He's just too good."

Mandela nodded.

"I beat everyone else. Even that sprinter guy there. He was behind me the whole time."

"But not the old man." He shook his head and gulped from his cooler.

The sun's rays caught a glimmer in the president's eye.

"Son," he said. "You did not see the full picture."

"That old man you were trying to beat - he came in much later than you did. In fact, while you weren't looking he cut in ahead of you."

"And that sprinter you thought you beat? He actually ran a whole round faster than you. That's why he was behind."

The young jogger lowered his gaze.

"In my time, I have seen people from all walks. Different races, communities, upbringings, financial backgrounds, opportunities. But the funny thing is this - they like comparing themselves with one another!"

"You cannot compare yourself with others! You have no idea where they started and where they're headed to. That sprinter could have easily outran you. But he was training for endurance. That's why he kept his pace."

"In life, some people start off wealthier, more privileged, more educated. Some want to be the best in the world. Some want to be the best in their family. Some want a simple life. They all will get there in their own time."

"You have to know where you came from and where you're going. Acknowledge every victory and defeat against these. That way, the only person worth comparing to is yourself."

Mandela put an arm round his shoulder and winked. "Now go run again, like you're running for your life."

He smiled as the lad put on his shoes and ran once more, intent only on maintaining his pace. And Mandela couldn't help smiling as he eventually overtook the old man without even realising it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kamen Rider Black

Sometimes, 30 minutes is all you need to save the world.