Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 26 2001

I don’t know what it was that took hold of my brai…

I don’t know what it was that took hold of my brain and shook it until I felt that going in to work on Christmas Eve with a bad cold would be a good idea, but my lawyers will be in touch with it. I think it spams, too. Fortunately there wasn’t much to do and I spent most of the day passed out on my desk before once again braving the bitingly cold wind on my motocycle ride home. Then I pretty much went home and immediately to bed. Well, ok, I fucked around online for a bit, but I still went to bed at around 9 or 10 pm.

I woke up really early on Christmas morning, no doubt a leftover reflex from childhood, before realizing that my entire gift-giving experience had already reached its climax the night before as I clicked on the “send” button for the Amazon gift certificates I sent to members of my family. My brother and his wife did send me some bright green compact x7 binoculars and a travel alarm clock. I suppose that all the opening-gifts-under-the-tree thing is for kids anyway.

Instead I worked on my Indian Pacific account all morning, gradually coming to the realization that the story is far too long to be considered by any newspaper, so I should either cut it to ribbons or see if there is some other more feasible format for it, besides damning it to almost total obscurity by including it in my Writing section.

Dean was holding a Christmas Party at his new place, so I took the MRT over, getting off when I saw the sickly green environment of Yung-chun Station. Dean was waiting upstairs at the Paris Paris (inventive naming by the people who brought you New York New York) department store. We went down to the supermarket to buy eggnog materials, fighting our way through crowds of elderly Chinese women vying over various pieces of cutlery.

Back at Dean’s place, Evil Cat was prowling about and seemed to express particular interest in destroying the fake Christmas Tree that Dean and Kay had bought. Whoever noticed Evil Cat beginning to climb the tree was obliged to grab the nearest available weapon and fire. Fortunately for the neighbors the nearest available weapon was usually a water pistol, as I left my swords at home.

We put in The Grinch VCD and started making the eggnog with vanilla ice cream, mocha coffee, whip cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and generous sloshes of Bourbon, occasionally tasting it to see whether it resembled the eggnog of our mispent youths, which wasn’t really possible as that eggnog was the kind you buy in a carton at the superkmarket and contains no alcohol. However, the more alcohol we added, the more imaginative our taste buds became, and soon Chlorox would have tasted “Just like Mom Used To Make” and we declared our vat of brown liquid “Proper Eggnog”.

About that time our friend Eoghain arrived, bearing what he said was Champagne but later turned out to be Cognac. Then Jaime and Graham came in carrying all the makings of a fine evening in the form of Brown Russians. We listened to such Christmas favorites as “Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo” and a funny song about Chanukah.

Dinner consisted of a turkey Dean had finagled from Malibu, stuffing from a package, cranberry sauce and real mashed potatoes with gravy. It was scrumptious, and we watched “A Blackadder Christmas Carol” on TV as we ate and sipped our eggnog and Brown Russians.

Later on James, who is a friend of Dean’s, came round with his wife and kid. James has been in Taiwan for five years. His wife and kid are Taiwanese. James does not speak Chinese and cannot understand what his son, who is three, is saying. All James knew how say to his kid was “I am American. You are Taiwanese.” How touching. At least the kid got some eggnog.

His wife was even more fun. Evil Cat was in the process of making a sneak attack on her hand as she tried to pet it, so I warned her in Chinese “Watch out, that cat will slash your hand open if you get too close.”

She just smiled and replied “Ooh, your Chinese is so good!” as she continued to fondle the cat, eventually shrieking as Evil Cat, true to form, ripped at her hand. I shrugged. I don’t know why I bother sometimes. There could be someone about to be bit by a bus here, and I could yell at them “Watch out for the bus! Run!” and they would just smile and say “Oh, your Chinese is so good!” right before they were smushed by the bus. I should prepare a paper bag to throw over my head in case of an emergency situation where I am called upon to make a stranger take me seriously.

We had rented a couple of episodes of “Absolutely Fabulous“, since I had never seen it before and was curious as to what all the fus was about. To be honest, I still don’t. I didn’t understand the humor and simply found it rather confusingly insipid. Probably says more about me than about the show, though.

Eventually James and his family left, along with Graham, Eogain and Jaime, but our numbers were soon replenished in the form of Fuad and his girlfriend, who tried to use sign language to communicate with me. I just stared at her, and later she complained to Fuad that I was “not a real talkative guy.” They left to catch the MRT home, and I left somewhat later, but they got lost and we all ended up on the subway together again. Police officers were strolling up and down the subway platforms at Taipei Main Station. I felt like I was floating everywhere I went by that point, and I fell asleep almost immediately after I got home.

Even I forgot that it was my birthday yesterday. Usually it’s everyone else that forgets. Oh, well. Selective memory and all that.

Unfortunately, I am back at work again today. Even more unfortunately, they’re still playing crappy Christmas tunes over the intercom, and I showered myself with dust and who knows what kind of chemicals earlier as I tried to dislodge one of the speakers embedded in the ceiling so I could stomp all over it until it stopped making those irritating noises. I hope Whiny Woman took notice, because she’s next.

Ugh. Three more days of this until the weekend.

posted by Poagao at 9:53 am  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment