22 August 2013


All my trousers and shirts appear to have mysteriously shrunk. Or have they shrank? Irrespective I am in somewhat of a quandary how this has occurred. 

One of the more audacious English with whom I work has suggested that I am larger in the girth after my recent travels to the United Kingdom and my beloved Australia but I have scoffed at this. I scoff at much of what the English say. It is a fundamental duty and responsibility of all Australians to scoff at the English.

I am fond of the word quandary and as a rule I generally like most words that began with the letter 'Q'. It is useful and quite valuable when playing the game of scrabble as well if one can strategically place it on a triple letter score square. A quandary is a state of perplexity. It is a state that I am often in given that I reside in Singapore. Many things perplex me here. It is quite queer but I shouldn't quibble. Oops. I appear to have slipped into a 'Q word frenzy. 

I shall now quit.

Etymologists believe that the origins of the word quandary are Latin and it was derived from the term 'quango' - which meant both 'when?' and 'who'?

Despite the outrageous accusation by the audacious Englishman that I may have put on weight, I have decided to recommence the swimming program that I abandoned some months ago. After work each evening I now slip into my somewhat tight speedos and I don my swimming goggles and swim a very slow kilometer in the pool at my apartment complex. After my swim this evening I was exhausted and after toweling myself dry I lay down for a while on one of the comfortable sun chairs that are positioned poolside.

I unintentionally dozed off for a while and was awakened suddenly and unexpectedly by the pungent odor of what smelled like rancid anchovies. Or is it smelt? Irrespective, I opened my eyes and was greatly surprised to see the bespectacled face of the building manager Mr. Tan only inches away from my own. The shock caused me to jerk my head forward and I very accidentally head butted the little fellow. He was knocked back quite violently, his glasses went flying and he landed on his ass. The force of the contact rolled me off the side of the deck chair.

"What the fuck Mr. Tan?" I semi yelled as I rose unsteadily to my feet - rubbing my already bruising temple.

I took a couple of staggering steps towards the prostrate building manager to help him to his feet but I was beaten to him by the two security guards of my complex - Raj and Raj. 

Mr. Tan was assisted to his feet with a Raj on either side of him. He was groggy and unsteady and there was a trickle of blood above his left eyebrow.

"I am so sorry Mr. Peter" Mr. Tan croaked.

At my approach the two Raj's suddenly and inexplicably let go of Mr. Tan and they snapped to an immediate attention. Mr. Tan promptly fell to his knees.

"Jesus Christ Raj and Raj" I declared.

"Will you stop bloody saluting me and help Mr. Tan"

Looks of uncertainty crossed the faces of both Raj's. One dropped his salute and bent down to help Mr. Tan to his feet whilst the other remained in a stoic saluting position.

The saluting situation with the Raj's has gotten completely out of control. Or is it got? I have lately been taking the long way around to enter my apartment complex and have been sneaking in the rear gate simply to avoid the salutes that the Raj guards give me. It is embarrassing and uncomfortable and they refuse to stop.

The Raj assisting Mr. Tan helped him to a deck chair where he sat dazed and rubbing his head.

"What the hell were you doing putting your face so close to mine Mr. Tan" I enquired.

"He had been thinking that you were being kilted Mr. Peter sir and was being upon checking that you were being breathing" the Raj who was not saluting replied.

"Kilted?" I asked.

"Made deaded by a heart attacking or kilted by the Danelanderish mens" Raj said.

The 'Danelanderish mens' that the non-saluting Raj was referring to is Jens my somewhat insane Danish neighbour. 'Kilted" is Raj talk for 'killed'.

A kilt is a dress for men worn by the Scots. It has been around since the sixteenth century in Scotland and is generally made from woolen tartan material. The Scottish word 'kilt' means 'to tuck up the clothes around the body' - which is one heck of a big description for such a small word. The Scots wore their kilts into battle - and adorning such girlish attire allowed them freedom of movement to charge into their enemies. Their enemies were mostly the English. There is some suggestion that the Scots in the seventeenth century actually removed their kilts when they fought. It has also been suggested that Scottish soldiers wore no underpants beneath their kilts - so they fought naked from the waist down. This would have been a fearsome sight indeed.

"I was just bloody sleeping" I informed the Raj.

"At ease" I barked at the other Raj - who then dropped his salute and rushed to the other side of the seated Mr. Tan. Or is it sitting? I am a bit dazed and confused.

"I am sorry Mr. Peter but I was worried that you were not conscious and I was checking that you were breathing" Mr. Tan said.

"Where are my glasses?" he asked.

"They are having being knocked into the swimming pool Mr. Tan sir" a Raj reported

"Get them" ordered Mr. Tan

One of the Raj's went to the side of the pool and made to plunge himself into the water. He was fully clothed.

"What the fuck Raj" I said

"Don't jump into the bloody pool. I will get them"

The Raj hesitated and I jumped into the pool and dove down to retrieve Mr. Tan's glasses. One of the lens was broken and the frames were twisted. Our head collision was quite a violent one.

"Are you Ok Mr. Tan?" I asked as I handed him his spectacles.

"Do you need me to call a doctor?"

I could see that the blood above his eyebrow was from a small cut and was not exactly flowing.

"I am alright Mr. Peter" he replied

"I am so sorry for banging your head" he added.

"You scared the fuck out of me Mr. Tan. A simple poke would have sufficed rather than sticking your face in mine".

"I am so sorry Mr. Peter" he repeated.

"Don't worry about it. Are you sure that you are OK?"

"I am fine"

"Do you have another pair of glasses?" I enquired.

"I think those ones are cactus"

"I have more in my office" he replied.

"Whereabouts Mr. Tan? I will go and get them for you"

"No no Mr. Peter I will get them myself"

Mr. Tan rose a bit unsteadily to his feet with his fractured and twisted glasses perched equally unsteadily on his nose.

"I think you guys should probably help Mr. Tan back to his office" I suggested to the two Raj's.

"Maybe I should call a doctor just to make sure that you are OK Mr. Tan?"

"No no Mr. Peter" he said again.

"We are being very most glad that you are not being deaded Mr. Peter sir" a Raj said

"I am very glad that I am not deaded too Raj"

Bizarrely this triggered both Raj's into an immediate salute again. The madness of this baffles and now distresses me.

"Listen is there any way I can stop you guys from saluting me all the time?" I asked.

"We will never being stopping from saluting you in our respectfulness of you Mr. Peter sir" a Raj responded.


"Never sir"

"Oh fuck" I sighed.

"At ease then boys and please help Mr. Tan back to his office"

"With most certainly and assuredly Mr. Peter sir" the other Raj said.

They both then dropped their salutes and one held onto each of Mr. Tan's arms. I watched them slowly but gently escort the hobbling Mr. Tan towards his office then I grabbed my towel and rubbing my sore forehead made my way towards the lift lobby.

This whole salutation thing is doing my head in and I need to work out a way to make it to stop.

I feel a throbbing headache coming on.

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