Monday, August 09, 2004

The pen is meatier than the sword

To continue my bloggish flirtation with South-East Asia (he said, grasping at tiny yellow straws with the words ‘weak segue’ stencilled in black copperplate writing down the side), let me tell you about a experience I had a couple of days ago.

I dashed into Sammy’s Kitchen in Civic to pick up some Malaysian-Lao-Thai-Vietnamese-Albanian take-aways. Shan-tung chicken; sizzling lamb with black pepper and snow peas; curry puffs (two). On such food as this is Australia now propelled into its dazzling future.

Standing at the counter, I drew myself up to my full impressive six feet and one inch to better impose my massive frame upon the room because, well, you know, would it kill somebody to give me some service? Criminy, I’ve been waiting five minutes now.

They finally noticed me and, upon receipt of my ordinary name, they proffered their triple treat. I was paying by credit card (yes, it is taking a long time to get to the point, isn’t it?) and so I was handed a black pen and a credit card slip to sign.

Now here’s where it gets kind of amusing. For some reason, I mistakenly thought the nib of the pen was retracted into the body and that I had to click the end to extract it. So I clicked the end. Only it wasn't the end. And it was not retracted.

Two young Asian women looked up in surprise to see my face, atop said impressive six-feet and one inch frame, contorted in sudden agony.

I drove that nib right through the skin of my thumb. Lordy! I don’t know my own strength!

There is something very embarrassing about a public display of pain, like it somehow violates the social contract. People who crawl, broken and bleeding, out of smashed, over-turned vehicles on busy public highways must just be so mortified. Can you imagine the awkwardness as the rush-hour rubber-neckers crawl by? Jeez, will that fucking ambulance never get here?

I gestured in the international language of unreadable gestures at the pen and my thumb. Then I signed and left, sporting a brand new tattoo to go with the other tattoo that I fashionably never obtained. I imagined that the circle of black ink beneath the skin might be there forever! What a story to tell the blog!

Alas four days later, like the indifferent Shantung chicken, the ink is gone. Leaving only: me, this post, stale crumbs of the broken crust of a curry puff.





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