Friday, August 1, 2008

Be Serious, Edmund!

I was catching up with old friends on Facebook yesterday. Wrote funny messages on their "FunWall". Suddenly, the Arkansas cat reappeared next to my notebook and gave me a serious look. Told me that it doesn't like it when I'm not serious. Told me to read some posts by serious people like The Vincit talking about non-existent objects while pontificating about abortion. I ignored the Serious Cat and continued my quest for the ultimate in silliness. That brought me to "Sarah Marshall" and "Zohan". I got to know idiots like Bill Hader and Jason Sogel. Serious Cat thought that I wasn't taking it seriously enough so it brought along its friend, Serious Dog...

This is Serious Dog with its ever serious face. It didn't talk much. Told me that it didn't like talking to funny heretics like me. Said I should be a little more "purpose-driven" in my pointless life. I explained that I am driven. My purpose is to seek out the ultimate in silliness. Guess that didn't amuse it. It continued staring at me in a serious way. When it started speaking again, it continued spouting lines from self-help books. It told me about the importance of investing in property and a life-insurance policy. It told me about having a vision and fanning the flames of ambition. I wasn't listening by then. I was fiddling a ballpen while staring at the girl opposite me. She looked like Natalie Meng. Only purer and more innocent. Some time later, my friend, Angsty Plat came along...

This is Angsty Plat. He too thinks that I should be more serious. By that, he meant to say that I should rewatch movies filled with angst like "The Deer Hunter" or "Of Mice And Men". As a bonus, I should also probably check out picture books written by cranky Brits who abhor the spandex-crowd. Angsty Plat believes that whatever is ignored, unknown, unread and unwatchable is superior art-form. The rest is kitsch (or shit). Angsty Plat also happened to be a great friend and I love him despite his endless angst and eccentric choices in books, comics, movies, music, etc.

Finally, here's Flirty Cat. Flirty Cat is busy hooking up with flirtatious cats wearing low-cut dresses on Catbook. He divides his time between being dazed and confused in SIN and being dazed and confused in the Land of Catty Smiles. Some months back, Flirty Cat was in Salzburg and Berlin but nothing beats the Land of Catty Smiles. 'Cos once you've tasted the Catty Smiles, you'll go for no other. Flirty Cat loves the feeling of being a pampered monarch in the Land of Catty Smiles. Ironically, Flirty Cat also happens to be one of my closest friends (and mind you, we did not get to know each other over the online Catbook). To me, the Land of Catty Smiles is all about pirated goods and cheap action figures. To Flirty Cat? I don't know. Last we dined, we talked about his emotional-deficiencies (Stupid Romeo like me tried explaining to him the importance of "liking" a cat and "bedding" one!) but Flirty Cat crawls back to the same Land of Catty Smiles for another taste every few months. You know why? Once you've tasted Catty Smiles, there's nothing like it - and don't let no one tell you otherwise... :)

That my friends, is the story of the Serious Cat, the Serious Dog, the Angsty Plat and the Flirty Cat. What use have I of seriousness? My life is an endless quest, an ongoing experimentation with the silly and the ridiculous. The other day, I stood under a tree waiting for the bus. A crow perched on a tree and shat on me. I wasn't so much annoyed as I was curious. Black crows' shit is snow-white (and not even smelly). The black crow cackled in laughter and flew away. I wiped away the bird-shit and went off to the school to coordinate my students' rehearsals for the charity concert while reading Stephen King's "The Talisman". The charity concert is over but I'm not done with King's novel yet. I spoke to Flirty Cat just the other day and tried explaining the "Lolita Syndrome" to him. It was funny and repulsive at the same time. Maybe I've simply been too busy and addle-brained lately. Or maybe I was simply trying to avoid the topic of his latest forays to the Land of Catty Smiles ("no love means no heartache, bro?"). I'm not sure. My life is actually an ongoing battle against boredom. I write imaginary nonsense about global conspiracies and trips to Arkansas for just that (funny thing is, Fake Plats and Serious Cats take me all too seriously and condemn me for "spilling my seed" everywhere... haha!). Is there a point explaining the artistic-impulse of mental-masturbation as a tradition that I inherited from the esteemed Lake Poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats)? I guess not. They are far too serious to listen to me. When I'm not working (and not writing down my silly fantasies), I'm reading other people's fantasies in four-colours about spandex-clad do-gooders beating down giant-mutant-hunting-robots. Or zombies. Or would-be evil despots. Or I hide in a closet and read teenage romance novels while laughing my head off. That's my life in a nutshell. I'm going home for dinner now. Why so serious?

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