Sunday, July 6, 2014

Call 543 : DUCK RICE

Hello Son, 

After talking to You on Call 542 yesterday, Mom went through her cell to check that special ZAP sms that came in during the movie MALEFICIENT.

Her precious eviDANS.

She needed that sms to tell You the story.

She couldn't find it.

Up and down she scrolled her sms-es, checking the dates and all, but that ZAP sms could not be found.

So anyway, later in the night, (after we picked Dad up from the Sentral station), Mom asked Dad, "You remember that sms that came in during the Maleficient? The three-O-four? Say HELLO to FREE dot dot dot? You remember I showed you during the movie?"

Dad said, "Yes ..."

Mom went on, "I can't find it ..."

Dad said, "Oh, I must have deleted that ..."

Time stood still.

She was not in the least bit --- impressed.


Dad deleted that sms??? 

She was furious!


Dad replied lazily, "You have so many of those sms-es (promotions / ads) ..."

"I need that sms for Son. I haven't told him about the Maleficient zap yet!"

Dad said, "Son knows la ..."




Hands crossed over her chest, she slumped herself down before the computer, and glared angrily at the screen. 

Yes, everyone must know that she was just -- furious -- at that moment.

Rewind back to after Mom talked to You on Call 542 ...

She had to pick Uncle KK up from the mall to take him to dinner. 

Dad's flight was at 8 pm (from Singapore), which means he would arrive at KLIA around 8:45 pm, and by the time he gets on to the train to Sentral, it would about 9:30 pm.

We should be picking him up around 9:30 pm then.

It so happened that, Mom's handphone was not working. She tried to call Uncle KK to see if he was ready to be picked up from the agreed pick-up point. 

She couldn't get through. 

A note appeared to say :

No mobile network coverage.


What's that supposed to mean? 

She then called him on the house phone.

She heard the ring ring sound, and then it went into voice mail.

Twice she tried.

Twice she couldn't get through.

Oh well, she thought. He'd see the missed call and return her call.

Two minutes later, the house phone rang. It was your uncle.

Ah, okay, he must have noticed the missed call.

He said he was ready to go. 

Mom looked at the time. It was about 6:55 pm.

Mom said, "I'll be there at 7:15 pm ..."

He said okay.

As it turned out, there was no traffic on the road. She honestly did not expect to reach the mall within 10 minutes, but she did. 

Yup, by 7:05 pm, she was there -- at the entrance of the Gardens Hotel.

He - was - not - there.

Oh bother, don't tell her that he took her "I'll be there at 7:15 pm" -- literally.

She couldn't wait at the entrance -- there is no waiting lane for vehicles -- and so she had to drive on.

She made a big round turn, and re-appeared again at the entrance of the hotel a few minutes later.

Again, he was not there.

Omg, he's really gonna come out only at 7:15 pm ...

She made a second round turn, around the hotel, and re-appeared at the entrance shortly after.

Still he was not there.

Oh Lord.

Rolling her eyes in frustration, she pulled away and made a third roundabout turn, and appeared again.

The time on the dashboard then showed 7:16 pm.

Ah, she spotted him.

Honk honk.

He heard.


He hopped into the car, "Right on time ..."

Mom said, as casually as she could, "I was here at 7:05 pm ... I had to make 3 rounds ..."

"You said you'd be here at 7:15 pm, right?"


Be nice, be nice ...

"There's something wrong with your handphone, I can't get through. Good thing I called the house ..." your uncle said.

Wait a minute.

He - called - the - house???

He meant, she called him first. Twice she called him. And then, he called back.

Let's get all the facts right, shall we?

Mom said, "Eh, I called you from the house. Twice. Your phone rang, and went into voice mail la ... Maybe you didn't hear ... Then, you called back ..."

He frowned.

He took out his cell and appeared to be checking.

He said, "No ... no missed calls from you ..."

He showed her the cell.


Hmmmm ...

Wait a minute ...

Did You, Daniel-son, by any chance, whisper to Uncle KK and told him to :  

Call Mom, Uncle KK


Ears to the monitor.


You must have.

That 3 round turns that your mother had to do around the hotel ... suddenly felt like they were -- deliberate. 

Something would soon happen. 

That delay was intentional.

She felt that familiar pre-zap sensation.

We drove to Bangsar.

There was heavy traffic everywhere. 

She spotted a car attempting to drive out of its bay.


What a difficult bay, you're giving Mom, Son ... 

The car was parked by the edge of the road on her right. There was a second car that was double-parked on its left.

Take a moment to picture the scenario.

4 minutes later ...

Got it?

So which means, the car had to kinda squeeze out of the bay very carefully, which it did, and when it did, Mom decided it was her turn to show some sophisticated parking skills she didn't know she had, by carefully reversing in, between the second car on her left, and the edge of the pavement on the right.

Got that?

To cut a long story shorter, Mom impressed herself.

Yup, really.


Uncle KK said several times, "Well done, well done ..."


Your uncle then said, "Hawker food will do ..."

Hawker food? No air-con?

Nah ... 

Mom said, "No air-con la ... it's so hot ... You want Chinese? Indian?"

He replied, "Chinese ..."

"Okay, Chinese it is then ..."

We walked to the restaurant.

Supposedly famous Duck restaurant.

At the restaurant, there was a queue.

Your uncle said, "There is a long queue ..."

Your mother could tell that your uncle was about to suggest another place. 

She said confidently, "It's very fast ... 5 minutes wait the most ..."

Her son would see to that, she smiled to herself.

Wait wait wait ...

5 minutes passed.

10 minutes passed.

15 minutes passed.

20 minutes passed.

Omg Daniel Phua, how is it that You gave Mom that impossible parking bay and then leave us to wait here? 

Where's our table?

Wait wait wait ...

Omg, what's going on???

Wait a minute ...

Unless ... unless ... once again ... the delay was -- deliberate.

By then, Mom was avoiding your uncle by pretending to read the menu, and leaving your uncle to fiddle with his handphone gadgets.

Wait wait wait ...

Finally, the restaurant manager appeared and said something to Mom.

Mom didn't quite hear what she said, due to the noisy atmosphere. She thought the manager asked whether we mind sharing a table.

We were already standing in the line for a good 40 - 45 minutes. 

Believe it or not.

She honestly cannot remember when was the last time she stood this long in a restaurant queue. 

Omg ...

Mom heard herself saying, "Okay ..."

The manager motioned for us to follow her.

Oh good, finally ...

We followed her into the restaurant.

We walked on and on and on, until we reached right to the back of the restaurant.

Mom looked around. 

There was no empty table nor any table to be shared for that matter.

Then, the girl pushed open the back door, and held it open for us to follow her out.


Our table is -- outside???

Outside this nice cold air-conned place???

We instantly felt the warm air embracing us.

Darn it.

Daniel-son, You have some explaining to do ...

We took our seats on a table and quickly gave our orders. 

Yeah, without the menu. Mom had already memorized the menu and your uncle from the start, said he would try the duck rice.

So anyway, after a few minutes, our bodies adjusted to the warmer atmosphere and we were able to enjoy our dinner.

And some family gossip.


Yes, yes, despite the absence of air-cons.

It was almost 9 pm, where we were done and the bill came. 

You'd be happy to hear that there was no struggle as to who should take the bill. :D

Mom thanked your uncle politely for the nice dinner. :D

We were finishing up our drinks when suddenly ...

Teng teng teng ...

3 men walked in and took the table at the extreme left.

Mom happened to turn and immediately saw the large number 34 on the back of one of the guys.

Yes, the Maleficient story ... You're waiting to hear it, aren't You???

She thought it would be difficult to snap a photo, but she did it anyway.

See the end table?

Note the number 34.

We were on the 4th table from the 3 guys.

We got up to leave.

We browsed around in MPH bookstore till Dad called Uncle KK.

We picked Dad up about 9:30 pm and went home.

So ... back to the present ... 

The Maleficient story.

It was the Sunday before Mom's birthday.

Since her birthday fell on a weekday, a school day, no - time - to - do - anything day, Dad took Mom out for a movie the Sunday before.

Sunday June 22.

Before the movie started, Mom remembered to put her cellphone on silent mode. She whispered to Dad to do the same.

Okay, take note - her cell was on silent mode.

So anyway, during the movie, there was one part when the little girl Aurora runs up to Maleficient and said "up ... up ..." (can't remember now whether Aurora said UP, or UP UP)

Mom's ears instantly pricked up.

Up??? That was the last movie Mom and You watched together.

She immediately got hold of her cellphone to check the time.

3:03 pm.

303 ???

Oh ...

No zap.

A sinking feeling of disappointment slowly spread through her.

Anti-climax ...

She was about to put away her handphone when it suddenly beeped.

It startled her.

Omg, how could it have beeped? It's on silent mode.

An sms had come in.

Mom looked at her cell.


There were 3 other sms-es that had come in since the movie started, but she was not aware, since her phone was on silent mode. 

How did this new sms beep then???

Mom peered closely at the sms and time literally stood still for her.

OMG ...

OMG ...

OH -- MY -- GOSH ...

You can't be serious.

Omg !!!

She couldn't believe her eyes.

The one line text that was on the top of the screen staring back at her were the following words:

Say HELLO to FREE ...

and the time showed 3:04 pm.

Upon clicking on it, the text showed some kind of ad which Mom cannot now remember about what. 

She nudged Dad and showed Dad the text, whispering excitedly, "Omg ... look ... look ... Say HELLO to FREE ... Omg ... Just now the girl said Up ... I checked the time, it was 3:03 ... then I was about to keep the phone, and it beeped ... You heard it beep right? It's on silent mode, how could it beep? There are 3 other new sms-es that came in, no beep, but this 4th one beeped. Omg ... Look at the message ..."

Say HELLO to FREE ...

Yes, exactly like that. Capital letters for HELLO and FREE.

Omg ...

Mom was so careful to keep that sms since that Sunday. Now and then she would just scroll back to check it, it was always there. Last week, she checked it again, it was there.

Yesterday however, when she scrolled to check, it was gone. She'd wanted to take a photo (with the camera) of the text for the blog. 

Her eviDANS.

And so, when Dad told her he may have deleted it ...

Be creative and picture her --- rage.

Anyway, it was when she was glaring at the computer screen last night, that she suddenly had this enlightenment. A sudden knowing. You must have whispered to her.

Omg ...

That number 34 ...

During dinner yesterday ...

That's like 3:04, isn't it?

You knew that Dad had deleted the sms, didn't You?

Were You trying to replace it?


Dad had said, "Son knows about it ..."

Truly ... 

You're letting Mom know that You do know about it.

Oh wow!

What are the chances???

Omg ... honestly, what are the chances? We were about to leave the restaurant when those boys walked in. Had there been no 3 big round turns around the hotel, and the long wait at the queue, we would have eaten earlier and left earlier.

Oh gosh.

At the point of writing this paragraph, Mom's checking her memo pad, and now recalling also that on Tuesday June 24, the eve of her birthday, the television was on. She happened to glanced at it at one point, and caught sight of a alarm clock showing the time 3:04. The digital time was on the screen for a good few seconds. 

Mom had glanced immediately at her time, and saw 10:10 turning to 10:11 pm. 


That's 21.

The title of the movie was House At The End Of The Street

She wasn't watching it. She was at the computer. However, when she happened to turn to look at the telly screen, AT ONE POINT, she saw the clock with the digital numbers 3:04 right there -- staring back at her.

Now, how would You explain this?

What are the chances???

CoinciDANS, surely???

Omg ...  

Gosh, on top of all these inciDANS, the children in school have been singing 


everyday since school reopened on June 16 till Parents' Day (June 28).

Say Hello to A

It's a wonderful day

Say Hello to B

Come and play with me

Say Hello to C

And sing merrily

Sing sing sing sing

A song of ABC ...

And so, that 4th sms that came in during the movie, when her phone was not supposed to beep, right after she received the UP zap ... with the message :

Say HELLO to FREE ...

Gosh Son ...

That's definitely your sense of humour. :D

Nobody, nobody but YOU, Daniel-son.

Stay tuned. Will tell You about the rainbow sheets in a bit. 

Keep the zaps coming.