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And Thus An Adult In Need Of Therapy Was Set In Motion

, , , , , | Related | July 2, 2022

My parents are divorced. My younger brother and I live with our father most of the time.

One day, my mother bought me a few bottles of apple cider, which my eleven-year-old brother mistook for apple juice. Even after I clarified the misunderstanding, he still kept trying to drink the cider. In fact, I think he was more enthusiastic now as he wanted to brag to his classmates that he had drunk alcohol.

My mother was visiting one dinner, and my brother got a bottle of apple cider out of the fridge and poured himself a cup.

I protested, of course, but neither of my parents spoke up, so I let the matter be.

It was only after I poured myself my own cup of cider that the discussion about our underage drinker came up.

Me: “Speaking of cider, why are you guys letting a certain eleven-year-old boy drink?”

Father: *To Mom* “I thought you would stop him. You’re the responsible one.”

Mom: “Huh? Me? I thought you would stop him. It’s your house!”

Me: “Are you kidding me? I thought you guys would stop him. You’re his parents!”

Brother: *Waves the empty cup* “Thanks for the drink!”

American Boy — The Version NOT Featuring Kanye

, , , , | Related | June 27, 2022

Back when I was in primary school, I was relentlessly teased for my accent. They kept calling me “American Boy” even though I’d lived in Singapore my whole life. Even showing my classmates my birth certificate (which clearly showed I was born in Singapore) didn’t stop them.

And for the record, my accent was Canadian. My best friend was Canadian, and I had been neighbours with him since I was three. Guess who I learnt most of my vocabulary from?

My Canadian accent grew a lot less pronounced over my teenage years, and the whole “American Boy” thing got forgotten… at least until my mother dug out an old portrait of me my father had been given when I was born.

Me: “Why am I beside the American flag in that portrait?”

Mom: “Oh, it’s because you were conceived in America. Your father spent a year there for a sabbatical, and I visited him while he was there. I realised I was pregnant once I got back home.”

Me: “Really?”

Mom: “Oh, yeah. What was it those kids used to call you in primary school? American Kid?”

Me: “American Boy.”

Mom: “I guess they were somewhat correct. You are my American Boy.” *laughs* “Maybe I should get a ‘Made in America’ T-shirt for you.”

I muttered some choice Malay swear words under my breath.

Gonna Make You Eat Those Words

, , , | Related | June 16, 2022

My father has a very annoying habit when trying to make us kids eat food.

Father: “That [food] has your name on it!”

And then he’ll dump it onto our plates, no matter our opinion on the food.

One day, we’re having dinner and my father brings out a big wheel of horrible cheese that he seems to like. I personally find it utterly disgusting, and the rest of the family seems to agree. Not that it’s stopping my father. The man can’t comprehend that we may not like the same food as him, calling us “picky” and “spoiled”.

Father: “Hey, [My Name], that cheese has your name on it!”

He reaches over to dump yet another piece of horrible cheese on my plate, and I promptly lose my temper. I’m fifteen and completely full from dinner. I’ve already endured no less than three pieces of that nasty cheese and feel like puking now. 

I’m tired and sleepy and frustrated, as well as stressed over my upcoming exams. It’s not helped by the fact that the Wi-Fi is down and Dad seems to think that’s a good thing as it’ll make me “waste less time on my phone,” never mind that a lot of my study material is online.

I slap the piece of cheese off his fork and back onto the communal plate. I then take my steak knife and carve his initials onto the piece of cheese.

Me: “No, it has your name on it!”

I then dumped it onto his plate, giving him the most baleful death glare I could muster.

I got grounded for the rest of the year for that outburst, but that was the last time my father ever tried to say that a piece of food had our names on it.

Wow, Just Like In The Movies!

, , , , , | Legal | June 4, 2022

With the advent of the health crisis, there has been a marked increase in scams running around the country, including a dramatic increase in the number of cold callers. I got like one cold caller in the past decade, and I’ve gotten easily ten this year alone.

I get another scam call while at work and decide to have some fun.

Me: “Hello?”

Scammer: “Greetings, sir. My name is [Scammer], and I wish to inform you that you’ve been selected to attend a [Bank] raffle and lucky draw. You can win prizes of up to one million dollars, with a minimum consolation prize of one hundred dollars!”

Me: “Wow. But wait, I don’t have a [Bank] bank account.”

Scammer: “Oh, that’s just fine. No [Bank] account is required to participate. As long as you have a Singaporean bank account, you’re eligible.”

Me: “I see.”

Scammer: “Just to confirm, you are a Singaporean citizen, yes?”

Me: “Yup.”

Scammer: “Excellent! Now may I have your name for my records?”

Me: “Ham Ka Chan.”

That’s Cantonese for “May your family burn in Hell.”

Scammer: “Mr. Hamka, okay. Now, may I know which occupation you work in? I believe it should be IT or office work, yes?”

Me: *Casually* “I work as a spy for Singaporean Military Intelligence.”

The scammer freezes.

Me: “Have you ever heard of any terrorists or organised crime in Singapore?”

Scammer: “No?”

Me:Exactly. We’re the reason why.”

The scammer breathes in sharply.

Me: “Now then, I highly recommend you rethink your life choices, Mr. Scammer, because I’ve dragged this call on long enough for a trace on your location to be performed. And unless you want yourself and your entire family to disappear one day, I highly encourage you to turn yourself in. The police will have far, far more mercy than our torturers.”

Scammer: *Panicking* “Oh, no, no, no, no! This can’t be happening.” *Click*

I look around at the rest of my coworkers in the break room.

Me: “Scam call.”

Sergeant: “Did you seriously threaten to have him assassinated? I mean, we may be spies, but that’s beyond our mandate.”

Me: “I know that. You know that. We all know that. But he doesn’t know that.”

Calling It As She Sees It

, , , , , | Related | May 28, 2022

On the New Year, we were having a family dinner party at my granduncle’s place, as usual. After some drinking, Dad got suckered by his cousins into promising to show up at the next family event while crossdressing. And unfortunately, there was video evidence, so he couldn’t get out of it.

Now, Dad’s essentially the stereotypical East Asian pretty boy. You know the K-pop boy bands? Dad’s as pretty as those guys, so there was quite a bit of enthusiasm over how Dad would look in a dress.

A few weeks later, during Chinese New Year, my granduncle throws another family party.

I’m waiting downstairs with Mom while Grandma helps Dad get ready. And finally, Dad comes down the stairs wearing a wig, makeup, and a really nice dress.

I am a tiny six-year-old girl at the time, so I essentially have no filter. My reaction to seeing Dad?

Me: *Starry-eyed awe* “Daddy! You’re prettier than Mommy!”

Mom never forgave me for that. It was true, of course, but that was still the last day I was my mother’s favourite child.