Yesterday (Friday) night was a relatively long night (well, for me at least)…
It started when I was watching Cheers on Star World (it was around 6.40 pm). My cellphone started singing the theme tune from The Godfather. Ahh, it was my friend H.
H: “Dude, wanna see movie today? Day After Tomorrow..”
Me: “Gila ke, where can get tickets now?”
H: “I have a theory, since Harry Potter come out already, maybe all the crowds go see that movie..?”
Me: “I doubt it.”
H: “Why you so pessismistic?”
Me: “Cos it’s the way things are. Life sucks.”
H: “OK, we try first KLCC. If cannot get there, we’ll try Megamall.”
Me: “You really wanna go lah?”
H: “Come on, man.”
Me: “I have a bad feeling about this…”
H: “Dinner’s on me.”
Me: “See ya in half an hour”.
An hour later, I arrived at the KLCC TGV cinemas. Needless to say, (yet notice I’m saying it anyway?) the line was long. AND The Day After Tomorrow (henceforth known as Lusa) was sold out. So was Shrek 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When H finally arrived, I said, “Don’t wanna say I told you so, but I told you so.”
It was after 8 pm by now. We then left for Mid Valley hoping for better luck there, although deep down I knew it was a lost cause. Of course I couldn’t say anything since I was still counting on a free dinner.
At the Megamall, my friend decided to wait outside with the car while I spent some time aging at the ticket counter. While the line crept forward slowly, I kept an eye on all the monitors displaying the ticket availability status of the various movies.
Available – Just a handful of tickets left.
Selling Fast. – No tickets left. Unless someone who’s booked it doesn’t collect.
Sold Out. – No chance. Go away.
By the time I reached the counter window, pretty much every screening of Lusa for the day was sold out, except for the midnight show.
Me: “2 tickets for The Day After Tomorrow. 12.30 am.”
Counter guy: “There’s 2 seats available at the very front. Left aisle.”
Me: “The very front?”
Counter person: “The very front.”
Me: “Alamak. *tries to convey severe displeasure of having to sit at the very front* Can I buy tickets for tomorrow then?”
Counter monkey: “You’ll have to go to that queue. *points to the impossibly-long queue nearby*”
Me: “Screw it. I’ll take this tickets then.. *grumble*”
Counter amoeba: “That’ll be RM 22. *tries not to look at my shocked face as I hand over the cash* Thank you sir. Enjoy the movie.”
I collected my tickets, scanned the tickets very carefully to check for possible reasons why they charged an extra ringgit per ticket and rationalized that it was probably cos they’re just greedy little devils.
So then H and I zoomed down to Jalan Telawi for dinner. If you don’t already know, Friday nights in Bangsar Baru are very interesting – if you’re in the mood for some “bird-watching”. After parking next to the Maybank branch (we got a lucky break, we arrived just as a car was leaving), we got out and checked the area (i.e. ogled the girls). My suggestion was to have dinner either at Devi’s Corner, Lotus or Nirwana (all located along the same stretch). But H had different ideas. All of a sudden, he suggests Burger King. The cheapskate in me was about to argue against it when I remembered he was buying. So Burger King it was.
We entered the fast-food joint and I wondered why, despite the hustle and bustle outside, this place was practically deserted? (See, I hadn’t been to Burger King in years, the reason which I hope will become clear shortly). We came up to the counter, and I practically choked as I saw the prices on the menus on the walls. H, now that he too realized the folly of his impetuous idea yet unable to escape in fear of losing face, gamely ordered a couple of set meals (I asked for a small fish burger, being in a kind mood that night), and soft drinks. After almost emptying his wallet, we went upstairs in order to have a better view of the street. (Actually, I suspect H wanted to be able to look down into women’s cleavages.) The top floor was empty, and save for MTV being shown on a TV monitor, there was no sign of life. We had our meal, and after spending a few more minutes discussing the babes walking down the street below, we left.
At this juncture, I should point out something about H. Now, I have been fortunate enough to have been in a relationship (don’t wanna talk about it) in the past, but H has never had a girlfriend at all. I know this ‘cos he keeps telling me all the time. He also asks me for help to find him a girlfriend. I’ve told him he can find plenty of girlfriends in Bukit Bintang. He could even change girlfriends every hour. He said he didn’t want those kind of girls, he wanted “family” girls. I pointed out the Bukit Bintang girls were family girls too, they too have mothers and fathers, some of them even have husbands and children. But apparently I failed to convince him. So anyway, H was saying he was feeling restless. The time was about half-past-10. We still had plenty of time to kill before the movie, so H suggested we check out Petaling Street for some VCDs. I knew what kind of VCDs he really wanted, but decided to keep my counsel to myself.
So now, we zoomed down to Petaling Street. (Notice I keep saying “zoom”. That’s cos H doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “Defensive Driving”. There’re only 2 gears worth anything at all, in H’s estimation. Fourth gear and fifth gear. Third gear if you absolutely have to. I hope my insurance company is not reading this, or else they might start charging me higher premiums.)
At PS, we parked down the road (with the assistance of a drunken man who acted as if he owned the whole road) and walked into the chaos. We immediately came upon a stall selling VCDs, DVDs and software. My eyes were instantly attracted to the Kill Bill covers, and I asked him the price. “RM 8”, he said. I told him I wanted both volumes. He dilligently noted down my request on a piece of paper as I checked my wallet. BLAST! I was short of cash. Completely forgot about it too, otherwise I’d have withdrawn some money at the Maybank ATM in Bangsar. H had already gone off somewhere, so I sheepishly asked the trader to “give discount lah. 2 for RM 10.”
VCD Pirate: “No, no, I give you RM14 for 2.”
Me: “But I don’t have the money.”
VCD Pirate: “I cannot help you lah boss. Business slow today.”
Me: “*showing him my wallet with the single tenner note* I’m not joking. Got 10 only.”
Pirate: “OK lah, I give you Kew Bew 1 for RM 7. Kew Bew 2 you come back tomorrow lah, I give you discount tomorrow.”
Pirate: *proceeds to ignore me*
Me: “OK, OK, Kill Bill 1. RM 7 ah?”
Pirate: “OK. Please wait for while, ok? *disappears for 5 minutes, then returns with VCD* OK, boss, Kew Bew.”
Me: *I hand over the money, collect the VCD and walk away knowing I need to brush up on my bargaining skills.*
When I met up with H later, he was deeply engrossed in a conversation with a short, devious looking fellow. As I eavesdropped, I realized H was bargaining for some porn VCDs. The price was randomly being adjusted from RM25 to RM70, until H decided to break off negotiations and walked away, with Shorty yelling abuse at his back. I asked him, what kind of porno would cost up to RM70? He told me Shorty offered some VCDs purportedly of some Datin getting it on, as well as a porn VCD of Noritta. Yes, you read that right. The very same Noritta Samsudin who was murdered and whose murder trial is currently underway. Now, I don’t know Noritta personally, but surely this was a fake. Sadly, H is the gullible type. He believed it hook, line and sinker. Also, all the salacious stories regarding Noritta’s lifestyle as has been appearing in the papers have only reinforced his belief. By now, H was determined to buy this VCD. All that matters was finding a better price somewhere else.
We walked down the stretch of stalls lining the street, coming across several VCD stalls. Near the end of the road, we passed by a guy who came up to us and said, “Porno, bang?” Ahh, direct selling at its best. He produced a list of porn VCDs, including the above mentioned Datin and Noritta titles. (There were also titles like “Ning Baizura“, “Erra Fazira” and “University Students”. Hmmm.)
To cut a long story short, H bargained the price down to 20 bucks for the Noritta and Datin VCDs. Once negotiations were settled, he opened his wallet and discovered just as I did in my wallet, a ten-ringgit note. (I bet he was cursing himself now for suggesting makan at Burger King.) Which meant he could now only afford one VCD. I decided to use my influence at this point and suggested the Noritta VCD sounds like a scam, better just get the Datin VCD. By now, it was nearly midnight, the stalls were all closing, and we needed to get back to Mid Valley. So H forked out RM 10 for the Datin VCD, and the both of us raced back to the car.
We zoomed back to Mid Valley, and parked in the huge parking lot. By now, the place was nearly deserted – except at the cinema. The fact it was midnight and yet there were still many people queuing up to buy tickets surprised me. We decided to get some popcorn and some Coke, but of course, we were a bit short of cash. We hunted down an ATM machine located far away on the other side of the Megamall – only to discover it wasn’t working. Doh!
We then scrounged about in our pockets and dug up enough small change to buy popcorn (small) and 2 Cokes (small). There were people staring at us as we stood there counting coins, but we didn’t care. We were hungry and thirsty.
We finally entered the screening room at around half-past-12, and walked in all the way to the front. I hate those seats. I was hoping that maybe there’ll be empty seats near the back by the time the movie starts, but no such luck. When the titles started rolling, the place was packed. Damn.
I could now launch into a review of the movie, but I’ll leave that to others. I will say this though. The slow pacing of the movie turned out to be a godsend. Due to our positions sitting so close to the screen, not only was my neck aching, but my eyes wouldn’t have been able to handle all the images flashing across the screen if it had been something like Van Helsing. Fortunately, I was able to take in the whole movie. I thought it was OK, got preachy in some places, but the storm effects were cool. And that’s all I have to say about that.
After the movie ended, H and I took our leave and I returned home for much-needed sleep, while I suspect H decided to introduce himself to his newly acquired Datin.
This is now officially the longest post I have ever written. And I am feeling sleepy. So that’ll be all. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. And, oh yes – Daulat Tuanku!