Thursday, 11 April 2013

Who still reads The Star nowadays?

Standard questions have always been met with standard answers and I tell you, I do have a small arsenal of standard answers to standard questions that are thrown my way.

Amidst all the fun and laughter at meeting up with my former colleagues from the old Ban Hin Lee Bank days at our recent gathering, I was almost invariably asked whether I still wrote my chess column for The Star newspaper. Seemed that many of my former colleagues remembered me more for my writing than my activities in the bank! And some would even claim to be still reading my stories.

Of course, having already stopped my contributions for slightly more than a year now, my standard answer would be to reply that "No, I do not write for them any more. It's been more than a year since I stopped." And then we would grin at each other, maybe out of mutual embarrassment.

But lately, even this explanation alone was getting on my own nerve. After all, it was such a b-o-r-i-n-g reply, right? What's more, it bordered on me being slightly apologetic for stopping writing in the first place. As if it was all my fault that I stopped. Nothing was further from the truth. And yet, my standard reply couldn't have been more monotonous.

Couldn't I be more creative with my repartee? Luckily, I could still think on my feet and came up with a wittier comeback line.

"Aha," I would tell them, "I can see that you have not been reading the mainstream newspapers for a long while!"

They'd look at me kinda funny, as if I have seen through them. Having knocked them slightly off-balanced, I would add quickly: "But then, who reads The Star newspaper nowadays? I don't; I do not subscribe to their type of writing anymore."

We would then break out laughing. I tell you, it's great when you share the same wavelength with other people!

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