Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The pair of them

The pair of them. They live in KL. They blow into town every 2 months to sort out various matters - banking, business, medical - and leave in 24 to 48 hours.

They would look us up and insist on seeing us for lunch or dinner. Mostly we would accommodate them.

The pair of them. One a Malaysian Chinese man, an anglophile, a pitiable throwback to the days when anything British was admirable. The other. an Englishman who fancies himself to be the paragon of everything admirably British, a pathetic hangover from the colonial days.

The pair of them, always impressing upon everybody every chance they get that they are pillars of their social, business and church communities. The pair of them, shamelessly name dropping all the time, perpetually bending our ears with the most laborious and boring of gossip and rumour about the rich and infamous.

For years, we put up with the pair of them. We rationalize away their inexplicable and unpleasant behaviour by convincing ourselves that they just had a rough day, or they were in a quirky mood.

But painful experiences accumulate, and eventually exact a heavy toll.

The pair of them. They blew into town last weekend. They wanted dinner. We suggested they eat at our place, because we thought it'd be a mess to try going anywhere on the night of National Day.

The pair of them. They neighed, brayed, snorted and scoffed at any- and every-thing. They do this all the time, but this time, for many reasons, deep resentment awoke in us.

We did the best we could to end the evening graciously. We called them a cab. We said our goodnight's and goodbye's. We put them into the cab. We stood around long enough to see the tail-lights of the cab disappear into the night.

We looked at each other.

The pair of them. We decided that's the last time we would see them. We can do things like that. Something the pair of them seemed to have forgotten.


wildgoose said...

What a wrong day to have such dinner companions. :(

sinlady said...

wildgoose - yah! but nothing ever goes right with these two.

tuti said...

hah! loved the way you wrote this. could almost hear the braying of the donkeys. it's time they kicked themselves right out of your good company.

sinlady said...

tuti - i didn't go into detail about their sarcastic comments, or the old Brit's awful accent imitations. I fed them my carrot cake for dessert instead of apple crumble pie to save myself having to listen to him make fun about my cooking American.