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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

Slamming Doors

Wednesday, October 04, 2006



On my way to work this morning, the taxi driver had an Ilocano melodrama on the radio. Although these shows are meant to tug at your heartstrings, what they end up doing is tickle your funny bone.

First of all, there are more creative ways of conveying that the stereotypical matron is gonna open her lover's hidden letter from his mistress, than having her outright say... "I am gonna open this letter!". Second, what is the deal with the over-the-top acting? Sure it must be harder for the actors to express surprise or disgust when their faces can't be seen... But why wail like a madman when weeping can suffice or cackle like a hyena when a slight chuckle is more appropriate.

The sound technicians are unsung heroes. Without them, we wouldn't know that a gun has been shot or that it is raining. They must look hilarious when they have shoes on their hands to suggest that a character is walking or when they utter spontaneous dialogue in the background to create a restaurant atmosphere. And the door slam! The staple door slam to indicate the dramatic exit of an angry mistress or the swift entry of an "in-heat" newspaper boy. When you hear a door slam you know something is up.

A taxi ride to the office lasts for 15 minutes or so. The melodrama this morning is about a young Filipina who is married to a Korean. When I got on the taxi, there was a heated argument between said woman (who I shall christen Huhnah, she said "Huh" alot) and her mother-in-law (who I shall call "Korean lady who sounds like a Chinese woman")...

(Huhnah enters bedroom)
Huhnah: You were looking for me?
(KlwslaCw slams the door)
KlwslaCw: Have you seen the water bill?
Huhnah: No... why?
KlwslaCw: It has tripled since you've lived here!!!! (heavy breathing)
Huhnah: Huh. What are you implying?
KlwslaCw: You take a bath everyday! That's what I'm implying! (more heavy breathing, I think she's gonna have a heart attack)
Huhnah: Huh. What does my hygiene have to do with the water bill?! (Huhnah is a tad slow)
KlwslaCw: I am the one paying the bills!!! As long as you are under my roof, you will take a bath only once a week!!!
Huhnah: Once a week? Are you insane?
KlwslaCw: And another thing!!! The electric bill is also very high! Very High!!! Do not open the lights in your bedroom until my son comes home from work! I am the one paying the bills!!!
(Huhnah opens the door, and with door knob in hand...)
Huhnah: Huh! (door slams)

The dialogue has been translated from Filipino... How KlwslaCw knew how to speak perfect Filipino (with a chinese accent) is inconsequential. The mere fact that they were arguing over something as mundane as daily bathing made me listen intently and desperately try to write down their dialogue in a moving vehicle. It was so absurd, it bordered on possible.

Daily bathing is a deeply rooted Filipino ritual. Much like the Japanese and the Arabs, Filipinos are very fastidious with this habit. It is almost taboo not to bathe everyday. I've always thought that the foremost reason for this is hygiene in a tropical country, but I think it has deeper reasons (sociologists... Help!). Spanish Friars of old found this native custom odd, they indoctrinated that believers shouldn't take baths on Fridays (especially the lenten Good Friday) as an act of penitence or a serious illness will afflict them. (from Bong Barrameda) That was more odd. I was googling the adverse effects of daily bathing but all I found was an article on neonatal rhesus monkeys... so I dropped it.

I got sidetracked, anyways... Huhnah told the conversation to Changki (his actual name on the show) and he was a classic mama's boy who, even if the whole argument is ridiculous, chose his mom's frugality over Huhnah's hygiene. This whole scene happened in a noisy environment which I presume was an airport. Huhnah was sobbing and doing some "poor me what was I thinking" soliloquy when I paid my fare and opened the taxi door. I was tempted to ask the taxi driver to go around in circles just so I can hear what Huhnah would do next... perhaps fight with her sister for the tweezer or wrestle her neighbor because she doesn't cut her fingernails...

Oh, screw it! (Door slam)



Picture Credits:
Old Style Radio Show
Old Radio

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posted by Alternati, 10:37 PM
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