01 March 2011

Scandals

Eric, a former player, came for a visit this morning; he was just in Singapore for some R&R and brought me a little something from his trip. That was thoughtful; and I totally appreciated the gesture.

He was about to leave when a colleague came to the office to fetch me for lunch. He knew Eric; so we all thought we would make the short trip to a nearby lomi joint and have lunch together.

It was while we were waiting for our orders when one of two or three fellers who go around selling these moonshine DVDs which are wrapped in flimsy plastic bags approached our table in the hope of tempting any of us into making a purchase.

“Meron pa!” I shook my head. My companions shook their heads as well. If anyone among you hears of a Perseverance Award being given somewhere, please remember to message me the details. I have every intention of nominating this feller.

Rather than be put off by my curt dismissal, he approached even closer, showing us the cover of this movie starring Nicolas Cage. My companions shook their heads as well again. “Meron na ako n’yan…” I told him. I really do not; but I thought that was a polite way of telling him to take his troublesome butt elsewhere.

As a potential Perseverance Award nominee, naturally he shuffled the DVDs that he held in his other palm then took out and showed us the one with Matt Damon on the cover. “Meron na rin ako n’yan…” Of course, I do not have this one, either. My companions were as disinterested as I was.

Some people cannot take a hint! So he took out this Chinese movie and showed us the cover. I took one look and told him curtly, “Ayoko!” I just plain do not watch anything that has “Shaolin” in the title. “Sakâ na lang.”

“Sigue Sir,” he seemed to finally have admitted defeat; and took two steps away from us. Then his third and fourth steps were back towards us again. If I had a gulok, tinagâ ko na sa kulit. “Sir,” he tried again using a different ploy, this time muttering under his breath, “bagong-bago pa ang mga scandal ko!”

All three of us around the table spontaneously burst out laughing. These maglalakô ng DVD, they all do this without fail! First, they show you the wholesome collection; then they look around quickly and – when reassured that there is no one else within hearing distance – they angle their bodies towards you, dig inside their bags and then show you the not so wholesome collection.

“Ah-ah,” I was thinking to myself “aba’t ang lintik na ‘to!” Although my former player was in casual wear, my colleague and I were in our office attire; did that idiot of a vendor really think we were the sort?

I damn near gave him the what-do-you-think-of-me-thinking-of-you routine; but just declined very firmly. When we all made it quite clear that we were not buying those, either, the guy finally and grudgingly moved away from our table to find other gentlemen to pester. Alone to ourselves, we could not help but laugh and shake our heads at the guy’s perseverance.

Albeit, we also all agreed that what the poor bloke probably did not realize was that broadband had reduced porn on DVDs to something that is so old school. This is – ahem – by no means an admission.

Scandals, my arse! Not too long ago, people squinted close to their cell phone screens trying to make something of the contorted figures in antiquated 3gp movies. Who still does that these days?

Video technology strives endlessly to improve clarity while reducing file sizes; add to that increased bandwidth from cheaper fees and this only means that anyone who is desperate enough to buy porn on DVD really needs to get a life.

Susmeh! To think these things parents once upon a time went to great lengths to hide from their children. I was still innocently – or supposed to be – pre-pubertal when Merle Fernandez strutted her way to bomba fame. However, young as I was, I just sort of knew that when Mom and Dad went with some Air Force friends to watch some film in one of those surot-infested movie houses uptown, these were not World War II films at all.

Some movie archive web sites of the present, in describing the genre of the bomba films, say that these were no more than soft porn. Soft porn my arse! From what I can recall from eavesdropping on the adults laughing about what they saw at the movie house the other night, I do not believe there was anything soft about them at all!

Of course, when I was a teenager, people clandestinely passed around these crudely published booklets which everyone simply referred to as – of all things – the bedtime stories or BTS. Funnily enough, they looked like – at first glance – prayer booklets. Things do not get any more ironic than these BTS-es!

What one saw in those crude booklets were either faceless close-ups or nameless faces. Had anyone told me in those days that even people in the neighborhood – if they care to – will one day be able to make their own bomba films needing nothing other than a telephone, then I would have told that person he was stark-raving mad.

People do exactly that these days, of course; they just do not call these bomba anymore. They call them scandals. They distribute these from phone to phone or thoughtfully upload these to web sites for other people to download.

So back to that guy at lunch who was trying to rip us off by flaunting scandals in our faces, shame on him! We can have those for free. I admit to nothing, though. [Imagine Smiley here!]





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