Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Some Hallucinations

I don't think I made a very good journalist. I mean, journos are these hard bitten newshounds, you throw them into any situation and there they are, cool as lemonade that's been in the fridge for a month, notebooks out, pens poised, hair unturned.

Try throwing me out of my context and I flail around, gaping awkwardly, looking for someone to come save me. Huh! Like real oni. No one ever did, of course.

Case in point: I used to cover power, you know, as in electricity and the fuel that goes into creating it? Well, I had just met Dr Amory Lovins, was terribly impressed and decided to adopt energy efficiency as my cause. Yes. I was fighting the good fight. Anyway, I did a series of stories on it, for my dinky little newspaper, and then a friend from the mainstream one said she would like to do one too. I gave her some phone numbers, she made a few calls and voila, her story was out in a few days, to a much wider audience (but who cares, I was fighting the good fight).

She received a phone call from a nuclear physicist the next day, saying...geez, this is what I have been telling these bozos over here for a long time. If you want the real dirt on energy efficiency in Malaysia and the four-fuel policy, come see me. So she called me (it was my story to begin with, after all) and asked me to meet her at this guy's house at 11 in the morning (any warning bells going off yet?).

So there I traipse bright and early, to be greeted by said nuclear physicist. Except that he is wearing a sarong. And no top. And he has a white mop of uncombed hair. OK. I shall not be shallow and judge by appearances. Said friend hasn't arrived, so I am ushered to a seat in the garden where I park my fanny gingerly, feeling a little nervous.

Then, this guy starts talking. Oh boy. Does he start talking. He doesn't say much about power or energy efficiency, although he does thrust his badly spelled and yellowing PhD thesis into my hands. He talks instead about how he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. And how he was PERSECUTED and CRUCIFIED for seven days and seven nights when he wrote a letter to Mahathir (Dear Uncle Mahathir, we should import five million Chinese from China and five million Indians from India to even out the races here...) and got chucked in the loony bin as a result. He talks about how his wife is actually the Hindu Lord Shiva (they were both Malay) and how they would go to temples to gather cockroaches to let go at home. Apparently temple roaches leave behind a sort of medicine, if you let them run wild in your house having first dibs on all the food.

I was beginning to be a tad uncomfortable. I was no longer alone, because the photographer had shown up, but instead of making things better, the photo guy turned out to be as wacko, staring at mad guy intently, asking his opinion on stuff (should I divorce my wife and marry my girlfriend? I really really want to) and all but making obeisance at the cuckoo's feet.

Then my friend showed up and scary topless guy in sarong was obliging enough to repeat all he had told me for her benefit. When he came to the part about the roaches, she lifted both her feet onto the rung of her chair (she being a tad more afraid of the suckers than I was. Incidentally we were both glad that a third friend who has an out and out phobia was not among those present. She would have rushed into the street, screaming hysterically and maybe collapsed in front of a speeding car. We would have rushed out after her and thrown ourselves in front of car. Result: absolute carnage. So you see why we were glad). Friend kept throwing horrified glances my way, as she listened to creepozoid with dawning comprehension.

We managed to hustle out of there after he had repeated for maybe the tenth time what it was like to be crucified, and how all the Christian bishops and Hindu priests had met with him and his wife, and paid their respects, and how the old UMNO had collapsed because he spit on the side of the building.

Oh my.

During the drive back, friend shaking her head: "I'm sorry Jenn, I'm so sorry Jenn, he sounded so sane on the phone."

I sighed.

They always do.


goldennib said...

I bet when you take a bus or stand in line at the check out, the crazy people talk to you. No one else, just you. And you actually have conversations with them back. (I do.)

Really, really smart people always go crazy because theirs brains get worn out from thinking hard.

Jenn said...

Um yeah, crazy people. Am scared of them so try avoiding eye contact. But lots of lonely people come talk to me. They think I look friendly. Then they ask me to go home with them and sleep on their sofas. Because they're so lonely.


Everyman said...

A white mop of hair suited my perception on mad scientist to a T..but a topless guy in a sarong??? Guess it's the Beckham metrosexual effect!

Jenn said...

Shain: Welcome to my blog. AHAHAHAHA! If you had seen the guy - he was not in the same zipcode as metrosexual. He looked disgusting with his rubbery skin, his belly hanging out, ugh! I like metros...if he was eye candy, I would not be complaining about him at all.

Grey Shades said...

yeah i remember this time when i was in the US, this dude came and sat next to me on the bus and started telling me how dope was divine and how some ppl paid him money to go from NY to LA where he was on the streets with a board which kinda said how dope was cool! The stop where he got off was a med rehab center!

A thinker said...

Wow. You get into such strange situations, don't you. Very weird.

Jenn said...

Grey: You and me both, babe, we always have the nutters come to talk to us. But you know what they say, the raving nutters are people too. Just listen, they're probably dead lonely.

A thinker: I know, it's like I have a sign on my forehead or something...(or maybe they recognise a kindred spirit)

Grey Shades said...

Yep know jus what you mean! :)