Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cockroaches and obstacle courses

Friday I'm calmly reading the paper when I see something out of the corner of my eye. Something big. It's the largest cockroach I've ever seen. Have you ever seen the movie "Signs"? You know how Mel Gibson's daughter has this irritating habit of leaving water glasses all around the house, and you're wondering what this has to do with a movie about aliens, but then at the end of the movie those water glasses save the day? Well, Kelly is my Mel Gibson's daughter. I grab one of the multiple glasses he's left in the bedroom and trap the cockroach under it. For a while the roach struggles to free itself. I can hear it flinging its body against the glass - *ping! ping!* Then it settles down and appears to go to sleep. So, the immediate problem is solved - the roach is contained. But what to do now? I decide that Kelly must throw it out the window, as it's too large and powerful to be squashed with the shoe of a mere mortal. Kelly refuses, insisting that a roach thrown from a 21st-story window will turn into a deadly projectile and kill someone on the ground. I question his physics. After two days of watching the roach watching me from under the glass, I flush it. That f***er could swim, too. His Phelpsian efforts almost propelled him out of the toilet and back into my life, but even he couldn't fight the suction of a Hong Kong toilet. Safe for now.

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the Clearwater Bay Country Club with a couple of professors who're members there. It's fancy-schmancy. But, this being Hong Kong, there's always something a little...surprising. After our schmancy lunch in the schmancy restaurant, we retired to the pool. As we're drinking our sparkling water and discussing film (not filmS), I see it - a giant, mulitcolored, floating obstacle course being inflated in the deep end. All schmanciness is forgotten as everyone lines up to run the course. The dean of the humanities kicked everyone's ass, but Kelly acquitted himself well on his second run.

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