July 30, 2006

Ordeal on Avenue 6

[Drama in Real Life]


The One, 24, stepped out of his cubicle late in the evening. The mild-mannered engineer had had to cope with many things that day, including an irate boss, a particularly intransigent semaphore, and the Collected Hits of Himesh Reshammiya. He happened to glance at his watch as he made his way to the fifth-floor lobby. It was 7:45.

He pressed the button and waited for the lift to arrive. The lift reached his floor shortly, and he got on board. Four, three, two, one, he counted on the large LED display. He emerged from the lift at the ground floor and looked around. It was now 7:46.

Looking up, he saw a sudden flash. It was a moment before he realised that it was merely a lightbulb. Bulbs were installed as standard on each floor of the building. They required two hundred and thirty volts of electricity and consumed sixty-one milliamperes of current to emit eighty watts of yellowish light. It was still 7:46.

He stepped out of the building, looking around with a strange, inexplicable discomfort. It was a warm evening in downtown Singapore, despite the unexpected afternoon shower that had left the roads dangerously slippery. He began to walk towards the bus stop, still feeling vaguely ill at ease.

With a start, he recalled that he had not consumed his dinner and realised that that was the reason for his discomfort. He would, he decided, have to make a detour to the foodstalls. But the foodstalls were on the other side of the road, some distance away.

On this particular road, called Avenue 6 by most Singaporeans, there is a zebra crossing for pedestrians. He began to cross the road at this zebra crossing. It was 7:52.

As he reached halfway across the tarmac, he suddenly felt his legs slipping out from under him. It was the slipperiness that he had noticed earlier, that which could have been ascribed to the afternoon squall. However, he quickly righted himself and continued on his way, managing to successfully cross the road. He reached the foodstalls in due course and ordered some food, sitting down at a table to eat it.

With a jolt, he heard his phone ring. He answered it immediately to find that it was his mother, who called him every evening. After some general chitchat, they finished the conversation and he returned to his food. Eventually, he finished his dinner and caught a bus that went from Avenue 6 to his apartment. He reached his stop in a few minutes and made his way home, pausing only to glance at his watch. It was, in fact, 8:03.

“One hell of an eventful evening that was. I’m just glad I made it back”, he says, relaxing on a couch in the comfort of his living room.


The One still puts himself through the same ordeal nearly every day. The bulbs in his office building were replaced recently with ostensibly superior energy-saving ones that emit a bluish light. And Avenue 6 still remains as slippery as ever, although the nimble are able to cross it sometimes.

15 comments :

Casablanca said...

She came, she read, she didnt understand, and she quietly slipped away...

One in a Billion said...

Casa: Oh, never mind. 'Tis a take (an inadequate one, naturally) on a regular Reader's Digest feature that one used to read with some interest a long time ago.

jhantu said...

Echoes Casa's sentiments and nods head understandingly on getting the same response from the one even though the reader's digest feature cannot be recalled

aristera says said...

collected hits of himesh reshamiya? poor poor you *pats back and shakes head in pity*

Anonymous said...

*Nods sagely* One understands the One. Ordeals come in many shapes.

One in a Billion said...

Jhantu: * Wonders if one be the only chap ever to have read said feature *

Aristera: Yes, 'twas traumatic. What to do.

Anon: Indeed. BTW, one believes you are the first Anon to have graced one's commentspace. Massively cool.

Anonymous said...

Impossible, O One. One has been Anon before.
*Graciously inclines head* Still, we concede, we are indeed massively cool.

LAK said...

Good to be back. I used to read drama in real life, too, but only after all the jokes sections, and any other comic columns. Now, now, I can understand the Himesh reshamiya (please provide double letters yourself)ordeal, but eating, and talking to mom? Wait till she hears this. Aah, but who's gonna tell her?:)Maybe you ordered squid which refused to let go of the plate?(saw that in an episode of Full House)

One in a Billion said...

Anon: In that case, you've left some sort of handle every time. For this is the first time one is actually addressing a commenter as Anon. One looked through the whole blog. (And that's the absolute limit, you know .. you've made the One re-read his own writings.)

LAK: No no .. wasn't supposed to be a real ordeal at all, actually .. just written that way.

But most interesting this Full House seems to be.

LAK said...

Oh, yes, we get Full House on Zee Cafe'---have watched the whole series, plus reruns ad infinitum! In the same episode the kid who orders said squid, remarks, "My dinner is LOOKING at me!"

Anon with a Handle said...

One: Haha, made you look, made you look.
You are possibly correct. We should not have tried to take issue with someone who is so willing go on fact-checking sprees.

LAK: Most interesting. But one must please refer to Stephanie as Stephanie, unless it is Michelle, of course. Very dehumanising to call old friends 'the kid'

One in a Billion said...

LAK: Hmm .. one seems to have missed this Full House entirely. Pity. One never quite went beyond Star Trek.

Anon with a H.: Well, what to do. Too much time on our hands, we always say.

Nessa said...

The One eats terribly fast, thinks *the anonymous*

One in a Billion said...

Nessa: Aarrggh. Glad you pointed it out .. should've been 8:33. Or something.

Anonymous said...

T.W.A.T.