Some of my oldest friends are from secondary school, and this year's the year MOST of my "high school gang" from St Nix celebrate our 12th year of knowing each other (since Sec 2 or 3!) Given how hard it's been for us to meet up on a regular basis, since we're all such "important" and "busy" and "unavailable" people, I've decided that this year is the year where I'm planning nonsense birthday escapades for Veronica, Cheryl and Kristine.
Veronica, being (ahem ahem) the oldest, has the dubious honour of being the guinea pig for my first VERY SUCCESSFUL experiment. The aim of the game: to hopefully watch the worst movie possible, and give Ronnie a night to tell her other friends and colleagues about.
We were supposed to meet at City Hall MRT. Ronnie was to pick from a pre-selected list of movie theatres (it eventually wound up to be just Cathay or Plaza Sing) from a hat - including places like Suntec, Lido, YANGTZE (!!!), Bugis etc. We would then make our way to that movie theatre, and watch the closest-timed possible show to our arrival. If there was more than one movie showing, we would pick the WORST POSSIBLE ONE. E.g. if "The Pursuit of Happyness" was showing, as well as "I'm a Cyborg but It's ok", we'd watch Cyborg.
I was terrorising Ronnie throughout the entire week with random messages and promo pictures of Cyborg, until she was (ironically) sort-of looking forward to catching it.
But lo and behold, on the day of her birthday, she picked CATHAY, and she was the last to arrive at about 7.27pm, making the closest movie time 7:50pm, making the closest movie that we would watch being... PRIMEVAL.
That's Ronnie and Kristine on the right, looking completely freaked out BEFORE we looked at the movie switchboard.
The movie was a b-grade movie, so of course it was gloriously bad. Three white men (two British, one American, just in case you think the West was one monolithic imperialist institution), one token black man, and one skinny girl. And one huge, computer-generated crocodile. Yay! Cheese ensues, of course - people die, corruption, girl almost gets raped, croc eats people, bad moralising happens, like: "We are the reason for this monstrosity. War. Our rivers run deep with blood and bloated bodies. That's why Gustav (the croc's nickname) happened. It's developed a taste for human flesh."
After that was a quick bite and drink at Timbre before heading home - but not before Ron was sabo-ed to down her 1-pint of Erdinger to a strange chorus of "happy birthday" by random strangers.
Two stray thoughts on this escapade:
1) The first, on AFRICA.
Africa is always depicted as a beautiful land of savannah plains, yet hopelessly corrupt and mired in poverty and bloody wars. I've thought of going there to do work, but I am coming to realise more and more that perhaps I'm not wired to think that way - outright corruption is so alien in Singapore that it is a huge blind spot in my street smarts radar.
2) The second, on PERSONAL HISTORY.
People have asked me why I was hoping that Ronnie would pick a crappy movie to watch, instead of watching Happyness, or 300, or something else "good". I think that personal histories and anecdotes bond when a mock-painful experience is shared. Who shares about how good "Braveheart" was over conversation? Who talks endlessly about how good watching "Gladiator" or "Million Dollar Baby" was? Answer: nobody. Good movies don't make good conversation topics, unless you're talking about issues. Bad movies, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of fish. You can bitch about bad movies to anyone, for any length of time. I've provided a public service to the next guy Ron dates by giving her a conversation topic - the movie, or her insane friend (me!) who forced her to watch a crappy movie on her birthday. Imagine the amazing response to "so what was the last movie you watched?" I rest my case.