Saturday, September 23, 2006

There is no free lunch

In a (prolonged) moment of idleness, I dug up some novellas I co-authored with Yuan Harng in 2003. I like the action in this bit:

2 seconds before Yow Thian walked under the carport where he would be out of range, the snipers abandoned their rifles. In total silence, they sprinted across the flat roof to the back of the house. There, on the back wall of the house, a ladder had been erected earlier. Rapidly, the 3 figures slid down the ladder, not using their feet on the horizontal rungs, but just gripping the aluminium sides of the ladder with their bare palms and abseiling down.

The kitchen window was already open, and they climbed in, leapt over the piles of dishes in the sink and landed in front of the refrigerator and microwave oven, while drawing out their hand guns at the same time, unlocking the safety switch and checking to make sure they were loaded. Even before Yow Thian had removed his slippers, everyone was positioned in their pre-assigned positions.

When the door opened, 5 guns were already pointed at it, while Paulette was standing behind it, butterfly knife ready to strike. Shyan Yih, Shianjian and Shannon let out a collective gasp when they saw the visitor. For a long time, no one said a word. Finally, Shianjian opened his mouth, the words coming out slowly from the gaping orifice, “It’s Ai Lin….”
‘The Kuku Revealed’, Lee Y.H. & Tan Y.W., 2003

This was the playground where I learned to write; it was great fun.


Now, to more serious matters-

To whom it may concern,

There is No Free Lunch

Casinos thrive because people hope to get a free lunch. Unfortunately for an overwhelming majority of these people, not only do they not get their expected free lunch, they lose their dinner vouchers as well.

I will not try bore you with probabilistic arguments; I guess you will skip them if I expressed them here.

Please stop this daft business; the money can be put to better use. It’s not like you are so rich that the loss of £300 or so is negligible.

Lao Chen.

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