As those who are close to me know, I have had more than my fair share of BAM (Blonde Asian Moments) – at times with embarrassing results, oftentimes downright hilarious (not to me, though).
BAM # 1 – BOILING EGGS:
Going back many years to tell this story – back to the days of my first marriage. We were living in Singapore and enjoying Rick’s annual leave in Queensland. After spending some time with his family, we still had a couple of weeks to ourselves so we decided to head up to the Sunshine Coast. We rented a holiday unit for a week to enjoy the sun and surf while we tried our luck at fishing. One evening, I decided to boil some eggs so I could prepare a few egg sandwiches for the next day’s boat-fishing adventure. I placed half a dozen eggs in a saucepan of water and set it to boil on the stove. Plenty of time for me to take a shower while the eggs were boiling, so off I went. But before that, I decided to ‘meditate’ on the throne with a woman’s magazine… After my shower, I headed straight to the bedroom to finish reading the magazine. Upon completion of my reading session, I turned off the bedside lamp and promptly fell asleep. Sometime later, Rick too, tumbled into bed beside me.
Suddenly, an explosion woke me from sweet slumber! Rather agitatedly, I jabbed Rick in the ribs and nervously called his attention to the unusual sound, just as another series of explosions followed. He gallantly told me to stay in bed while he went to investigate. I sat bolt upright in bed with my heart pounding loudly in my chest. I was at the point of crapping in my pants when I heard Rick’s guffaw coming from the kitchen. I then leapt out of bed to join him in the kitchen and that was when I saw the reason for his mirth… The eggs I had put on the boil earlier that night had exploded when the water boiled dry, resulting in bits of eggs plastered all over the kitchen bench, windows and ceiling! Rick wasn’t exactly smiling when we had to spend the best part of that morning cleaning the kitchen up and purchasing a new saucepan to replace the burnt one. Needless to say, we were too exhausted from all that cleaning to go fishing that day.
BAM # 2 – LOST IN BRISBANE:
Going several years down the track, (I was at that stage, a single mum living on the Sunshine Coast and my young ‘uns were aged 6, 8 & 10 respectively). My present day MOTH was in town during one of his breaks while flying with Air Niugini and based in Port Moresby. We decided to take my kids to Brisbane and do a bit of shopping while my MOTH kept a business appointment. I found out that day that my kids had the attention span of fish. They could only handle a game of “I spy” for the grand total of one and a half minutes. “I know,” I exclaimed brightly, “let’s find our way to the park opposite the pub.” So we began walking, walking, walking… past store after store after store. After about half an hour, I remarked to no one in particular, “Well, fancy having 4 Wallace Bishop (chain of jewellery stores) stores in one block!” At this remark, 10-yr-old Deej sighed audibly and said, “It’s the same store, mum! We’ve passed it 4 times now!” Yep, it turned out that this mother hen had been walking with her brood around and around in circles. Oops!!!
BAM # 3 – SCENIC DRIVE:
A month or so into my second marriage, my MOTH had to do a ferry flight of an aeroplane to Brussels. This meant that he had to get from Bribie Island where we were living at the time, to Brisbane International Airport in Eagle Farm. Understanding his reluctance to leave his Jaguar in the parking lot at the airport during his absence, I offered to drive the Jag back home instead. All proceeded as planned – at the appointed time, we piled my tribe into the back seat, I hopped into the front passenger seat and my MOTH drove to Eagle Farm. I made a mental note of certain landmarks so I could find my way home. After his departure, I gave my kids a briefing; “No fighting, no yapping, no whinging, no eating, no drinking… in short, just sit tight and breathe normally!” I then herded all three kids into the back seat to prevent the potential argument of who would be the privileged one sitting up front beside me. As I was used to driving my Ford Laser, I felt a tad nervous as I got behind the steering wheel of the much bigger Jaguar but reassured myself that I could do it okay.
I drove down the road towards home and noticed absent-mindedly that there seemed to be far less traffic than before. “Just consider yourself lucky, woman!” I thought to myself and drove on confidently. Some time later I found that we were no closer to the Bribie Island turn-off and I also noticed quite a few utes on the road, mostly laden with junk and/or garden rubbish. Undaunted, I continued driving until we finally arrived at the Nudgee (Rubbish) Tip!!!
By now my kids could no longer hold their tongues, so in unison, they asked, “Why are we here, mum?” Quick as a flash, I replied, “This [pointing to the rubbish tip] is where you will all end up working if you don’t study hard at school! How would you like that, eh?” All three furiously shook their heads at that remark while I then continued, “Well, that’s what I wanted to show you and now that you’ve seen the tip, we can go home.” Thankful that there was plenty of fuel in the tank, I reversed out of the dump and found the correct road back to Bribie Island.
BAM # 4 – POND-CLEANING:
I have a wee pond with a small fountain attachment near my back porch. It was a rather warm St. Patrick’s Day a couple of years ago and I feared that pesky mosquitoes could breed in the pond. I am a firm believer that prevention is better than cure. My MOTH was away flying so I was alone to ponder over the two options of either rolling up my shirt sleeves and emptying, cleaning and re-filling the pond, or the easier choice, adding some household bleach. You can guess which option I took… Into the laundry I went, picked up a brand new bottle of bleach, and dashed out the back door to pour a *tiny* amount of bleach into the pond. There! How easy was that? I went back inside to celebrate a job quite easily done, with a leisurely lunch.
After lunch I went back outside and noticed something quite peculiar had happened – my pond was frothing up big time! A white mountain of bubbles had practically covered my pond and fountain spout! Oh no! Panic began to set in – “Now what?” I bemoaned out loud to the suffocating plants growing very near the pond. “Bale out the foam, you silly old cow!” I seemed to hear my plants scream, so I did just that – I scooped up the chlorine-reeking foamy white stuff and dumped it on the back lawn. There was quite a surprising amount of it too, I might add, as it took me a while to get most of it. Well, that should do it, I thought, as I went inside for a shower and a change of clothes to rid myself of the strong chlorine odour. About an hour later, I went out to check on the pond and lo and behold! It had started to produce more froth! No choice but to scoop it out all over again, I sighed to myself. This time, I decided to add more water – right up to the rim of the pond actually, to help dilute the bleach. Mission accomplished. I certainly made sure no mozzie would come anywhere within a hundred metres of my pond, that’s for sure!
I decided to keep this incident to myself until several days later, when my MOTH was totally mystified by the development of strange-shaped dead patches of grass in the back yard. He thought that perhaps he had been a tad too merry with his weed-killer application the week before but how come it only occurred in the back yard, near the clothes line? I was equally puzzled as I had earlier noticed some of my plants had given up living, too. Must be the result of drunken leprechauns’ piss, I concluded, until it dawned on me… yes, I was the culprit. I meekly owned up and told my MOTH all about my pond-cleaning incident. Upon checking the bottle of bleach, we concluded the *tiny* amount I had poured in was about two cupfuls! I guess my idea of a *tiny* amount only applied to the mind of a giant…
BAM # 5 – KILLING FLIES:
This happened last summer – I accidentally left the back screen door opened and as a result, a couple of blow-flies merrily flew inside. I instantly vowed to kill these ugly disease-carrying winged creatures. I raced to the kitchen cupboard under the sink and grabbed the insect spray, the whole time keeping my eyes on the bloody flies. Muttering, “I’ll get you, you filthy bastards!” I spared no pressure on the nozzle head of the can of insect spray as I chased them all over the kitchen. Soon it became apparent that something was amiss – I wasn’t assailed by the fumes that usually accompany the use of insect sprays… I looked down and noticed to my great dismay that in my haste to kill the blowies, I had grabbed the can of oven cleaner!
I forlornly surveyed the fly war zone and just about wept with despair when I saw a huge mark of Zorro (the shape of a great big “Z”) emblazoned right across my kitchen window pane by the now furiously foaming oven cleaner! A quick glance around the kitchen showed that it didn’t just end there, there were foaming patches all over the kitchen cabinets, too! No other option but to take down all the cute ornaments I had adorning my kitchen window, wash them all off and laboriously clean off the window pane as well as all the affected kitchen cabinets. That was so not fun…
BAM # 6 – INSTANT NOODLES MYSTERY:
This happened a couple of months ago – I fancied a quick lunch of 2-minute noodles, so grabbing a packet of same from my pantry with one hand, I got a saucepan out with the other, and put it near the kitchen sink. But first, while I thought of it, I’d better check if the mailman’s been. Among the mail delivery that day was a postcard from my niece in Singapore, postmarked Bangkok. Cool! I raced back inside but not before a quick sniff of a fragrant rose bloom on the way up the path. Done with reading the postcard, I returned to the kitchen to start cooking my noodle lunch. But wait! It had disappeared into thin air! This led to a good half hour of trying to track it down which involved checking and double-checking the refrigerator and pantry and yes, even the bathroom did not escape my eagle eye. Finally, I calmed down enough to think a little more clearly which led to the obvious solution – re-trace my steps! Eventually, the steps led to the letter-box… not that I was THAT senile as to have left it there, of course. Oh how wrong I was! There sitting patiently in the letter box was my missing packet of noodles!!!
To make matters worse, I also suffer from the occasional “Foot-in-mouth” syndrome… I’ll never live down the day I opened my big yap and the wrong words tumbled out. We were sauntering around at the Rubble and Riches flea market at Laverton and stopped at a stall to buy some apples. While trying to decide which variety of apples I wanted, the stall-holder asked if I was a Filipina. “No way!” I stated indignantly and before I could control myself, out came the words, “… and I don’t take it as a compliment to be mistaken for one!” The stall-holder replied, “Nothing wrong with Filipina women, I’m married to one!”
On hearing this exchange, my MOTH, gallant and supportive as ever, muttered, “Nice one, Dear!” and hurriedly took off. Well, there I was, totally embarrassed and wishing that the ground would open up and swallow me instantly. All I could do was to apologize as best as I could and lamely said, “Well, good for you. I’m sure she is a beautiful lady. For reasons of my own, I simply disliked being mistaken for a Filipina. I’m sorry.” before beating a hasty retreat, all thoughts of buying apples well and truly gone!
Before you jump up and down in indignation, I would like to give a brief explanation for my bad attitude. I realize that it is unfair to stereo-type people but I can’t help but harbor some ill-feelings against Filipinas – ever since my good nature was sadly abused by one in particular. She was a single mum living in a caravan park on the Sunshine Coast who befriended me to suit her selfish needs. I was a single mum then, too, and I felt sorry for her so would go out of my way to be helpful. As I was the one with a car, I used to drive her here, there and everywhere but when it was revealed to me that she had tried to entice my then man-friend (my MOTH) away from me with none-too-subtle invitations to “Come and see me alone sometime, anytime…” I knew that she was no good. Ever since then, I have become super-suspicious of Filipinas.
In closing, here’s another “Foot-in-mouth” tale:
In the days before the drought, when our inland lakes and reservoirs were full of water, trout, redfin perch and yabbies (crayfish), my MOTH and I would often drag our boat up to Horsham to try our luck at fishing the Toolondo Reservoir nearby. We love the comforts of home so our nights away were never spent camping in the surrounds of the reservoir but at a comfortable motel in Horsham. Nothing can compare with coming back to our motel room for a hot shower after fishing all day. We used to particularly look forward to our dinner of juicy T-bone steaks grilled to perfection, side-salad and dinner rolls delivered to the room on request. Naturally, over a period of time, we were on first-name basis with the husband and wife owners of the motel.
On one particular fishing trip, after several months’ absence, the wife brought our dinner to our room. I noticed immediately she had a bit of what I thought was a “baby bump” so delightedly, I said, “Congratulations, Jan! When is the happy event?” I don’t think you could possibly imagine my horror and utter embarrassment when she cheerfully replied, “Oh no, I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat!” My MOTH muttered, “Good one, Dear!”, then turned around and headed for the bathroom! Furiously racking my brains, I could only come up with, “I’m so sorry, please know that I didn’t mean to offend. I thought I’m the only one who’s getting fatter by the day.” I thanked God for Jan’s sense of humour as she laughed out loud and replied, “Oh don’t give it another thought. My hubby’s mates always tease me about my belly but I’m not going on a diet for as long as they have their beer guts!” What a woman! From that moment on, I vowed to be less impulsive and try really hard to hold my tongue. So far, so good…