Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Day The BF Became An Officer

Ok lah! I'm sure you all know that my boyfriend was never an officer, and instead spent his two years of NS lounging around in Tekong's Foxtrot Company's armskote and store, and occasionally napping in his Encik's and CO's air-conditioned office (he was their blue-eyed boy for some reason, so he generally got away with a lot of stuff that other permanent staff couldn't), being a storeman.

Of course, his girlfriend, that is, ME, was devastated when he became a chao keng kia storeman. I had envisioned The BF dressed in the No. 1, receiving his Sword of Merit, and becoming commissioned as an officer, while I looked on proudly from the stands and later walked even more proudly on his arm at the Commissioning Ball (or whatever that dinner-and-dance thingy for commissioned officers is called).

I'd spun my grandoise fantasies of having a macho handsome officer boyfriend to the extent of imagining The BF barking orders at poor, unhappy recruits, privates, sergeants, and even warrant officers.

Who knows, he had to spoil it all by getting himself dumped into the Foxtrot store. His rationalised that storemen are incredibly important to the Army, because they're the ones doling out food supplies and battle equipment, and in the case of a war, should the storemen all desert or get killed, the entire army would be crippled, but it wasn't much consolation to me. I merely snapped at him, "And what are the chances of Singapore going to war in the next 2 years, you bum?"

He also pointed out that being a storeman gave him lots of chances to nap and talk to me on the phone while everyone else out there was slogging it out, and getting burnt and dirtied. I gave him my haughtiest, most condescending look and said, "So you think napping in your store constitutes being useful?"

But unbeknownst to both of us, there would come a day when The BF would "become an officer" for a brief few minutes, and it was partially thanks to me.

That day, I was on the phone with The BF. We were having a heated quarrel, though what it was about, I can't remember. So he was in an extremely foul mood, and looking for a lamppost or some other inanimate object to take his bad temper out on (being a private at that time, he had no more power than a recruit and couldn't vent his anger on humans).

We were still arguing on the phone, when he walked into the perm staff toilet. Now, for the benefit of those who are female, the perm staff toilets are reserved only for the permanent staff stationed on Tekong, and no recruits are allowed to enter them. He was also dressed only in shorts and nothing else, having just finished napping in his bunk (this is the life of a storeman, my friends). So there was no insignia to signify his rank.

Then at that point, he said to me, "Hold on for a while."

I then heard the following conversation loud and clear (The BF was using an earpiece, and it easily picked up background voices).

BF: What the fuck you doing here?

Unknown male voices (hesitantly): Huh?

BF: Don't understand English is it? What the fuck you two doing here? Which company you from?

2 unknown chaps: Delta company.

BF: You all never listen to orders is it? Recruits cannot use perm staff toilet, what the fuck you two come in here for?

Ah-hah! I thought. The BF found something much better than a lamppost - 2 poor hapless recruits to unleash his fury on!

Recruits: Sorry Sergeant, sorry Sergeant, we really didn't know this was the perm staff toilet...

BF: Hah? What? What did you two call me? (He was honestly staggered, because he'd thought these recruits should have known he was a mere private.)

Recruits: Sorry SIR! We'll leave now, SIR!

And The BF, being the non-scheming, friendly, kind-hearted person he is, instead of correcting them, roared, "Yeah, get out now!"

I heard a clattering and the flip-flop of slippers as the terrified recruits bolted for their lives, away from this "officer" who was in such a foul mood; skarly he make them sign confinement how?

He came back on the phone, sounding grumpy still: "Yah, where were we?"

By that time, I was too convulsed by laughter to speak. All my bewildered boyfriend heard was peal after peal of happy laughter coming from me.

For those few minutes, my dream had been fulfilled. The BF had become an officer with the power to treat recruits like dogs.