Amanda says she’s this close to cancelling her Netflix subscription, a threat that’s been greeted with great alarm by Saffy.
“She’s not serious, is she?” she asked me the other day.
I shrugged. “It’s her money.”
Saffy pursed her lips with great dissatisfaction. “I don’t see how you can say that,” she told me. “Other people depend on that subscription!”
“Not really,” I told her. “It’s just you.”
For years now, Saffy, like a Kardashian groupie, has lived the high life, satisfying her Netflix binges by piggy-backing off Amanda’s monthly subscription. She’s been known to emerge from her bedroom in the morning, her hair a wild approximation of a bird’s nest, huge bags under her bloodshot eyes — just because she’s spent seven of the past nine hours watching, I don’t know, say, Zumbo’s Just Desserts or Russian Doll, and sleeping the other two.
“You’re like a crack addict,” I said to her that one morning when she’d literally not slept since 9pm the previous night because she’d been clocking an entire season of 13 Reasons Why.
“Leave me alone!” she croaked as she brewed herself a huge pot of black coffee.
“How can you watch so much TV in one sitting?” I asked as I watched her slump into the chair in the dining room and slowly lower her head onto the table. Within seconds, she was snoring.
Apparently, she woke up again at 11am with a start and could be heard screaming in a taxi all the way to Raffles Place. “Jason and Amanda just left the apartment without waking me up!” she complained to Sharyn after she’d been yelled at by her boss for missing the department’s morning briefing.
“Who ask you to watch Netflix all night?” Sharyn replied serenely, a veteran of a million excuses from her children on why they didn’t deserve to get an F for maths. “Is your fault what!”
“I was ready to sleep at midnight,” Saffy moaned, “but then I just had to find out what happened after Monty died in prison!”
“I tink hor, Jessica should have killed Blyce!” Sharyn observed as she peered at her computer screen.
There was a silence and then Saffy’s head rose over the partition separating her cubicle from Sharyn’s. “Wait,” she said, eventually. “You are also watching 13 Reasons Why?”
Sharyn turned huge owlish eyes on her best friend. “You tink you are the only one, issit?”
That evening, it was all Saffy could talk about.
“I mean, I get that I can binge-watch Netflix. After all, I’m single with no children and no responsibilities, but that woman is a mother of three!” she exclaimed “Well, four if you count her useless husband. Five, if you include her mother-in-law. I mean, where does she find the time?”
“Maybe it’s her chance to decompress at night,” I suggested. “When everyone has gone to bed and she has a few quiet moments to herself.”
“But that’s the other thing. I get the need to decompress, but 13 Reasons Why is quite stressful. The kids get tortured and they die and…” Comprehension dawned on her. “Oh, I see…” she sighed.
The idea that Sharyn might be hooked on 13 Reasons Why because it was a subliminal torture porn fantasy in which her family were the principal characters gripped Saffy for days.
When she finally got up the courage to ask Sharyn about it, Sharyn shrieked. “Aiyoh! You so bad, you tink I want to kill my chil-ren?!”
“You’re clearly in denial, Shaz,” Saffy told her.
“Denial, your head lah! I just like Justin Prentice, okay?”
Saffy stared. “Who’s Justin…”
“Aiyoh, how can you be a fan and not know who Justin Prentice is? He play Blyce Walker mah!”
Saffy’s eyes bulged. “You like Bryce Walker?”
“Yah, so han-sum!”
“But, but, he’s like 10 years old!”
Sharyn bristled. “Who say?”
Amanda later told me privately she is constantly amazed that Ong & Ong didn’t go out of business years ago. “How have they not gone under with Saffy and Sharyn in charge of things?” she demanded.
“Well, to be fair, they are in HR,” I pointed out. “I’ve never really worked out the real function of HR. They don’t really do anything, do they?”
“Not at Ong & Ong, that’s for sure,” Amanda said. “And especially not when the head of HR can’t get to work on time because she spent the previous night bing-watching a bunch of teenagers kill each other! And she’s doing all that on my dime, too!”
All of which has made her even more determined to cancel her Netflix subscription. “It’s a public service,” she told me this morning. “It’ll be for her own good.”
Saffy says with friends like Amanda, who needs enemies.