If you ever needed a sign that we live in a world that’s so upside down, it actually makes Stranger Things’ The Upside Down feel positively normal, you only need to have a look at this year’s US elections. As I write this, the results haven’t been announced yet, but the bizarro behaviours continue.
A few days ago, someone sent me a video link which showed a Hongkong granny pounding a picture of Donald Trump with a mallet. Or it may have been a wooden clog — she was pounding with so much enthusiasm, it was hard to tell. And she was shouting as she bashed away, basically putting the hex on the man as she bashed away. My Cantopop is non-existent, but even I could tell that granny wasn’t messing about.
Apparently, this is a thing in Hongkong. If you really hate someone, you bring their picture to these grannies to “da siu yan”, or to exorcise the demons. Someone in America hated Donald Trump enough to send his picture all the way to Hongkong for a granny to hit with a mallet. Or a wooden clog.
“I wonder if I could do that to my boss,” Saffy mused as her fingers scrolled her feed. “This is wonderful! How am I only hearing about this now?”
“I think you need to be qualified to da siu yan,” Amanda said.
Saffy’s bosom paused in mid-inhale. “What? Like there’s a hex college you have to graduate from?”
Amanda pursed her lips. “Well, I’m thinking you would need to do it properly, so that the hex doesn’t bounce back on you. My friend Misha told me that her cousin was reiki-ing her husband to stop smoking.”
“And? Did it work?”
“It sure did. Two days later, he dropped dead from a heart attack!”
“Oh my God,” Saffy sighed.
Meanwhile, our American friend Marianne, who’s lived in Singapore for the past 15 years, has been so stressed by the US elections that she’s binge-watched everything on Netflix. And I mean everything. Every show has been fair game. Even Japanese anime. She said she was so hooked on Ultraman that for two entire days, she didn’t once think about Democrats or Republicans. Barely pausing to have a shower, she jumped straight into Dream Home Makeovers.
And then, on the day of the actual elections, she started watching Say I Do. According to her husband Joe, Marianne started crying 10 minutes into the first episode.
“Well, that didn’t take long,” Saffy said.
Marianne flooded her Instagram feed with cryptic posts. Well, cryptic only if you’d been living under a rock this whole time and had never watched or heard of the show.
‘Ooh, Gabe is dreamy!’
‘Jeremiah is adorbsss!’
‘It’s gonna be a hell week, but looking forward to a good happy cry at the end of the night!’
‘God, my heartstrings!’
Apparently, Marianne’s mother, all the way in Miami, took a moment out of her sleep-deprived marathon watching the election results, to call her daughter and ask if she was having a nervous breakdown. She later told her husband that when Marianne began sobbing about how gay weddings are the best, she was convinced her eldest daughter had seriously lost it.
“I’m watching the elderly African-American couple now!” she told Amanda over the phone. “Oh, my heart!”
“It gets better,” Amanda assured her.
“I can’t wait! I thought I would save up these episodes for when I need happy moments, but I’ve already stocked up on chocolates and tissues. I swear to God, this show is the best thing to have happened to me all year!”
Amanda paused. “Wait. What about your engagement?”
Marianne practically snorted. “Oh, no competition. This show is even better than that! And that’s the honest truth!”
As Amanda later told us, something is really wrong with the world when a TV show about the weddings of complete strangers is better than when the love of your life proposes to spend the rest of his life with you.
“Not just the rest of his life!” Saffy said, her fabulous bosom inflating to a dangerous volume. “The rest of his money! Don’t forget how rich Peter is!”
“I know right?” Amanda said, shaking her lovely tresses. She still hasn’t recovered from the Tiffany two-carat Soleste Halo engagement ring with a diamond platinum band that Peter had presented Marianne with his proposal. “Someone needs to give her a tight slap and tell her to wake up! This is real life!”
That was yesterday. This morning, Saffy says she caught Amanda looking up phone numbers of da siu yan grannies in Hongkong.