Dick Tomatoski

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Negotiator and the Stewardess

This article was first blogged on June 3rd 2005 in my other blog, Stepping Aside For Reality and then reproduced here.

MAS stewardesses are over the moon. They managed to win two key points from the airline in the latest round of union negotiations
- increase in gratuity payment for those who retire
- can now have three children and still fly

And what did the airline get in return? A big fucking zero. The airline negotiating team totally failed to get the stewardesses to agree on the most important key issue affecting passenger; that is to SHOW MORE CLEAVAGE.

Before you start thinking that I’m not being serious, let me just say that cleavage is more important than what anybody realizes. It gives the passengers something to take their minds off the airline food. When I read the news yesterday, my first thought was “Oh fuck! The negotiators lost again! Bunch of dumbasses!”

Now, just how difficult can it be to negotiate with some good looking chicks? If it were up to me, I would send in somebody tough to do the negotiating. A no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners kind of negotiator. Somebody like Dick Tomatoski, also known as the “Fat Dick” in some circles.

The trick to successful negotiating is to shout “DONE!” after winning a point, and then quickly moving on to the next point.

Yeah, Fat Dick would have done it differently.

Fat Dick : Morning. I’m here to negotiate on behalf of the airline.

Stewardess : Siddown, mistah. Me and mah sistahs got a long list of demands.

Fat Dick : Perhaps you would like me to explain some of the legal terms to you so that you can better understand how negotiations are done. That way, we can wrap this thing up quickly in order to better serve the airline.

Stewardess : Look here Mistah….

Fat Dick : Call me Dick

Stewardess : Look, Dick……firstly, I ain’t your ho, so stop talking to me like I'm demented. Secondly, I ain’t your ho, so stop talking like I have to serve anybody in any way.

Fat Dick : Dat rite, biatch?

Stewardess : Dat’s rite.

Fat Dick : Let me present our new policy. From now on, we want you girls to show a little more cleavage. There have been too many complaints about airline food of late, and we really need to distract the passengers. Done?

Stewardess : No can do. You ain’t pimpin’ us out. The airline food’s your fucking problem. If we can eat that shit everyday, we see no reason why airline passengers can’t eat the same shit for JUST one day.

Fat Dick : You got a point.

Stewardess : Of course we do! And another thing…..we hate to do the demo thing about the life vests and show folks where the emergency exits are. People keep staring at out tits when we demo the life vests alla time.

Fat Dick : They do?

Stewardess : Look at me when I’m talking to you!

Fat Dick : I am looking at you!

Stewardess : My face is up here!

Fat Dick : Oh….sorry. You have a nice pair of bre…eyes!

Stewardess : Thank you! Now stay focused. What the girls want is for the airline to do away with life vests. We figured that the life vests will do shit if the plane ever goes down. If we’re gonna die, then we’re gonna die.

Fat Dick : Now look, the life vests serve a very important function. If the plane goes down in the water, you and the passengers are gonna need them.

Stewardess : Fuck the passengers! We girls can swim.

Fat Dick : The life vests cover your chest and prevents the sharks from nibbling at your tits.

Stewardess : Okay, the life vests stay.

Fat Dick : DONE!

Stewardess : But my sistahs hate having to show all the emergency exits every time we board the plane. The “EXIT” letters are lighted so brightly that everybody knows where they are without having to be told. Don’t tell us you have been taking passengers who can’t fucking read.

Fat Dick : We have been taking passengers who can’t fucking read.

Stewardess : Shit! Well, stop that! From now on, nobody boards a plane without taking a literacy test! Even George Bush.

Fat Dick : Can’t do that. We won’t take the chance of George Bush failing your literacy test. Tell you wut, you drop this point and we’ll increase the gratuity payments for those stewardesses who retire.

Stewardess : DONE!

Fat Dick : And you would also have to show more cleavage.

Stewardess : Too late! I shouted “DONE!” already!

Fat Dick : Damn!

Stewardess : Let’s move on. Da sistahs would like to have 4 kids and still keep their flying jobs. We have a family to support and we want the income.

Fat Dick : No can do. The airline is firm on this one. Two kids is the maximum.

Stewardess : If you agree to this point, da sistahs would be willing to show a little more cleavage.

Fat Dick : They would?

Stewardess : After their fourth kid.

Fat Dick : After their fourth kid, they may get so out of shape that nobody would want to see their cleavage!

Stewardess : It’s either we keep our flying jobs with three kids or we show our cleavage after the fourth kid. Take your pick.

Fat Dick : I’ll take the “keep your flying jobs with three kids” option.

Stewardess : DONE! That wuz easy.

Fat Dick : That’s it! No more negotiations for this year! I could use a drink.

Stewardess : I must say that I fucking like way you negotiate.

Fat Dick : Thank you. I must say that I also like your nehneh….nehgotiation skills.

Stewardess : You’ve me staring at my….uh….nehgotiation skills all day. I can assure you that they’re real.

Fat Dick : Really?

Stewardess : You look like a cute guy. I would normally invite a hunk like you to my apartment to listen to some music. But the company has strict rules about employees fraternizing together.

Fat Dick : That stupid rule does not apply to male employees with large er….hands.

Stewardess : You sure about that?

Fat Dick : Screw the airline! Let’s go!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dick Tomatoski and the Ayam Investigation

This article was first blogged on Aug 9th to 13th 2004 in my other blog, Stepping Aside For Reality and then reproduced here.


The Ayam Investigation - Episode 1

August in the Klang valley was hot.

Here I was, sitting in a teh tarik stall, minding my own business and watching the broads go by. I love the way their asses sway in the sun, hinting that they have more heat to offer than the heat I was getting from the hot weather. That was when the editor called me on my battered cellphone, and told me to haul my ass to the road in front of a pizza shop in SS2 where an unusual accident had occurred.

I knew the place. It was only 5 blocks away. After coolly telling the teh tarik stall owner to put my drink on credit in his buku tiga lima, I raced to the scene. The nasty shouts of the stall owner could still be heard very faintly, as I reached the scene.

It was horrible.

A lorry had raced down the street at a speed of 200 kph. It narrowly missed hitting a pizza delivery boy on a motorbike. The pizza delivery boy, swerved in panic onto the path of an oncoming van. The situation was bad and the van driver slammed on his brakes. The Proton Saga behind the van could not brake in time and swerved into a side lane to avoid a nasty collision. A Toyota 4-wheel drive vehicle in the side lane managed to avoid the Proton Saga by going up the kerb onto the 5-foot way, panicking all the pedestrians.

But nobody was hurt.

Everybody slowed down to a crawl, and heaved a sigh of relief.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a chicken crossed the road.

The van driver swerved and sideswiped the chicken, hit the kerb, and the van landed in the middle of the street on its side. The driver was unhurt. But the chicken lay motionless, barely alive, and too knocked down to get up and run.

My investigative senses were tingling. I smelt a rat.

The cops were already swarming around like ants. Walking about importantly and as usual, asking all the wrong questions.

I walked over slowly to the fallen van. Something fishy was going on. In the back of my mind, I could hear myself asking,

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

*Episode 2 continues tomorrow*

The Ayam investigation - Episode 2

The chicken laid on the street, looking up at me, with its expressionless beady eyes. It made me uneasy. I tried hard to ignore the feeling.

The van driver was incoherent. He kept muttering goobledygook to his van and the cops, much to their annoyance. Good. I needed to crack this case wide open before the cops did.

Scanning the crowd quickly, I counted one Malay man and twenty Chinese guys. They ought to have seen something.

Without hesitation, I walked over to the Malay man.
“Hey buddy. Did ‘cha see the chicken hit the road?”
“What if I did.”
“You could tell me about it.”
“What’s it to you?”
“I’m an investigative reporter. My name is Tomatoski. Dick Tomatoski.”
“Never heard of you. And there’s nothing to tell. At the speed the van was going, this here all ain’t no accident. It’s a sandiwara......a govmint set-up.”
“A setup?”
“Yeah. Why did you think the chicken crossed the road?”
“Funny. I was about to ask you that.”
“To spy on the other side of course. That chicken…..it’s obviously govmint property. You don’t see many Opposition chickens around these parts. There’s some hidden political scheme afoot, I tell ya.”

I could see that I was getting nowhere with this old man. What is it with the Malays that they see politics everywhere?

The cops were now measuring the scene with a tape measure. One Fat Cop was busy shouting orders to the others.

I walked over to the Chinese guys. I wasn’t at all sure that they were Chinese. They looked young and rough, had oriental features, but they also had blond hair. Blonder than the blondest bimbo.

I asked them if they had seen or heard anything. They replied that they hadn’t.

Yeah, they were Chinese alright. The Chinese were famous for seeing nuthin’ and hearing nuthin’ in this country.

I said that it was not possible not to have seen anything. They said that they had been looking at the sky all day, searching for signs of rain. Said they did not even notice that there was a street in front of them.

I told them that there was indeed a street in front of them.

They said they knew it, but hadn’t noticed it. Bunch of tough nuts.

But I knew I could get at least one to talk. In a group of twenty, there is always one who could be broken. One who would sing like a canary. A stool pigeon.

But before I could work on them further, Fat Cop opened his fat mouth and shouted,
Siapa mahu jadi saksi?”
(Translation: “Who wants to be a police witness?”)

The 20 blond Chinese guys vanished in a flash. Along with the red tablecloths they were holding. One moment they were there and the next moment they were gone. Damn! Don’t they teach the cops anything in cop school? That you should never mention the ‘saksi’ word? At least not in front of the Chinese? Amateurs!

I looked around hopefully for an Indian. I knew the Indians could talk. Which was why we had so many Indian lawyers and trade unionists, and so few Indian swimmers. I once tried to talk and swim at the same time and found that very difficult.

But there was no one left. No one, except the damn chicken. Which was still looking at me.

This was the part I dreaded most. But it was time to question the chicken.

*Episode 3 continues tomorrow*

The Ayam investigation - Episode 3

The heat was getting to me. And I was still far from concluding the investigation. I eyed the fallen chicken. It was a scrawny rooster, with ragged feathers, and long past its sell-by date.

It had been a long while since I used chicken language. But I still remembered the tonal inflexion of chicken squawks. The damn chicken stared at me impassively while I attempted to make it understand what I wanted to ask..

Fat Cop came over and joined me. He wanted to know what the hell I thought I was doing.

I introduced myself,
“The name’s Tomatoski. Dick Tomatoski. Investigative reporter for the 5Star.”

“Never heard of you.” he said. “But I know the 5Star. Good paper. Also free.”

It turned out that Fat Cop knew chicken language too. So we decided to work as a team. Together we interrogated the chicken. But the bird was tough, and it didn’t say nuthin’.

Fat Cop and I tried every trick in the book. We even played “good cop, bad cop” with the chicken. I played the ‘bad cop’ because Fat Cop wanted to play the ‘good cop’. Still the chicken remained silent. Maybe I should have played the ‘good cop’ instead.

Fat Cop eventually lost his temper and shouted profanities into the chicken’s ear. The scrawny chicken did not as much as bat an eyelid.

Suddenly, pure understanding hit me in the face, like a gust of monsoon.

The chicken was deaf ! Totally stone deaf ! Damn !

I asked Fat Cop if he knew how to use chicken sign language. Fat Cop stared at me blankly. The look on his face told me what I was appalled to know; that he had failed the Chicken Sign Language Course in cop school. Fat Cop shuffled his feet in embarrassment. And in a moment of sheer carelessness, he stepped on the suffering chicken’s feet.

The chicken’s eyes bulged out in shock, and it opened its mouth wide to scream blue murder.

But there was no sound forthcoming. Not even a whisper.

It was becoming obvious. Not only was the chicken deaf, it was dumb as well.
Well, whadya know, a deaf mute chicken !

We were getting nowhere. Unthinkingly, I bent down to pick up a stray feather. And as I was bending down, I noticed the chicken eyeing my butt appreciatively.

Damn! Not only was the chicken deaf and dumb. It was also gay.

That's it. I’ve had enough of the stupid chicken. I walked over towards the van driver. Fat Cop started to follow me. That was when I heard a sickening crunch behind me. I turned around, and saw that Fat Cop had stepped on the chicken’s neck this time. The bungling clumsy oaf !

Now, not only was the chicken, deaf, dumb and gay. It was also dead.

It's never an easy situation where the cop kills the most important material witness.

There was only one left thing to do.

*Episode 4 continues tomorrow*

The Ayam investigation - Episode 4

I gazed moodily at the van driver who was still muttering gibberish to himself.

I was feeling irritable. With the chicken dead and no credible witnesses forthcoming, the news story was as good as washed out. I wished I was still back at the teh tarik stall, running up my tab and watching the broads swinging their tails past me.

But my professional instincts told me to first have a word with the van driver. The one that the cops could not understand what he was saying.

He didn’t look drunk and he didn’t look stupid. But he looked foreign. Must be some kind of illegal worker, I thought. I questioned him in both Bahasa and English, and both times he answered back in gibberish. Gimme a break, pal.

I wondered if he spoke Portuguese. Still trying to appear friendly, I asked him,
“Oye. Como va?”
“Daijobu desu!” he replied.

Now we’re getting somewhere. The foreign mug could speak Japanese. Using the best Japanese lingo I could muster, I asked him:
“Nihonjin desu ka?”
“Non, monsieur.”

Damn! What was wrong with the guy? Why was he replying to my Japanese with French? Okay, so maybe he was closet French.

I tried again, but this time in French.
“Parlez vous fancais?”
“Mai khao jai !”

Dammit! Now Frenchy’s talking Thai.

This was getting me nowhere. I wished he would stop irritating me by changing his language every time. I bet he was having fun with me. The hot weather was bad enough without this mindless linguistic display. I would have belted him one across the kisser, but the cops were still wandering about.

I swore at the van driver softly under my breath in the Hokkien dialect,
Khee hor lang kan lah, lu.”

His ears pricked up, and I heard him say, “Sir, I would appreciate your not using profanities in my presence. Should there be anything you wish to know, I shall be most happy to enlighten you, but only if our discussion is of a civilised nature!”

You could have knocked me down with a feather! The chap responded to my crude Hokkien with the Queen’s English. This was indeed a whole new development!

Understanding slowly flooded my mind. The accident had affected the poor man’s brains. The brain mass sits in the cranium cavity, and is held in alignment by cellular linkages. An accident can lead to the brain getting out of alignment when the linkages are shaken loose. The van driver was suffering from B.A.L.L.S., or Brain Alignment Linkages Loosened Syndrome.

People suffering from B.A.L.L.S. tend to talk a lot of cock. This unfortunate condition, if not treated in time, can become permanent. Which was what had happened to a 5Star colleague, Ms Lai Ma’s editor. Or so she claimed.

I looked at the van driver sympathetically. His internal brain circuits must have somehow become disconnected and were trying to make new connections. I could see that the new connections were full of bugs, so that he thought Japanese was Portuguese, French was Japanese and Thai was French. And when he was speaking to me in English, he must have thought that he was actually speaking in Hokkien.

It was a stroke of pure luck that I discovered this before the cops did. My plan was to continue speaking to him in Hokkien so that he could continue replying to me in English.

I looked around. The cops were busy discussing the most innovative way to cook a dead chicken, and had not caught on to this unusual development yet.

So I pulled the van driver aside and whispered to him,
"An chua kuan?" (translation: "How?")
"I'm all right. But some stuff went missing after the van fell over."

"Pang khee simi?" (translation: "What did you lose?")
"A brown crate of Viagra pills has disappeared."

"Mai sian lah." (translation: "Don't bluff lah.")
"It's true. I was making a special delivery to an old folks’ home."

Chuay boh?" (translation: "Is it a lot?")
“Oh lots. The crate was full and heavy. Only a very strong man could have lifted it up and walked away with it. The miscreant must have misappropriated it while I was still groggy from the accident!”

"Ni na beh !" (translation: *untranslatable*)
"Hey, leave my mother out of this!"

"Sorry. I didn't mean that!" I said, momentarily forgetting to speak in Hokkien.
That did it. He replied to me in some unrecognisable foreign gibberish.

But I’ve heard enough. A crate of Viagra? A crate of those blue pills meant ‘Action’ with a capital ‘A’. I could see that I needed to change my outdated opinion about old folks’ homes.

Suddenly, the heat didn’t matter anymore. Every fibre of my being knew that there was a great scoop ahead if I could get to the bottom of this before other reporters did. I knew I had seen that brown crate somewhere before.

It was time I hightailed out of there.

Maybe I would never know why the chicken crossed the road. It would be a mystery that would keep primary school kids entertained for years. But it didn’t matter to me any more. I had a bigger chicken to fry.

The reporters from the rival newspapers had just arrived. Bunch of snooty crap-fed morons. I suppressed a chuckle as I saw them heading for the dead chicken. It was good for only one thing now; the Cookery Page.

I left the scene quietly without the cops noticing me leaving. Once out of sight of the cops, I ran as fast as I could. I knew that the answer lies just two blocks away.

*Final Episode tomorrow*

The Ayam investigation – Final Episode

The excitement was building up in me as I ran. I knew that I had seen that brown crate before.

On the way to the accident scene much earlier, I had taken a route through a back lane, not because it was a shorter route, but more becasuse I'm a back lane kind of person. And I remembered passing an empty discarded brown crate marked with the name of an Old Folks’ Home just behind a gym.

Moving swiftly down the back lane, I spotted what I was looking for. Yes, the empty crate was still there, right behind AH BENG’S GYM. The Viagra pills were long gone. Whoever took them made sure that not a single pill was left. And whoever carried that crate was certainly strong, meaning that he probably worked out in a gym regularly. I stared at the back door of AH BENG’S GYM and pondered my next step.

Making up my mind quickly, I entered the gym building unseen through the back door. Peering into the dimly lit gym floor, I soon spotted a well-built man standing behind an exercise bike. He was alone, and he held his hands over his head. I wondered where all those Viagra pills had disappeared to.

Looking at the barbell mysteriously moving up and down on its own, the truth of the matter immediately dawned on me. Quickly, I reached into my pocket for my camera, and stealthily took some shots.

I had seen enough.

Slipping out of the gym and into the back lane, I whipped out my cellphone and made an urgent call to the editor.
“This is Dick Tomatoski. Stop the press! I just got you the story that may just win us the Pulitzer!”
“You sure?”
“Yeah, this story will drown the already shitty competition in more chickenshit!”
“Great job! Come on in and we’ll discuss your increment!”
“And another thing….”
“I would like to take the day off tomorrow. There’s a gym in SS2 that I have to join, to work on a muscle.”

* The End *