Friday, April 4, 2008

Geriatric Knight

Asians seem to like the word "killer". I noticed that.

There is the Auntie-killer, which is apparently a male who can charm any and every older lady.

There is the young men-killer, awarded to an older femme fatale whose seductive charms give young men the sort of wet dreams and cougar fantasies their mothers dread.

There is the little sister-killer, usually a young man with the hunky looks and boyish appeal that little girls and young teens fall for.

Then there is the old folks-killer.

Which is apparently what I am.

Many of my friends and students have noticed this phenomenon and gleefully informed me of the diagnosis. For some reason, old people like me. I am not sure why but it happens so often that even I cannot deny the charge.

After a few days of incarceration from over-zealous doctors for the flu, I was sick (sic) and tired of not doing any real exercise. 

So I got suited out in some yoga pants, sports bra and tank and clipped on my iPod for a brisk walk around the block to work off some energy before dinner.

Head down and not paying attention, I almost got off at the wrong floor and had a bit of a start when an old man poked his head through the doors.

After a few flustered moments and embarrassed apologies, we withdrew to different corners of the elevator.

I heard his voice through the pumped up tunes of Breathe. And his lips were moving as he looked at me. Oh darn. He wants to speak with me.

Sighing inwardly, I withdrew one ear-phone and smiled at him.


"Did you get a fright just now?"

No, I just tend to gasp loudly, and start backwards when someone almost head butts me, for no reason.

"Just a little. It's alright though. I should have been paying attention."

Smiling, I made to replace my earphone but he started speaking again. Sigh.

"So, are you going to exercise now?"

"Yes, I am."

"At the gym?"

"No, I thought it was such a nice day that I should go out for a walk before dinner."

"A walk? Where? Outside the hotel?" He looked startled and alarmed.


"That can be dangerous! You should be careful as it can be dangerous for a young girl like you to go out walking on your own."

Young girl? Yo, you need better glasses, mate! And we're in the middle of the tourist belt. And it's not even 6pm yet. The sun's still up!

"Er, that's quite alright. I'll be careful and it's just around the block. I shan't be walking too far away. But thank you for your concern." 

Bright, beaming smile and Jedi mind trick to end conversation.

Damn flu messed up my Force. He smiled in response but still looked troubled.

The doors opened and quickly bidding adieu, I hurriedly walked out of that awkward conversation.

And heard his voice behind me saying, "No, no, it's too dangerous letting a pretty, young girl like you walk around on her own. I shall accompany you. Or we should ask hotel security to assign someone to escort you."

So I ended up taking a very, very slow walk, escorting a sweet but terribly misguided 70-year-old man on a walkie. 

He was awfully earnest in protecting me but the end result was that I had to physically aid him halfway through the walkie as his legs gave out. We had to stop for a coffee to revive him before we could return to the hotel. He was so knackered, I got worried and had to make sure his driver and wife arrived before I returned to my room. I also had to spend some time turning down their dinner invitation without hurting their feelings.

I ended up being late for my own dinner. And had to explain to my dinner mates the reason why and endure the entire evening being teased and addressed as the old folks-killer. 

Sigh. I have the worst luck. Being an old folks-killer is tiring.