A frosty dawn breaks over the frigid tundra of Exchange Square as wild American friend Odell trudges towards the IFC Mall branch of Pacific Coffee. He spies me sipping my hot, brown, coffee-coloured liquid in an easy chair by the window, briskly orders a galbanum and organic wild lavender cappuccino, and sits himself down next to me.
“Gotta take Mee to see this thing this evening at TST East,” he tells me irritably, showing me the front page ad on the Standard. The shopping complex’s New Year’s countdown will feature Dutch Neanderthal Wim Hof attempting to break the world record for tiniest and most detached male reproductive organs by sitting in ice for over one hour and 50 minutes.
“His name,” I tell my ex-Mormon friend, “is an anagram of ‘if whom’ or ‘whim of’. He is one of those profound Europeans who are given to making such enigmatic comments as ‘There are no boarders anymore, only our mind’. Is your delightful but, let’s face it, not intellectually outstanding Thai wife really so interested in seeing him?”
The ad highlights three ‘guests’. “Charlene Choi,” I read out. “She’s one of the group Twins right? She’s the one whose Wikipedia entry warns ‘This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. Please relocate any relevant information, and remove excessive trivia, praise, criticism, lists’, which strikes me as the story of my life, in a way. And isn’t she the one who…”
“No!” Odell interrupts. “She is not the one who displayed her gynecological bits to all the world on the Internet in photos taken by Edison Chen. That was Gillian.”
I stand corrected. “Along with Bobo,” I add. Odell nods.
“Mee doesn’t hold with that sort of thing,” he tells me, “so she’s not interested in Charlene. Nor with this one here. Never heard of her.”
I look at the photo. Vincy Chan. “No – me neither,” I say. “But… how can I put this delicately? If she walked along Bowen Road regularly, there would probably be that much more poisoned chicken lying around.”
“Deep!” declares Odell. “He’s the man. He’s the reason we have to go all the way over the harbour to stupid Tsimshatsui tonight. Mee has a real crush on him. We even have to have a pinup of him on the bedroom wall. She’s old enough to be his mother, so it’s, you know, no big deal. It’s just that I wanna go down to Wanchai and…”
“Deep Ng,” I say to myself, to avoid mentally completing Odell’s sentence ‘…and vomit all over hookers’.
“What’s his middle name?” I ask. “He could be Deep D.U. Ng. Or Deep Snori Ng. Or Deep Thinki Ng.” I take another sip of my caffeine-traced drink and my mind goes into overdrive. “How about Deep Castrati Ng? Deep E.N.I. Ng. Deep Fryi Ng. Deep Divi Ng. Deep Amo Ng.”
Odell, angry and frustrated, suddenly has an idea, grabs his phone and makes a call. “Yeah I’m with Hem … You know he’s really into Deep … Yeah … So he’s taking you over to that shopping centre tonight, OK? .. Great … Love ya!”