We finished rehearsal at 7+ today, and I was walking toward Bishan MRT.

Then I got trapped by Those Shifty And Scary People.

You know them. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they have the same agenda – sell cheapskate pens to you for grossly exorbitant prices!

So, some guy went up to me and said “Hello” in a cheery, optimistic, I-want-to-scam-you-of-two-bucks tone, which obviously gave the game away, so I tried to do Epic Evade, with a surly Get-The-Hell-Out facial expression.

He was undeterred, and started rambling on and on about his cause, and then SUDDENLY, HE PULLED OUT A BALLPOINT-PEN-IN-CHEAP-PLASTIC-WRAPPING FROM HIS BACK POCKET. I sidestepped him and muttered something about going home. He slid the pen back into his pocket.

Instead, I decided to go to 7-11 to get a Vitasoy. So I went out and he approached me AGAIN, for a final showdown.

Dangerous Pen Vendor: Hello.
Me: Hello.

And then he tried to shake my hand for no good reason.

DPV: Basically I’m from an anti-drugs organisation blah-blah. You don’t take drugs right?

I shake my head noncommittally and tiredly, as if trying to imply “Get the F*** Out of my elite, uncaring face” without actually SAYING it – but he looks pleased, and shakes my hand for no good reason AGAIN. And then he whisks out his dangerous Ballpoint-Pen-In-Cheap-Plastic-Wrapping, which immediately got me scared and apprehensive once again.

DPV: Nuh, for you, free one.
Me: Uh, no thanks.
DPV: Really, free one, don’t need to pay money.
Me: No thanks. I gtg now.
DPV: Huh? Free also don’t want? *attempts wry, puzzled look*

At this point I walk away – and am caught by a female Dangerous Pen Vendor this time, but she decides not to Strike Up A Friendly Conversation With Unsuspecting RI Student In Order To Sell Him A Pen, and after my initial refusal to donate, she simply walks away.

Who told you MRT stations were safe?

Oh yes, I’m a PSL now! Long story, and I shall spare you the details.

Read ESPLANADE CHEE NOW. (and BOB POTTER, if you haven’t already. I love it.)


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