When Camb.ridgechanc.ellor competes with Oneinamillion judge, who will win?

I went for a dinner talk with my colleagues on Wednesday night. Let me tell you, our table was the most happening one in that function room – thanks to my boss, lei/lei, ms wo.ng and mrlee and their “intellectual foreplay” discourse.

I shall not even attempt to do a full post mortem of the “stimulating” conversation that flowed that night. But here are some, as my boss would say, salient points I derived from the dinner conversation.

[a] In life, there are boosters, drainers and fence-sitters. Avoid drainers because they’re essentially a species of vampires. They suck you off your energy with their incessant complaints and general unhappiness with life. Stay away from fence-sitters too because they just don’t have a backbone. They make drainers look good. But welcome boosters into your life with open arms because they will lift your spirit and motivate you.

[b] Men are monogamically-challenged, apparently according to joan.neka.mpohpoh.

[c] Scorpio + man + linguist = horrible flirt/danger!

But our laugh-a-minute dinner conversation was not the best part of the night. The main course (to me) was be the talk itself. And I’m not referring to the points raised in the talk…

See, the dinner was jointly organised by a local uni-college, a local chapter of an ivy league association and a tabloid english daily. The guest speaker was eme.ritus chan.cellor of ca.mb.ridge.

I thought it was a brilliant idea on the organiser’s part to feed the guests before asking the speaker to address the audience. But in this case it was a BAD idea.

To be fair to them, how were they to know that their dinner would coincide with a charity dinner that would take place at the function room next door. And that the entertainment part of that dinner would start around the time the talk begins. Also, how were they to know that the room wouldn’t be as soundproof as the hotel management assured them?

Let me demonstrate how bad the situation was.

As mrcambridgechancellorguy took the microphone, the singing started. At first I didn’t know who it was warbling her vocal chords out. The song sounded familiar and then the voice started to become louder, especially when the singer was hitting the high notes. Then I figured out who it was. It was syafinazselamat singing. Because she’s a trained classical singer and vocal coach for the uninitiated, her voice was — unfortunate for mrcambridgechancellorguy — wafting from the next room with little effort. And she sang 4 songs and if you were to ask me, I can tell you all the songs that she sang.

{They were bersamamu (i think that’s the title of that song), i will survive, some operatic song (where she showed off her classical singing muscles) and another operatic song which ruthsahanaya sang duet with some famous opera singer. It was that loud!}

At first, mrcambridgechancellorguy himself couldn’t concentrate. No, he was not mesmerized by the singing. Rather, he was concerned about us not being able to hear him. But some of the audience assured him that it wasn’t a problem and that he could carry on. I tried my very best to concentrate on him — I did, I promise! — but my musically-inclined brain just decided to tune into the music coming from the next toom.

So, it was one of those funny + kesian cases. I felt sorry for mrcambridgechancellorguy but what can we do?

The good thing is there were people listening to him — half of the room laughed during his punchline.

The funniest thing about this incident, to me, is the fact that syafinazselamat is probably oblivious to what was happening. She was paid to sing so she sang… to the best of her ability. And being a vocal coach, I bet it wasn’t hard to do. Thank God she was on key. At least, she practices what she preaches to those oneinamillion contestants 😛


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