How Many Guys?

I called up our favourite AMF bowling centre the other day to book a couple of lanes for tonight’s game with the gang.

The person who answered my phone call greeted me in a fast Aussie accent (of course!) that I didn’t quite catch what he just said. I wasn’t sure if I indeed called up AMF so I had to clarify.

“Hi. Is this the AMF bowling centre?” I asked the AMF employee. Let’s just call him John because I really didn’t catch his name when he introduced himself

“Yeritis (Yeah, it is),” Peter replied in a mumble. “Huhcanoihelpya? (How can I help you?)”

“Ah, yes. I’d like to book two lanes for Friday 8 o’clock. Thanks.”

“Roight. Huhmanypeople? (Right. How many people?)”

I paused a bit to count in my head the number of people going tonight but then decided just to pick any even number. It wouldn’t matter in the end anyway. “Twelve,” I replied.

“Thisfohtuhwlines? (This for two lanes?)”

“Yeah. Two lanes.”

“Huhmanyguys?”

Huh? How many guys? Why should it matter how many guys are there in proportion to the number of gals that are going to play bowling? Is there like a battle of the sexes that night or something? I quickly recounted the number of people going tonight at the same time counting how many are the guys in the group. I fear I was taking too long so I just picked any number again.

“Uh, I dunno. I think there’s like six guys and six gals,” I said. I continued to mutter along the same lines when the employee stopped me.

“Mate. Mate. How many games?” he asked more slowly this time.

This time round, he pronounced the word “games” more clearly. Or maybe I should say, more American with the A in GAMES pronounced like EI instead of AYE. I swear I heard him say GUYS instead. It’s probably due to the phone reception that I didn’t hear the mmm sound in games but if I did, I probably would’ve known he said “games” and not “guys.”

“Two games!” I hastily said. “Sorry about that. I thought you said guys instead of games.”

The employee was humourless about it though. Ah, well, that was embarassing. Anyway, he reiterated the number of lanes, the number of games and the booked time. I concurred and we said our good-byes and I thanked him.

Whew. This is why I kinda dread talking to Aussies over the phone. There’s always that chance that I’ll mishear what they’re saying, specially if he or she is the type of Aussie who talks real fast in a thick Aussie accent. In person, at the very least, I could try reading their lips to help me figure out what the words being said were.

Fortunately, most Aussies speak slower and more clearly (most consonants in words are enunciated). I just need to get used to some Aussies who speak faster and enunciates consonants less. I’ll get there one of these days.

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Published in: on July 15, 2005 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Aim to Misbehave!

Yes, I’m sure the phrase “I aim to misbehave” is starting to become a real cliche among Firefly fans. But for those not in the know, Firefly is an absolutely amazing sci-fi (or maybe I should say, sci-fi/western) series created by Buffy-creator Joss Whedon which was canned by the stupid Fox Network during it’s first season run in the US.

Here is a description of the show quoted from Wikipedia which I slightly condensed for brevity:

The show is set in the year 2517, following the depletion of Earth’s resources and an expansion of the human race into the frontier of outer space. The show takes its name from the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity that the central characters call home. Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds is a veteran of the Unification War: a war of resistance against the Alliance, an organization that attempted to achieve the unification of all of the colonized planets under a single government. A central core of planets is under Alliance control; settlers and refugees in the farther reaches enjoy relative freedom from the long arm of the government, while lacking many of the amenities of a high-tech civilization. Mal now owns Serenity, making cargo runs and performing various other tasks — legal or otherwise — to scrape together a way of life for himself and his crew.

Featuring a blend of elements from the space opera and western genres, the show depicts mankind’s future in a way that is uncharacteristic of many contemporary science fiction programs. Unlike most traditional space operas, there are no alien creatures or space battles. Some fans have compared the show to Outlaw Star in its style and execution with a setting similar to Trigun. Firefly takes place in a multi-cultural future, where the divide between the rich and poor is great. Chinese is a common second language for many people; it is used in advertisements, and characters in the show frequently use Chinese words and curses. This could be explained by the emergence of two dominant governments: China and the United States.

The dialogue and interplay between characters is central to the plot of the program, resulting in a story that is alternately serious and humorous. Action taking place in outer space realistically lacks sound effects, an approach that stands in contrast to more popular science fiction shows such as the Star Trek spin-offs.

You may ask that if this was such an amazing series, why the hell would Fox cancel it? Imagine having the show not shown in the correct order with no fixed weekly schedule and always gets bumped off to another day by other shows. Who would be able to follow a TV series like that? So, as expected, the number of viewers for that show wasn’t all that big. So, Fox concluded that the show should just be cancelled. Great.

Fortunately, the whole first season including the episodes that never got aired on TV now comes in a DVD-box set. And it’s because of the DVDs that I got acquainted with this wonderful sci-fi series. And it was also because of the DVDs that people who haven’t even watched one episode of Firefly got the opportunity to do so.

The DVDs did pretty well in terms of sales. This gave hope to Firefly fans that maybe one day, Fox would continue the series on TV. However, Fox doesn’t really have that much interest in this show so creator Joss Whedon decided to continue the show on the big screen instead with Universal Studios.


Firefly-class ship Serenity’s Crew.
The first of possible three Firefly movies is titled Serenity — the name of their Firefly-class ship. Serenity was first slated for an earlier 2005 release but due to various factors, it was moved to a September 2005 release date. Still a couple of months to go from now.

Then, yesterday, I just thought of reading the weekly email newsletter that Village Cinemas sends out to me. I was just curious as to what was being shown this week. I was surprised to see in the email that Serenity was going to be shown in the Jam Factory Village Cinema this coming 21 July at 9 pm! I couldn’t believe it.

I called up Village Cinema to confirm that Serenity was indeed going to be shown here in Melbourne next week. The lady said that it was a special advance screening. Of all the Village Cinemas they have in Australia, they are only showing the advance screening of it at 9 pm on 21 July in the Village Cinema that’s closest to where I live! I’m so glad I live in Melbourne now.

There weren’t a lot of seats left. I had booked for me and Raquel to watch the movie even though our reserved seats are in the middle of the front row (which will be very close to the screen — it’s not a good thing). So, I’m glad I was able to find about this before it was too late to get tickets for it.

Now, instead of having to wait for two more months, I just have to wait for less than a week to watch Serenity. I just can’t wait. I’m soooo happy!

Yeah, I know. I’m such a fanboy.

Published in: on July 15, 2005 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment