Atchafalaya Swamp

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Farewell To The King

Mat Salo's Tattler - PhotoBlog Edition

I chose the title for this weeks' posting, a "Farewell to The King" ( a 1989 movie starring Nick Nolte) as a personal anecdote. As a director / scriptwriter, sheih, I suspect, will appreciate my metaphor. The movie's director, John Milius (Red Dawn, Conan The Barbarian and Creator of HBO's Rome), incandescent with rage, once telephoned our Subang Jaya office to "give us shit" for losing his movie script.

No shit Sherlock, no kidding, it really did happen; we once "lost" a big-time Holly-Wood movie script.

I can't remember the exact date but it must've have been sometime in '86 or '87. Because back then I had a name card that spelt "Sale Executive" - a now-defunct courier service company - which my detractors also claimed my salary there could arguably fall into the "non-halal" category.

For those old enough to remember, the mid-80s was a "bad time". Especially if one had just graduated from college and entering the miserly job market. The economy then, a bit like today, had gone way South. So I found myself "under-employed", thus joining the ranks of thousands of other recently-graduated Bolehsians during that pubescent MTV era.

For lack of other "saleable" skills, a good friend recommended me to this Kiasuland upstart that was going to "knock DHL and TNT Skypak off their perch". I didn't buy into their noble mission statement of course. I was only interested in " impressing the girls". How? By way of abusing my petrol allowance and doctoring the receipts of my entertainment expense. That's where the "non-halal" stuff crept in, I guess.

Milius' phone call was from Kuching, Sarawak, where part of the movie was shot. A few days before that I remember rifling through this thick sheath of A4 manuscripts that fell upon my desk.

Wohoo! An actual Holly-Mother-O'-God movie script!

The script was sent by a small Los Angeles courier company and adressed to John Milius, care of a hotel in Kuching. Why on earth the scriptwriter had sent this valuable manuscript through our company I don't know. I suppose in the mid-80s the courier service was still quite in its infancy, so he wouldn't have known better. For a small upstart operator like us, and let's be honest, our "network" was practically non-existent. For most of the "one-off" routes, the name of the game was piggy-backing on someone else's more established network.

The case of this missing manuscript was a prime example. Unlike DHL, we don't have our own live couriers flying valuable tender documents and Hollywood scripts to Kuching. So what I did was to bring the consignment to the old Subang Airport, "coaxing" the DHL boy flying to Kuching into making something "a little extra" on the side. Very much "touch and go" you can imagine. If his supervisor happened to be nearby, then I have to be extra careful about the "bribing". Because you just cannot carry your competitors' consignments, period. In those early days there was a lot of "co-operation" going around in the Subang terminals and bars of Subang Jaya, trust me.

As with jobs done "on the sly", things are wont to go wrong. Who knows, the courier / despatcher in Kuching might not have been paid for his fair share of "the cut". To ease his frustration he could've easily dumped the consignment into the Kuching river for the amusement of Bujang Senang.

The short of it was John Milius was livid with rage. He lost a few days shoot while waiting for the other draft to arrive. Imagine how much he had to pay Nick Nolte and the crew just for lounging around?

You know what? That replacement draft was still sent to us via that small L.A. company. Some people never learn, huh? Anyway, we made a loss on that one. I personally had to "re-pack" the script and had it sent through a major ally/competitor as a proper consignment, duly paid from our petty cash, instead of the usual "piggy-backing".

You can imagine what our clients would've done if they had known of our shenanigans, eh?

Today, the 15th of April 2007, sheih of penembak badak fame, will officially start his position as GRO - strike that - I mean CLO (Corporate Liasion Officer) for the Kelantan Chief Minister Corporation. The Malay acronym for this is PMBK or Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan, and the PMBK also sounds a bit like "penembak badak", is it not?

Enough digression, let's check out the Farewell Party, shall we?

First the Songs . . .

"Shar101" and Mees NAS with a spirited duet. TheStar's Desk Editor Veera looking on in sincere appreciation. No, I didn't recall it being a Hindi number.

A solo by the inimitable and eminently sporting and did I forget lovely... Mees NAS ?

Even Bird Duck (A Big Canine with the Jewish name) offered a tune.

Then The Dance . . .

Unker Bernard, "doing" the salsa, which was to later become his "un-doing". Ha ha.

The Makan-Makan

The Farewell Kid breaking bread with The Usual Very Unusual Suspects.

Some serious exchanges going on. . .

An Impassioned I-am-A-Malaysian Eric Woon in serious discussion with Unker Bernard.

Unker Monty "Monsterball", right, - trading barbs with the ever popular Bird Duck . Art imitates life: Real life blogos-spheric adversaries?

Now, now . . . ho boy. Unker Bernard consoling Bird Duck. The latter smarting and licking his wounds after possibly losing the first round to Unker Monty.

Not to worry, the blogosphere as in real life; everyone "kissed and made up" soon after.

"OK, OK . . . for sheih's sake, let's bury the hatchet for tonight.. but come tomorrow we shall cross swords again!" Learning to live to fight another day, heh-heh.

FACE-OFF - a LongKang + / Klante CMO* film

*Chief Minister's Office

Monty vs. An Unmasked Zorro. Director sheih performing a cameo role as "the negotiator".

Unker Monty dispensing advice.

And a well-meaning hug for the Prodigal Son . . .

Finally, the Good-Bye's . . .

Eli Wong's Well Wishes

Mr. Screenshot popped-in to say Good Bye, Good Luck, and Good Night.

Mees Nas checking out penembak badak's latest Malay Edition site!

Rocky Brew In Action - seen here publishing live to his Million-Hits' site. The Malay Male , far left. Note the wooden stick used by the guy on his right. The Malay Male claims to have a real live stick somewhere "down below". Don't believe me? Go to his blog... I tol' yu beloggez are bellaardy liarz!

The truth in plain Black and White: sheih with Matsalo the Photog. Photog who actually depressed the shutter is current NAB Council Member and former arus perdana journalist Ms. Anu Radha of DanseMacabre fame. A big Thank You, Miss.

Best Wishes sheih.

God Speed penembak badak.

Good Nite John-Boy...

And to Unker Monty, who the hell is that "pondan" husamasam who decried 'thank God for one less Kelantanese in KL'!???

© 2007 Mat Salo Images