Friday, May 11, 2012

Streetfighting Man

As I ran up New Bridge Road this morning, I saw two men fighting outside one of the KTV joints.

If you haven't been to this side of the world, you might not have heard of KTV; it is an abbreviation for Karaoke Television, and depending on what country you're in that either means it's a karaoke joint, or (on New Bridge Road in Singapore) it's a place with blacked out windows that has some dodgy hostesses hanging out on the street. Rather in the same vein as the places with individually priced ladies I saw when I was waiting for my bus.

Now I love a good fight as much as the next spectator, but I was a bit worried that if they saw a stringy sweaty chap in a singlet, the two angry men might forget about fighting each other and turn on me. So I crossed to the other side of the road. To be honest, it wasn't that great a fight. When you think about fights in Asia, they should be batshit crazy with a man in a yellow tracksuit brandishing nunchucks and a woman flying between buildings, a scimitar clasped in her teeth. Not two men in identical black suits shoving one another.

Well, it is Singapore, The World's Most Tidy Place, so I suppose people don't get as much practice battling as they should. Two police cars pulled up, and out got the police, who were all fairly diminutive. Somebody started yelling "hello" again and again. I'm not sure if it was one of the police, or a hostess trying to be all welcoming.

It wouldn't work. Any right minded person would be saying "good morning" at that time of the day.

Since the police have radios and tasers and guns and stuff, they are unlikely to need assistance from a man who knows a lot about Excel, so I plodded on, my run a fairly unsatisfactory one, although I was pleasantly surprised to discover I still knew how to run. It's been a hard few days, you know.

I made it round the bay and back round to New Bridge Road twenty minutes later; the 'fight', such as it was, long gone, although a police car remained at the curb, its engine idling.

As I got closer, the car appeared empty, and when presented with a free police car, I'm always tempted to take it for a drive. But getting closer I saw a tiny policewoman in the passenger seat, making notes. No sign of any men in suits. Were they back inside, told to consider the error of their ways and having to practice 'Baby' by Justin Bieber? Were they in the boot of the police car? Were they across town, getting caned? Perhaps we'll never know.

Although given how little news is in the Straits Times, I wouldn't be surprised if 'Two Men Shoving' was tomorrow's headline. Let's see...


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