I collected my mate Sparky and his trucker buddy Super Dave from the airport following their deportation from China. After going on the run from the local police, the idiots decided it would be a good idea to stow away in a container ship bound for Shanghai. Their illegal residency was rumbled when Super Dave committed a tourist faux-pas during a visit to a sacred shrine. Apparently getting drunk and sitting on an ancient temple roof singing Nickelback songs is somewhat frowned upon by the Chinese authorities.
Sparky not only brought back a suitcase full of fake DVDs and trainers, but he also brought back a girlfriend. May Lau was petite, graceful and blissfully unaware of Sparky’s criminal record. But it wasn’t for me to ruin her romantic dreams. Not that I could explain anyway, as she spoke very little English. Sparky’s command of Mandarin only stretched to items on Mr. Chang’s Noodle House menu. Love would find a way somehow.
Sparky had assured May’s parents he was a successful businessman. He would happily employ May and fill out her immigration forms, no problem. Sparky had also launched a new enterprise to make his fortune – party planning. One lesson his ill-fated spiritual retreat had taught him was that he could put on a damn good party. Flashing lights, pounding music and a bootlegged free-flow bar was all it took. And in the darkness of the disco, guests would never notice that the buffet food had been liberated from the convenience store dumpster. This new career was going to be a breeze, and May was going to help him.
While Super Dave was sent out to flypost the local community hall, May was given a dictionary and instructed to take down bookings. She’d get the hang of English in no time. Sparky went off to the local tavern to spend the afternoon networking with his peers.
Sparky called me a few days later with the exciting news that they’d taken their first booking at the community hall! The caller needed an event arranging for tomorrow night – it was short notice and May had indicated caller was distressed. Maybe he’d forgotten a relative’s birthday or something. May had cutely described the client’s requirements as a “fun, lol party”. At least she was picking up textspeak. Sparky and Super Dave rushed to the hall with a truck full of disco lights, streamers and illicit beer. Determined not to let his new client down, it was going to be the best party in town!
The following evening I went over to the community hall to witness the big event. Sparky had not been able to get hold of his client all day as his cell phone had been switched off. What a jerk. But Sparky was confident his client was going to freak out when he walked through the door. Sparky and Super Dave had transformed the dowdy venue into a hip nightclub complete with strobe lighting, baskets of huge balloons and the thumping beats of DJ Frigg, the local lesbian hip-hop artist. Sparky had excelled himself! May’s parents would be so proud of their future son-in-law. I nearly shed a tear.
And Sparky was right. When his client arrived at the hall with his guests he did freak out.
Not a fun, lol party.
A FUNERAL party.
Apparently May is now dating the head chef at Mr Changs’s Noodle House.