..........Myspace Codes An Extraordinary Life: Double J's? Double Jeopardy!!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Double J's? Double Jeopardy!!

What do you get when you put two J's (Jane and Jin) together? Double Jeopardy!!

Ever since Jin and I first became "friends" (I say "friends", with apostrophes, for we can sometimes be the worst "rivals"!) in Primary 1, life in school was never a dull moment. We would compete to see who received the better grade, sometimes to the embarrassing extent of begging the teacher for just that one extra mark. Each of us would smirk as we casually slipped our grade reports to the other's desk with the thought, "Look who's got more brains!".

And such rivalry is not merely confined to the bounds of academia.

Whenever the teacher announced a contest, we would always be the first two students to volunteer ourselves. Sometimes, we would even compete to see who ended up volunteering first - how kiasu of us eh? Oh, in case you're not familiar with the jargon, kiasu is a Chinese slang meaning "fearful of losing". Or in other words, just plain competitive. From the amateurish story-telling contests in primary school to the more prolific debates and elocution contests in high school, both of us would proudly represent our classes respectively and aimed to defeat the other in a bid to represent our school and earn bragging rights for the year.

I can still clearly remember a time in 2003 when we were seniors in high school. The school was forming a team to compete in an inter-school Scrabble tournament. And like those "mini climaxes" you view in Oscar-worthy movies (cue: *dramatic soundtrack music plays in background*), only one spot was left in the team.

And the contenders left to clinch that final spot? The double J's.

Jin demonstrated his air of confidence as he told me to give it up. Great Scrabblers have always been males and the XX chromosome species never really stood much of a chance. Real-life evidence? The other two spots in the team were both filled by guys.

But I wasn't ready to give up just like that. Jin has clearly forgotten that the female species can be very determined and strong-willed at times (or stubborn, as some may call it). We fought it all out on one final Scrabble match. As we tallied the scores along the way, we could see that it was a neck-to-neck competition. As the tiles in the bag began to run out, Jin exclaimed during his turn, "You're dead this time, Jane."

Much to my horror, Jin tilted his tile rack and all seven tiles came toppling over onto the board. This could only mean one thing: Jin was aiming for a bingo. In Scrabble, a bingo happens when a player uses all seven tiles on his rack in a single play. Not only does the player earn a bonus 50 points and an uplifting ego boost, it is a psychologically crippling moment for the opponent who, ironically, senses a sudden moment of paralysis. And I felt my limbs go stiff as Jin began to form a word on the board.


I stared in disbelief! Beatles?! That's not even a valid word in the Scrabble dictionary!! Somehow, I managed a calm composure and my expression gave nothing away. I must have felt really generous that day as I told Jin that "Beatles" isn't a valid word and suggested if he wanted to remove his tiles and have another go.

Indignantly, he replied, "Of course Beatles is a valid word! It's an insect, you idiot! You're just jealous coz I've scored a bingo!!"

Clearly Jin forgot who won the spelling bee contest in primary school.

"Err, Jin, you're sure that's how you spell 'beetles'?"

"Of course, I'm sure! You can challenge it if you want!"

And so, challenge it I did. The marshal checked up the word and told Jin that he lost his turn for an invalid word. It was then his turn to look horrified as I reminded him that The Beatles is the name of an English band featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, while "beetles" would be the right spelling for the insect.

The game was then downhill for Jin from that moment on. Scarred with the thought of his mistake, Jin could not focus on the game properly. And knowing what tiles he had, I figured the possible words he would play and strategically blocked him by placing my words down first. Needless to say, I became the only girl in the school team and we competed all the way to national finals where all those "mini climaxes" summed up into "one huge final climax": one teammate has won his match while the other has lost his and the game I played would decide which team would walk away with the glorious title of national champions that year. Playing as calmly as I could in a stiffer match than the one I played with Jin, we eventually won the title and became headliners. Smiling continuously for more than 10 minutes for the media was one delightfully "painful" highlight I would never forget.

And Jin never forgave himself for the "Beatles/beetles" mistake he made.

Perhaps such a turn of events was only fair enough to compensate for a most unfortunate incident we both encountered in Primary 6. Our mutual friends decided to play a prank by leaving me a love letter that was supposedly composed by Jin. Though I initially suspected that it was our friends' doing, those young actresses could really put up quite a show and feign their innocence. And so I confronted Jin who was busily singing away on some Disney love ballads (it was a habit of his and I've lost count of the number of times he sang A Whole New World). Jin grabbed the note and proceeded to walk away with it as he finished, denying that he wrote it.

Not knowing why I did so at that time, I asked him to return the note. When he didn't, I began to give chase (up till today, I don't know why I even bothered). Soon, it became a game of catch-me-if-you-can but such childish humour quickly evaporated into more serious business when we bumped into the vice principal and the note that Jin clutched in his palm soon came sailing down onto the ground.

Only to be picked up and read by the vice principal.

It was most excruciating trying to explain to the vice principal what has happened. This is perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. Here we were, in the vice principal's office, getting ourselves into trouble, while the monsters of our two friends got away scot-free (though they did eventually get a nice long lecture from both Jin and I later on). I never ceased to blame Jin - if only he had returned the note when I asked him to.

I could go on and on to share more stories but it may well be wise to stop here. As we both grew up, we have come to tolerate each other's antics. Our lives are made more "enriched" by such experiences and tales that we would never grow sick of retelling. And though we still try to outdo each other these days as young adults, our competitions take on a more "mature" approach as we learn humility and begin to prioritize God and other more important matters in our Christian walk. For instance, I recently backpacked across Australia alone while he backpacked across Europe. It was hard to argue who really "won" so we both shook on it, agreeing that our days of Double J's for Double Jeopardy have turned into days of Double Joy.

Speaking of all this classic boy vs girl rivalry, Disney (I could almost imagine Jin crooning away on A Whole New World once again, lol!) has recently released Tangled (Australian release date: 6th January, 2011). It's the talk of the town: the fairytale of Rapunzel spun into an animated 3D musical comedy. Will it be a case of Double Jeopardy for Rapunzel and Flynn or will things turn out happily ever after into Double Joy?

Well, go catch it in theatre if you want to find out! Judging from all the great reviews, this is perhaps Disney at its best so far. Here's a trailer for you to start straightening out those to-watch-or-not-to-watch tangled emotions:

If you're anything like me, you will not be sitting still till you've watched Tangled. And watch I will come later this evening. Less than 12 hours to go before a cinema date with some friends - can't wait!!

And if you're like Jin who loves everything Disney (me too, actually, hehe), check out this cool local official website for Disney:


Ok, here's me signing off for the night (day?) - time for me to catch some sleep (gosh, it's past 5AM!!) and reserve some energy for Tangled later... ;)

Ps. Happy birthday, dearest mummy! Thanks for making me your princess... and buying me my very first Disney collection: a colour-illustrated Disney's Aladdin storybook with an accompanying story and song audio cassette (yes, this was way before the time CD's and mp3's became popular)...

PPs. This is my 200th blog post... ^_^

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home