Monday, April 13, 2009

The Singapore Chicken Chop Story

This afternoon, with a craving for Western meal as lunch, I queued up at the Western food stall for a platter of chicken chop.

I was second in the queue, in front of me was an old man, who was waiting for his dish of chicken chop too. Once the stallholder handed him his plate of freshly cooked, tender and juicy chicken chop, the old man seemed too delighted, turning to me and remarked proudly how succulent the chicken was and how tasty it would be when the chicken were to later land in his stomach. I gave me a smile and wished him a pleasant lunch.

Finally, it was my turn to be served, and I had in my hands my plate of nice, tender, succulent chicken as I went to take my seat at one of the tables in the hawker centre. Moments later, as I was busy disintegrating the chicken, I happened to see the old man, sitting a table just beside me, starting to enjoy his lunch as well.

Minutes later, I heard a cry, I turned my head around to the source of the commotion and saw the old man, stood up, a distance from his table, walking to his table, with a bowl of soup in his hands. He was crying in grief and sadness and gesturing desperately! I shifted my vision of sight to the person(s) and things he was gesturing at: a cleaner, his platter of chicken chop now soiled up with strewn tissues papers in the cleaner’s hands, just about to be thrown into the portable dustbin the cleaner was pushing along!

The story became clear to me: the old man has forgotten to take his bowl of soup which came free with the chicken chop earlier and he has gone to bring it halfway during his eating. The cleaners at the hawker centres, ever-so efficient had assumed that his half-eaten chicken chop has been ‘done’ with and so was clearing it!

The old man was just in time to save his chicken chop from being ‘binned’. He stared wistfully and regrettably as the cleaner gestured to return the platter of his half-eaten chicken chop to him, just that this time round, it came with extra ‘ingredients’ like the soiled up tissues papers and some left vegetables of other plates which the cleaners have added while clearing the tables.

The old man must be insane if he has accepted his platter of chicken chop from the cleaner and to continue his ‘lunch’. He sighed and berated gently the cleaner for their ‘efficiency’. The cleaner then dumped the chicken platter into the dustbin and the episode seemed to end.

The old man proceeded to place his remaining vestige of lunch: his bowl of soup on the table and was seen walking away. I presumed he might be getting another chicken chop again since he seemed to be a lover… as I dug into my chicken chop, I heard another commotion just minutes later.. this time round, it was another cleaner who was just about to clear the old man’s bowl of soup when some diners called for her not to.

And they never failed to tell her of the story which has transpired earlier.. the Singapore Chicken Chop Story.


hyperX said...

Poor old man... you should buy him another plate of chicken chop :)

Singapore Short Stories said...

I got no money la.. earning little peanuts and in one MP's words, due to earning little, I become a 'lesser mortal'.

The MP was speaking on the heels of Singapore famous Tan Yong Soon cooking incident la.. don't want to mention anymore liao...

Dutchie said...

Haha .. good for a nice laugh to chase the sluggishness of a blue monday away !

Poor guy tho, he was probably salivating for that chicken chop !

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