*This entry is for Singapore Superhero Blog-tastic Contest. The prize for the best entry is an acer laptop.
**Be warned, this entry may be twice as lame as my superman joke. Can't help it, lameness takes over where humour is lacking. Super long too.
***Summary of my superhero is at the end of the entry
'Ma!' David exclaims and frantically tugs at his mother's shirt. Fear manifests in his big brown eyes.
'There's... someone out there...' He points his finger weakly beyond the glass window, stuttering as he speaks.
The MRT screeches to a complete halt at City Hall station.
A middle age Chinese man jolted into the middle of the carriage, overtaking an older lady, and promptly squeezed his ample bottom into an empty seat between a Malay lady with upslanting thick-rimmed glasses that belonged to the last millennium, and a disgruntled-looking Indian that wears a shirt that announces PCK Private Limited.
The Chinese's considerable beer belly peeks at the outside world from gaping pinstripe. He is evidently pleased with himself for beating the crowd to win a prized seat at this rush hour madness.
Taking a peek
He wipes his balding crown, glistening from droplets of sweat. He scans the surrounding with a smirk. His satisfied smugness however vanishes when his eyes found the PCK's employee staring at him annoyingly. He suddenly looks weary, as his air of pompousness deflates. He stops looking around, and slumped on the seat. He saw David pointing a finger in his direction, wide-eyed.
Self-consciously he caresses the last remaining strands of hair with his short stubby fingers. Relieved to find them still around, he mutters something inaudible at David irritably, thinking that David is making fun of his baldness.
'Stop being so rude.' Sarah snapped at her boy while pushing his hand down. 'This train is in a tunnel, and no one can be in the tunnel other than train passengers.' She nods apologetically to the bald Chinese.
David hasn't been an easy kid to raise, Sarah sighs. 'I will have to consult Dr Yeoh about topping up the Ritalin dosage when i see him next week', she silently talks to herself. Ritalin, the medicine David is taking for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, has become less effective lately.
'But ma, there's really someone there!' He raises his voice to lend some credence to his claim. It's funny how some adults still retain their childhood practice to this day.
She looks beyond the window just to reassure David that there is indeed no one there.
'There is..' she stops in mid sentence, confused. She feels as if she has stared into someone's eyes, and a chill runs down her spine. But reasons regain its foothold in a split second, deciding that she must have been mistaken. How can there be anyone standing outside the train in an underground railway tunnel?
'I will say it once more, there's nobody out there ok?' She instinctively caresses David's head to calm him down, pressing his face against her tummy.
The train slowly picks up momentum and leaves the City Hall station. With his head pressing against his mother's tummy, he apologized for imagining things.
Sarah turns back to take one last glance, wondering if she too had imagined things.
Watching the train leaving the station, Ivan, or more popularly known as the Wind, resumes sprinting down the tunnel. Now that he can’t fly, he has to make do with running. At least he is easily as fast as the MRT.
80 Nangs - I took picture with the Wind
76 Nangs - I spotted the Wind flying! (With photos!)
57 Nangs - The Wind signed on my face!
45 Nangs - How to increase blog traffic the IFMF way! by IFMF 2 hours 45 minutes ago
32 Nangs - Kennysa I love you!
How it should look like
‘Yes!’ Ivan exclaims. The blogs about him are all dominating the Top 10 Most Popular Blogs listed on Nuffnang’s Innit. He can’t contain his pride and and wears a silly smile.
Even his personal blog at IFMF.blogspot.com claims one spot above kennysa.
‘I Owned Kenny! Haha!’ He mumbles to himself, not quite believing himself to have beaten the mighty kennysa in blog popularity.
Every blogger tend to forget about their other identity. Even if it's a superhero.
For all the villains that he knocked out today, the old ladies that he saved from snatch thiefs, all the kids that he saved from buses' wheels, he is still more concerned about worldly matters such as Uniques count of the day.
'Hmm 20000 on average for the past one week, not bad huh. Oh... Most of them are from Singapore and Malaysia, some from Russian Federation? Interesting...' he muses to himself.
Scratching his feet with one hand, he moves the mouse lazily to click on 'Adsense' on his Favourites tab, eager to find out just how full his coffers will be today.
Dr Ivan Foo Muen Fye used to be a scientist based at B*MOON. I have since forgotten what it really stands for, but the university kids all call it Bureau Made of Obsessive Nerds. According to Google it is a governmental organisation dedicated to charting the course for Singapore’s science and technology.
He is in his early thirties, wearing thick glasses that made his eyes look comically large. He is a nice guy, always polite and ever-willing to teach, but too often he drifts into his own world that runs tangential to ours. Colleagues shun him as an eccentrics. Students find him oppressively boring. All in all he is a huge nerd, and nerdiness is a big no no in Singapore.
Anyway, Ivan's special interests in research lied in none other than his female graduate students. However none has ever reciprocated. Even those who relented and agreed to dine together invariably find an excuse to escape early.
Desperate for companionship, he even enlisted the help of bride agencies. Three brides had run away on the nights of the Wedding since then.
With no social life at all, he channeled all his energy into his research. He has since accumulated 1000 patents to his name, an impressive figure for any scientist, more so in his case as he is just in his early thirties. But he is still poor a church mouse, since none of the 1000 patents have any obvious commercial value.
Take one example, he has successfully modified human gut bacteria genetically, producing a new strain that is capable of producing 1000 times of gas when the subject ingests onions. The moment he hit success with the research, staffs of the entire building had to be evacuated for noxious gas contamination. The director of B*MOON ordered an immediate termination of the research.
There were notable ones as well, such as the muscle optimiser. It’s again a genetic manipulation that promises superhuman muscular functions. He experimented on a hamster once, and the poor thing ended up running so fast in the hamster wheel that the wheel melted from heat. The Ethics Board simply refused to grant permission for a human trial.
Frustrated with his career that isn't going up the ladder, isn't earning him any cash and isn't winning him any ladies, Ivan began to feel disillusioned. He decided that he should leave the academia, but he was unwilling to part with his brainchilds that he had invested thousands of hours in.
Frustrated when can't move up
In one drastic decision he decided to carry his legacies within himself.
So the night after he handed in his resignation letter, he sneaked back into his research laboratory, and using himself as the subject, he injected himself with everything imaginable, and in a fit of frustration, even the super efficient gut bacteria.
That spelled trouble for the next one week as the different properties of his inventions were having a hard time harmonizing with his own physiology. He fell ill for almost an entire month, staying at home nursing high temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and you name it all.
He was bed bound most of the time, surviving on a diet of canned food and white rice. Eventually he ran out of canned food. Too weak to venture out of his bachelor pad, he cooked white rice, throwing in anything that he could find. Ginger, garlic, onions etc.
Needless to say, the food turned out awful. But that wasn't the point. He started passing so much gas that a neighbour called in police to find out if he was decomposing in the apartment, much to his embarassment. The police advised him to reduce intake of onions, all the time holding his hankerchief to his nose.
But he simply has eaten too much onions in his desperate hunger. Coupled with the super bacteria, he would have many more days to pass gas. He succeeded in holding his gas, but that gave him a severely constipated frown.
Deciding he had to do something in his life and stop making a fool of himself, he sat in front of the computer and trawled the internet for job opportunities. But nothing interested Ivan at all. Feeling bored, he decided to try his luck at blogging, something that every one of his graduate students seemed to have one.
Instantly he found success! Free from the burden of his loser identity, he had a second chance to start it all over again in the blogosphere. No one had any preconceived notion of him, and no one shunned him. He was surprised that so many people actually found his mundane daily experience interesting. He gained a huge following that continued to swell.
IFMF.blogspot.com became a runaway success.
'Ha choo!' He sneezed really violently. His pathetic studio apartment had not been dusted for a long time. The room shook and he passed out.
He finally regained consciousness. He was lying on a floor strewn with debris. The air was permeated by a strange but familiar scent. But he was just typing a lame blog entry when he sneezed, thinking to himself, wondering what had happened. Looking up he saw a circular dent on his ceiling the size of his head. Instinctively he went for his skull. Apart from some concrete debris all over his hair, he wasn't hurt. But the dent was directly on top of where he was sitting in front of the computer.
'Hey Ivan, can you please don't fart so much and so loudly, it really stinks up the whole place! Especially not when the Developer is here for the en bloc talk!' Screamed the perpetually dissatisfied Ms Tan next door.
En bloc? Argh I am going to be the only one not wanting to move out. That's why they didn't even bother asking me. Lamenting his ill fate of needing to move to a new place soon, it suddenly dawned on him what had actually happened.
The scent that lingered in the air was his own fart!
He finally understood. As he sneezed, and the resultant increase in intra-abdominal pressure overcome the threshold of the anal sphincter. A sudden jet of fart propelled him vertically, just like a rocket!
He scrambled to his computer and wiki-ed 'rocket'.
A rocket or rocket vehicle is a missile, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust by the reaction of the rocket to the ejection of fast moving fluid from a rocket engine. Chemical rockets work by the action of hot gas produced by the combustion of the propellant against the inside of combustion chambers andexpansion nozzles. This generates forces that accelerate the gas to extremely high speed and exerts a large thrust on the rocket (since every action has an equal and opposite reaction).
He was delighted! He had never foreseen this application of those genetically-modified gut bacteria!
He spent the rest of the week trying to learn the nuances of, er, rocket thrusts. Eventually he could hover over the ground with the greatest precision, flying at will. He also started reaping the benefits of superhuman strength and tremendous healing potential, and disconcertingly acute hearing and eyesight.
And as he overcame the learning curve of 'jet' flying, he had thwarted two en bloc negotiations as the developers were turned off by the onionish smell that permeated the entire neighbourhood.
Now he just needed to work on the unpleasant smell...
And perhaps an outfit.
He has just bought a new studio apartment in downtown Orchard with his earnings from blogging. It's amazing how much more he is earning while doing so little, compared to the days when he was cracking his head in B*MOON. And it is a profession that suits his superhero role seamlessly. He has the flexibility to rescue the world, or rather Singapore, any time he sees a breaking news from ChannelNewsAsia or from the blogosphere, either on his brand new iMac or his PDA phone.
He subscribes to Broadband on Mobile, and uses his phone to check comments on his blogs (rather obsessively) and to find out just how many dollars he has earned from Nuffnang and Adsense while on the move. You know, with a daily traffic of 20,000 loyal readers, there can be quite a lot of comments to handle.
But the phone had saved countless life as well. Once there was a blog posted by a damsel in distress, saying that her kitten had climbed up to the highest branch on a tree in East Coast Park and didn't know how to climb down.
Call the Civil Defense, will ya?
Yes instead of calling for Civil Defense, she blogged about it. That's how pervasive the blogging culture is in Singapore.
Anyway Ivan saw the blog the minute it was published, and flew to East Coast Park to save the kitten at once. All everyone there could feel was a mighty gust of wind, and the kitten was found safely on the damsel's hand. Everyone clapped and cheered in reverence of the mighty Wind as the man in white and red spandex flew away.
Everyone enjoyed the gusts of wind that always accompany the mighty Wind, especially when Singapore is such a hot and humid country.
If only they have known...
Singapore being Singapore, there is really little crime that requires the intervention of the wondrous Wind. Most Singaporeans are so marvelously law-abiding that there is actually no need for a superhero.
But it is always good to have an inspirational superhero waiting to rescue the world, isn't it? Especially when he is in spandex.
In time of peace Most of the time Ivan sits in his cozy Orchard studio apartment typing entries that sounds just like a rebellious teenager with lots of angst. Somehow his readers enjoy it tremendously. He can't really understand it, but if it's a winning formula, there's no need to dwell too much on it.
However too long a time of peace can be detrimental to the Wind.
As long as there's no villains around for him to exert his superhero role, he feels constipated. He needs to fly regularly to relieve the pressure that builds up in his, er, rectum. The bacteria never stop working you see. Therefore protracted period of non-activity leads to protracted period of high pressure gas build-up, thus impeding venous return of the cushions...
The whole blogosphere was buzzing with activities on that day.
Mace Slammit, the most dangerous villain Singapore has ever known, had just escaped for the Detention Centre in Whitney Road.
Everybody's blog title had Mace Slammit's name on it. Everybody was puzzled. How could a detainee escape from Whitney Road? A place well guarded by the fearsome Gurkhas.
Well, for Ivan a.k.a. the Wind, it's THE opportunity.
It had been ridiculously boring for a superhero when the crime rate is so low. Finally, he can see some action. He flexes his muscles in anticipation. Opening his hidden closet, he put on his superhero outfit.
With Whitney Road just 2km away from his Orchard Studio, he has plenty of time to spare. He decides that Singapore's superhero must looks his best saving the country from the most dangerous villain.
Looking at himself in the full length mirror, he admires at how much he has changed since he stopped working for B*MOON. He exudes a newfound confidence from both his superhero attributes and his successful blog. He notices every lady turns back to steal a look at him every time he walks past. Oh, he tells that from the subtle but characteristic rustling noise that ladies' hair made when turning back their head.
He works out daily now at California Fitness, a stone's throw from his studio. Not that he needs it, but he needs an excuse for the muscles that gradually became pronounced and toned despite doing nothing.
His once greying and thinning hair is replaced by lustrous, jet-black locks. When he is saving the world, he too prefers a single twirl falling over the middle of forehead.
Thanks to Hui Min for the excellent drawing
What Ivan saw in the mirrow was a Superman in Singapore's flavour, minus the cape. The cape would betray the origin of the mighty Wind. He wears a white spandex outfit, but true to Superman's spirit, he wears a red underwear outside. Across his chest was emblazoned with The Wind's insignia.
Satisfied that he looks as good as his childhood idol, he took off from the balcony. It took only 30 seconds to reach Whitney Road, but he chooses to stay at 50,000 feet altitude, and uses his acute eye sights to spot the whereabout of Mace Slammit, from an aerial vantage point.
Aerial view from 50000ft of the crime scene
Immediately he sees three figures crouching near Mt Pleasure Road, inching cautiously to the main road. Behind them there are lines of soldier sweeping the bushes in formation. There's a car parked on Mt Pleasure Road.
Zooming in on the targets, he recognises Mace Slammit in his prison attire. He contemplates on the options he has. He can tackle all 4 of them at once easily, but there might be more accomplices on their way. He can tackle Mace Slammit and leave the rest to the soldier's closing in fast. He made up his mind.
With the swiftness of an eagle pouncing on its prey, he descended and kicked the accomplices into unconsciousness. Mace Slammit is determined to make it to the car, and breaks into running. He jumps in the car that just sprang to life one moment ago.
But the Wind stands in front of the car. With one swing of his mighty arm he flattens the engine compartment. White smokes fumes from the sides. The only remaining accomplice whipped out a handgun. Perhaps Singapore is not as safe as we all presumed.
A clicking noise tells the Wind that the Handgun has been cocked and it's miliseconds from now before he will pull the trigger. The Wind does not how well he can tolerate a gunshot injury. But he needn't have to find out. With one leap the Wind is already on top of the accomplice and crushes his humerus, leaving the limb limp. The Wind grabs the handgun and crushes it into an unidentifiable piece of art.
Now it's only Mace Slammit left. Out of nowhere he whips out a mace and started slamming it on the Wind. Ah now we know where the name came from. But he is no match for our great Wind. He caught the mace with one hand, and forces it backward to hit on Mace Slammit's head. That poor fellow falls on the street. So lame for the most dangerous terrorist in Singapore.
Picking Mace up over his shoulder, the Wind climbs up to high altitude to orientate himself and to look for the direction of Police Headquarters at Irrawaddy Road.
An Airbus 380 flies by, probably catching the Wind in action. More blog posts by the passengers later.
Then disaster strikes. The hemorrhoid that has been bothering him for the past one week suddenly ruptures (fortunately the underwear is not white in colour).
But the ruptured hemorrhoid changes the dynamics of Wind's flying ability. It's like a ruptured expansion nozzle of a rocket. He cannot calibrate the amount of thrust, and cannot control the trajectory of flight.
Losing control, his only safe bet is to strain as hard as he can, and aim for the open sea in the south. It's a precarious flight, but me makes it to the open sea.
He crash-landed in the sea, far away from any sea lanes. He then passed out in exhaustion.
By the time he regained consciousness, he was alone in the vast open sea. Mace Slammit was nowhere to be seen. Thinking that they probably have drowned, he began the long and arduous swim back to Singapore. He had a difficult time evading the Police Coast Guard, even as a superhero.
Watching the train leaving the station, Ivan resumes sprinting down the tunnel. Now that he can’t fly, he has to make do with running. At least he is easily as fast as the MRT.
The boy must have been terrified, he smiles smugly to himself. He is still relishing about his little act of prank when he suddenly yells, ‘Ouch!’
‘Curse the hemorrhoids’, he laments furiously, as he limps into the secret passage.
Another train approaches and the headlights lit up the entrance of the secret passage. The driver saw a silhouette and stopped the train in caution. Passengers in the train must be wondering about the train uncharacteristic stop in the middle of nowhere.
The driver rubs his eyes, satisfied that he was mistaken about the silhouette, kicks on the acceleration pedal again.
Through the secret passage he exits the tunnel, and changes his clothes. Walking out of the station, the entire street is plastered with pictures of Mace Slammit. A pang of guilt hits him. Mace Slammit probably had died, but Ivan can't be sure. No one had recovered his body from the sea. Meanwhile, the Goverment continues to be blamed for his escape, and numerous conspiracy theories abound. Except that there are no conspiracies. There's only our local superhero who tried to help.
Maybe the Wind should just stop being a superhero in an ultra safe country where his roles are largely saving stranded cats from trees. Maybe he should be contented being a blogger.
The Wind is gonna be busy
Superhero: The Wind
Real Name: Ivan Foo Muen Fye, in his early thirties
Profession: Blogger, formerly researcher at B*MOON
Abilities: Fly, enhanced muscle actiivities, super acute special senses (eye sight, hearing, smell), tremendous regenerative abilities, blog
Costume: Underwear on the outside, spandex and red. Otherwise just like Superman, minus the cape. And the Insignia is a single letter W in Georgia font size 1000
Headquarters: Studio apartment in Orchard
Enemies: Few, Singapore is too safe. Usually amateur crooks, the biggest so far being Mace Slammit.