Perils of a Chinese wedding dinner guest
Local satirist TV SMITH so thoroughly offended his about-to-marry friends and relatives with this article, which appeared on his website (mycen.com.my/duasen) in May, that they retaliated by not inviting him to their big day. Read on and find out why...
FIFTEEN reasons why I hate Chinese wedding dinners.?
DISGUISE The reception table is a thinly disguised payment counter. All ang pows are opened on the spot with the payer's name and amount recorded into a ledger book.
DUH Gifts are frowned upon because the restaurants do not accept steam irons and other useless presents as barter payment. The host settles the restaurant bill at the end of the night with the cash proceeds. The balance is profit. Duh!
DURESS There are good reasons why the invitation cards are known as summonses. If you get the saman, you pay; whether you show up or not.
DAMAGE A strict formula governs the prevailing rates: Show up with your partner, you pay double. Children under seven years of age are not charged.
No show discount maximum 50% NCB (no came bonus).
DILEMMA To make matters worse, Chinese weddings tend to take place all on the same day due to the importance placed on auspicious dates. Just when you are broke at the end of the month, you'll get hit with five summonses.
DELUGE With almost every couple marrying on the same day, things can get really impersonal and crowded. It is not uncommon to see one tiny restaurant hosting five different wedding banquets. It is also not uncommon to end up sitting at the wrong party.
DEVOUR All those friends who forwarded e-mail enclosing passionate pleas to save the sharks never read their own e-mail, apparently. They dive into that mandatory second course like piranhas.
DETACHED There is racial polarisation even at wedding dinners. Muslim guests are usually relegated to one dark corner with cold and bland food served by a sweaty caterer.
DELUDED I wish more Chinese wedding dinners are held at halal restaurants because they usually do not have karaoke equipment. Without it, there are fewer chances of encountering people with delusions of talent.
DETERRENT It may be fashionable to be late at these weddings but there is a heavy price to pay. You end up sitting with nine anti-social strangers. The guy next to you is bound to spit out fish bones and prawn shells in the most disgusting manner.
DEGENERATE The guy opposite you will abidingly get drunk and start spinning the table carousel to see who gets the chicken head.
DEFICIT The entrenched payment system has some serious drawbacks. Some guests are bent on creating a deficit account. They try to consume as many bottles of brandy as they humanly can. Which brings me to my next point.
DISGUST Never visit the loo after the fifth course. You are bound to see regurgitated shark's fin soup and one season of the four seasons in the sink, urinal or on the floor.
DAHSYAT In fact, try not to go to the loo at all. You don't want miss one of the 300 gowns the bride changes into that night.
DECEPTIVE If you were at the ceremony in the day, you are bound to be surprised in the night. Those sleepy-eyed chee muis (bride's girlfriends) you met in the morning show up in the evening magically transformed. Push-up bras rule.