When I used to flog life insurance for a living, we used to break our fast at the office. Firstly, being bachelors, there was nothing and nobody waiting for us at home. Secondly, the office WAS the closest thing we had to a home.
Like always, we waited for the break of fast by ribbing each other to death. The telly in the training room would soon broadcast the ‘Azan’ signalling that it was time gorge on whatever it was we had bought from the Bazaar Ramadan nearby.
On that day, my dear friend A had decided to plant himself in front of the telly in the training room to wait for the Azan. The rest of us, as usual, preferred to goof-off outside on the agency floor. So, off A went to the training room with his bagful of donuts and a Big Gulp he had bought from the local 7-Eleven.
About ten minutes later, while I was busy trying to land my (flight simulator) F-16 , A burst out of the training room urgently shouting “Berbuka! Berbuka!” Like Pavlov’s dogs hearing the bell, I began salivating. I promptly crashed my F-16 into a hangar full of other F-16s and rushed off to the training room with my ‘tapau-ed’ nasi goreng.
Something was wrong. None of us could hear the Azan. However, there was a still EON Bank advert on the telly’s screen showing a man in baju Melayu, complete with songkok, enjoying a cold glass of sirap bandung. Across the advert were the words, “Selamat Berbuka Puasa”
“You klutz, A! Its not time yet!” Zul scolded.
“Don’t be an idiot! Its time! And I’ll prove it.” declared A as he took a massive bite out of his double choc doughnut.
Before he could swallow, the still advert disappeared, giving way to a clock showing the countdown to the Azan – breaking of fast was 20 seconds away. It was indeed not time yet. A’s eyes looked as if they were about to pop out of their sockets as he struggled to decide what to do with his mouthful of double choc doughnut.
To our horror, he wrapped his huge pianists’ fingers around his neck and began strangling himself in an attempt to stop the food from going down his gullet and nullifying his hard day’s fast. The rest of us stood transfixed watching the spectacle. Would the azan come soon enough, or would our friend strangle himself to death first? It was anybody’s guess.
Just about when A was about to expire from self-induced asphyxiation, the second hand of the clock reached 12 and the Azan came on air. Phew! No, A didn’t die that day. Otherwise, we would have had a tough time explaining to the police how come we had a dead body with strangulation marks on its neck in our training room.
When I was certain that A was not going to die any time soon, I began giving him a tough time for making me crash a perfectly good F-16 on my landing-run.