22 August 2010, by Dannie Cho

Second Hand Information


The wife cringed. I tasted the word on my lips, and liked the way it rolled off my tongue. For good measure, I roared again.


The wife cringed again.


After a fortnight self-injection of Lucrin, Yi Lin was supposed to visit the hospital again for a review. Being the nice, sweet, kind husband that I was, I arranged for a mid-morning meeting so that I could avoid going to the office early. We thought that with this arrangement, I could accompany her at the hospital, then drop her off at work later.

Unfortunately, this was not to be. The hospital was unexpectedly crowded that morning, and as the minutes ticked by, we had to start making alternate plans. Not enough time to drop her off at the office, but maybe the train station was possible. Then even the train station was not possible. Eventually, I had to leave the hospital before she even got to see the doctor. Too bad. After a hurried kiss, I rushed off, leaving her to complete her appointment herself.

Knowing how independent and capable Yi Lin was, I did not think much of leaving her to her own devices. It was just work, work, work, meeting, meeting, meeting till the end of the day, when I finally got home.

Flouncing towards me for our customary hug, she announced, “Doctor gave me instructions for my second set of injections. This time I use a pen! Oh, and there’s some icky green pills for you too!”

Icky green pills, eh? Well, I have to admit that green pills (or rather, capsules) are really not that common.

Uncommon green capsules

“Oh, and the doctor said you cannot take calcium when eating these pills.”

“I don’t eat calcium!”

“Milk has calcium. You cannot have milk with cereal for breakfast any more.”

“Okay… so what time of time frame are we talking about? When would it be safe to drink milk again?”

“Two hours. You take the pill after breakfast, and can only drink milk two hours later. And you have to take the pill after dinner as well.”

“Damn… two hours? Okayloh… really means no milk for breakfast. Hey! Does that mean no Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at night while we watch our very legally purchased episodes of Lost?”

“Umm… yup. No ice-cream after dinner too.”

“Wait a minute… no milk BEFORE taking the capsule in the morning, and no ice-cream AFTER taking the capsule at night. So are we talking about no calcium two hours before or after swallowing this green thing?”

“… both?”

“Both?!? So that’s a total of 8 hours in a day that I cannot take calcium?”

“I don’t know…”

“Can I eat cake for breakfast? Or does the cream, which is made from milk, have calcium too?”

“I don’t know…”

“How much calcium is considered too much calcium?”

“I don’t know…”

“If I get into a fight or something, and accidentally swallow my tooth, is that too much calcium? For that matter, can I still brush my teeth?”

“I don’t know…”


The wife cringed. I tasted the word on my lips, and liked the way it rolled off my tongue. For good measure, I roared again.


The wife cringed again.

We stared at each other. The corners of our lips twitched. We both could not suppress our grins any more and burst out laughing.

Collapsing in laughter into the sofa, she punched me gently, “You are so full of nonsense!”.

I cradled her in my arms and kissed her gently on her forehead.

“And you, baby, are so inept. I love you.”

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