- Vol. 03
- Chapter 06
"I have a seven-hump wump!" I scream two seconds after successfully BUMPing into the phonegirl on the sidewalk, crashing really, but she probably doesn't hear because she's simultaneously shrieking, "Gah! Fucking cheebye!" I don't slow down and I'm quickly reabsorbed into the pedestrian flow on Orchard Road, already searching for my text target. So many to choose from.
They don't often see me coming. I'm diminutive, even for a Singaporean, and female, so I'm dismissed as harmless. But I'm a powder-keg of potential energy: I do capoeira twice a week, 42-form taijiquan every Saturday, so when I impact with you, it hurts like a motherfucker. I never target tourists, but today I've talked myself into BUMP patrol at Singapore's shopping mecca, its showcase of hip and cool.
All these phoneboys and phonegirls, every goddamn day on the MRT, in the shopping malls, at al fresco dining tables, and especially on the sidewalks, taking up too much space, forcing everyone to slow down to their pace, unable to disconnect from the e-version of their digital selves. Just like in any big city — New York, Shanghai, London, Berlin, Rio — Singapore is yet another victim of this epidemic.
I sight my next phoneboy, the hipster factor turned up so high that he might as well be doing jumping jacks and yelling, "Look at me!" so I do, and after BUMPing him, I crow, "I love to hop hop hop!" the impact so hard that he tumbles into a fashionista in a miniskirt.
I'm wearing my UglyShirt to confuse the CCTVs, but more people are starting to notice me. I don't hesitate, slamming into a phonegirl wearing four-inch heels: "Funny things are everywhere!" A phoneboy in oversized mirrorshades and a top hat: "I wish for fish!" Again and again and again and again, surprised bodies flying left and right and it's fucking beautiful until the crowd catches on.
They surround me, not a single one looking down at their phones now, fully engaged, and I belt out a kikiriki! even as they close in and as one mass of enraged humanity roar, "When she comes in, we put her OUT!" and as a group BUMP me into another plane of consciousness, a new physical dimension altogether, and oh god oh fuck I'm bursting forth from the membrane of illusory reality, right through the paper-thin barrier of sensory delusion into a realm of pure thought, and before the awe of this new existence, the delight, the terror, my first thought is that I never need see a phone ever again.