Monday, May 30, 2011


 Who’s there?
It’s Hello-hello! Don’t open the door! Don’t let him in!

 Damn! Mr. Hubby has opened the door and let Hello-hello in.

I’m a Petro-petro Representative (PR). I come to check your gas cylinder and regulator. Make sure safe.
Pic from google Images

Mr. Hubby looks at me, the Suri Rumah, or House Queen like my students said.  I look away. I refuse to have anything to do with this business so I go upstairs to read. Mr. Hubby takes PR to the kitchen.
It is three p.m. There’s a long, low-toned conversation in the kitchen. I don’t even try to eavesdrop.
Then it’s three thirty. More sales pitch.
It is four o’clock. With one hour invested in this house, I predict PR will not leave without a sale. I go down reluctantly to get a glass of water I don’t need.
Hi Kak! *a mile-long smile* Blahblahblah…
I cannot manage a smile. I’m annoyed with the men in the kitchen. They’ve opened the cabinet and dragged out the gas tank. Two men and a gas tank can make one’s kitchen look so… claustrophobic.
The regulator of my gas tank

You see, Kak, the regulator of your gas cylinder here need to change oredi. You know or not? It's no good lah. If the gas leak out the tank can explode and start fire and burn down your house. Haha.
I’m thinking: That’s what they all say! When the first guy came he’d pulled the hose off my cooker and, with a flourish, put a match to the hose. Fed by the escaping gas, the flame went up to the ceiling. I nearly had a heart attack.
“Stop your magic show,” I told the stupid man. I changed the regulator and the hose. He went away smiling with my RM200 in the pocket next to his heart. Three years later he came again. 
"The regulator is faulty," he said. "You must have dropped it." 
“No more magic show,” I told him. I replaced the regulator and again he went away smiling.
Now, another magician is here. New face. Same agenda.
Hello-hello! HELLO… you see Kak… look, dis rubber hose no good. It’s blocked. I’ll light a match…
My heart skips a beat… but there’s no flame.
See, Kak? No gas coming out. You have to change the hose and the regulator. Promotion, Kak, you pay only blahblahblah.
I don't know what happened but let me just say it worked perfectly before you came. No problem. No blockage.
The tiger is clawing to get out of my chest. It’s difficult to leave a smile in the kitchen so I don’t even try. I go back to my book upstairs to read the same line ten times.
When the PR has gone (no doubt pissed off with the kakak—the abang was soooo nice) I go downstairs again. The PR must have waved his magic wand and uttered ‘abracadabra’ because... surprise!... the gas is flowing again and the cooker works perfectly!
Wow, not only can these PRs make sales, they can do magic, too. And like my story illustrates, deceive clients also can.
Pic from Google Images

BTW I cook every day. It’s a chore but somebody has to do it. I wish I had a wife to boss around and run the show. But that’s another story.
Cheers! Watch out for Hello-hello! 


  1. LOL. I sure want a wife too, Tina.

    Hello-hello came almost every month to check our regulator back home. My mum is toooo kind to ask them to leave. She even makes them tea and ask a lot of questions. But of course, she never bought any. I think the Hello-hello guys won't dare selling anything to her anyway, coz all the time momma would say she can only pay with vegetables from her garden. LOL

  2. The first time Hello-hello came I didn't know any better. He even had a sticker saying 'pemeriksaan percuma'. So I thought he'd just check and leave! I should do the same as your mom did. Now I must really start planting those vegetables...

  3. hello2 at me sure i'll ask him lots of question abt gas hose n regulator...menyesal dia nanti....i dun work with shell gas for 5 years without nothing....

  4. Very humourous. Has a sarcastic undertone.

  5. Hi Angel... This Hello-hello is just one of the many who come to bother us. When we tell them we don't want to buy whatever they're bringing, they won't take no for an answer. I always find it best to pretend I'm not at home. Tell them 'Boss teda di rumah' and hope they go away!

    STC, I take that as a compliment! Hehe... done your story for the next workshop??

  6. Got plenty of those pesky salesman in Singapore. I had fun with them though. When they come knockin at my door, I told them I was just a tenant and I pretend not to be good in English. They usually think I'm either from the Philippines or Indonesia, somehow I got an accent according to them. Then when they ask where the owner of the apartment is, I told them he went to Afghanistan and I haven't heard from him. That normally freak them out LOL and they leave without much asking more.

  7. I learnt that lesson years back too. It's so annoying how the hello-hello guys can manage to con people with their insincere smiles. Nowadays, the door is never opened to any hello-hello guys!