A Blog About An Asian Medical Student. Yes that's redundant.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Wingman Story

Lemmie tell you about Alex Grolle.


He's an idiot.

I've known him ever since pre school, in a little place called Gingerbread. That means, both he and I turned 25 this week, we've known each other for more than two decades.

Over that span of time, our intertwined lives have been a sordid affair seeping with inadequacies, summer camps, and sleepovers with zero sleep, if you know what I mean.


In a totally non homosexual way.

We're not gay.


Through our elementary school years, Alex would master a technique we have all learned he epitomizes.

Being terrible with women.

For some reason, elementary school girls treated Alex back then much like middle aged divorced women treat me. With chasing adoration.

During recess, they would play Boys Vs Girls, which always, always resulted in three girls chasing Alex. Given that their options included stellar selections such as a 120 pound Asian 10 year old with glasses (read: me), I wouldn't say that Alex was any more suave back then.

Just, you know, decent.

Now any intelligent young man would naturally take this opportunity to use his limitless charms during these formative years to become a hunky playboy of a man, but

1) Alex does not have limitless charms, and
2) I said intelligent young man.
3) Also I said man (zing!)

So, without a thought, Alex spend the rest of recess running away from the girls. Hell, until this day I've never seen a guy so bad at picking up women he might as well be running from them. At least that way, they get to see his fine, fine behind....

Also we are not gay.

Like any good friend, I've spent a good amount of time being his wingman. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a wingman is a military aviation concept where another pilot (the wingman) offers an assist during a dangerous mission. Nothing short of sacrificing himself is under the duties of a wingman to ensure a successful mission. In these cases, the wing man was me, and the dangerous mission was trying to get Alex a girl without getting arrested for trying to solicit prostitutes.

The wingman in dating concept in men arises directly from a female behaviour that dictates that any attractive girl in a social situation is always accompanied by a fat ugly best friend, likely to make the attractive girl even more comparable to David Poon in terms of raw beauty.

One year, Alex brought me to Victoria to hang out with his grandma Good times, though (like with any Alex Grolle interaction) it would obviously end in horrific hilarity.

We were at this club (after Alex heroically got scared by a bouncer at a separate club), were we saw:

A beautiful, auburn haired white girl, slim profile, blue eyes, and delicate facial features that were just sharp enough to pierce the heart, but remind you that she will never break it.

as well as...

her fat ugly best friend.


Like I said, Alex has zero skill with the ladies.

So like any good wingman, I prefer for doom.

I ask the FUB friend to dance.

She hesitates.

I scream silently.

The beautiful girl tells the FUB friend to go ahead.

I open my arms to go around her.

Then I open my arms a little wider.

I think I settled for the shoulders after the fourth attempt.

But I did it. The beautiful girl was free.

And then....

... without a thought, Alex hides behind some black guy. Another man 30 seconds later comes in, dances with the beautiful girl, and I think they make out later.

If we keep up with the aeronautic metaphor, this would be the equivalent of the wingman crashing directly into the enemy army, leaving the base exposed, while the heroic lead pilot ejects, takes a taxi back home, and watches Denzel Washington movies with his grandma.

I hate you Alex.

At least I would, if I still had the ability to feel after the night with the FUB friend deadened my senses to the world.

Though honestly, I guessed I probably owed him one. He did save my life once.

When we were kids, he and I annually went to camp. Sometimes science, sometimes sports, one time even art.

Take a guess which camp I didn't do so well in.

During sports camp, we had to do drills in swimming. As a fat kid, and as Newton would dictate, that meant I was a hazard. I mean, I could have worn a tshirt in the pool to cover my man boobs and avoid bullying, but you know, I'm not THAT fat.

(At least until I met girls...)

I remember when some kid grabbed my head and held it under the water. I didn't know how to swim. It was scary cause I didn't know what was going on, and you know, I was drowning.

I was screwed.

I remember Alex grabbing me, pulling me back up, and saying

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah... you saved my life!"


Turns out he was the one drowning me. Without a thought, he figured it was just having fun.


Somehow I always get in trouble with him.

In grade 11, there was a dance to find out who would be elected to high school student council. When I won the election to become president of my high school, I was with my girlfriend at the time, and Alex. JUST BECAUSE I accidentally kissed Alex instead of my girlfriend in my excitement, my ex got pissed off.

At me!

Can you believe it?

Just cause Alex has pretty lips!


He's always like this; one time, in grade 7, we were skiing on these things in Saskatchewan we call slopes (which are actually pretty close to piles of snow taken from the streets).

I was just learning how to ski, but I was getting pretty confident. Alex and I went up the lift, the highest height I had ever been to (yeah yeah, Alex takes me higher than I've ever been before, we're not gay).

We went down, but since he was more experienced, he was ahead of me. I was getting comfortable, so I started picking up speed.


Down faster.

Alex in front, me behind...

it was awesome.

And not gay.

Not sure what he was thinking, but as he would tell me later, he was worried that I was going to run into the orange fence that was set up at the end of the hill, to prevent lost skis from running into people at the chalet.

I wasn't.

I was slowing down pretty good actually. But Alex was never that good at math, or thinking, really, and so...

But as I bolted down the hill, I remember, and will always remember the moment where without a thought, Alex turned around, skied in front of me, put his arms up to brace himself, and...

(dramatic silence)


My weight, combined with the speed I was going at, ran both of us directly into the damn orange fence.



Lemmie tell you about Alex Grolle.

He is my best friend in the entire world.

I remember when we were just 13 or so, and I was having a goodbye party at my place. Someone was leaving, but on top of that, there were some deeply personal issues I was sorting out. I remember making a speech to the person leaving, and well, breaking down partway through. I ran out the back door to a nearby park, and just sobbed.

Not long after, Alex found me.

Held me together.

He had started chasing me after I left.

Without a thought.

And I think about it now, and I realize the measure of man he is.

A little tidbit of trivia is that while Alex and I met in pre school we were too young to remember it at the time. It wasn't until four years later, when I transferred elementary schools, that we met again.

It was scary being the new kid - I didn't know anyone at the new school, who I thought my best friend was at the time left me, and, let's be honest, no one likes the fat kid.

On my first day, without a thought, Alex asked the teacher if he could show me around.

I have no doubt that seeing that act of kindness when I was that young shaped my amicable nature today.

Be good. Be friends. Simple.

A week later, a new, new kid showed up, and thanks to Alex's example, I volunteered to show him the school.

Who knows how my life may have been - would I have been bullied in elementary school? Would I have been able to make as many wonderful friends in my lifetime if I didn't have the guts to raise my hand and say "I will be your friend?"

Will I have been who I am had I never known Alex.

Where would I have been without him to be my wingman and help me fly.

When I wanted to dress up as the Backstreet Boys, only he would don the clothes. At swimming, when I bled from the nose, he came with me to the washroom and helped me clean up the blood.

Also I accidentally saw his penis in the change room after, the first time I saw another person's ding dong.


When the police first came to my house in Regina, before any of my family knew about the allegations against my father, my sister was by herself. My mom was in Asia helping my family, my dad at the hospital helping his patients. I was in Edmonton for school.

My sister, terrified, didn't know what to do, with two officers asking for my father. She called me, but I was just as confused, and just as scared.

Still not knowing why the police were at my door, the next person I called was Alex.

I asked him to go to my sister and watch out for her.

Not even asking what happened,

not questioning anything,

stopping everything,

without a thought,

Alex drove over to my place, made sure Lisa was safe, and didn't leave her.

Alex may seem like a regular white guy, going to work, coming home and playing video games.

But he is an exceptional person. One of the best men I know.

One of the best men we all know.

He is far more intelligent than I will ever give him credit for, but he will never make you feel like nothing.

Though he has never had much luck with women (in fact, has been treated pretty badly by some) he offers nothing but respect to any girl he has been with.

He doesn't earn alot of cash, but never once does he think about swindling someone. He gives to his friends the best he can offer, even when he doesn't have much himself.

He never did well in school, but perhaps unlike the rest of us high energy academics, he has never even considered copying work, or cheating on an exam.

He knows what is right, and lives by it. Not due to pious air of superiority, and certainly not due to a cowardice of reprimand.

He lives honestly because it is who he is.

My immediate family is close to me, my brothers, my sister, my mom and my dad. We love each other, fight each other, scream at each other, then come back together.

But as they say, you can't choose your family - but you can choose your friends.

Which means bonds between family can't be broken, but friends can eventually leave you.

Alex Grolle is my best friend in the whole world.

We don't fight. We hang out. We go to McDonalds at 3am and talk.

It's how we choose to be together. It's how we are, and how we always will be.

And I don't care if that makes me his fat ugly best friend...

... or his wingman for life.

- David

Today is Alex's 25th birthday. If you haven't seen him in awhile, or just want to ask him if anything I'm saying is actually true, go to his Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504352371

He could use the attention. No one else likes him. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A New Year, a Birthday, a Reconnect

A New Year, a Birthday, a Reconnect

aka Not Another Damn Introspective Rant from Poon
aka Yet Another Damn Introspective Rant from Poon

Let it be forever remembered that David Poon is a master of two things:

1) Recognizing great ideas, and
2) Not bothering to act on them.
3) Women
4) Lunacy!

My girlfriend, a half breed from Japan, told me about a tradition they do there. Like us white people do for Christmas, New Year is a time to send letters to the people who matter to you, and who care about you.

I liked the idea, despite the fact that while the list of those in the former category rank in the 100s, those in the later category exist in my imagination.

Or that Japanese Virtual Reality dating simulation I downloaded.

I guess that's why I call my gf 'too good to be true.'

Hah. See? Pun?? Is that a pun???


It's been months since I've written anything. I'm a little rusty, not to mention, Asian drunk (read: 2 shots in my birthday martini).

So, to all my fans that I left without inspiration... I'm sorry.

That should appease both of you.


Couple that with the fact that I locked my Facebook wall, changed my Facebook name, and proceeded to not respond to any email, text message, or male flirtatious advance for the past few months (all of which I usually do), and avoided you in the grocery store, it was reasonable that most of you concluded one of the following things:

1) I was in Regina, when you were in Edmonton.
2) I was in Edmonton, where you were in Regina.
3) I got pregnant and went to live with my aunt.
4) I'm a rude bastard who ignores you.
5) Lunacy!

The sad fact is that I finally figured out that instead of talking to people, I could play video games, and well, I stand by my choice.

I forget, is my gf real or a Japanese videogame?

Heh heh, I play both.

Hope she's not reading this. I could get in trouble.


So I wanted to, in the New Year, send personal, heartfelt messages to each one of you, to rebuild the shattered relationships I ignored for so long.

A New Year, a new life, a reconnect.

And then I sold my video game collection in preparation.

After which I used the money to buy a new collection.

And then I didn't contact any of you.

While rebuilding my life was an arduous and somewhat impossible task, rebuilding lost relationships required something I simply didn't have:

Someone else who wanted to rebuild that relationship.

Meaningless self deprecation aside, as the weeks post New Year passed, my procrastination got the beter of me, and I didn't call any of you again.

Until a different, Chinese kind of New Year happened.

Then I just forgot.

And despite so many of you emailing, txting, calling... I realized I just wasn't quite ready to say hello again.

And the sad truth is, maybe you forgot about me too.

And I deserved that.


If being rejected by girls has taught me anything...

Other than protecting my face from slaps, perseverance is vital to success.

I had the chance to break a new start of renewing old friendships.

My 25th birthday. Today.

Ever since I was a kid, I would stay up most of the night before my birthday. I remember being in elementary school, pacing alone near my bedroom.

If that sounds sad to you, don't worry - I talked to my teddy bear for advice.

I would spend the night contemplating, considering the big questions - where was my life going, what would I become, Charizard or Blastoise...

In brief, I tried to answer the question of "what did I want?"

Since I was a fat kid, obviously meaning I was grossly unpopular, I wanted friends.

And that's what I'll do.

Though it seems all of you refused to wish me a happy birthday JUST BECAUSE I DISABLED MY FACEBOOK WALL, I know that I wouldn't be anywhere without you, my friends.

I've been doing a 'Reconnect a Day' - that means some of you have been victimized by a phone call, an email, a dinner, or a hang out with me once a day for the past two weeks.

And like that jacket zipper said to my nipple, 

"Don't worry, you'll all get your turn."

However... it's also like I said to my bowels after forgetting to take my Metamucil, 

"Damnit, why don't you just get started?"

So lets reconnect online, till I see you soon.

I suppose my sudden distancing from life could be seen as arbitrary as a Canadian snap election (zing!) so lets start there.

My self imposed silence has admittedly given me a somewhat misconstrued air of rudeness; but after my father was sentenced to two years in prison last summer, I went into hiding. Disabled my Facebook wall, and placed myself in isolation.

Then, as the Faculty of Medicine found out about the Poon Blog, I didn't want to leave myself vulnerable to scrutiny, leaving me open to reprimand particularly under very harsh times. I closed doyoubelieve.ca immediately, despite its rather cathartic appeal to me during hard times. I suppose humour, particularly poorly written humour, isn't always well received. And taking a page from any tip book on how to look professional before a job interview, I changed my Facebook name to my old high school alter ego, 'Aszreal' aka 'Emo Poon' aka 'David Poon wearing black nail polish' aka 'If Snoopy can be Joe Cool, I can be Aszreal'.

This is typically an okay thing to do under the circumstances, except well, I wasn't as okay as I thought I was. I couldn't handle medical school, and disappeared again.

Hiding because I couldn't face very harsh realities was reasonable, if not cowardly.

And hiding from those who want to use information against my best wishes is smart, strategic.

But hiding from those looking out for me, trying desperately to help me...

... hiding from you?


That means today, on my 25th birthday, I start doyoubelieve.ca again.

And I never forget my friends.


So what have I been up to?

I won a prize in a Cosplay (costume play) contest at Animethon. I was a Tetris block. Turns out years of having my life twist, turn, and fall really came in handy.

I gave Aszreal a last name. 'Aszreal JT SMASH' but Facebook wont let me change it because there are too many capital letters.

I learned what being happy meant.

I recommitted to medical school, and will graduate in 2013. Sure, that means I was one of the first of my friends to get into med school, and it also means I will be one of the last to get out.

But I'm happier now.

I found a closeness to family I never had before.

I met a wonderful girl. She's a half breed - all the good looks of a white person combined with the fantastic attention to domestic cleanliness of an Asian person.

The Faculty, as a condition for my reacceptance, had me do a learning assessment, to ensure I don't have any academic issues. 

Turns out I qualify for Mensa. 

And now I've been a member for two months. 

For those of you who don't know what Mensa is, let me tell you, it's NOT what my sister thought it was (the North American Man Boy Love Association). Seriously.

I'm not into men that young.


I learned to study for the knowledge - not for the marks.

Learned how to file my own income tax.

Gained 30 kilos.

At the advice of my Mommy, got a personal trainer.

Lost 10 kilos.

My girlfriend bought me a scale for Valentines Day.

Lost another 10 kilos and counting.

Met some of my new classmates.

Found some of my old classmates.

Got a job at EB Games for a little while. Some people dream of working at a coffee shop. Used video game store is my coffee shop. And I do mean coffee as a drug.

Started watching LOST...

... and finished watching LOST. All of it. It's incredible.

Had my girlfriend move in with me.

Began writing a musical. It's gonna be totally awesome and reassert how masculine I am. It'll also have lots of dancing.

Fought with a man I consider my brother. Came back together as families never give up.

Got invited back to a business competition. Saw something I started continue. Felt proud of my friends.

Guinness World Records emailed me last week. They are allowing my claim to break a world record. I'll let you know how it goes.

Found out how horrible it is to see your loved one's hometown lost in an earthquake and tsunami.

Found out how beautiful it is to see loved ones survive and endure.

Helped my sister buy a car.

Told my mom I loved her.

Shook my father's hand.

Became a man.


I have eschewed my deliberate insistance on refusing to grow up. Finally.

I am 25 now. Though, that doesn't mean I forgo the lessons and traditions of my youth.

Ever since I was a kid, I would stay up most of the night before my birthday. I remember doing it in elementary school, pacing alone near my bedroom.

If that sounds sad to you, don't worry - I still talk to my teddy bear for advice. 

I spent last night contemplating, considering the big questions - where was my life going, what would I become, be thankful or be bitter...

In brief, I tried to answer the question of "what do I want?"


I have you. I have my family.

My loved ones. My life.

There's nothing more I want.

See you soon everyone. Looking forward to it.

Miss you too.

- David