Lower hand 下把


Just returned from stand-up comedy The New King of Kowloon <棟篤• 笑死朕:新九龍皇帝>, starring Wong Yeung-tat 黃洋達, a scriptwriter, author, internet show host and social activist, who has recently been released from a three-week jail, a sentence that he wanted to clear in order to run September's Legco election.

The two-hour show took place at an intimate venue in Kowloon Bay's KITEC was overall an enjoyable one, full of gags evolving around Hong Kong's TV myth, his jail time followed by the conviction of criminal damage and acting in disorderly manner in a public place when he gatecrashed a consultation session on the proposal for changing the Legco by election last September. And of course, there was an "encore" session of jokes made out of his signature Canto foul language presentation, and the hilarious performance by indie rap group 神奇膠 and that by mysterious masked net singer 龍小菌.

I didn't really know about Wong until few months ago when I randomly clicked on a YouTube link of his internet morning show 早朝天下. And I must admit, that I was drawn by his critical manner and his smooth way of inserting Canto foul language phrases when making his comments - I never heard of anyone speaking Canto foul language in such a charming way. Together with his overall presentation, he is certainly a charismatic figure that deserves a huge following, who affectionately addresses him as King, His Majesty.

Tonight, he turned up on that small stage in his white glasses, a pair of blinding yellow trousers, with matching colour pocket square rested in a navy blue blazer - the kind of attire that was spotted in many European art collectors that I encountered in Switzerland's Art Basel just a week ago. You seldom see men in Hong Kong dressed like that, so when it happens, it is kind of refreshing.

The show was funny. The message was clear: from getting used to TVB's dumb downed TV series catering largely for see-nai (housewives) to being confined in the prison cell, Hong Kong people will be handing over the freedom they deserve if they do not fight for it. I couldn't follow everything in the "encore" that was filled with colloquial phrases and Canto foul words - I couldn't believe that as Canto is supposedly my native tongue. Perhaps I will need some special tutorial on that.

However, one thing that bugs me was the parts in which his wife Chan Sau-wai appeared as a guest star.

Chan, also an author and a co-host of one of Wong's internet show, is a sweet looking lady with the greatest smile that melts even the heart of the coldest man on earth. (And her beautiful chin should become one of those "model chins" featured at plastic surgeon clinics.) Wong said that in the net show, Chan performed the role of being a 下把, a lower hand (not sure if I translated this correctly but correct me if I'm wrong), meaning that Chan's function in the show was merely to say "係呀! 係呀!" ("Yes! Yes!") to show support for her man's comments, and laugh out loud when her man makes funny jokes, even if they were not funny at all. And through out Chan's appearance on stage, she didn't contribute much, except describing how she accommodated Wong in her life, and how much she supported the cause of the man with whom she has chosen to spend the rest of her life with no regrets, just like how her mother supported her when she was a child. And Wong seemed to take pride in that.

I couldn't help but wonder, is that what a man looks for in a woman, that she should only play 下把 in a man's life - just nods at everything the man says, shows support to whatever the man is doing? If that's the case, this man is elevating his status to be on par with that of Jesus Christ - he needs loyal and faithful followers who do not question him a single thing. He turns himself into a religion, and his woman is the worshipper of that cult. Is "Don't ask, just believe" a motto for any long lasting relationship?

I'm not sure about other couples but playing 下把 is certainly not my style. I tried to play dumb, and yet I failed. Maybe I'm just not smart or my EQ is not high enough to adjust myself to the 下把 role. Not that I have to be on the upper hand, but equal footing is more important to me in a relationship. Or perhaps I should find a woman to marry?

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Me with Lung Siu Kwan after show

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