Sunday 5 February 2012

Before Fandi, I talked to her when no one else would

Last month, my wife posed for pictures with a topless male model at the entrance of Abercrombie & Fitch on Orchard Road.

Because he put his arm around her, she felt obliged to reciprocate – or so she claimed – and ended up "unintentionally" touching his naked torso.

She posted the pictures on her blog and wrote: “Absolutely awkward but look how happy I was!”

To even things up, I shall now recount my own encounter with a hot model.

Once upon a time, I attended the opening of a boutique at Paragon Shopping Centre. If I remember correctly, the boutique belonged to local designer Celia Loe.

I used to get invited to many openings and launches because I was, ahem, “media”.

As usual, I was there only for the free food.

On this occasion, I noticed a tall, interesting-looking young woman of indeterminate race sort of standing apart from everyone else.

Even though she was hot, no one was talking to her or paying her much attention, which I thought was strange. She seemed a little lost, like she didn’t belong there, which was also how I felt.

It turned out she was a model hired to model the boutique’s clothes at the opening, and I guess guests aren’t supposed to chat with the hired help. I actually felt sorry for her – as much as one could feel sorry for a hot model.

And since no one was also chatting with me, I decided to chat her up. (Okay, before you judge, I had never done anything like that before and I wasn’t married at the time.)

She was a little shy, but friendly and easy to talk to. She said she was from South Africa and came to Singapore recently with her father who was posted here.

I asked for her number because I might have a modelling job for her.

Okay, I know that sounded like a line, but it was the truth as I was working for a magazine publisher at the time. Really!

Maybe she thought it was a line too because she didn’t give me her number and instead gave me the name of her modelling agency, which was Bess. (Yes, there was actually a modelling agency called Bess. I checked.)

She said if I wanted her, I could call her agency.

Oooh, looked like somebody was playing hard to get. Sure, I’d play along.

Unfortunately, the next day, when I told my colleague – who did the actual hiring of models at my company – about this hot model whom I just met and he should use, he pretended to be interested, then made no effort to follow up.

And that was that. I thought I would never see my hot model again.

Then one day, I read in the news that national football hero Fandi Ahmad was engaged to a South African model named Wendy Jacobs.

Hey, I saw her first!

I was the one who talked to her when no one else would.

And now she was marrying Singapore’s greatest footballer.

Well, that was a step up. Good for her.

And him.

I wonder if she made him call Bess.

I eventually met Jacobs again many years later but didn’t bother to mention we had met before because there was no hint of recognition in her eyes.

I wasn’t worthy enough to be remembered – but I will never forget.

Almost two decades after that fateful day at Paragon, I can finally share my sad Wendy Jacobs story because I feel it’s safe now that her husband has joined Johor FA as a technical advisor last week.

Thanks, Football Association of Singapore, for letting a homegrown talent go.

I mean, Fandi is moving to Malaysia for his new job, right?

He's not? Uh-oh. I hope he doesn’t tell my wife.

- Published in The New Paper, 5 February 2012

WENDY JACOBS UPDATE: The New Paper, 11 February 2013