An Open Letter
July 09, 2008

Dear Marks & Spencer,

There's a scene from the movie 'Dan in Real Life' in which Dan (Steve Carell, of 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' fame), was browsing in a bookshop before Marie (Juliette Binoche, of 'Chocolat' fame) walked in.

Seeing that the shopkeeper was on the phone, she approached Dan, mistaking him for a shop employee. Mesmerized by her beauty, Dan played along and assisted her in selecting books; grabbing 'Everyone Poops' as she cited Hemingway, Tolstoy and Austen.

Despite learning that Dan lied about working there, Marie was moved by his warmth. And she opted to accept his offer for coffee; a sitting which later bloomed into a tale like no other.

Though the serendipity of it all seems too good to be true, to say I would mind something similar would be a total lie. Dan had provided guys the world throughout, the perfect approach should an attractive woman mistakes them for a store employee. Something with a 384,394,172:1 chance of actually happening in real life.

Last week, I (myself, of no fame) was at your KLCC outlet. In my effort to find some office attires, subsequently shutting those who'd likened my pants to that of M.C. Hammer's, I browsed through your clothing racks.

As I raked away more pants that would only further encourage my friends to wail 'Hammertime!' everytime they see me, a voice headed my way,

"Excuse me, do you have this in other sizes?"

Heads down, I held my eyes shut as I asked myself,

"Is this it? Is this it? Am I Dan, in real life? Here here my damsel in distress, I shall get you the size that you want; even if it means prowling the store room at the back. Don't worry, I won't get caught. You already are, living proof that I look like a guy who works here, somehow."

Before I turned my head and realized that, it was a rather unhappy looking lady with hangers in her hands; one attached to the dress and the other, whipping at the two kids running around her legs.

Jaws down, and in fear of enduring the wrath of her mighty hangers myself, all I could mutter was,

"Sorry ma'am, I don't work here."

To which she apologized, naturally... as she lashed another hanger-whip at her kid, naturally.

At this point, you may be asking yourself,

"Where is this guy going with this?"

A question which I can't even answer myself.

I wanted to write about how I longed to be Dan in the bookstore scene. But I ran out of formats so I guess doing it as an open letter to you guys would be alright.

Nevertheless, I felt sorry for the lady. She must've felt bad thinking that she had ruined my day; which wasn't case. It was simply not the first time I was mistaken for a shop employee. You name it... from Secret Recipe, to Victoria's Secret; I'd worked for them all.

The difference was all too obvious anyway that day, as displayed by the following artist impression (who ran out of ink so we had to use advanced CGI to render a human-like image of me):

She might've forgotten to put on her lenses, who knows.

Asrif Yusoff
Treasurer, Malaysian Chapter
The Association of Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas in American Gangster Lookalikes (TADWFLAGL)


serih, ko mmg genius

hahahaha.. sangatlah entertaining. but do u think you'd want to go for drinks with you silent reader?

ehe.. sangatla entertaining. but do u think you'd want to go for drinks with your silent reader?

hahahha.silent reader.not again.a random guess would be someone i knew over the net, but a realistic guess, it would be one of our ex-schoolmate.serih, dah dah laa,sedar diri sikit.

i watched Dan In Real Life. nice movie, i ended up masturbating before the end of the movie.

Judd!!!!! *menggelengkan kepala

Perhaps you didn't experience the whole Dan's experience. But just in case you didn't know, you are Dan in Dan in Real Life, funny man.

i think you've had succesful encounters with women (no, other than office janitors) before. u gotta write on that one as well, bro...

it'd be awesome to have u and ikram up here (not enough space for you, Judd). 'em girls here, they like darker men.

Pie: I disagree, brother. Ray Romano is a genius.

White Daisy: Gender would be a crucial factor in answering your question, to be honest.

Maz: Hi Abang Mazwee... bila nak hantar lagu I'm Yours kat I pulak? Ngahahaha...

Judd: Come on, you do that to all movies... even Finding Nemo.

Azah: You sound surprised.

Snoop: Jangan do... aku for some reason tunggu je Triumph line ko ni.

Hussen: Success, is subjective my friend. It is.

you = denzel washington?


since when you turned black yo? once you go black, you dont go back!

you watch too much of Caprice's DEM GIRLS (feat. Damien of V.E), my fat friend.

Akmal: Sorry for sweeping you off your feet.

Ike: And once you go white, you'll go straight to black! :-)

Judd: But you, my rotund buddy, watch too much DEM GUYS by this new rapper guy, Ajep or something.

eh asrif, long time no see. balik kampung for good this time. currently lepaking at SP, will be heading down to KL soon. Niz says he will be organizing an NU reunion, hopefully can catch up with y'all.

serih surely wants to catch up..then ***** up..aduh, xleh trima doe lawak ko..

haha.. u sweep me OFF adelaa! :p

i'm in muar now. testing my uncle's centre. lol.

want some muar's mee bandung to add on your gendut-ness? erkk..i mean, macho-ness?

ambik je la herbal life amal tuh..gendut..

YC: Yo! Yeah Niz is doing this NU reunion thing whatever he wants to call it, Abang Niz hati luka. Hope you're in KL then!

Jeghi: OK apa ajak lunch je pun haha... tapi lawak² aku hancur pun takleh celen ayat² ko brader.

Amal: You look a lot like my next girlfriend.

Judd: You look a lot like my next girlfriend too.

what were you doing in a victoria secret outlet (if they have outlets - sorry, aku brit)? :D

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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