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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

After Unplugging

  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. BEDROOM - 10:28


  4. Working on a laptop, Peter watches a TV program depicting hospital scenes.


  5. PETER (V.O.): This is drama, still I might learn some medical terms.


  6. After seeing a deathbed scene on screen, we hear: The patient has signed a "DNR".


  7. PETER (V.O.): What does the acronym stand for?


  8. Immediately, Peter surfs the web with his smart phone. We see on screen: Do Not Resuscitate.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I gave one for Sharon almost 30 years ago.


  10. Recalling.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Around this time of the year, I used to work or travel very hard. I need distractions.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While the wifi of the bedroom here has just been fixed, the wifi in my separate study/studio is also out of order.

  14. Act 2


  15. INT. DINING ROOM - 08:45


  16. Sharing breakfast with KAJI, the family pet, Peter is also having screen time.


  17. PETER (V.O.): For the past couple of days, I've been remembering a radio drama program broadcast by Macao's Radio Vilaverde Limitada in the early 1960s.

  18. INT. PETER'S FAMILY HOME - AFTERNOON (1964)


  19. Staying close to a portable light-green transistor radio, PETER (10) is listening attentively.

  20. PETER (V.O.): We listen to the radio 綠邨電台 a lot as its signals are strong. I like its drama "苦盡甘來" ie "After Struggling, Life's Easy".


  21. Between drama scenes, we hear jazz music of "Summertime".


  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Like my grandma, the mother character in the drama has 4 children.


  23. Pausing.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): She named them as "志東","志南", "志西" and "志北" ie having the will to go East, South, West and North.


  25. Pausing.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It seems she was determined to have 4 children, no more and no less.


  27. END FLASHBACK


  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When my grandma died in 1972, life for my family was still not easy. The change only began when I got a well-paid job in 1974.

  29. Recalling.


  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And one night in 1974, Sharon and I were in Macao. We married in 1979.


  31. Recalling,


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In early 1989, Sharon was pregnant. In July, we toured Hawaii, LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Vancouver. And in Aug, Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali. In Nov, we watched the Macao Grand Prix.


  33. Pausing.


  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Great times.


  35. INT. STUDY - 14:00


  36. Clearing up the top of the TV rack, Peter tries to put a modem, a router and their cable connections neatly.


  37. PETER (V.O.): The serviceman will soon come to investigate the no-internet problem.

  38. Pausing.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Meanwhile, let me try again if my laptop can use the hotspots of my smart phones.


  40. Having clicked some trouble-shooting options, Peter checks the internet icon in the bottom tool bar.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's still no internet connection. It may be that its wifi adapter is out of order.


  42. As Peter pulls out a USB from a laptop slot, something comes lose.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, the USB is actually broken. No wonder my wireless mouse isn't working.


  44. Door bells. Enters the SERVICEMAN. He checks the modem and the router. When he uses an Ethernet cable to connect with wifi, we see images appearing in his computer.


  45. SERVICEMAN: Not a signal problem. Your wifi is out of order. When you replace it, you need to set it up properly.

  46. PETER: It's good that the problem has been identified. Thank you.


  47. Exits the serviceman. Peter works on his laptop again. Soon, he looks shocked.


  48. PETER (V.O.): OMG, the internet icon has disappeared from the tool bar! What have I done to my laptop?


  49. Peter looks frustrated.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): All bad things seem to happen at the same time.


  51. Act 3


  52. INT. BEDROOM - 17:00


  53. Staring at options on the laptop screen, Peter selects "Reset".


  54. PETER (V.O.): I can reset the laptop and refocus to make things right.


  55. Having waited patiently, Peter sees: Good things coming your way.


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While many things will work again after unplugging for awhile, life can't.


  57. Seeing "Hi" on screen and then the wifi icon at the tool bar, Peter looks relieved.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But after 30 years, I'm still learning how to look at things in a whole new light.


  59. THE END


  60. FADE OUT










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