Saturday, February 24, 2007

I am tagged

Shanghai Steve tagged me. Its a welcome respite. I posted last week about two events during CNY that rankled and tore at me. The Pernas print ad with the caption: Your presence is worth a lifetime of angpows moved and overwhelmed me like a tsunami. Will somebody point out the copy-writer to me. I promise a night of drinks to him/her. Its poignancy still tugs at me. Night of drinks also for the person who will capture and bring him/her to the NPC. Scouts honor....this is poignant too, considering that our PM got the highest scout award from Indonesia: BE PREPARED. I am still seething over the second incident (migrant workers who built this city). And it is not good to write in I welcome this distraction. You asked for it Shanghai!

Light poles repel, unlike poles attract (as in magnet), Thats a proven. Mrs Zorro was a damn attractive damsel from Muar some discerning gods pointed in my direction. She was earmarked and bookmarked by at least two tycoons heirs. She chose me, a grade 2 only, a non-graduate teach earning about Rm600 per month who went about chauffeured in a thirty-seater. They used to call it a bus then. When the students heard about her choice, they voiced their disgust thru Standup philosopher TonyG: Some boys nearly died and some contemplated entering monasteries!!!!! I must be so weird that Mrs Zorro picked me.....she so ravishingly beautiful and I with my flat nose...morbidly weird. Zorro has been laughing as he rode away.

And these were the boys who strategically placed pencil sharpeners (the ones with mirror on one side) as she moved around the class. These antics were reported by some spoilt-sport student and brought to my attention, me being the DM(discipline master).I was urged to take action. I did not. Because boys are boys and they were going to be boys only once and I was not going to spoil their party. Exuberance of youth, yeah, thats the word. I was not going to dampen that exuberance, even if the victim was my intended (come to think of it I dont remember proposing to Karen....sheesssh) just to please some self-professed moralistic maniacs. Weird huh, and I was the annointed custodian of student good behavior (and may I continue to ask: good behavior by whose standards?)

Then came a time when only the DM and the HM could use the rod. That was the signal for teachers to abdicate their oath to inculcate discipline. "Problem solved. Send them to BK" And the boys line up outside the gym to await some punitive persuasions. They came with pre-printed slips that stipulated how many strokes of the rotan I should administer on those young butts. Some scenes went like this:

Scene 1:
Me: What? Kamal? Five strokes? You deserve 5 strokes?
Kamal: I will give you one Kamal, but if I find out you really deserve 5 you're dead. Go get yourself a
coke and get me a beer (yes, yes, but some covert arrangement we had to canteen
operator stock beer for us PE teachers....I was the head-honcho of PE teachers, mah.
Always believe that a happy teacher is a performing teacher. Similar in later corporate life.)

Scene 2:
Me: Seng Tuck, you gonna get two cuts, it says here.
ST: At least more sir.
Me: What? I didnt declare joke time yet!
ST: I told Mrs. Singh to eff-off sir.
Me: Thinking aloud: That's a man, this Seng Tuck and I didnt even asked why he deserved 2.
Speaking aloud: Now you and I will see Mrs Singh and will apologise to her.
ST: In front of the class, sir?
Me: No. In front of the teachers in the staff-room during recess.
(I did not want him to lose his self-respect in front of his peers).

Scene 3:

I saw this form 6 girl outside the gym. Her name tag says Pria. She hands me that slip of paper that sanctioned me to administer one stroke of the cane.

I wrote "What the fuck is wrong with you" on the slip of paper, sealed it in an envelope and instructed Pria to give it to the teacher.
I was called in to the HM's office for further elucidation of my message to the effed-up male teacher.

Me: HM this is my letter of resignation as DM. I will not do the dirty work of these no-balls, spineless
and pussy-whipped (as in henpecked) teachers.

HM:(Tugging his goatee) and yelling at the yellow-livered teacher: Get out before I starting the
process of getting you transfered.
HM: What kind of letter of resignation is this? Where did you learn how to write letters? No 'Dear
HM' even. Not accepting this and dont bring this up again. Where are you guys meeting

Weird huh.... nearly got effed and got two beers off the HM that night at the PJ Club.

I can hand-wash, fold any amount of nappies (no Pampers then). I can change the baby anytime but if the kid poos, I am off to some emergency. Definitely weird. For gods sake, your own kids poo!

On the subject of poo. I can never drop the matter unless it is deliberated sitting! No squatting for me. I will not do it over a hole so I never go camping much to the annoyance of Mrs Zorro who loves the open whereas Zorro always prefered the enclosed and protective ambiance of a watering hole.
I veto any outing where toilets have no seats. Mrs Zorro gets very exasperated but she has never started those legal proceedings.........yet.
Surprising or annoyingly weird?

I am Chinese ok? But I can only manage Chinese to get out of crisis. I am OCBC to my chinese friends - Orang Cina, Bukan Cina - Weird Chinaman?

When Patrina and Kevin attained the age of reason, and if I came home from a night outing and they are not asleep yet they always confront me with: Pa, why so early, got fight ah...boring ah?
So to save them from hearing lies and fibs I come home very early now, as early as when the cows go out to graze. Just after 2am or before 3am is about good, responsible timing. Both Boss (my german shepherd) and Chico (docked-eared Doberman) sleep in the house. There are scared of the night sky. Watch the contents of the house mah? They are watch-dogs lah, not lap-dogs.
Weired sense of protector of the family? Hey, I am the master, do you mind. Nobody kidnapped, nothing stolen. What me worry?

When Kevin, my second child and my last drop to Malaysia's population, was able to sit up (not walk), sit up I avow, I told him to Rennie's Pub along Jl. Gasing before going to fetch Mrs. Zorro from her school. I propped him against the bar-counter wall in the care of the cashier. I was careful that if Kevin fell, the cushioned bar-stool would break his fall. Like all kids, he got bored and began pointing at my beer. Rennie, the doyen of all bar bosses, poured some beer in a tequilla glass and I added a straw to simulate his drinking cup and Kevin got his first taste of this live-giving brew. Minutes later, the cashier shrieked. Kevin pee-ed along the bar top and by all accounts it was definitely a big cloud-burst. Weired parenting? Where was it I heard that it is better to learn it from the devil you know than from the devil(s) you don't know. Also I remember someone saying to Catch 'Em Young.

I have done drugs, as in grass, weeds, ganja. It was the time when the authorities were propagandering (new word) about drugs. I couldnt tell my students dont do it because big brother says so. I have to know if it was harmful, before I tell the kids, "dont let me catch you on it!" So over the weekends when Zorro and his teaching buddies could afford the little extra and Mrs Zorro in a good cooking mood we would have a bash. Dynamite-pungent fish head curry, cured vegie (grass lah) and laced with cheap army beer. No we did not chase any dragon. Weired, without a doubt! But as teachers, we worked hard, played hard, drank hard. Today, we do not carry any mental scars with us....we were teachers, christians, hindus, muslims and a few atheists (free-thinkers....was the in-thing those days.). We carried no chips on our shoulders.

Eight already but the tagging rules says six. I hate some rules. I am a maverick. So here's more:

Our rags then were platform shoes and bell-bottoms. Long hair was in, but not for teachers. I resented that so I grew my hair long. I was called in by the amiable, rotund Welshman, Bro. Bernard, my headmaster. His usual way of admonishing was telling you off and smiling. "Bernard, cut your hair."
Me: Brother, can you pull out the two terms exam results of all the Form 3s.
Bro: What for? (but he got the clerk to do that)
Me: Brother, compare the marks my top 10 students to the top ten in the B & C classes.(I always
opted to teach the last class, so mine was Form 3D)
Bro. Yes, your top ten had higher marks than the top 5 in the B and C class...and your first boy
scored better than the A class first boy.
Me: So Brother, this long hair is not a bad influence on my students performance?
Weired Recalcitrant. TDM would love me, yes MarinaM?

The Selangor Education Department sent out a directive, with drawing on how teachers should abide by their tonsorial directives. The Malay Mail printed the drawing. I wrote to the Malay Mail and pointed out that even monkeys had their hair-line in line with the bottom-tip of the ears. The drawing showed the stipulated hair-line to be a line between the top end and the bottom end of the ears. Weird molder of youths? Depends on which end of the anatomy you do your thinking with.
VIVA LES WEIRDOS. We make the world go round.


zorro said...

Zorro, with heads bowed, apologises for typo errors.Real weird.



you are one hell of a character! and i mean that in the most endearing terms...

ME136 said...

Very brave of you to reveal yourself like this, Zorro. I do not know many men who are willing to reveal themselves like this, even after several litres of beer. A spirited bravado, if ever, but never any sort of revelation like this. At the same time, you show that you have no regrets over the choices you had made, your behaviour and responses. Signs of a youth well lived.

shar101 said...

Well, zorro. You zigged and you zagged right through the weird list and more.

As they say, "you can't keep a good man down". (There's the 'hard' version too).

And I'm glad I've already met you before reading this list because, otherwise, I'd have to say "Now there's a guy I like to meet" and wonder if I ever will.

The wonders of bloggerhood!

ewoon said...

No, never! zorro can never be weird. zorro no wear jock over trouser like superman etc. zorro only funny.

Keep it up, bro.

Allied said...

Hai Ya....!
Wrong school ler...
Right time...just wrong school!

'two hills away'