Monthly Archives: May 2016

You Are Whom You Ate

Huh! Did I get it right?  Yes, possibly by the year 2022.

Planet Earth will be so crowded, resources will be very scarce, and older folks will be in abundance (competing with younger ones for food, water, shelter and jobs).

One solution will be to reduce the number of oldie-moldies and increase food supply. How?  Just recycle the “unproductive” into nutritional, nourishing Soylent Green. It is not just people, it will be delicious, and low carb some more lah!

Ok, keep calm! It is just a recall of the 1973 movie, starring Charlton Heston.  No need for alarm yet.

It was Sci-Fi, but I think the scenario is moving ever closer to Reality. More importantly, it should serve as a grim reminder to those who myopically plot to boost GDP by swelling the population.

Moke and Mini

It was a Moke and it was a Mini, in outdoor fun garb.  And one that could go topless as well. Oh, “nanoo nanoo”, it also reminded me of Mork and Mindy (theirs was a Jeep).

When it first caught my attention — in the late 70s — I thought I saw a big-eye bug on wheels.  It was very popular as a beach buggy in places like Australia.   I wanted to get hold of one, but alas, poor me, even by the time it went out of production, I could not amass enough dollars to afford it.

BTW, the word Moke means Donkey in an old English dialect.

Left Was Not Right

A no-brainer statement  — oh really ?

About 10% of earthlings are born South Paws – I am one of them.  But around the age of 5, I was forced to switch to the right side of the world.   It was a huge struggle — often ‘b’ became ‘d’ and ‘p’ became ‘q’ (mirror-image effect).  However, with loving encouragement from my parents, I managed to do the right thing for my writing.

I was glad for my parents’ foresight, as later I found that almost everything in this world was designed for the right-handed — scissors, computer mice, can openers, drafting boards, etc.

It is said that left-handed people are more creative and, better at maths and spatial visualization, and, that if Lefties are forced to be Righties, some will become Nutties.   Not sure if that describes me now.

BMW Experience Of Old

Those were the good old days,  when true love was not measured in $$$$ and everyone could afford a BMW experience.   Bicycle+Man+Woman added up to dearly cherished heart-throbbing delight for couples entrenched in nourishing biochemical reactions.

Values have changed so dramatically over the last half-century.  In China, one lady made a famous statement that went viral over the internet : “I would rather sit in a BMW and cry, than to sit on a bicycle and laugh”.     Very hard times for guys these days – haiz.

Fortunately, am an old man now, and I am thankful I do not have to contend with parting of hundreds of thousands of hard-earned dollars.  Back then, BMW did not cost me an arm and a leg;  just paid for it with my heart. Hehehe !

Bloat Bloat Sotong

Long before the phrase “Blur Blur Sotong” was freely and murkily squirted everywhere in Malaysia and Singapore,  there was this Sotong Kembang or Re-hydrated Dried Squid.   The fauna component of the famous duo in Sotong Kangkong.

Nowadays we can buy them readily in the markets.  Long ago, we made these at home. It was fascinating to see how a dried squid — thin, flat and hard — expanded and bloated into a rubbery mass double its original size, after soaking overnight in alkaline water.  Amazing, to an inquisitive boy.

Members of the family would relish on that sumptuous treat once the flora complement — kangkong — got into the dish with the addition of the sauces, topped with sesame seeds.

As for me, I always avoided the tentacles — yucks, they looked like lizards’ tails !

Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

We thought so — it just made our humble roti smell and taste like progress. Introducing the classic wire-mesh toaster…

Each slice of bread was lovingly clasped between the two halves of the toaster (each half made from ‘chicken wire’ mesh with a frame), and one had to skillfully control the charcoal embers below, the distance from the heat source as well as the length of time.   Any distraction or slip of hand could turn one’s breakfast into idiomatic toasted catastrophe.

The last time I saw one of these ‘gadgets’ was perhaps 40 years ago.   Am not sure if others have seen or used one in recent times.

Of course with the advent of modern electric toasters, all it takes is to push a button and a lever, and sit tight and wait. No hit-and-miss!

Love Your Wife ? Give Her Opium and Poison

“Guys, forget flowers – that is too mainstream. Give her Opium and once the addiction to you sets in, finish the job with Poison.”

The naive, nerdy me back then – I thought that was the heartless intent !

When Yves-St Laurent launched Opium in 1977, it sparked a huge uproar by the mainland Chinese (the name had ignominious connotation to their defeat in the Opium Wars of the 19th century) – nevertheless it created many more casualties without firing a single shot.   And probably demolished the bank accounts of many a love-struck guy, as the latter-day folks believe in making love and not war.

“Love is a Money-Expended Thing”, haiz.

Not to be outdone, Christian Dior responded with Poison in 1985, to finish off those whom YSL had missed out.   It has been 42 and 34 years (as of 2019), respectively, since these chemical weapons of love appeared.

Unearthly Connections

Oh yes, they seem to be out of this world now, but these two-wire, bayonet-mount connections were in widespread use several decades ago.

In those days, the now-ubiquitous 3-pin power outlets and plugs were unheard of.  There was no such thing as Earth wire or connection.   Electrical appliances (though few families could afford them)  were DIY-retrofitted with bayonet-mount, two-pin plugs (made of phenolic thermosett plastic).

Of course there were plenty of occasions when branching was required, and for such, 2-way and even 3-way sockets enormously popular, coupled with plugs to which the classical Black & Red* twisted cables were attached.

*Note : In case younger folks do not know, Black=Neutral, Red=Live.  Nowadays, ……………..Neutral=Blue, and Live=Brown, Yellow with Green stripe=Earth

Hope this post reconnects many who are still on this earth to some power memories.

Chariots Of Firewood

I came across this photo on the web and it immediately transported me at light speed back to my days in the kampong (and decided to play pun with Vangelis’ 1981 song).

We used firewood to cook our meals and boil our water.

Nearby my house (Butterworth) was a sawmill – called Sim Lim – and my dad would go there once a month to buy odds and ends of timber discarded by the mill.   And then hired the services of a friend who owned a bullock cart, to haul the load of wooden pieces back to our house.  I think the whole package deal was 10 ringgit.

Once the “chariot” arrived, everyone in the family joined in to unload the wood, for later processing.   Those wood the days, of fun – you may say.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

Yes, black was literally the hottest fashion by default during my early childhood days, when firewood was used as fuel in our stoves to cook our food and boil our water.   We had no choice, as we were poorer than church mice, and firewood was the cheapest option.   One bullock cart full of timber odds-and-ends from the nearby sawmill cost just 10 ringgit, delivered to the doorstep. 

Firewood produced plenty of smoke when burned, and  soot particles would coat everything in the kitchen, apart from the two proverbial protagonists — floor, walls,  cabinetry and other furniture, the undersides  of our attap roofs (and probably the inside of our lungs too).  

Surely we have progressed a long way, with gas stoves, and even electric ones.  Our pots now can call our kettles by any colour, apart from black.