Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rabbit Parents

hi all!

I know that Zhebin has broached this subject before but I am pissed. Really really pissed.

Pls don’t have kids if you
1) Just like the sex ie. You cant wait for the condom to be worn before you got down to business.
2) Are Too young ie. You are still beholden to a Principal who sent you for detention for dying your hair.
3) Are Poor ie. You live off your parents and what you make can only feed you alone or less. Worse, you are unemployed and have sex with your gf/bf to pass the time.
4) Are seeing a married man.
5) Aren’t prepared. And this counts in all those who are pro-life ie, die die also don’t abort the child, must keep it becos of religion, moral, ethics etc.
6) Are violent. Having a kid won’t make a man start thinking pink elephants and tune down his anger, ok? Having a kid also won’t solve your depression in a marriage going downhill OR make him come back. If you can think like that, you’ll need to see a counselor. You are obviously more disturbed than you think.

You know why I’m suddenly talking about this? Becos of the Saturday edition of the Straits Times. The whole day started innocently enough with lil’ sick me watching Jimmy Neutron and Spongebob on TV, then bad choice, I had to pick up the papers and start reading the back issues.

Pages and pages of kids being introduced. Their background, their poverty, the lack of space in the house, the lack of privacy, the lack of education, the lack of parental guidance, the lack of love, the lack of food.

I can go on forever: the lack of a table to eat and do homework, the lack of a quiet environment, the lack of communication, the lack of everything that a child should be provided with.

Perhaps as you are reading this, you may think that I’m being too much. You may think that while some kids do have less, they are being brought up to understand that money is very important. If you are thinking like this, then pls go back and read the papers, I have no time for you.

The thing that really gets me furious, that really got me mad, was the recurring action the kids make in every one of these articles:

They load themselves with lots of tap water to tamp down their hunger pangs. During recess, during dinner, when they sleep.

Pls tell me this isn’t right, that no one should have to do this.

Because I’ve done it. And stupidly I did it because there were chocolate chip cookies in the bloody fridge but I didn’t want to brush my teeth again while preparing for bed. So I drank water. I remembered how the water bloated me and rolled all over the tummy and made me toss and turn in bed. i subsisted like this for a few yrs, when somehow at around 1030, my stomach will start to rumble.

And while the thought of putting anything in my mouth makes me faintly nauseous after all the water, it doesn’t stop the hunger and the feeling of emptiness. I hated that feeling and reading all these articles brought these feelings back to me. To know that these kids had to do it, not by choice but by necessity and having to do it every single meal-time irks me.

I hate feeling upset over social-economics, I hate feeling angry over stupidity. Because why these kids have to be read about in the news is due to their parents’ stupidity.

Example no. 1 and this is not the exact one taken from the newspaper, it is certainly like a summary of most the stories combined:

Mum marries dad and have 3 kids. Mum divorces cos dad beats her. Mum works to bring those kids up. Up till here, I was thinking, fine, wow! Brave woman! Then…mum meets another guy. Guy becomes step-dad. Then mum and step-dad have ANOTHER 2 kids. Now five kids squashed in small flat. Mum stops working to look after kids. Then step-dad loses job. Becomes violent. A family of seven squished in a small flat filled with anger matches and fights.

Example no 2:

Mum married Married man and had 4 kids. Married man went back to his country to his own kids and wife. Mum works as menial labour to bring them up. Met another guy, married him and had a MORE kids. Step-dad became abusive and they divorced. Last count: 6 kids,1 parent and no money.

Example no. 3:

Parents hold proper jobs like sale personnel and admin. Have 3 kids, but all foist onto the grandma. Every month, both parents rather spend on buying new handphones, pay for their extravagant phone bills, get gadgets and MP3 players and CDs and watch movies, rather than pay for the babies, diapers, milk powder, clothes and their education. Get subsidies from the gov’t.

After reading about these articles, I have come to a few conclusions and I shall be nasty about it:

These parents are uneducated. I don’t mean education as in go to school and get your Ns and Os and As paper. I mean education as in condoms, contraceptives and the simple mind exercise of actually bringing yourself to think a bit further than your current situation. To them, life is a tunnel-vision, they cannot see the horizion, they only see 1 pinprick of light. They don’t plan what to do and how to do and where to go, they just go with the flow, just drift along. Spend now and heck the future. Oh dear, I’m pregnant. Again. Let me cum in you, we won’t be so suey. Mum, I love him and I want to marry him. In any case, there’s always divorce.

These parents don’t love their kids, they love having them, but they don’t love them. If you love your kids, u’d want the best for them, at the expense of your own happiness, yes? Then why is this kid having to drink tap water just to fill his tummy and yet watch you balloon every single year to give him a brother or a sister who will only fight for his food and make him drink more water so he can give up his share? Why must there be so many kids???!!! Most couple I know stop at 2 or 3 and they are already strapped for cash and these people earn 2-5 times more already, so why doesn’t the mums from these examples just stop producing? They are like, like, rabbits!!! They can’t stop rearing!

Don’t give some crap about the joy of motherhood, the look of these cute babies when they were young.

Pls see that each and every one of these children are not like pets, they are not bunnies! They have a life span of 60 and above and are entitled to at least have 3 square meals, a proper education, clothes on their back until 18, and this is only the logistics. How about the emotional needs? To at least let them have something to be proud of? To pick up their heads? A form of self-respect? Like ‘I may not have books, but my mum stopped her handphone subscription just so that we have the money to buy newspapers everyday/every other day/every weekend.’ In case you don’t know, a monthly subscription of the Straits Time/Lianhe zaobao/ hand delivered to your home at 7am in the morning is $23/month, less if you just buy off the stands everyday. Or ‘I don’t have $2 for pokemon cards, but I’ve got $2 for recess.’ Rather than, ‘ay, buddy, you have money to spare, my dad used the last dollar to buy toto.’

if you can't provide for them, then DON'T!

Finally, I’m going to say something really bad right now. It’s bad because it’s my honest-to-goodness opinion and because nobody likes to be told the obvious. If nothing new is done and no effort is made, then poverty literally begets poverty. Poor people birth more kids than they can handle. This is absolutely inherent in all the examples in the newspaper and in this entry, baring the one example where poverty is a result of a fatal accident or illness of the parent.

If one is poor and one has just 1 or 2 kids, then things would really be less taxing, won’t it? Compared to 4-6 kids? In fact, another article in the Times has another example like this: Dad and mum have 1 kid. Combine income, after CPF, after house loan, after ultilities, household expenses etc etc, enough to get by. Then couple wants to have another kid. Now got two kids. Dad tells mum to stop work and rest. Income cut by one-third and family member increase by one-third. That's half the pay for per member of the family.

At this point, things would have gotten worse (I truly believe) because this couple wanted to have FIVE kids, but heng heng, they signed up for this Home Ownership Scheme where, in order to enjoy $50,000 off their HDB loan, they must agree to stop after 2 kids. In fact, it is legally binding only if the mother went for ligation to tie herself up.

Can you not see what I saw? The gov’t itself believe that poverty is perpetuated by breeding more than one can care for and that poverty itself, breeds more than it should. The whole deal is in 2 parts. Why does the gov’t give this scheme to low-income groups and not to high-income groups? Why ask us to have more kids and give more babies and still have this scheme to stop low-income groups from having more? Why not tell high-income couples to stop at 2?

Because low income couples tend towards birthing more babies and more babies by low-income people increases the poverty line and create more poverty-stricken adults.

If you still want to argue, then think 3rd world countries versus Japan and Europe.

Everyone loves to hide behind words like ‘stereotyping’ and point accusing fingers, saying that not all examples are like these and that there are others who have successfully emerged as winners through poverty and hardship. Of cos there’s always a hero in every category. Of cos there is always the winner in all these examples.

But I am talking, not about them, but about the normal, the majority, the 99.99% of the rest of those water-imbibing kids. I am talking about the kids who need help, who cannot but feel terrible about themselves, whose tummies rumble even when it’s packed with water! I am thinking for them!

So never never ever ever have kids when you are poor! only have kids when you are truly prepared! Prepared meaning a proper shelter, a nest of savings wholly for the child, insurance and RESPONSIBILITY. Don't let your kids be bunnies!



Monday, May 29, 2006

24 weird things about me?

hi all!

tagged by Ollie on this:

Actually I never think much at all thought about myself so much, nor have 24 weird thing that bears writing on paper. I do in fact, have weirder frens though.

1. I hit 55kg when I was just in pri 4 and only 1m tall, bullies used to play dodgeball using with me to squish smaller and lighter kids.

2. I was a self-serving bitch in primary till sec 2 school who didn’t have any frens. I am the original kiasu/kiam-pah kid featured in i-not-stupid. I believed that jack neo used me as his muse.

3. I use to read Shakespeare for leisure. Yes, I am also a smart-ass then. My all-time-favourite is ‘taming of the shrew’.

4. I use to listen to celtic music….like riverdance…and actually watched Yanni’s concert at the acropolis on TV and cried.

5. I have bigger thigh circumference than my own hubby. As much as I want to believe it is true, he does not have chicken claws for legs…

6. I look like a boy so much that until I was in sec 1, I routinely used the men’s toilet whenever the female ones are too crowded. That occurred until even my dad got uncomfortable that I would spring up behind him and make him lose concentration that he ordered me never to appear in a male toilet hence.

7. when I grew my hair longer and looked a bit more on the right side of the gender race, the HK customs refused to let me pass after seeing the old pic in the passport and asked me why have I got my brother’s passport in my hands. I was so embarrassed and held up that I told him to please note the moles on my face and check they have the same orientation as the passport photo. He scolded me and ordered me to change my pic when I get back.

8. I am really dirty-minded. The first thing upon getting internet was to check on how to get pron undetected.

9. I am really dirty-minded. The first thing upon knowing about an online book company that caters to SG was to check if they have erotica.

10. I am really dirty-minded and like all dirty-minded beings, I’m the last to really know what I’m missing. In fact, although I tried to find pron on the internet, I still didn’t know about how sex was done until I saw the educational video in sec 2.

11. When I found out about it, I screamed.

12. Whenever I cut my nails, I’ll always always forget to cut my right index fingernail until I have put the cutter away and washed my hands.

13. I was a da nai ma puo-ba in JC, that in itself is not a weird thing, it’s the not-knowing-wat-happened-since that is.

14. I had successfully lost weight through 2 different diets last time and am proud of it. One was the milk diet, where u substitute all your liquid intake into low-fat/hi-cal milk and drink around 4-6 glasses of it everyday. Eat normally still, mind you.-2 weeks-->2 kg. but then, it maybe because I’m lactose-intolerant. The other is the water diet, you literally drink at least 2 liters of water everyday, no change to diet, 3 weeks--> 2 kg. but since I’ve never liked milk nor water…I stopped already. But it worked!

15. I am admittedly most enamoured of Terry Prachett and his books. I still have yet to get my ultimate wedding present of all his 28 (and counting) titles in sealed, mint condition. I have read all of his books at least twice, if not 5-6 times.

16. I don’t have 24 weird things about myself.

17. Oh yes, this is one of my most boring entries, but that’s not weird either.

Does anyone wanna contribute to more weird things abt me? Esp from frens? Ahem….

Akk (sick like Zhebin…)

ps Jaschoc, I have the entry for the meme but i don't have the laptop with the doc. so i do this first. paiseh.

‘What good is a god who gives you everything you want?’


‘It’s the hope that important. Big part of belief, hope. Give people jam today and they’ll just sit and eat it. Jam tomorrow, now- that’ll keep them going forever.’

-Albert, Death’s manservant, explaining the concept of humanity to his boss in Hogfather, Terry Prachett.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Green Comer *koff*.

Hi all!

You know you are in big trouble when at least 3 of your blog entries are related to your handphone. So far hor, the adventures I’ve had with my Motorola L6 have been in the following sequence:

1) Choosing between a damn chio chio Nokia or a really san-por L6. It was the fight between being superficial (nokia for 300++) and being miserly (L6 for 8). I guess the decision was easy. I rather be an ugly miser with loads of monies than a super-chio spendthrift spending my own money….of cos if there’s other ppl’s money to spend, then I might not have written so much about my handphone caper in here….*long suffering sigh*

2) Letting my san-por L6 do a 6-storey bungee jump without bungee. Enuff said, the heart can only take so much.

3) Having to realize that the fricking minute I took an itsy step into the fricking office, my handphone now become ‘emergency calls only’. Because of chui-kueh (now sadly defunct, not him, the blog), I am not allowed to swear here, although I actually think he already knows all the 10,000 swearwords in various dialects and foreign language and even the extra 300 from ancient texts hidden buried under the fallen nose of the sphinx, so I shall say mother-choujidan-ing jidan-er, or fricking fricker or extra-chou-jidan-ing jidan-er or even chou-fricking-fricker-jidan-ing-jidan-er.

I believe I am in a position here to make all handphone owners cradle their phones and kiss the CustomerServiceOfficers regardless of all the bad blood you’ve spurted over anything remotely connected to your communication device and that is this:

At the very least, if I
- kena get my cellulite pinched by the photocopier which I’m illegally sitting on with to find out my plunking surface area. (I find that doing it without pants will give a smaller surface. Really.)

- kena get my hand stuck in the printer while trying to steal change the print cartridge.

- Kena face burnt and cut by the PC screen when the moniter blew up due to opening too many windows of hot scalding pron EXCEL spreadsheet.

I can still call 999, 911, 995 on my handphone and let the Home Team crowbar my butt off the feeder (with gloves for their protection.); unravel my ribboned hand (multi-coloured) from the rollers; remove the shrapnel from my pimply face (or leaving it as an improvement. Rubber gloves. Thickness 3 mm.)

HOWEVER, and this is where u rejoice that such a thing should happen to me so that it will not happen to you, thanks to statistical probability, is that while all corners lets me call Home Team for pranks during break time, 1 eerie spot in the room not only has no ‘emergency calls only’, it has ‘no service’ half the time and ‘no sim card detected’ the other half.

Now imagine that spot (jidan jidan jidan!) to be my cubicle.

Yea……u can all French kiss your friendly phones and the walls of your office in deep appreciation that they are holding hands of reception.

So now I am currently still holding on to a skinny, post-mortem, post-trauma handphone, sitting alone in the Bermuda Triangle right under the nose of the green umbrella.

And so the entry today is about the coming of the green man (hur hur). To my delight, an urban myth has been answered during his coming (hur hur hur). I mean, I never really seriously asked if all employees of the orange/red/green companies have to have a orange/red/green subscription for their HPs respectively, but its actually true. All green ones subscribes to green, red to red and so on.

So imagine again that I called the green company who sent a green man to come (hur-okok stop) and get some surveying done to find out if there’s really some missing patches of green. He was 15 min late in coming (snigger) and when he found me, told me he had being using that 15 min trying to find out where I was.

With his green phone.

I didn’t even have to explain anything and he already found the cold lonely spot I’d been sitting for months. In any case, I wasn’t mentally capable stringing any words together after realizing I am looking at the cutest guy on the block at that point in time (a very easy feat actually).

‘Ma’am, I’m now going to find 5 more spots of non-activity, so that we are able to contact the higher powers to start acting. You know where I’m coming from?’

I shifted my eyes downwards before realizing it’s only English and hastily skittled them up and

‘Yes yes, *koff* I know. Would you like me to come with you?’

Oh Gods. Behind my placid eyes, the angel in me was on his knees begging that I’m hopefully the only gutter-brain in the office, if not the world, while the rest of me was trying to make me break out in chuckles. While the innuendo flew pass his head (heng ah!) into the horizon, the eventual constipated look must have warned him some.

‘I’ll be fine doing it alone.’

‘*koff* OK then. Enjoy yourself. *koff koff*’

With a wierd look, he left me stuck in a coughing fit.

Suffice to say, it was all too easy to find 5 spots of non-activity in the whole area, my own spot being the worse. The green man himself look slightly sheepish and kept saying he himself also very paiseh over this very valid obvious hole on the canvas of the umbrella corporation. He had finished his surveying in 10mins flat and didn’t need any of his 007 tools from his impressive suitcase.

Nah, he just walked around the whole room and looked at his phone.

3 days later, I got a call from them saying that the ‘building has rejected their enhancement proposal’.

That, if you aren’t aware, is the euphemism ‘we offered to correct the problem but your company refused to pay.’

So…..I am back to square 1.

Jidan jidan jidan….

Thank goodness I’m leaving this horrible place soon.

PS. For the record, the green customer service is really good actually. At least they entertained me all the way and are unfailingly polite while I ranted and raved and cried and simpered. The problem isn’t exactly with them. Guess it takes 2 hands to clap.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It's official! I'm moving...

...to a new job!

Because of the following reason:

I'm a ghost in there. my mail still gets shuttled to Lost and Found cos they still don't know i exists. I don't get welfare emails sent to me becos of the same reason. for the longest time, I got my salary by approaching Finance for written cheques cos my staff ID isn't ready. I got no immediate employer whom to report to or be taken care of. I'm constantly fighting my own battles to get a measly increment promised to me and HR refuses to talk to me (via phone or email!!!). Worse, the susperiors listens with righteous indignance to my predicament, and instead of helping, say, 'we are behind you! go Fight!' Shall I just say that they are the ones who agreed to increase my pay in the 1st place? my contract is a measly 1 year and when they renewed it, it's only for another year and it's exactly the same as before. Hello, I'm sorry, but I need to point out, wtf I study so fricking much for if it wasn't to get more monies? I'm fine if I get employed on a low deal because I'm fresh entry, but at the very least, pls recog my further studies and my actual conferrment when I've recieved it on my new contract.

And all of them say, 'well, if you aren't happy with the conditions, then don't renew your contract.'

Oh yah, what arrogance.

And so I didn't.

so when 1 of the more clueles superiors knew about it, the following conversation occured:

'excuse me? you are leaving? why didn't you tell me? how do i care whether you gave a 9 week notice, what are we doing to do when u just hightail off like that? Yes, i know you didn't resign, you just decided not to renew, but you never told me your contract only 1 year! you could have said and I would have made it a 2 year contract for you, no big deal!'

incidentally, the one who said that? he was the guy who decided to MIA from the panel of interviewers during my application for said job. during then interview, I asked for a 2 year contract and they say they coudn't. so how about giving you an increment come the new contract? then u'll promise verbally to stay for 2 years. so no increment? no verbal promise of 2 years. sorry. in any case, it's a blessing in disguise the contract only 1 year, so they cannot bug me for anything, cos I did not tender an resignation at all. heng ah....

so now, I'm off to greener pastures in a few month's time.

hur hur hur....one up ur ass, man.

But of cos, not burning my bridges....I shall miss my colleagues here, whom have been actively keeping my precious secret of sourcing for another job from the superiors. I know if I leave, they'll be doing all the extra work, but they still encourage me anyway.

I am extremely blessed.

Thanks you guys for not hating me, but a promise is a promise is a promise. no increment? no stay.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Treasure of the world

Warning: Long entry. Proceed at risk.

Once upon a time, there lived a King in a faraway kingdom. He was a fighter, this king. Everything in his life, he fought and won them. He waged battles to increase his land and his coffers until his kingdom was the biggest and the richest among all others.

The King was so much a fighter that he could never be still. When he wasn’t trying to expand his lands, he went on quests to search for all the oldest and beautiful artifacts to add to his mounting collection of war trophies. At the same time, his people loved and respected him for the fairness he dealt in all things and for his strength and thus they made good the land that he won for them.

And then there was thus more money crinkling in the coffers and more treasures, gems and diamonds in the castle keep. He had the rarest old silks by the bale which ancient production techniques were long lost. He owned the largest ruby in the world, taken from the eye of the Snake God in its temple filled with, till now, manic followers. He slept on pillows filled with the feathers of phoenixes died and reborn.

The king, it was touted, was the owner of all the treasures in the world.

But the King was not happy (of cos, I think you figured). He always felt he needed and wanted more. In the middle of acquiring country A, he was planning a hostile take-over in country B. He went out of his way to acquire all the treasures in the World, but he’d only feel that minute of intense joy when the last enemy threw down his weapon or when he held an exquisite work of art.

One minute, and the fleeting excitement will leave him hungry for another conquest.

When the King finally conquered the last state in the whole world and made it his, he left his men happy and contented that their final ordeal is behind them and went alone to rocky cliffs. On the needle shores of his newest conquest, he fell to his knees and wept in deep sorrow.

Your Highness….

Startled he wiped his eyes quickly and looked around.

Your Highness….

He was sure it was the wind echoing his name.

Why do you weep so, whispered the Wind.

The king felt small in the presence of the wind, which can be as gentle as a breeze or as terrible as a hurricane. He felt compelled to answer the omnipotent entity.

‘I am not content. I have everything I could possibly desire but I desire none.’ The King confessed in a low voice.

You seek but you see nothing, said the Wind. You fought your wars without Just cause. Did you think that this world was made for you to possess?

‘It must be so because I have united all lands under me, I possess all there is!’ The King was angry. He felt he had not been taken seriously.

‘The world is mine. Everything you see, it is mine. All the treasures in the world, Mine!’

Do you now, laughed the wind. And suddenly a large gale whipped and crashed the waves against the cliff where the king stood. The King swung his sword this way and that, but of cos, it did not work.

How about, challenged the wind, the treasure of the World?


I bet you don’t have that, laughed the wind again, causing small pebbles to blow into the king’s face.

‘What is this treasure of the World? I have never heard of it.’

You’ll not know it till you find it, your Highness. And once you find it, you’ll be happy.

Hope tinged the King words. ‘You have a cure for my sorrow?’

Never will you want nor desire more, it will complete you.

Thus said, the wind stopped blowing and the sea grew dead calm. It was gone as quietly as it came.

And the king, full of hope that he can be happy, went back and tidied up his states. Once he had appointed all his ministers and assigned all his duties and kissed all his wives, he disappeared to set off on a journey for this mysterious treasure of the World.

It was to be the beginning of a decade search.

The king back-tracked and retraced his steps. Traveling alone, he journeyed to all those lands he had fought and won. Everywhere he went, he found new things to see, smell, hear, touch and taste. Once he saw these conquests as, well, conquests, but gradually he begins to discover that the world was so much more than something to be gained, won, and then tamed.

Some places (like X, Y and Z) were so foreign that it did not care about who was governing them, much less notice a change occurring in the monarchy. There were some places where the news took years to reach and the people who lived there thought nothing of politics and war. In one, only the four seasons and the endless fields of vineyards and small red or white grapes kept the peoples’ interest. In another, only the monsoons and the endless fields of saplings in knee-deep mud and the pureness of husked rice occupied their attention. In yet another, only the half-year of sunshine and the endless cold icebergs and the trawl of silver-scaled fishes filled up their lives.

He was tolerated as a ‘nice young man’ in these parts, although it was generally agreed laughingly that he was a complete dullard on everything.

He had asked them about the Treasure of the World (with a capital T? You sure?), but seriously, and they told him so, if there is such a treasure call that, they’d have changed its name immediately. But while they could offer no help as to the real honest-to-goodness so called Treasure of the World (and here, they’ll roll their eyes), they did, however, offered their opinion what they thought is The treasure and welcome the strange man with the funny accent to it.

‘Have a drink?’ asked the X-ians.
‘Have a bowl?’ asked the Y-ians.
‘Have a bite?’ asked the Z-ians.

And while the King would always say, ‘I need to get going; I need to find my treasure.’ Nevertheless, he would always stay for a little while longer just because.

Many a time does a recurrent thought intrudes on the King: that there were so many different beings in the whole world, and they all behaved and thought differently. yet they bleed like him, fall sick like him and given the choice, walked on 2 legs and sleep lying down. A mirror of himself multiplied a gazillion-fold and with each copy occurs within itself an mismatch, a change, a difference. The King was astounded and learnt new things everyday, the type of grapes grown, the name of different grains, the difference between 2 identical fishes. But most of all, he learned to appreciate. And relax.

So the quest became longer and longer. The Treasure of the World seemed less of an enticement with each year. Like an excuse, he used it to open up their hearts to him (after rolling their eyes at the name). It was the same every time, he’d ask them and they tell him it’s a terrible name (terrible terrible!), before proceeding to announce what they think it should be and introduce it gladly.

And so in a blink of an eyelid, 10 years had gone by. The King had since traveled to all his kingdoms but realized he had barely scratched the surface. During then, there were several manhunts to look for him, but the drawings of him, oh how he guffawed! All wore a crown and a set of chainmail. It is as if the royal painter, who had known every single curve and precious stones on his circlet of gold and velvet and had recognized every dip and dent of the steel chink of his chain, had had a sudden attack of amnesia trying to recall the king’s face. It is as if the essence of himself had been built under his crown and armour and that once they were exchanged for peasant clothes, he had morphed into somebody else, the kingliness in him that everyone recognised had been borne off by his appearance.

One day, the king once again found himself at the edge of a cliff over a rollicking sea, admiring the horizon of sunrise. Sometime during the recent months, he’d heard that the kingdom had finally declared him dead and stopped all searches. His eldest son would be taking over the running of the land and under the well-meaning hands of his ministers, would be groomed as the next king.

Which is all very well, thought the ex-King, but suffered a twinge of homesickness at that thought.

Hence he faced the sea, knowing this is where the wind was most easily spotted.

Cupping his hands, he hollered, ‘I have been to the 4 corners of the world and back but I have not found this Treasure of the World you have spoken of. No one knows what it is and everyone thinks it’s something else.’

‘My desire to possess it drove me, but although I still do not possess it, I now desire it not.’

The wind did not comment but the ex-King felt the breeze picked up.

‘You have said that having it would complete me. But I now feel complete without it.’

A hollowness in his ears greeted him, but the wind remained silent.

‘You said it would cure my sorrow, but now I have no sorrow for it to take away.’

The waves begin to climb higher as the wind grew stronger and whipped around him. The King tried again.

‘I have not found it but I am happy. I am content!’

And a huge wave from the suddenly turbulent sea reared its head and crashed a foot from where the ex-king stood.

‘But I need to know! I need to know what this treasure is!’

Then jump! He heard the Wind spoke. The wave rose under the draw of the Wind and froze itself like a tendril of finger, beckoning the king.

The giant sized finger waved at him and the King, for all his heroics, felt at once terrified by the strength of the wind and by its erratic temper.

He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and leaped. The finger wrapped itself around him and melded back into the sea. Again the sea immediately calmed and the wind continued on its way, laughing silently.

A burst of cold salty wetness hit the king’s body like the shock of a cough sweet he once took from a medicinal villager.

Once again, the wind had left him with cryptic words. That thought persisted until he realized that while he had been busily trekking the lands and mountains, he had not searched the seas.

Perhaps the Wind had decided to let go of subtlety and hustled him into the cold wet blue instead.

He floated and drifted through the currents and asked the schools of fish the same question. But of course the fish had no concept of treasure, being that gold and silver did not fill their tummy. Although they did direct him often to the many shipwrecks drifting through eternity with their skeleton crew.

The king despaired. He really wanted to go back onto the land, but when the anatomical water enclosed him, he had grown gills and breathed water. When he tried to climb ashore, he started gasping and his lungs started burning. His face turned as blue as the ocean when he finally gave up and accepted that he had, if temporarily, become a fish with 2 legs.

He regretted his curiosity. The Wind was right. It knew that the king wasn’t truly as content as he felt. If he was, he wouldn’t have asked to know the answer to what he had been searching for. The horrible thing is, is that he felt that he was on the verge of discovering it just when he was summoning the wind but had taken the easy way out by asking.

‘I’m in this way over my head.’ Said he and chuckled at his lame joke.

Just then, an octopus as big as the king lumbered up and settled beside him on the deepsea coral. For once, someone had approached the king instead of the other way round.

‘Mmm…excuse me…’

‘Yes?’ said the king.

‘I have a problem…mmmMmmm.’

‘I have been searching for something for quite a long while…Mmmmm…could you help me?’

‘Please don’t tell me you started out being human.’ The King’s heart grew cold.

‘Oh no no, been a squid all my life….’

He relaxed. ‘Ok, what?’

‘Mmmmm….I have been looking for something called water. Do you know what it is? Water? Only that no one here seems to know.’

‘Why!’ the king swept his hands around. ‘All this is water!’



‘What, the corals?’

‘No! You can’t see it because you’re in it!’

Suddenly, the ex-king's head snapped up and his brow cleared. Like a hurtling train, his past experience for his whole life rushed by, like a series of snapshots.

His mum, his dad, his first horse. His men, his wife, his kids. His mornings, his noons, his nights. His love, his laughter, his anger. The sunrise, the sunsets, the stars, the moon. The horizon, the breeze, the rain.

The wine, the rice, the fish.

He started laughing and ignored the octopus (which was ignoring him also, so happy it was whirling like a UFO), great big gulps of laughter that peeled his insides. At once, the water that had magically not affected him began to make him uncomfortable. His gills abruptly disappeared. Half gasping and bubbling with joy, he stroked with strong arms till his head popped out the water and he could breathe again.

'I have it! I have it!' He shouted it to the bright blue sky while bobbing in the waves. And did the ex-King laughed and whooped in laughter at his own stupidity and cried tears of joy that he was given the opportunity to possess such a great gift.

And the wind, invisible but always there, looked on as the ex-King swarm back to shore and returned to his beloved kingdom. It watched as he officially retired and handed his elder son his crown (whom he buried in the garden) in a big grand ceremony. It watched when the king sent men to upgrade the villagers of X, Y and Z, who while happy that somebody had come to fix their dripping roof, was nevertheless unsure who exactly, is the king now?

(Oh aye? Oh, him. He was a nice man, but a complete dullard. We 'ad to teach him everything. Looking for Fool’s gold, we told 'im. He must have discovered finally that our wine/ rice/fish is indeed the Treasure and have rewarded us for our wisdom. Thank you, my man. Incidentally, there’s a patch over there you’ve missed. Yup, over there. You're welcome. Want to try a little of our Treasure?)

And the wind would watch as the old king stand on the cliffs to watch the horizon and the sunrises and the sunsets and hollered its name, thanking it for wisdom everyday. Sometimes he would bring his wives and sometimes the new king. And while the wind never answered anymore, it would breezes to swept the old king in acknowledgement.

And Wind agreed that while the old king was a complete dullard, he was nevertheless finally, a happy one.


AKK (alive and happy)