Monday, March 30, 2009


Faith is something that drives you to doggedly do something in spite of the odds. I guess the 13 Independent candidates in the Bukit Selambau By-Election have plenty of faith. After all, nobody goes into a fight intending to lose.

My post today will not be about politics or running dogs. It is about a real dog and about faith.

This is 'Faith'

This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which need to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first owner also did not think that he can survive. Therefore, he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'.
By this time, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him.
She is determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfing board to let him feel the movements. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him to stand up and jump around. Even the other dog at home also helped to encourage him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward. After further training in the snow, he now can walk like a human being.

So folks, whenever you think that the world is coming to an end and things look lost, think of Faith.

Thanks to Dato' Abdullah for emailing me this story.

Monday, March 23, 2009


If you have been watching National Geographic Channel or other channels on Astro you might have seen various ads on the forthcoming Earth Day 2009 on March 28th. On this day, you are urged to join million others to switch off your light from 8.30pm to 9.30pm to reduce Global Warming.
Although I have read that some Malaysian corporations such as TNB and NST are supporting this effort, I am not sure if Kuala Lumpur is joining 680 other cities worldwide by switching off all the city lights on March 28. You need not wait for Kuala Lumpur to make her decision. You can switch off your own lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on that night.
What do you do for one hour in the dark?
I believe that electricity will still be available so TV can be on. Just do not tune in to NatGeo during that hour. They will be suspending transmission. How I wish all other channels follow suit. So what else can you do?
If you are somewhere close to a beach, go take a nice walk. If you are in the city, it is not advisable to take a walk in the dark. The city nowadays are dangerous even if it is not dark. So stay home. Tell a story or listen to a story or many stories. If you have someone to cuddle with, by all means cuddle up. That would make an hour go by pleasantly.
Now you tell me what else can you do for one hour in the dark while helping to save the earth.

Monday, March 16, 2009


My youngest daughter Mimi was warned about the evils the city can bring. She was told to be "More absorbent". Of course Mimi knew that the speaker meant "observant".
This kind of brain fart is known as malapropism where a wrong word that sounds very much like the right word is used with comic effect. The root word is the French "malapropos" meaning "inappropriate" or "inappropriately". Richard Sheridan named one of his characters in his play "The Rivals" Mrs. Malaprop with lines like these:
"He is the very pineapple of politeness."
"as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile."

Long before "The Rivals", Shakespeare had a character called Constable Dogberry in "Much Ado About Nothing":
  • " shall comprehend all vagrom men..." (i.e., apprehend, vagrant; Act 3, Scene III)
  • "Comparisons are odorous." (i.e., odious; Act 3, Scene V)
  • "Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons." (i.e., apprehended, suspicious; Act 3, Scene V)
Thus another word for malapropism is dogberryism.

Malapropism is used to great effect in TV. Archie Bunker (remember him?) in "All In The Family" made many people laugh when he said:
"I've gotta consecrate myself on this newspaper."
"Patience is a virgin."
"A witness shall not bear falsies against thy neighbor."
"groin-acologist" for "gynecologist"

and more recently:
  • "Why not? Play captains against each other, create a little dysentery in the ranks."
    (Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos)
  • "There's no stigmata connected with going to a shrink."
    (Little Carmine in The Sopranos)
  • "The ironing is delicious." (i.e., irony) - Bart Simpson, after finding Lisa in detention
  • "Because I like you, I'll even do it pro boner." (i.e., pro bono) - Bart Simpson agreeing to help Seymour Skinner with his love life.
Of course there are unintentional malapropism in real life:
  • "Oftentimes, we live in a processed world, you know, people focus on the process and not results." (George W. Bush)
  • "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." (Dan Quayle)
  • "I really dig Hannibal. Hannibal had real guts. He rode elephants into Cartilage." (i.e., Carthage) — Mike Tyson

Closer to home, a popular singer when asked what was her best facial feature answered "My nipples". (She meant dimples)

My favourite is the answer a friend gave us when asked why he goes to the toilet so often:
"It's my photostat problem lah!"

Now share your favourite malapropism, dogberryism or acyrologia.

Monday, March 09, 2009


I am not sure whether the owner of this signboard did the right thing or whether he did things right. Robinson would be amused.

I am sure that many of you are not too amused by what is happening in the country lately. Let us take an example.When the "insulated box" was decreed, fishermen all over the country were far from amused. Consequently, when the price of fish went up, consumers were not amused until the Minister rescind the ruling, which is the right thing to do. Whose idea was it to specify the fish container in the first place? Is it terribly wrong for fishermen to transport their catch in barrels, plastic bags or wooden crates? They know best what is best for their livelihood. Maybe the authority concerned thought that it is the right thing to introduce new methods. Maybe the intention is good. They forgot that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the fishermen gave them hell indeed. Lessons learnt I hope. Do things right. Think thoroughly. Research and research again. When you think you did the right thing, stick to it. Do not flip-flop.

How do you know that you are doing the right thing? First, you have to believe that what you are doing is right. Then you convince others with facts and figures that you are on the right track. Sane and reasonable people will agree with you and you will have less problems afterward.

You can think of many other instances where people in the administration are not doing the right thing or not doing things right. Once upon a time, the government thought that people involved in village handicraft should also be taught a bit of bookkeeping to keep track of profits and losses etc. In one village in Sarawak, one old Dayak lady was reluctantly inducted into one of the courses. At the end of the course, the course leader asked her whether she understood what "debit" is. This was her reply:
"I know Debit. He is my second grandson. His brother is Michael."

Monday, March 02, 2009


Mr. Crabtree found a way to cope with tough times by opening a topless coffee shop, Read more here.
Apparently, the venture is successful. Mr.Crabtree did not wait for any economic stimulus but stimulated his customers instead. Would our kopitiams follow suit? I doubt it. I would not want to drink my Hai Peng coffee and bite into my roti kawin after catching sight of the waiter's armpit hair and there are laws on public nudity in our country.

So let us leave the topless stuff to clandestine bars and karaokes and let us see how the stimulus packages can help our kopitiams, other businesses and their customers (which include us).