Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sometimes you can’t tell the truth and expect to get away with it.
That I found out one day when wifey dragged me off to one of those crammed, free-gift-given-away sales talks in a room filled to the brim with housewives and some uncles (dragged there kicking by their wives, I presume) eager to get some RM3 free gifts, only to end up paying RM1000 for some health-promotion goods which probably cost 1/3 that price in the country of origin. Of course they tell you, you can’t get it for that price outside because nobody can confirm it and also because they’re not sold in local retail stores.
Yes, luring eager beavers into a trap. It seems like a great way to go into a sales pitch without having to go door to door like they did years ago. Then, you could only talk to one person at a time, and then only if someone’s willing to open the door for you to go in (and maybe, rob them). This way you speak only once, 3 or 4 times a day, to a very willing and attentive audience.
There was I listening to this guy telling us that wine can taste sweeter after he poured some into some glasses and placed them on a plastic mat (with a Japanese sounding name) which looks like it’s made of polyethylene material and cut off from a side-wall of a fruit container. I can’t remember how much each mat cost.
They then dragged a few drinkers from among the audience out on to the stage. I happened to be sitting too close to the aisle. Getting away was not an option, not that I wanted to. I was eager to find out the result of that little ‘experiment’ they were doing. They lined us up and got us to taste a shot of the wine each poured straight from the bottle. It tasted like cheap normal red wine.
Then they handed each guy a glass of the wine they’d earlier left on the ‘magic’ mat. I took a sip. I wasn’t convinced. I took another sip. They guy asked me if there’s any difference. I said, ‘No.’ He moved on to the next guy. He liked what the guy told him. The bloke got a free gift and went back to his seat. All the others followed suit saying the same sweet thing.
Then he came back to me. I gulped the rest of the wine down.
‘Well’, he said. ‘What do you think?’
‘OK, maybe it’s a little sweeter…but…’ I lied half-heartedly. He interrupted me and gave me an equally unconvincing smile and a free gift and I left the stage.
Wifey gave me something like a ‘what-were-you-trying-to-prove?’ look. I returned her a ‘you asked for it’ grin. She must have made a decision there and then.
Needless to say, I never had to attend such sales talk after that.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A blacksmith wanted to teach his apprentice the skill of forging a piece of steel into a tool. He placed the steel into the furnace. He instructed the young man to get a hammer, while he grabbed a pair of tongs.
Then he said to the apprentice, "To make sure the timing is just right, you must watch me carefully. When I nod my head, hit it with your hammer."
When the steel was glowing red and hot, the blacksmith carefully grasped it with his tongs, laid the piece on the anvil. Then he waited. At just the right moment, he looked at his apprentice and nodded his head.
The young man raised his hammer and knocked him on the head.
Moral: Be careful how you give instructions. Some people would just do as you say.
An old neighbor who loved to live alone became invalid. They sent him to a nursing home. A plot of ground out front used to be his garden with some trees growing alongside flowers and other bushes. One of the tree species seemed to grow so thick and fast, the front of the house almost became a jungle. The old guy's daughter came and tried to cut down the tree. She couldn't manage to remove the tree stump. She sent her husband the next day to finish the job.
He finished the job alright. He cleared off everything including a nice healthy-looking lime tree. With the job done, he went off.
Later, the daughter came around again to check. She screamed. She couldn't find the lime tree. She had wanted him to remove only the tree stump.
Moral: Be careful how you give instructions. Some people would 'just do it'.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sorry, if anyone missed me (ego lah...).
Home connection line down for almost one week and office connection also screwed up about same time. So (hands shaking and shivering for a connection lol...). I don't even know how long this cyber-ISA is going to last.
Blessing in disguise, I got to watch 'Road to Perdition' I've been putting off for the last 5 months... Da Vinci Code bored me because I've already read the book. No point repeating...
This message is brought to you on a borrowed laptop someone brought to the office. Which means maybe someone in IO dept has a grudge against me...(?) And I thought I don't have enemies...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A Chinese expression. That's what's happening nowadays. And throughout these long hours of this dark Malaysian night, this has been going on: This Apa-Cerita guy says it for me.
Let's just pray the dawn comes peacefully. I hate rude awakenings.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I sat down at the town square
And lighted a candle for someone I admire
He's gone to jail for the sake of a Mongolian girl
Who died of a malady called persistence
They cremated her with C4
To erase her existence
This is only a wax candle
I sat there feeling the warmth
Of the evening breeze
To the sounds of the traffic
But the atmosphere was about to freeze
And I wondered
Where’s everybody we’re supposed to meet
I’m trying to remember when was the last time
We had a hero we could worship?
The naysayer had nary a good word to say
But called him a trouble maker
He’s a Prince who walks with commoners
They charged him with sedition
There are too many seditious people
Who’d try to prevent them
From running the country as they pleaseWithout a care for the citizens?
Friday, September 12, 2008
I'd just come downhill and paused under a rubber tree to pick up a couple of seed shells. As I was straightening up, a fellow hiker and his wife came by and he said, "Aaah, you've just reminded me of those days. It's been a long time since we played with that..."
My thoughts sent me back through the years gone by when we used to clip the 2 shells together to form an object like a propellor. Then we'd hold the propellor by the sharp ends between thumb and a finger and blow into the hollow of one of the shells. The thing would spin around like a real propellor. That was fun.
I grabbed a few more of those shells before I walked away. There's still a 'little girl' back home who hasn't seen nor played with one of our olden-day toys.