Friday, September 16, 2011

Mr. Aro Left Us A Number

The day our Arowana died I felt a hollow somewhere inside. 

Seems like when we share space with another living thing, we become familiar with its life and habits and we develop a kind of emotional attachment to it.  That's why I refer to him as Mr. Aro.  He's more than just a fish.  He's a Golden Arowana.  At times I wished he could bark and wag his tail, perhaps like a Golden Retriever.  But all I got was his enthusiastic dashing around, expecting me to feed him whenever I took down the container of fish food.

That morning when I raised the shutters, opened the glass door and stepped into the shop I had an awful feeling.  Mr. Aro no longer swam over to greet me, waiting eagerly for his breakfast. 

I'd become accustomed to his eye-balling me and following me around every morning as I moved about switching on the lights, the air-cond and the PCs. 

But that morning I looked at his tank and my heart sank.  He was floating deadly still, pale looking, tail down and head hanging behind some pipes and cables in a  far corner of his tank.  I didn't switch on his tank light.  (I wanted to take a picture but couldn't bring myself to do it).

As I was extra busy that day, with Jeff and wife away attending a seminar, I went about attending to business first.  Then I sent Jeff a message saying, 'so sorry, the fish is dead'.  He was too busy to read my message, so the next call I got from him, after finishing work discussions, I told him. 

He called later and told me to wrap it up in plastic and keep it until he came back from the seminar.  He wanted to have a last look.  After all, he was the one who raised Mr. Aro from a fry of 3 inches.  That was 10 years ago.

I wrapped Mr. Aro in plastic, went out and bought half kilo of coarse salt, 2 bags of ice and packed him in a box and left the box in the back of the shop over the weekend.

The strange thing was, a few days before Mr. Aro died, he did a curious thing.  He thrashed around in the tank like crazy.  Fearing that it might have been a short circuit, I switched off the power supply to the circulation pumps and light.  (Of course, there's no such danger.  Fishes can't get electrocuted, I was told).  In the dimness of the tank I noticed a 4-digit inscription on his left gill plate.

Well, I'm no punter.  I don't gamble.  Besides, most of those 4 digits can be a number ranging from 0 to 9.  Your guess is a good as mine.

R.I.P. Mr Aro.  Wish you a better existence in the big river in the sky.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crooners contest & some imitations

A niece made a RM100 donation to the Sin Min School building fund.  But since she was busy with other obligations I got to go and listen to the top crooners in this North Zone finals of the singing contest.  All 20 contestants were equally good with their performances.   The songs they chose to perform ranged from the 50s to the 80s.  Nothing interesting for the younger set.

Somehow they seemed to rush through the contest with one singer coming in immediately after another, not unlike a fashion show.  The judges probably had a stressful time.

But I think they didn't make the show any better by bringing in some imitation Teresa Tengs (while the judges were doing their arithmetic).... all 4 of them.  One of them sounded so convincingly like Teresa herself and even looked like her when she was in her 20s. 

3rd photo shows part of the official (but boring) cheque presentation ceremony with all the Datuks & Datins sauntering all over the stage.

They collected RM828,000 for the fund.  That, I'm told was just to buy the vacant plot of land.