Monday, April 18, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes..

A first-grade teacher had 26 students in her class. She presented each child with the first half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder. Their insight may surprise you...

1. Don't change horses --- Until they stop running.

2. Strike while the --- Bug is close.

3. It's always darkest before --- Daylight Saving Time.

4. Never underestimate the power of --- Termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but --- How?

6. Don't bite the hand that --- Looks dirty.

7. No news is --- Impossible

8. A miss is as good as a --- Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new --- Math

10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll --- Stink in the morning.

11. Love all, trust --- Me.

12. The pen is mightier than the --- Pigs.

13. An idle mind is --- The best way to relax.

14. Where there's smoke there's --- Pollution.

15. Happy is the bride who --- Gets all the presents.

16. A penny saved is --- Not much.

17. Two's company, three's --- The Musketeers.

18. Don't put off till tomorrow what --- You put on to go to bed.

19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and --- You have to blow your nose.

20. There are none so blind as --- Stevie Wonder.

21. Children should be seen and not --- Spanked or grounded.

22. If at first you don't succeed --- Get new batteries.

23. You get out of something only what you --- See in the picture on the box

24. When the blind lead the blind --- Get out of the way.

25. A bird in the hand --- Is going to poop on you.

26. Better late than --- Pregnant!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amoi Oh Amoi....!

Before you begin, please be informed that this story has nothing to do with a certain amoi in a much talked-about sex tape. It's just another amoi, the homegrown kind and not your much-maligned (rightly so!) "China Doll" specie.

Day/Date/Time: This morning Venue: A bead shop in One Utama Shopping Complex Key Players: Makcik Kama and Amoi (thereafter referred to as MCK and Amoi [what else?] respectively).

MCK: G'Morning. I want to restring my beads.

(Of course that sounds pompous and rude; it should have been a more courteous "I would like to have my beads restrung, please." But imagine what kind of headache 'restrung' would have brought. As it were, MCK was already in for an interesting exchange with just plain 'string'... but MCK's well ahead of herself..)

Amoi: Aa'ah..?

MCK: I was here yesterday and spoke to an older woman. I told her I have a pearl necklace that I would like to restring into a bracelet, and she said to bring it on. So I have it with me today."

Amoi: "You mau aper...?"

MCK: "You tak paham itu English ka? Kalau saya cakap BM you tau ka? Ini saya ada satu necklace pearl punya, saya beli di Beijing. Tapi saya pakai tudung tak guna ada necklace, so saya mau buat bracelet. Sekarang you paham?"

Amoi: "Hor, hor, tapi saya tatau you mau aper. You tak suker ini design ker? Mau tukar aaa?"

MCK: [With a BIG sigh]..."Itu perempuan sikit tua semalam siapa? Saya ingat saya tunggu dialah lagi senang."

Amoi: "Itu boss hor. Dia nanti petang ader. You datang laterla haaa."

MCK: "Okay, thank you" (and took her leave double-quick before angin puspus arrived).

NOTE: What on earth did these people learn in school for (at least) 11 years when each of those years involved English as a core subject?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Makcik's Freebie Shoes..

Makcik Kama had a run-in with a couple of salesgirls today and found, much to her delight, that there was still some spunk left in that tired, old body of hers.

This is what Makcik Kama thinks: people who work in shoe stores should never open their mouth willy-nilly, lest they find a shoe or two shoved into it.

That was precisely what happened today (err, sort of), when Makcik Kama dug her heels in. Those girls stood no chance at all, for 'Bigfoot' Makcik Kama (size 11 and counting) left them quaking in their pretty size-6 sandals.

It's been a while since Makcik Kama sparred with tradespeople. She was no troublemaker, believe me; just a quirky (you are allowed 'cantankerous', 'daft' or even 'barmy') old lady who had never brooked any nonsense from anybody before and was not about to now.

And it all started innocently enough. Last week Makcik Kama's journalist daughter gave her two promotional vouchers from a well-known local brand with stores all over the country.

The vouchers were presented to journalists as event favours for covering the official opening, last week, of the company's latest outlet somewhere in the city.

One voucher was good for any pair of shoes, redeemable for free. The other was a discount voucher offering 30% off the shelf price. A commendable gimmick for some instant publicity; unfortunately one marred by inefficient execution, as Makcik Kama was to learn later.

The daughter didn't quite take to this brand (a tad old-fashioned, said she), and so gave the vouchers to Mum, well knowing it was Mum's favourite make (because it was one of the few in town to carry ample sizes).

As it were, paddlefoot Makcik Kama always rued shopping for shoes. She hated having to pop her head into a shoe store with that oh-so-predictable question: "What's the biggest size you carry?"

Whilst the designs of this particular brand were none too elaborate (definitely miles apart compared to Jimmy Choo's and the rest of the best), its solid leather court shoes, slippers and sandals in shades of grey, brown and black, were definitely to Makcik Kama's uncomplicated (bland?) taste.

So off went Makcik to Ampang Park, accompanied by a visibly bored Pakcik, who got roped in as her driver for the morning. No way was she going to brave Kuala Lumpur's downtown traffic by herself.

As Makcik went imelda-marcosing within, Pakcik sat behind the wheels of his ancient Merc, rolling his cigarette (Old Holborn/ Golden Virginia tobacco, ZigZag rolling paper), just like a true-blue supir.

In the store, Makcik Kama found herself facing an unexpected battle, after spending time picking, trying and deciding on the right shoes.

As she presented her vouchers for the two pairs that she had chosen, the cashier shook her head (a tad imperiously, Makcik Kama thought) and said: "We cannot accept these vouchers because we have not been informed about them."

Makcik Kama could feel her angin rising. Her face felt hot to the touch. Looking at the cashier squarely in the eye, she asked flatly: "Are you telling me that you are not going to honour your own vouchers?"

Back came this response: "Kak, we really don't know anything about this promotion. Recently we had others coming in with similar vouchers and had declined them too." She didn't have the courage to meet Makcik's steady and steely gaze, though.

That was when the stubborn mule in Makcik Kama broke free. "Let me tell you something. That's not my problem but I am not leaving this store until I get my free pair and my 30% discounted pair. You go figure what you want to do."

Plonking herself in a nearby chair, Makcik Kama waited, lips pursed, handbag primly on her lap. About the only thing absent was the rapping of her knuckles. Makcik Kama was determined to see this through.

Sensing that the old woman really meant business, the cashier summoned her colleagues. Everybody got antsy. A flurry of activities followed. There were calls made; the vouchers were faxed to someone somewhere.

More calls, on the office phone and cellphone. An oldish guy (perhaps the manager/supervisor) also got into the act, scrutinising the vouchers (and the words thereon) as though they were some valuable documents.

Ten minutes passed. More huddles. More whisperings. Oldish Guy spoke on the cellphone, again. In Chinese this time (it was in English previously). The girls spoke Malay throughout. A "1Malaysia Moment" it was in that shoe store.

Makcik Kama observed with much amusement, her eyes resting on the two pairs of sandals left unattended on the floor. They had begun to look pathetic (the sandals I mean, although the girls themselves looked none the better in comparison).

Fifteen minutes later, Oldish Guy came around and said, somewhat sheepishly: "It's okay now. We have sorted everything out. Just pay RM80 for the discounted second pair; the first is free."

As Makcik Kama walked out two pairs of shoes richer, she thought she could hear a collective heave of relief emanating from within the confines of the cashier desk...