Archive for the ‘flashbacks’ Category

May 16, 2005

happy teachers day

The colorful characters that had taught us our life, how can we not remember them ?

In conjunction of Teachers Day that our planet is celebrating today, allow me to quote the jesters that had liven up my life throughout my schooling years.

1) Mr. Lim (alias “Zorro”)
He was named as such not because he looked like a Spaniard or had great skills in swordery. It was because he had a letter “Z” in his initials. As simple as that.

Middle aged, face full of zits as if they’re some organic Braille pricks that read “I’m a jerk”. Everyone back then believed that he was an incarnation of some diabolical being from beneath. Savage and loose headed, he was one of the most evil teachers that I’ve ever encountered in my life. I myself had tasted his “golden palm of paralysis” before… and I could still feel the stinging effect today.

Needless to say, we’re all damn scared of him. The very sight of him loping somewhere in vicinity, would trigger a verbal alert from class to class – “HOIIII !! SHHH !!! ZORRO LAI LIAO !!” (translated as : “Hush !! Zorro is coming !!”)

And there was once he actually found out about his fashionable nick … which he then bellowed out to our class “You think I don’t know you guys are calling me Zorro aa ??” and we kept quiet about it.

2) Miss. Lim
She’s Zorro’s elder sister. Also middle aged, had a wrinkly face of some retired amateurish bestiality pornstar, she basically menaced just like her evil brother. Both bore the similar devilish look… hooked nose, elongated face shape like a witch’s… But what really stood out in her was her voice.

She could be heard from anywhere in the whole block in our school, didn’t matter where she is. She’s just very loud and obnoxious. I don’t know but, I remember I was darn terrified of her because she reminded me of the lopsided villain in the film Rumpletiltskin or something (being a kid, that kind of thing just blew my mind off). Just… when you see something with a look like this? You’ll always have the natural reflex of behaving yourself…

3) Miss *Something* (alias “Watermelon”)
Frankly speaking, I had overused the nick “Watermelon” on her so much, that I totally had forgotten what her real name was. But I’ll remember her as Watermelon if I see her one day alright… because she looked exactly like one. You know… round, rotund and real short… that was how she got her name.

Like a real watermelon, she was harmless alright. She was of no threat to us but somehow, was a fine target of mischief by most students instead. I mean, not like she’s too docile or anything. She actually tried to act tough but, it somehow didn’t work on her. She was just too pouty to be tough and always was (and will be) everyone’s favorite target.

I know it was not her fault to look like that but, hell, what do we care at that age ? The only thing that mattered to us was not to get our sorry ass whipped in school and score as many chicks as possible.

4) Mr. John Lim
He probably was one of the most famous educator in Penang. He found his fame through his absurdness in teaching Mathematics. He would often replace the zero’s with asses and bollocks … skewing the class attention towards the dark side and would later sadistically castigate those who got it all wrong. Some of his infamous preference of torturing his pupils :
1) Smearing correction fluid on their face
2) Scribbling red inks on their shirt or face
3) A hard fingernail-pinch near the thigh (extremely painful)
4) Imposing an infinite amount of leg numbing squat-ups

There was once he walloped one of my sissy classmates till he bled from the nose, and got into trouble when the kid’s parents came to seek for an explanation of what happened. Didn’t know how they managed to settle the score…

5) Mr. Chin
A tall Chinese dude with a military attitude. At one glance, he looked like a roadside hamburger seller. But if you know him real well, you’ll know that he wasn’t any of that sort. If there’s any single word to describe this tall motherfucker (I think he’s taller than Chewbacca… no shit)… the word would definitely be – PSYCHOTIC.

Yes, he had this uncanny fetish of requiring everyone to have a neatly combed hair during his lesson. If there’s any reason for anyone not having a combed hair, would be that the person’s bald. That’s right. Each of us would have to pour an assload of water from our classmates’ water containers and comb our hair neatly before his lesson starts. And then, we’ll have to pray hard that the water wouldn’t dry off before his lesson ends… else the consequences could be dire.

If you happen to get caught with an uncombed or disheveled hair :
1) He would smear some used engine oil on your head
2) He would pull your sideburn till you turn red

There’s no doubt that he was a seriously disturbed individual. If I were to see him again today as an old man… with combed hair or not, I’m gonna make him gulp down a can of turpentine as a payback for his sick deeds.

Tough shits … having to deal with these type of mutants throughout my teenage life. If I were to become a deranged serial killer one day, you’ll all know that these are the people to blame for my fucked up plight. Judging from my condition now, I reckoned it won’t be very long before I would take my first midget victim …

*Licks my sharpened scythe*

Happy teachers day, my teachers. I missed you animals.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 9 Comments
May 4, 2005

nostalgia of something

I can’t help but notice how much our cinemas have changed over the years. What do we have back then ? Let’s go back 20 years from today …

– The cinema was divided into 2 classes. The normal class and special class. Normal class was situated at the ground floor and special class at the upper floor… both facing the same screen. The difference ? You get to watch your movie at a better viewing angle (sloped) if you’re in special class … and for hooligans, they get to spit at the normal class viewers from the upper floor.

– Cost of ticket per movie entry for normal class was just merely 3 bucks. Additional 50 cents to upgrade to special class. But they won’t allow advanced bookings though. To get a good seat, one have to either come earlier to queue up, or you have to have some intimate relationship with the ticket seller. If you’re late, not only you’d get a shittier seat but also have to endure the hot musty air that reeked of perspiration of some unwashed armpits from the crowd as well. (no air conditioning at lobby)

– Foods were allowed in the cinema. Groundnuts, fruits, noodles, steamed corns, meat floss buns, you name it. But the most popular tidbits of them all was melon seed (local name = “Kuaci”). It was fairly a common sight to see melon seed husks being littered all over the cinema floor. Sometimes, unfinished food as well… supplying a rich diet to roaches and rats alike. (yes, we would sometimes see big-ass rodents parading across the cinema hallway like some chingay possession …)

– The cinema seating system was primitively managed by a lady with an attitude, who looked as if she rode a broom to work. No computers or any technological doohickeys. The lady would select seats randomly by referring to the seat plan, and scribble the seat number on some standard tickets … then strike off the ‘used’ number accordingly on the seat plan with her crayon – so that she won’t make a mistake of issuing the same seat twice.

– The seats were extremely uncomfortable and somehow distastefully discriminating for blimps or tall people alike. They’re partially made of wood and sponge. Some even had holes on it due to vandalism, and the holes house a haven for microscopic critters that had been accumulated from thousands of asses through the years. Its smell alone was believed to be strong enough to crowbar an adult whale’s consciousness…

– There weren’t any audio standards like THX, SDDS, KNNCCB, etc back then. The audio requirement was just very simple – LOUD. The louder it is, the better. And I remember that Rex was the cinema (in Penang) that took all the cakes of motherfucking loud audio system. If you’re in for movies like Indiana Jones or even Rambo at Rex, you’d be guaranteed a roller coaster ride inside it…

Although the whole thing might sound like a big bummer to most people today, but back then, watching a movie in such kind of cinema was a damn nice experience. It wasn’t the tidbits, it definitely wasn’t the crowds nor the rats… it’s … something… that words can’t describe.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 17 Comments
May 1, 2005

the mystery of the missing raincoats

Circa 1977. Almost 1978. The month was desolately dark and gloomy. There had been weird thefts occurring around the ghettoish slum … and everyone was very upset about it. No, it wasn’t the underwears or bras this time. But raincoats. Only black raincoats.

The strange phenomenon instigated some grave concern, that there might be some sex depraved maniac out there stealing raincoats to indulge in his kinky exhibition of flashing acts. Or even worse, prowl on unsuspecting housewives… waiting to rape and sodomize them for his own sadistic gratification.
(though it’s kinda impossible because housewives are known to travel in big groups and elicit ear piercing noises that very few could tolerate…)

But nobody could do anything about the thefts – for the purported ‘thief’ proved to be as elusive and cunning as any professional criminal… and more raincoats would continue to go missing without trace. Why only black raincoats ? Why not other priced belongings ? The mystery befuddled even the most veteran residents that had seen everything…

Until one day, somebody saw 2 silhouettes of some midget sized being (wearing a cape) in a dark squalid corridor … prancing slowly staring at each other. Each of them was holding an elongated object … of what seemed to be some kind of glowing plastic sword… and were making hissing noises as they went about … Then, without warning, both would start to slash at each other in a series of feigned sword fight moves, with plenty of exaggerated oral sound effects.


The swordfight would later be joined by another few more cape wearing members, and the whole place would be inflamed with those ‘sword’ wielding fanatics yelling and fighting each other.

Sure enough, upon closer inspection, that ‘somebody’ noticed that those were actually a bunch of kids playing… and the capes they were wearing ? Those were the black raincoats that had been disappearing from motorcycle shacks. Well, what made those kids to have a sudden craze on black raincoats? 2 words :

Darth Vader.

It was the Star Wars fever that had infected the kids. According to my mom, basically, every single kids in our residential area worshiped the dark force back then… and idolized the masked tyrant as god. It was the period where the sales of batteries and electrically powered glowing plastics swords soared like never before. And black motorcycle raincoats as well.

So guys, if you own a motorcycle ? Remember to lock your raincoat up. It will happen again this coming May…

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 6 Comments
April 28, 2005

fling a sandal

Back during my childhood, I depended on no electronics to keep myself occupied. No playstation, no games, definitely no internet. Mom didn’t believe in the myth – that investing money in her kids’ toys would reap benefit for her welfare in the distant future – hence, no toys for me as well.

So, we (referring to myself and my childhood buddies) were basically left without any choice but to solely rely on our creativity to burn some time. Like coming up with our own games. No, I’m not referring to shitty games like hide and seek… or… hop-with-a-leg type… those are for wimps and sick little freaks that look like Michael Jackson. I’m talking about games that :

– are awesome and involve a lot of ass kicking (it’s always fun to kick some other kids asses…)
– require ZERO cost (couldn’t afford anything as we had limited or no pocket money at all)
– could keep more than 20 of us little devils occupied for at least a few hours.

We came up with many of them that fulfill the above criteria alright. But the one that stood out amongst the rest was a game which we fondly called, “Khan Eh” (translated as “Fling A Sandal”) – which was the motherfuckest of all wicked games that I had ever played as a kid. A game that sets a whole new definition of ‘fun’ and changed my life forever (kidding, I added the final phrase as a hyperbole…)

Following would be the details and rules about “Fling A Sandal” (I’m gonna do it in point form here for convenience’ sake) :

Requirements :
1) Minimum 14 players, must be even numbered to be divided into 2 teams. The more players, the better.
2) Each player must be barefooted and armed with one side of their flip-flop or sandal. (this will be their weapon)
3) A cemented space/court as the playground (preferably, the size of a basketball court). Indoor or outdoor, doesn’t matter.
4) You have to be minimum 7 years old to play this game.
5) You’re not in any way associated to the word ‘sissy’ or ‘pondan’.

How to play :
a) Players are divided into 2 teams that oppose each other. One team as “defender”, and another as the “invader”.
b) Flip a coin to decide which team to play as “defender”/”invader”. (or simply select a representative from each team to arm wrestle…The winner gets to decide which role the team wants to play…)
c) The “defender” must first build a “sandal shrine” inside a big circle of approximately 5 feet in diameter (can be drawn with a chalk or something), which is suppose to be the center of the universe. Everything else rotates around it. It is their duty to safeguard the shrine at all cost.
d) To build the “sandal shrine”, the defenders just need to lean 3 sandals on each other in an upright position. May sound easy but, trust me, it requires a lot of skills to do it. Refer illustration to understand better.
e) Once the shrine is up, the defenders are required to stand at an offset of 30 ft away from it and wait.
f) The invaders are then required to ‘attack’ the shrine by flinging their sandals from that same spot of 30 ft offset (the 2 teams should now be standing at that same spot). If the invaders somehow ran out of sandals and unable to strike the shrine down, they lose the game.
g) On the other hand, if the shrine is struck by an invader’s flinging sandal and collapses, both team would then engage each other in battle mode.
h) In the battle mode, each team would have their own objective
– invaders : to go all out trying to immobilize all the defenders. (to immobilize the defenders, just smack/fling them with a sandal…)
– defenders : try to rebuild the shrine without getting killed.
To which, if any of the team achieves their objective, will win the game. (please note that during the battle mode, the invaders are not allowed to go into the shrine’s big circle.)
i) Once the game ends, both team would then switch their roles as defender-invader … and repeat the whole process.

Rules :
– Killing and crying is prohibited. Violators will be pummeled and banned from joining any future games.

So, basically, you’ll see kids running everywhere trying to smack each other stupid. It’s energetic, fun and full of suspense … especially when you’re looking out for flying sandals that may land flat on your face while trying to balance that 3 fucking pieces of sandals to rebuild the shrine.

Kids nowadays only know how to gain weight and being a big pussy…

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 17 Comments
April 19, 2005

“tiu” with a stick

I was chatting with one of the bloggers today when suddenly, a flash of memory began to churn up hot in my mind. It was something important and ancient, that has been tucked in a dark corner somewhere inside my brain. I actually recalled when I first learnt my first profanity. No shit.

Well, actually, I’ve HEARD my father cuss in fancy profanities … way when I was still less than an inch (referring to my prick length). But back then, my mind had not developed enough cells to differentiate between a good word versus the type of vocab which we humans deemed as derogatory. Hence, with the lack of knowledge and short memory span, I never actually learnt how to speak them. So, I would dismiss that as my first time learning and using a profanity. And that means, I’ll have to fast forward for a few more years when I was 7. Innocently, a standard 1 student.

As mischievous and curious like any other kids, I had repeatedly heard my savage grand-aunt cussing on the mahjong table. In Cantonese.

TIU NIA SING AH ! [fuck you something something] — I’m not really sure what it means …
TIU LEI LOW MEI AH ! [fuck you something something] — no idea the latter part of the sentence…
TIU NIA MAH CHOW HAI AH ! [fuck your mom’s stinking cunt !] — this one, I know…

Basically, “tiu” this and “tiu” that (If it’s still not that obvious to you, “Tiu” is actually the Cantonese equivalent of the word “fuck”). There were many fanciful “tiu’s”. It can be used as a transitive verb, or an intransitive verb, doesn’t matter. Nice word – so I thought. That time, I was just starting to learn Cantonese in my maternal family (my mother tongue is actually Hokkien).

And most naturally, the word “tiu” became easily registered in my mind like a magic word – after hearing it being summoned so many frigging times on the mahjong table… but without actually knowing the meaning. (My undeveloped mind somehow thought it was a verb to describe an act of biffing somebody up with a stick… how wrong was I…)

Then came one day, while I was hanging out with the group of ribald housewives at a wet market (I used to tag along my mom to the market when I was a kid), my grand-aunt berated at me for being such a pain in the ass for something I did (which I forgot…), and actually quoted the word “tiu”.

“Tiu lei low mei ah ! Lei ti ko lau hai ka chat !” [fuck your something something ! You cunt spelunking cockroach !]

I immediately lighted up like a bulb upon hearing that word. “I know that word ! She’s threatening to hit me !”. And so, with my newly gained vocab, I shouted back at her (well, in a frivolous manner) “Ngo tiu lei low mei ah !”. Well, I didn’t know its real meaning (even to date !) but I best guessed that it was definitely something good to retort at that mean witch.

That was my first sentence with profanity. It sent my grand-aunt, my mom and the rest of the housewives shedding tears, laughing like sick fucks. I was needless to say bewildered by their reactions. What’s so funny about that sentence ? That was when my grand-aunt regained her composure to ask me a question

“Lei yong mieh tiu aa ?” [what are you gonna use to fuck ?]

And I answered her “Chai lor…”. Which basically means, a stick. To fuck her with a stick. She almost contracted a stroke from laughing too hard. The rest of the housewives suffered from serious cramps.

Later that day, my mom gave me a motherly advice – that I shouldn’t use that word at all. That’s because it’s a bad word and would make me sound impertinent like an uneducated brat. That I should respect old people. Bla bla bla. And that’s how I learnt that it’s a profanity – at a relatively young age.

Is this just me ? When did you cuss your first profanity ? Or the earliest year you remember yourself cussing something vulgar ? I’m opening up the commenting system to survey. (to those who proclaim that they don’t cuss, just tell what you’d do when you’re feeling pissed)

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 28 Comments