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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Death of Santa Claus

Adults lie a lot to kids. Whether it's to keep them in control, or to get them to behave, or to get them to bugger off, it's usually done for their own good... I hope.


One of the myths that adults perpetuate amongst their young is the Myth of Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a wonderful re-invention of Coca-Cola. Although he doesn't sell Coke to kids, he keeps them in control. If you're good throughout the whole year, then he'll come in through the chimney & drop you a present on Christmas Eve. If you're naughty, you ain't gettin' no nothin'.

This simple principle works fine for young kids. But when they grow up & start to learn reasoning, the theory breaks into pieces.

1) What constitute as being good? At what point do you drop down to bad? What about not very good & not very bad then? Does that mean you get a cheaper present?

2) If you're being good for the whole year, & then on Christmas eve you do one tiny little bad thing, would that forfeit everything good that you've done? If that's the case then a lot of children, maybe everyone of them won't be gettin' nothin' for Christmas.

3) Where's the chimney in a Malaysian house?

At this point you might think what an intelligent little boy I was, to have thought of all these complex reasonings at such a young age. But to tell you the honest truth, I was not that advanced at all. I never got to No. 1 or 2. I cracked my head already at No. 3.

I guess that's why Santa gave me & my brother a helmet that Christmas.

I must have been around 7 years old. I got a Racing helmet & my brother got a police one. That was back in the old days when there was no F-1s & the Police were not a rock band.

Yes, they were exactly what we wanted cos we saw them in a shop & it was kinda like the in thing. My Dad was with us at that time. Hmm... very suspiciously suspicious. And our house didn't have a chimney.

That was the year I grew up, cos I finally realised that Santa's never gonna come to Kuching cos there's no chimney around.

But whatever it was, that helmet beats a paper hat anytime.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Raising Kids with The Thumb

Adults use a range of parenting strategies to control kids. Whether it's to shut them up, or to get them to behave, these strategies are purportedly for their own good. The typical warnings usually sound like this:

Mom: Don't climb the stairs! There's monsters up there! They bite bite! Scared scared!


or like this,
Mom: You'd better behave yourself. Look! The auntie there scold scold! Scared scared!


The basic rule of thumb here is FEAR. Strike fear into their hearts, and they shall be under your control.
But come to think of it, it's hard not to wonder how that child will turn out in later years. I mean, under all the barrage of fear inflicted upon them, wouldn't they grow up to be scared of a lot of things like dark places, & will stay away from any public places like the supermarket & cheap sales usually frequented by tons of aunties?

But all the same, I read that parenting is more of an art rather than science. There are no exact measurements & no right or wrong techniques.

Many a times when the child is rolling & doing breakdancing-like flips on the floor of Toys r Us, you'll know that the only thing that he's gonna get is the CANE. There's lots of situations like this where logic doesn't work with them anymore.


Well, I'm not one who's qualified to give the right advice on parenting. I can confidently assume that if you throw a kid to me, I'll be directly under their total control. They will spin me like a yoyo & ride my back till it breaks.

Hey pops. Move it!

I don't know about other kids, but a looong time ago there was this thumb technique which worked for me everytime when I was faced with my little bratty brother.


The thumb is actually a very interesting instrument. It's used by hitchikers.



It's also used in Roger Ebert's film reviews.



And the emperor of Rome used it to indicate life or death for the gladiators.


I never knew that a single thumb could be that powerful. With a single flip upwards (you're going to Heaven), & a single flip downwards (It's Hell for you kiddo!), I had my little brother on remote control. He responded well cos he wanted to go to Heaven real bad.

I know he looks as harmless as a little puppy. But back then, this little tiger was no puppy. Anyway, in the end he grew up ok.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nerd at Three

When you see me digging out old photos & putting them up on this blog, you'll know that I'm running out of things to write. heheheh.

Well, I've always thought that I could use this blog to sort of document my life & my world. Hopefully, one million years from now, some paleontologist will find this blog after it turns into a fossil, & Ah Beng & his World will live on! Vive la Beng!

This is a picture of me at three. That's my mom, and my cousin. I was celebrating my 3rd birthday.

Look at the keropok. They're d*mn huge at that time. They look so happy-go-lucky without a care in the world. But today, they have shrunk down in size due to the modern day stress.

But that's not what I'm getting at. I can still remember - I was turning three on that day, and being over-eager about my new independence, I did my first hair comb on my own. And that's how I ended up looking like a rainbow head, forever immortalised in this photo.

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