Random Solitary Thoughts

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kalamaris' Fables: The Story of the Chicken

Many people take the docile looking chicken for granted. People eat chickens, slaughter chickens, fry them, insult them, steal them and kick them. But no one ever stood by and asked the long awaited question. "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Hmmmm.. that didn't sound right. What with my feeble attempt at jestery by quoting a corny old line which no one finds funny anymore. Anyhow, the real question of the day is, "Where do chickens come from?" And this, not being a hypothetical blog with theories of evolution and philosophical questions on which came first, the chicken or the egg?, I will attempt to explain the origins of the chicken in my own words. Behold the story of Galus Domestica... the common chicken!

Chickens come from a tiny little island (which is no more) called Chicken. Other than that, they are about as ordinary as any other bird you see out there. It's sort of like how people from Canton are called Cantonese and people from Singapore are called Singaporeans and girls from Petaling street are called Ah Lians. But enough of that for now.

Chickens come from a no-longer-in-existence island named Chicken. The primary inhabitants of the said island is of course, the birds we all know as Chickens. The secondary inhabitants are the worms which the birds feed on. No human has ever set foot on that island, and now that it is no longer in existence, no human ever will.

Now, next to Chicken island is an island inhabitated by mostly humans, plus a few cows. The humans had never set foot on Chicken island, mostly because none of them could build a decent boat at the time. But still they lived in harmony and often dreamed of going to Chicken island to see what it was like, sort of like how some of us dream of working in Singapore so that we can finally afford that GAWDDAMN JAPANESE CAR COZ THE FRIGGIN GOVERMENT IS NOT REDUCING CAR PRICES ANYTIME SOON!!! Not that it matters much to those people since they don't have cars back then... lucky bastards...

Then one day, a great calamaty struck the poor denizens of Chicken island. A volcano that many believed was dormant, was suddenly not dormant anymore, and spewed out tons of hot magma, effectively frying the birds of chicken island. During the first explosion, many of the birds which were grazing for worms at the top of the volcano were blasted a few hundred metres to the human island. Those humans who picked up the charred remains of the birds discovered the first roasted chicken.

The volcano continued spewing magma, and for days after that, the surrounding area smelled like a barbeque pit. Finally, the volcano stopped, and everyone thought the worst was over. For days after that, the people of the island next to chicken island celebrated with their new-found food, the roasted bird! (they haven't thought of calling the birds chickens yet).

Then someone had the bright idea of going over to chicken island to catch the birds so that they can have roast bird every day! Everyone thought it was a good idea, so they decided to form a party of the best swimmers (they still couldn't build good boats) in the island to swim to chicken island!

So the day finally came, and dozens of young island men gathered to start the 800 metre swim to chicken island! Soon they were off, and the crowd waited in the hot sun (they didn't have umbrellas back then... nor apparently the common sense to get into the shade) for their return!

When the swimmers were halfway to the island the apparent dormant volcano came to life, again! But this time the blast was so great, Chicken island was totally destroyed!

The swimmers were blasted away and found some many miles away in a strange land called Britain. The birds were blasted out of the island and some landed at the island next to Chicken island, inhabitat by humans. Some survived the blast to carry on the lineage of the chicken. The humans unanimously decided to name the birds Chickens in remembrance of the island which was once their neighbour. After that, they killed every single one of them and barbequed them and ate them.

Meanwhile, the swimmers who were washed ashore were faced with their white faced hosts from the strange land called Britain. They ran away despite assurances from their hosts that they were harmless. They eventually ran back to the ocean and drowned. The inhabitants of the strange land called Britain thought that they were from Chicken island, since they too saw the blast. Therefore, they named the runaways, Chickens!

Some of the birds from Chicken island made it to faraway lands where they mated and produced more offspring. By then, the name Chicken has spread throughtout the land, as the inhabitants of the island next to chicken island finally learned to build boats and made trading and commerce their main economy.

Through time, the origins of the chicken has been forgotten, and through this story, one can only hope that the true origins of the Chickens can be told so that their humble beginnings are preserved forever in digital entries! Long live the chickens!!!

Next time, we'll have the incredible story of the chickens who were blasted out to sea and mutated by the blast. This is the story of... the duck...

Friday, October 14, 2005

The image that looks back from a mirror...

Sometimes, people take things for granted. Actually, people do that a lot more than they are aware of. A whole lot more.

So here I am, trying in my irritating and patronizing way to convince you, the faithful reader that one shall not take too many things for granted. (I know, this sucks)

It all began, like most good but cliched stories, on a dark and stormy night (this was of no exaggeration and holds true for those who were there that faithful night). A friend of mine had an accident. It was not the first time.

All it took was a simple movement that went wrong, executed a bit too hastily perhaps, or maybe just plain wrong. He dislocated his arm. Again.

It was only a few agonizing months ago, sometime in the beginning of the year, when he first dislocated his arm. He went through pain and trauma, but survived both and was back at the peak of his game faster than we all could imagine. So it was ironic in a sense, that things just have a funny way of f@#king up!

Now even as I type this with sweaty fingers while waiting for work to be over so that I could scoot over to the academy to train and muck around and laugh at some posts which I read on someone's blog, said friend is taking pains to walk down the all too familiar path of healing.

But I know, that he will rise again, just as he did in the past few months, and he will be stronger, more determined, and maybe a bit more careful. But he will recover. That much I am certain. For that is the sort of person that I, and probably the rest of friends knew him to be.

And now, time has passed by long enough for me to pack up and leave, and leave I must, for there is laughter to be shared, and images looking back from the mirror to be thought about.

There is, essentially, things not to be taken for granted.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Little Brown Beans...

No one should ever under-rate the potent effects of a good cup of coffee. The bitter-sweet aroma, the brown swirl of foamy bubbles, the warm dark brown texture. The creamy texture of the drink as it flows down your throat.

Such were the thoughts of mild-mannered Kalamari, the boring, nerdy, and sometimes potentially timid alter-ego of our Macho Muscle-bound, Purple and Yellow Clad hero without the cape (the cape was originally there for recognition and as a tribute to the great comic hero creators of yesteryears, but was recently removed after careful consideration following certain issues that were brought up in the recent movie The Incredibles...), as he sits in his half-cubicle in his half-empty office as he drones over his work with half a day left and a half cup of coffee on his desk next to his half finished roll of sweets.

(Darn, that sentence was long...)

It was a long day, as all working days usually are, and coupled with the lack of sleep from playing 'Fable' till three in the morning, Kalamari began to feel drowsy. There are even times when he has found himself staring unseeingly into the screen for minutes at a time. Something had to be done...

And so it was with flash of light (more like an instance of surreal will-power) that our mild-mannered protagonist called upon the services of our hero, MultiPurpose Man!!!

The purple and yellow clad hero without the cape hurled himself into the office and did a forward shoulder roll at a 35 degree angle which propelled him into a leopard stance, enabling him to scan the horizon in a 256 degree radius horizontally and with a base of disable and dismember any enemies he encounters. But since this is not a physics and martial art based entry, it's irrelevent information that is written to confuse the reader. (...) My profound apologies...

Posing in his heroic pose, MPM did a thorough scan of his surroundings and caught mild-mannered Kalamari in yet another dozing fit. So, he did what he had to do. Off to the pantry he went, one hand holding an empty mug and the other straight out the side like a ninja holding a sachet of instant coffee.

He ran with a ninja-like run, in a horizontal line with no bob (many animators would frown at such a run cycle) as his feet carved a soft depression on the office carpet. With dramatic flair, he arrived at the pantry and proceeded to tear at the sachet with his teeth.

All it took was a quick jerk of his head and the instant coffee powder flowed freely into the mug. With lightning quick reflexes, he emptied the last remnants of that wonderful mix and slipped the mug underneath the hot water faucet.

As the boiling water fell in a cascading torrent of steam, the aromatic smell of coffee floated up to MPM's nostrils. "No, I must resist! This is for Kalamari!" he says to himself. "Hmmm.. maybe a sip is okay..."

Then, with the same display of agility, MultiPurpose Man picked up the mug and took a hot scalding sip of coffee. The heat momentarily burned his tongue, but the smell and taste of the coffee soon enough abated his suffering.

With a deft flick of his ankles, MPM was once again next to the desk of mild-mannered (and sleepy) Kalamari. Then, with an even quicker display of deftness (if there is even such a state... or word for that matter...) he disappeared with a flourish into the abyss of Kalamari's mind, never to be seen or heard by his alter-ego, the mild-mannered Kalamari.

As Kalamari once again awoke from his trance-like state, he smelt the smell of aromatic coffee. The smell itself was enough to wake him up a bit. But it was not enough. He saw the mug and wondered where it came from. But somewhere in his mind, he was quite sure where it came from.

He took another whift of the aromatic flavour coming up in thin strips of vapour, and took a smooth long gulp.

"Ahhh..." he sighed in approval as he placed the mug down. He was no longer sleepy. and he was feeling uncannily pepped up for work. "Ah well, no one should ever under-rate the potent effects of a good cup of coffee" he said to himself as his fingers once again found the buttons on his mouse and the shortcut keys on his keyboard.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It all goes back to Monday

The nagging sound of the alarm clock woke him up from a peaceful slumber. Not that it was all that peaceful to begin with. He had woken up earlier with a start, wondering if he was late for work.

But he wasn't. He was used to waking up before the alarm rang, and now he couldn't really go back to sleep, knowing that he might miss the alarm when it rang for real. But he didn't. And he woke.

And he found that it was Monday again...