Monday 29 September 2008

Professor Tuholsky's Facts

This morning I was clearing my old files, as part of my resolution to clear some , if not all of the flotsam and jetsam of my years. In my 60s I am very conscious of my mortality and am adamant that when I kick the bucket, friends and family will not be burdened by the awful task of sorting out my junk. But mind you, 2 days' ago I found, tucked in an old wallet, a Straits Settlements One Dollar Note, dated 1st January 1935, a gift from my spouse during our courting days. Some male birds bring their future brides twigs and straw to build a nest. I get this One Dollar Note and a collection of Hindi records from the 60s featuring Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmud, Hemant Kumar. No greater love has man ....... Bless his cotton socks!!!!

Anyway, from 1978 to 1984 I was teaching at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Teachers' Training College, Brunei and I had loads of time to read, not much from the local papers, but I did rummage through some of the books I discovered in the College's Library. And I found this. I typed it (on the typewriter) and have kept it all these years. The paper is yellow and brittle so I decided to transfer this on to this computer thingamajig - a gadget I learned to use only 3 years ago. You can tell what a novice I am from the layout of this blog, very spare and spacious. I'm still trying to put in a sitemeter and that gave me a headache. I've been hounded by Din to insert this. I've been hounded by Mahzan to start a blog. In fact, in my autumn years, the youngsters enjoy pushing me around - it's revenge I think for all the bullying and nagging they received from me long, long ago.

So, here is Professor Tuholsky's Facts by Christopher Logue

Once upon a little planet,
A nice provincial planet set
Deep in the galactic sticks,
There lived an interesting thing
Called Man.

Man had two legs and two
Convictions: one he called Luck,
Which he believed in when things went right;
The other he used
when things went wrong.
This was called Religion.

Each man had a liver,
A heart, a brain, and a flag.
These were his vital organs.
On these his life depended.
Doubtless there were men alive
with only half a liver,
Some had no heart,
But a man without a flag?
Impossible !

Many admired human character,
But it was split. One half was
known as Male -
And did not want to think;

The other was called Female -
In whom thinking was discouraged.

Yet both had this in common:
They were full of fear.
They were afraid of
cancer, debt,
Old age, loneliness, and
But most of all they
feared their fellow
Thus justifying the name

Man was political.
He lived in groups.
Each group detested the
next group.
O, there were many detestations !
And the chief of these
was called Patriotism.

Although he had two
Man rarely listened, and,
if he did,
He only liked to hear
new promises,
estimates of his own
value, congratulations,
Above all, expressions of

Of course, some men
were different...........
revolutionaries, saints,
But these were few,
And they were quickly
Shot, or poisoned.

Next week we study


Kak Teh said...

Salam, I have all manner of things that I collected, some brought from home and many more as a result of years of hoarding. You're right, we dont want to leave things for people to sort out after us. I've still got a piece from my father's blanket that I brought with me before leaving malaysia. I wanted to bring that smell of Curve Cut tobbacco that lingered on his blanket.

Have a good Hari Raya Ms Hamid.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Kak Teh. We try to cling on to the past and things of the past. It's touching how you've kept and treasured a piece of your father's blanket. I still keep my late brother's 2 shirts - somehow I cannot let go.But keep on hoarding, you're not hurting anyone,

And a Happy Hari Raya to you too

profit said...

Dear Kak Ngah,

Looks like I'll be joining both of you Kakteh too inkeeping ild things for the sake of rememberance.

profit said...

Dear Kak Kgah,
Dah tua2 ni apa lagi yang ada?melainkan barang2 buruk sebagai ingatan.Orang2 tua selalu berpegang pada tradition,sebab,tenaga dah tak ada nak lawan ngan yang muda.So tradition lah yang jadi kekuatan mereka nak lawan yang muda.