Saturday, July 17, 2010

If we build it, they will come (eventually)

Quite a large group of soccer legends from past days of glory showed up on our campus field for a game. It was reminiscent of 'Field of Dreams', though it took more than three decades after we had built it for them to come. Some names like Abbas, Rafi and Tong Hai were familiar as were their faces, but others like Samad, Rajagopal and T Pathma had greyed beyond recognition, except to the more senior of us.

Greyed out or not, the old boys could still pull off an exciting match. Ok, not the "rah rah" kind but the they've-still-got-the-moves kind. Attacking football all the way, though admittedly it was this end that got attacked the most.

Abbas of the Shiny Pate put in more than his fair share of goals. Here he casually taps in #2 with more to follow. I can't believe he was found guilty of "match fixing" back in those days. The way he played, he was too hungry to let any goal opportunity pass him by. Can you say, "McCarthy witch hunt"?

Our campus team comprising staff and students got to play a half against the All-Stars' not-so-senior side. It'll be a day they will long remember with pride. Tales will pass on to the next generation how grandpa shared a game with the National team, some of whom won the M-League and M-Cup, iconic moments in our local sporting history.

Our campus team didn't fare too badly though the action was still camped mostly in our half. 

Wayne will never forget this moment when his crush crash with Rafi resulted in the two having a brief roll in the grass together. Wayne may never shower again.

And there goes the final whistle. The score... er, was anyone keeping track? Guess the biggest winner was our campus team for just having played the game.

Thanks for the game, All-Stars! Let's do it again sometime!

And one more item of note: though the duck appeared serenely gliding over the water, few would have seen the duck's feet furiously paddling like mad to keep it afloat. But that isn't really my story to tell...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who can it be knocking at my door?

The TV was too loud to ignore the ringing of my doorbell. I'd just discovered a slew of new HD channels on cable and was fully enjoying the full benefits of digital media when the interruption occurred. Without a chance to pretend no one was home, I had to go see who was calling.

As usual, another salesman-type, this one purporting to represent the Community Chest collecting funds for wheelchairs for the disabled. It all looked quite legitimate, with serialized receipts and the name of the Community Chest in bold on some small print of a document he was showing me through my firmly barred front gate. Does the Community Chest really come around door-to-door soliciting donations? Do they afterwards make the donor write their particulars down on a form so that an "official" receipt can be sent later?

There were too many unanswerable questions and my closed mind was not prepared to accept long explanations from an itinerant supplicant outside my door -- "Family Guy" (in HD; but there isn't any real point to watch an animated series in HD, is there?) was on and I really wanted to get back to my sofa ASAP. Plus, being recently suspicious of charity appeals, having been bilked of my goodwill once too often, I politely declined and sent him on his way.

But what if his case was a genuine one? What if I had turned away an opportunity to help someone who really needed it? I find it so difficult to tell on a case-by-case basis any more and I am no longer as eager as I was to give the benefit of the doubt now. I blame society.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't try this at home

Have you heard Corrine May's new song in celebration of NDP 2010? It's called "Song for Singapore" and May renders it beautifully in the vid above.

But as an NDP song, I'm afraid tone-deaf people like me can't sing along. Though the lyrics are cliched familiar enough for a heartlander (and the avid Sesame Street viewer) to identify with, the rhythms and melody are difficult to follow unless you are as talented as she is.

National propaganda songs are best composed with tribally basic repetitive beats you can count with the fingers on one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hand. They are akin to nursery rhymes that stick in your head and irritate you until you sing them aloud to get them out of your system. They are so basic you can sing them out of tune and no one would even notice. Thus, they are memorable even against a rational citizen's wishes and are hence iconic.

May's new song, sadly, should come with a warning label: "This propaganda tool contains extreme euphony and should only be performed by a trained professional. Kids, don't try it at home."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Generational gap closing fast

Nephew, Eugene, got married yesterday. We never knew him as "Eugene" before, always referring to him by his more ethnic name. Sigh, still not used to receiving wedding invites addressing June and me as "Uncle and Auntie", especially when the Nephew is already an established career professional and not THAT much younger than us.

Dinner was at the Stamford Ballroom at which the clan shared three tables. Youngest nephew was at my table, or to put it more accurately, under my table where he decided to spend most of the evening. His primary activities included dropping cutlery and utensils on the floor and for a while he prostrated himself between the aisles in some undeclared protest.

Sometimes you wish they'd grow up faster; but before you know it they're already married and gone. Cue "Sunrise, sunset"...!