Archive for the ‘Humour’ category

Numerology

March 31, 2013

We heard the other day that someone named his son ‘AAAbhishek’ because he wants him to be first in everything, including the attendance register.

This is a dangerous precedent, no?  Opens the door to complete chaos.  Allow me to demonstrate.

I think if my son were in that kid’s class, I will legally change his name to AAAA, just to mess with this AAAbhishek’s father.

I will mess up the teachers too, because I will change only the spelling, not the pronunciation.

‘Okay, welcome to the first day of class.  Time for attendance.  What the heck?  The first guy is a battery?  Quadruple A?’

My son puts his hand up defiantly.  ‘No, ma’am, I am not a battery, although I do get that a lot.  It’s just written that way, my name is pronounced Pramath.’

‘But, …’

‘Yes, Ma’am, English is a funny language.  Surely, you know that, being our English teacher and all.’

Now, you know how competitive our schools are, no?  Very soon, the entire attendance register looks like a practice sheet for the letter A.

‘A’

‘Double A’

‘Triple A’

‘Quadruple A? What the heck kind of attendance register is this?’

‘A^5’

‘A^43’

Unfortunately, there is no option of saying anyone’s name anymore because of all the silent and hidden letters.

This numerology business is really blurring the lines between ignorance of the language and plain ignorance, no? I am not sure how some arbitrary rules ascribing arbitrary numerical values to letters dictate what happens to your life.  That is just plain ignorance, but now you have to start butchering names to make them fit your messed up scheme.

‘R-a-a-w-e-a-e? Wow, that’s a beautiful name, but I don’t think I have ever heard it before.  How do you say your name?’

‘Um, Ravi, okay?  Jerk! Never heard it before, my aaassssss!’.

And ‘shop’ has become ‘s-h-o-p-p-e-e’.  Now, what the heck is that all about? Shop-pee, come on, there has to be some limit.  Unless this is a urine bank or a urinal store where you can sample the goods, I don’t see a justification for this spelling.

One night, for whatever reason, we came across this song from Unnaipol Oruvan with Shruti Haasan and this guy B-l-a-a-z-e. After the whole Ravi thing, I thought it was numerology at work once again, and assumed that his real name is Balaji, but apparently …

… apparently, he really means it and wants to be called Blah-zay. Who woulda thunk, eh?

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Preview of Coming Attractions

October 10, 2011

Screech!

‘F***ing Idiot! F***! F***!’

‘Ahhh!’

‘What an idiot!  He could have killed us.  What a moron, I didn’t see him coming out from behind that other genius with the high beams on’

‘You said IT!’

‘What?’

‘You said like the baddest word there is in the whole Universe’

‘Which one is that? And Universe is a bit thick, no?’

‘You said the F-word’

‘Did I?’

‘Yes, you did! YES, YES, YES.  THREE TIMES!’

‘Calm down, little man. How do YOU know about this word anyway?’

‘My friend R. told me’

‘And whom did he learn it from?’

‘From the others in class’

‘So, people use this word in class?’

‘Well, some do’

‘How about you?  Do you use it?’

‘No, I just know it, I keep it in the knowledge bank’

‘What else is there in the bank?’

‘Well, I know how babies are made’

‘Really?  Umm, I am afraid to ask, but how?’

‘The egg gets fertilized to form one cell; this cell multiplies a few times, forms the embryo; the embryo then multiplies several times, forms hands, legs, organs, and finally the baby comes out in, like, 4-6 weeks’

‘It takes a bit longer, more like 36-40 weeks’.

‘Is that a long time?’

‘You should ask your mother that.  I must say though that you seem to know an awful lot for a 9-year old’

‘Yeah, that’s nothing. I also know the capital of Tuvalu …’

‘It has one? Sounds like a south-Indian breakfast dish’

‘Ask me’

‘Okay, what is the capital of Tuvalu?’

‘Funafuti’

‘That’s pretty impressive’

‘What else do you know?’

‘I know why that girl S. kicked my other friend S. in the MP’

‘What is this MP?’

‘You don’t even know what MP is?  How do you get to be so big without knowing this? You really don’t know?’

‘Really’

‘Main Point’

‘Oh, sure. She kicked him in the MP; why?’

‘Because he used the baddest word in the Universe on her’

‘I guess he deserved to be kicked in the gonads, then’

‘Go-what?’

‘Oh, no, nothing’

‘Was that another baddest word you just said? I am going to tell on you’

‘How come you don’t show this kind of attention when we try to teach you math?’

‘Because math is useless.  And I am a words person anyway.’

‘I see.  Is there anything you don’t know?’

‘Well, why are those two dogs stuck like that?’

Balloons

October 22, 2010

I would like to buy some balloons.

A packet of balloons or just a few?

A few packets, please.

We have a few, let me show you. We have these …

I don’t want heart-shaped ones.

… and these …

These look like snakes, I am looking for round ones.

Okay, here are some round ones.

But this one says, ‘Merry Christmas’, it is almost the end of January.

How about these then?

They say ‘Happy Birthday’.  I want these for a non-Christmas, non-Birthday event.

I don’t know why these are not suitable.  They are big and bright.  When is your function?

Tomorrow evening.

Is it going to be held inside or outside?

Outside.

So, it will be dark and no one will be able to see what it says on the balloons, then.

But, it’s not going to be dark when the event starts.  And that is not the point, is it? It is just not appropriate to use ‘Happy Birthday’ balloons for an event that is not a Birthday.

Okay let me check on what we have open.  (Comes back in a few seconds) You are in luck, I found some for you.

But, these are the same Merry Christmas balloons you just showed me.

No, sir, they are not. These are not in a packet, so I can give them to you a bit cheaper.

Things I learn from my barber

July 28, 2010

Why am I able to argue with most people but barbers?  I mean, I am usually not the kind to suffer in silence.  For instance, I was at the grocery store last night. I wanted to take in my old Trader Joe’s cloth bag for my veggies, but no fewer than three attendants told me that I was not allowed to carry veggies in MY bag inside their store.  I could carry it in THEIR plastic basket and then transfer it later to my bag, but for whatever reason, customers are forbidden from bringing in their own bags. Of course, I should know better than to argue with the poor attendants, who are but messengers bringing the stupid message, but argue I did. This resulted in three remarkably similar, almost scripted, ManiRatnam-style exchanges.

‘Saar, you can’t bring that here’

‘What?’

‘Bag’

‘What bag?’

‘Cloth bag’

‘Oh, this?’

‘Yes, that’

‘Why?’

‘Management’

‘Why?’

‘Management’

‘Why?’

‘…’

‘What is the reason?’

‘Don’t know’

‘Why?’

‘…’

‘Don’t you want to ask why?’

‘No’

‘Why?’

‘…’

‘You are so good-looking’

‘What?’

‘Why no bag?”

‘…’

Odi poidalama?’

‘No’

‘Why?’

‘…’

And like that only we whiled the evening away.

Wife, auto-drivers, parents, in-laws,  kids, students, queue-jumpers,  friends, perfect strangers, public urinators … everyone seems to be fair game for arguments.  Except for one group: barbers.

Over many years now, for reasons unknown,  I have simply been unable to put up even a token fight with my barbers.  Not only does this mean that I have to put up with questionable hair-dos, but more importantly for an argumentative person, I have had to accept all manner of dubious statements from men and women with scissors in their hands.  At the time they are made, these assertions usually make a lot of sense.  But,  as soon as I step out of the barbershop, I realize that these are things that I wouldn’t normally be silent about.

For instance, I was told by a lady once that one should never apply a conditioner right after shampooing because,

Shampoos open pores up, but conditioners close them.

I gushingly agreed with her and mother-promised her I would never do that. ‘Only an idiot will grab the conditioner right after the shampoo, damn straight!’, I probably said. Granted that I am no expert on cosmetics and their effects on pores,  but this one seems pretty weak. Yet, the moment it was offered, I accepted with nary a whimper.

More recently, I have been advised against growing my curly hair back because it won’t be good …  for the hair.  You see, when I ride my motorcycle, the hair gets all tangled up, and when I try to untangle, I end up pulling the hair out.  I mean, hard to argue against, no?

What else? Yeah, one of my barbers once convinced me that I would look really cool in a ‘punk-style’ do when I was in 11th Standard.  This came at a time when I was really vulnerable, since a good friend had just then told me how much she hated Physics and how that was the sole reason she had run screaming to the Commerce stream. So cold, how could she! Anyhoo, I took my barber’s advice and sported a curly-haired mullet for a few months before I couldn’t deal with my friends hiding pencils up my neck anymore.

And I have never got a straight answer from them on the ‘step cut’.  Just where exactly is this step supposed to be?

So, what gives with the barbers’ upper hand?

Perhaps it is the toxic mix of yesterday’s sweat and today’s humidity and the endless stream of nightie ads on the 10″ screen that renders me senseless when I am in the barber-shop. But, I think it is really the confidence that these guys and girls have.  Have you  ever seen them hesitate before a snip?  NoNoNever! They just go for it, no?  No doubts, no nothing, total masters of their domain.  They can do no wrong and you better not tick them off with meaningless questions.  After all, they are the ones with scissors in their hands and you are the one with hands tucked inside the apron.

A better man than I am could do it, for sure.  I am thinking Clooney here.  Maybe so, but part of me says that if Clooney were to swagger into my neighbourhood barbershop, they will convince him to ‘konjam black podunga saar, … summa suparaa irukkum’ (dye your hair, saar, it will be supar), and he will be putty in their hands.  Between you and me, the look on Clooney in the first pic is priceless.  I think the barber must have just then given him the shampoo-conditioner bit.

George Clooney before and after a session at Olympic Hair Stylists, Ashok Nagar, Chennai

My luck may be changing a bit now though. During my last visit, my barber did tell me that Udit Narayan has no fucking business singing in Tamizh, and that, contrary to the mullet or the pores or the step cut, I don’t think even I can argue against.