Friday, April 20, 2012

Children of the Corn

Rather than going out and peeing on Mansuh PTPTN kids at Dataran Merdeka, I went and had beef soup at Lucky Garden, where I met some old friends from The Malay Mail.

I asked about the paper, of course, but I really didn't want to talk about the 'future of the industry' or some such nonsense.

For the record, I believe newspapers and the newspaper business will outlive me, so why should I bother running my mouth?

So, rather than talk about The Malay Mail, which I consider to be my Vietnam, I talked about myself.

It always surprises me when people do not know that I come from the swamp. I have always thought that being the most important man in the omniverse meant everyone would scour the Internet, hungry for any scrap of information they could get on me.

Carefully, over the years, I have built an online presence, an identity for people to collect and cherish and remember and celebrate on holidays.

Well, since my dissemination of information is at fault, let me do it all over again.

I come from the swamp. It's a big swamp, hence the name of my parliamentary area is Paya Besar.

My father worked as a teacher and he had a hobby as an experimental occasional farmer. All his children were put through the ringer from a very early age.

For my brother, it was herding cows. Fucking hard work. My sisters? Gathering fruits and selling them.

Me? I fucking planted corn. Planting corn is the WORST JOB IN THE WORLD.

You make holes half a foot apart and you have to water it twice a day with a fucking empty condensed milk can. One can per hole, for each and every hole. Twice a day, every day.

And then, for fertiliser, it was chicken shit. One scoop per hole, from the gunny sack you had to lug around.

So there I was, stooping low, with either a bucket of water or a sack of shit, three times a day, every day.

The pay-off? My father would get me to sell the fucking corn, at RM2 for five husks - practically World War 2 prices. The profit, after a few months work? Around RM100-200.


Growing up, I realised that if I stayed in Kuantan at the time, I could be either be a sales assistant, a teacher or a drug addict.

Fuck that shit, man. So I got out when I was 12. All my siblings got out when we were 12. All of us left home.

So whenever I had to do something difficult, I remember those days when I planted corn - just a few weeks, really - and I am grateful for every fucking chance I get.

In my short life on earth, I have done whatever the fuck I wanted, and I have seen whatever the fuck I wanted to see. I have said everything I ever wanted to say. If I die tomorrow, fuck it. Just fuck it.

I'm not afraid to fail because I have failed at everything. Everything! I have fought, won and lost - I don't remember the victories, but I do remember losing.

Nothing, though, nothing, can ever compare to corn.

So break out your hard cases, throw me your best shot, say whatever, do whatever. I don't give a flying fuck.

No matter what I do in life, no matter how hard I fail, I got out of the swamp, and to the swamp I shall return.