Thursday, September 2, 2010

Conversation With S

It was a very hot day. I was squatting down mending the fence. A section had been torn by some wild  animals, I suspect the wild boar. Ideally I should concrete the whole stretch, holding the wire mesh down. But I have no energy to do the sand-cement mix and to wheel-barrow the whole mixture down, or up in this case. It needs somebody half my age to do it.

As a temporary measure I use logs to put accross the length of the hole and nail down the end of the wire fencing into it. It works, until the wood rots or some strong beast rip it apart.

Now that the fruit season is over I am not so worried about animals coming in. I am more worried about Ella (the Rottweiler) going out and terrorize the villagers.

"It's a hot day, isn't it?"  he appeared out of nowhere, as usual, breathing down my neck (literally and figuratively). "Yes, it is very hot"  I responded, not bothering to look back, continuing with my pulling the wire and hammering, sweat dripping down my face and neck, my skinny and almost black arm swinging the hammer as hard as I could.

"Why are you doing this alone?" he continued, in a kay-poh-chi (busybody) way.

"Why not?" I asked back.

"Why not ask your children to help, so you can finish this whole place in double quick time". 

"Triple quick"  I found myself reluctantly entertaining him.

"How's that?"

"I have three boys"

"There you go. Why not ask them to come and lend their poor father a hand"

"I'm not poor"

"You know what I mean"

"They are all busy"

"Even on week-ends?"

"Look, they have got families, ok. They have other things to do", I shot back, becoming irritated now.

"Defending them now, issit?"

"Why are you talking like a Malaysian, now?"

"I am Malaysian. And I read Patrick Teoh's blog a lot. Anyway, you are defending them, aren't you?"

"Of course. They are not here to defend themselves"

"What about number 3?"

"I'm sorry?"

"Your third son, the tall one, the one with the orange hair"


"Sometimes orange, sometimes green".

"What about him?"

"Why is he not helping you?" 

"Why don't you ask him" I thought that would be the easiest way out. I refused to offer any more excuses.

"Now it's one o'clock"


"You must be hungry from all this laborious work. What about your makan minum (meals), who takes care of that?"

"Don't go there"

"Why not?"

"DON'T!"  I decided to do a Homer Simpson, hoping that he'll go away.

"Mano tuko??"

I looked up and there was Aziz, my younger brother and week-end helper staring down at me, asking for the hammer.

By the look on his face  he knew that he must have startled the whit out of me.


Chai Chai said...

Wow, your really do need good fences. We just use old railroad ties or logs, no cement.

Grandpa said...

The logs around here don't last very long. Furthermore the animals have a way of burrowing under them. With concrete it'll be tough for them to pull away the fencing

secret agent woman said...

Wild boars! Can't imagine having to keep them out.

(But I hate when people about why my sons aren't helping with something.)