Friday, March 11, 2011

My Other Lucky Number

It was a morning like any other.
I was driving along the highway, on the left most lane (that would be the right most in the US and other countries that drive on the right side of the road).

I was driving casually, minding my own business, when from the rear view mirror I could see an old Nissan sedan closing in on me. I could also see that the occupants of the car - four or five of them - were excitedly jostling on their seats, waving their hands about, and pointing towards my 4 x 4.

This could be trouble. I told myself: "Stay cool Grandpa, we may have a situation here...". My right hand instinctively went down to the floor of the car by the driver's seat next to the door. For a moment I thought it wasn't there, and my heart missed a beat. Then I felt it. The walking stick inherited from my late father. I held it tight and felt a relief and a sudden gush of adrenalin.

Apart from a zamrud ring, a few pagoda t-shirts and sarongs, this was the only other item the old man left behind. No money, no properties. Lots of sweet loving memories though. But that's a story for another day.

The walking stick is made of carved wood three and a half feet long. From the outside it looks innocent enough. But upon closer examination  it actually consists of two parts: the top eight inches is the handle with a knob on one end and a sharp blade of just over a foot long attached to the other end. The lower part of the walking stick is the sheath. The two parts fit snugly together and becomes one single piece.

The lower third had broken off leaving about enough wood to hide the blade. It is short enough to fit the side of the car. It's not exactly a samurai sword but a good stab with it could still be fatal. I have been carrying the thing around without any real need to use it. Until that day.

I was hoping there would not be any need to. I said a little prayer.

The car with the noisy, agitated passengers closed in on mine, its nose almost touching my bumper. My heart beat faster and harder, and beads of sweat began forming on my forehead.  Then with a sudden swerve outwards it came alongside me. Down came the wind screens and out came the hands, all showing the thumbs up!

"First prize! First prize!" they pointed to my car and cheered excitedly. With all of them laughing away the car zoomed ahead, zig-zagging and finally disappearing in the traffic.

I heaved an audible sigh of relief.  I knew then that my number was up. They were punters who may have just won the first prize of the four-digit lottery draw by buying the number of my car, hence the acknowledgement - a 'thank you' of sort. If only they knew that they almost gave me a heart attack!

Four digit punters need a 'source' for their numbers, and a car registration number is a common one. Other 'sources' include the big tree by the cemetery or what the fortune tellers tell them. You can also use any four digit from your ID card, your marriage or birth cert, anything you fancy really. And the sequence of the numbers are normally switched around (pau) to complete all the permutations possible to increase your chances of striking.

Some would get their numbers while they are asleep - in their dreams.

If there's an accident on a road or highway, a crowd will quickly form and  moving cars will slow down to take down the numbers of the cars and other vehicles involved in the accident.  It is believed that there's a great chance of those numbers being drawn. (Oddly enough, calling 911 doesn't seem to be topmost in the spectators' mind).

Phew! Home free - safely parked under
the durian tree

Their lucky number. Mine too.

Upon retirement I bought this four wheeler for use on the farm and for transporting fertilizers, building materials and other stuff to the farm. It came with a much sought after registration number.

The number 5648 (Mm Loau Sey Fatt) roughly translated means: "You can afford to relax (i.e no need to work), or dabble a little bit but money still come". Cool.

Of course I still work on The Farm, thriving on the fresh air and sunshine. As my needs are pretty basic, and I enjoy the simple pleasures of life, I don't need much to survive, stay happy and share my blessings.


Akelamalu said...

I breathed a sigh of relief when you said they gave you the thumbs up! :0

I didn't realise you drive on the left there like we do here in the UK.

Joylene Butler said...

Wow, what a nice surprise. If they'd been yelling at me, I would have checked to see if my purse was on top of the car, still. LOL.

Congratulations, Grandpa. You're in the money! Kewl.

Hope you aren't anywhere near the coastline. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Grandpa, Holy Smoke! I love your pickup truck! Real kool, man! I have always loved these snazzy pickups with big wheels, but not too sure about that bush bar. But love the colour of your truck.
And yes, very good numbers too.

And yes, Malaysian punters will buy any numbers they see....accidents etc.

Long time ago, passing Sungei Besi flats, a piece of cloth came floating down from the high rise flats, and landed smack dab on my windscreen.
Holy Smoke! It was a woman's pantie.
I slammed my brakes and chucked it away.
I was on my way to a friend's house. He big gambler, will even bet on his grandmother's whatever.

When I told him, he grabbed me and rushed to several 4 digit stores bought the 4 numbers for 'pantie'.
I just gave him $10.00. he bought a lot!

Next day he phoned me all excited and yelling, we had won! It came out 1st prize!
I think he bought a brand new BMW, I took my girlfriend to New York, Wheeeeeee!
Imagine that! Money drop from highrise, ha ha.
Have a nice weekend. Lee.
ps, love your tongkat. Seen a few like that before too.

Happy Frog and I said...

What a great story, I'd have been very spooked if that had happened to me! I notice as I write this comment that you have 88 followers which I hope brings you lots more luck! :-)

secret agent woman said...

The lottery here functions as an extra tax on the people who can least afford it, as they buy in the hopes of striking it rich in spite of the astronomical odds against it.

L'Aussie said...

Hey Grandpa, all the elements of the short story here - the set up on the highway, the complication of the car full of *question mark?* the feeling of dread - what's gonna happen? then the denouement - it's alright now.

Well done Grandpa. Love the number plate meaning! Your retirement sounds pretty busy.

Hope no tsunami stirred your waters!


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Grandpa said...

Akelamalu - Me too! I was no match for the four or five of them!
Yes, we do - that's among the legacies left by the British. On balance, we are much better for them, I must say.

Joylene - thank you! I think we should be alright. More prone would be our neighbour Indonesia. Thanks for the thought anyway. You too have a nice weekend.

Grandpa said...

Uncle Lee - good to see you Lee! That's a hilarious incident but I'm not surprised as they'll do anything to try their luck, and the amazing thing is they do strike every now and then!
You too have a nice weekend Lee.

Happy Frog and I - thank you! We make our own luck, but pretty coincidences won't harm..:)

secret agent woman - 3D and 4D are the pastimes of the poor (the well-off buy too but more for fun in most cases). The rich will go to places like Genting Hinglands where the casino is.

Grandpa said...

L'Aussie - Hi Denise! So you think I can write short story? - If I were to write I'll go for thrillers! ;)

I think we're protected from the tsunami, but our hearts go to those who have been affected, it's so terrible. My son's girlfriend is studying in Auckland, so we hope NZ is safe too.
Thanks Denise!

Wan Sharif said...

Ha every time we get ourselves a new vehicle.. my immediate neighbors would be used the number on that vehicle to try their lucks in the 4D.. normally it would not take them too long to announce that my vehicle's number has won them some prizes ;)
Like Uncle Lee.. I believe that some of us Malaysian are avid punters.. some would even punt on the possibility of rain will be dropping at certain spot at certain time in Taiping..

Grandpa said...

Wan, that's the culture of some section of our population I'm afraid. It doesn't help that outlets are all over the country, may be with the exception of Kelantan.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Grandpa! wow I loved your story and I agree with L'aussie... lots of drama you could build on. Look how adventurous your life is! And for the record, I'd bet my money on you in a fight.

Uncle Lee had a great story too. I dont have a good grambling story - but I did win one one of the giant sized slot machines in Vegas once!

Love the truck. Thats the first thing I did also - go and buy a big truck. Ours is a superduty Ford F250, occasionally with a barn cat in the back.

I love what your "number" means!

I'm sending you smiles and warm hello's,

Grandpa said...

Hi OFG, it's a true story, but I thought I dramatise and spice it up a bit for you to enjoy! Not sure about winning the fight though, they were all much younger, but will do anything in self-defense.

Your Ford must be the nice red one with the barn cat I saw the other day. We all need a strong 4x4.

Thanks for stopping by pal. Take care.

Lady Jennie said...

Ah! When you said drama on the highway, I wondered if you were on a coastal highway and somehow outraced a tsunami or something like that. Glad to know it was just a winning number. :-)

Grandpa said...

Lady Jennie, oops, hope I didn't frighten's a story I didn't want you to miss...thanks for stopping by.

Serena said...

What a great story, Grandpa! WOW, you have some serious punters over there....I don't think we have the 3D or 4D punting system here in Australia. I think I WOULD have had a heart attack under those circumstances!

Btw, that 'special' walking stick would be illegal to carry around here. It's a beautiful piece though ~ :)

Hey, hey...Americans don't drive on the right side of the road...they drive on the wrong side. hehehe

Grandpa said...

Hi Serena, I know in Australia you have the casinos, we do too, but not everybody has access to them. Number forecasting is big time here.

Very funny, about where Americans drive! :)

Thanks for commenting on my other post too.

Take care and have a nice day.

Pat said...

I love happy endings, and was so glad to read yours! It seems you made their day - with your number! Hahahaha!

And what a lovely number it is, too!

Grandpa said...

Hi Pat, you can imagine how relieved I was!

May be your hubby can tell if my translation was about right.

Pat said...

Sorry, Granpa, but Chuan is Hokkien - and his Cantonese ain't too hot ;) He says it sounds about right to him, but maybe you'd do better to run this by someone else who actually knows what he's talking about! Hahahahah!

Grandpa said...

Hmmm...about right is good enough for me!

Problem is I know Hokkien tampok tampok and Cantonese siu siu, so neither here nor there.

Thank Pat.