Tuesday, March 14, 2006

World Without Men.

Chapter III
A Summary

(A difficult patient.)

Let’s say you like ribeye steak a lot that you eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day, for a week. I’m willing to bet everything I’ve got in my pocket right now that by the fourth day you’d be so sick of ribeye steak that you’d say yes, yes, yes right away to a guy if he comes up to you with an offer to buy your head for a little more than fifty cents plus plus. You'd do anything, or sell anything as long as you don't have to eat another slab of ribeye steak.

To begin with, I don’t like rice porridge. Can you imagine how I feel when I have to eat this and nothing else for five days? On the morning of the fifth day I told Aunt she had better do something about this because I am not going to eat a teaspoon more of this stuff, not even if the fate of Dungun depends on it. How about if I add fried tenggiri in there, will that make you happy? Heaven knows how much I miss fish, or solid food for that matter, and so without thinking twice I say, yes that’d make me very happy indeed.

I see a huge slice of fried ikan tenggiri looking so nice and juicy perched on top of the porridge. Aunt must have put everything she got to fry it into a nice golden yellow, its flaky flesh all moist and white. I take a big gulp, tilting my head sideways to guide the fish into position in between my teeth. It’s painful enough to swallow rice porridge but the taste of the kunyit and garam blending in a nice mix make me forget about the pain for a second. And then it has to happen, right after the first gulp, even before the fish is half way down my stomach.

A bone got stuck in my throat that I say to Aunt, look what you’ve done! I got bone in my throat and this is going to kill me. Why must you do this to me? What have I done to you?

It’s a probably a small bone, drink some water, you’d be alright.
No, I ‘m not going to be okay with this bone. What’s wrong with you?
Serve you right for eating without saying Bismillah.
And please tell God to leave a small kid like me alone. Can’t He just let me have my meal in peace? Must I be punished with this for taking Mamood Botoq’s trishaw for a spin? There are men who commit bigger sins and women who commit even bigger sins but how come they don’t get bones stuck in their throat? I am going to die! I am going to die!

Aunt says, oh a small bone like that won’t kill a strong boy like you.

But I’m dying from this bone, can’t you see?
Shall I call Bilal to recite the Yassin for you?
I can read it myself!
Why don’t you just be quiet for a second, I go get something for that bone.
Where are you going? Are you going to leave me die here?
My goodness, this boy has wild imagination.

Here’s a banana, swallow it whole, don’t chew.
You have gone crazy, haven’t you?
I say swallow it whole, don’t chew. It’ll get to the bone to drag it down to your belly.
How do you know this is gonna work!
Will you please shut up and swallow it?

It’s painful enough to swallow a teaspoon of watery rice porridge and she wants to me to swallow a cylinder of banana whole without chewing? First she got the bone stuck in my throat and now she’s going to choke me with a banana. She’s gonna kill me. She doesn’t like me. She hates me.

I hate you, I hate you!
Shut up and swallow this, will you?

She pushes half the banana through the gape no bigger than a fifty sen coin, and I swallow it, hard, without chewing. It slides down the throat like a cylinder pushing itself in a shaft, dragging the bone along.


You shouldn’t have done that! You should have fried the fish without the bone. What is wrong with you? What if it got stuck and can’t get out?
Oh it’s just a small bone.
No, it was bigger than your thumb!
You’d be half way to heaven by now if it was that big.
Why halfway?
For telling such a big lie.


Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

hahaha... you sound just like my daughter in her most argumentative mode.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Hahahaha ... you are wickedly funny!

My mom had to have a minor operation to remove a bone stuck in her throat that no whole unchewed banana or lump of rice could drag down to the tummy. You were lucky, Bergen. Aunt knew best ya?

5:27 PM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

i like it when you write, i can vividly picture the scene, one by one. beautifully written sir

p/s: never know banana would do the same trick as segumpal nasi. that's what i normally do when tercekik tulang :)

5:27 PM  
Blogger demonsinme said...


Master Bergen, if I hadn't know better, I would say there's a tinge of "discomfort" in teh relationship you have with your lovely aunt,

"Let’s say you like ribeye steak a lot that you eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day, for a week. I’m willing to bet everything I’ve got in my pocket right now that by the fourth day you’d be so sick of ribeye steak that you’d say yes, yes, yes right away to a guy if he comes up to you with an offer to buy your head for a little more than fifty cents plus plus. You'd do anything, or sell anything as long as you don't have to eat another slab of ribeye steak."

- that's a start.

But then again, as I said I hadn't know better, maybe just maybe you are trying to say the beauty behind it all.

Forgive me, if I offended you. But anyways, this is a nice entry.

6:23 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

aiyo! what a little budding Drama King! And Aunt knew just the perfect way to tease you back.


6:30 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

Kalau kat utara ni orang kata "hang ni gempaq k*l*ng, sikit saja sakit meraung macam nak mati dah.

Isyy, mujo AUnt tu sabar, kalau tak sure dah kena penampar sampai tak nampak teligna tu no? :-)

10:25 PM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Very entertaining. Like watching drama in my mind...Went through a similar experience with my late Mak Long who is of a garang disposition. But instead of using a banana to ease the bone through my digestive system, in her frenzy she stuck her finger all the way down my throat and tried to prise the bone from its lodgment.

The dreaded happened - I vomited almost all of the contents of my stomach - on her....The tulang must have come out with the muntah because I felt so relieved... But my Mak Long was livid...!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Mama Rock said...

he he he thank God the banana worked!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Noni said...

i thought air rendam the little pinky of a songsang first-born female child would do the same trick too... the problem is to find such songsang first-born female child... kalau baby takpe jugak... kalau dah tua bangka?.. and u have to minum air tangan dia? Makes me gag just at the thought of it... or maybe that's the secret after all....

12:38 PM  
Blogger Restless said...

"Karang, aku sengkeh budak ni kang!"

I bet that's what your aunt might say to you in those hectic moments.

I'll add to her probable comment, thus, as - "Engko ni memang tak sedor diri, coba bersyokur sikit".

P.S - Don't be a tough one to your dahling auntie or I'll swing by to spank you bottom. AUwww! (Imagination box ON!)

P.P.S - On second thought, rather not!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Ikelah said...

bone of ikan tenggiri is quite big. i have seen a case from dungun, a boy with a fishbone(tenggiri) stuck in the throat and unable to get it out with pisang or nasi kepal. he landed in OT due to massive bleeding. the bone was pushed down the oesophagus by pisang or nasi kepal tearing the mucosa and cutting through the blood vessels in the process.

the boy died on the table. you are very lucky indeed. kena sujud syukur. ;)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Arena said...

Haiiyohh, ikan tenggiri's bone. That's big. That's why your aunt prepared the tenggiri, so that u'll noticed it. Sekali, dok napok jugok, sebak dok dang nok tengok, gi telang habih..doh lekak tulang..dok leh imaging telang pisang dok payoh kunyoh. Seb baik dok tercekik..

(Sekali, tak nampak jugak, sebab tak sempat nak tengok, terus telan semua, dah terlekat tulang. Tak boleh imagine, telan pisang tak payah kunyah, nasib baik tak tercekik)

Hei, my cakap terengganu is improving..

5:44 PM  
Blogger Nurelhuda said...

Ikelah ...takutnyer ! I ll bet aunt removed all the big bones which is why she knew it was a wee bone that got stuck..

12:29 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Xaviera: I had the impression you were single, ma'am. Sorry about this.

QOTH: There was a guy in my kampong who died from this, but the bone was ikang meroh.

Alif's Mommy: And I never knew that segumpal nasi works just as good.

DIM: 'Discomfort?' No, sir, there wasn't.

Anedra: Consider this a manual to handle your children if they behave the way I did. LOL.

AuntyN: Penampaq sampai tak nampak teliga? LOL, whoa. Must be the mother of penampaq. Good phrase.

Lifebloom: Aunt couldn't do that with me because it was painful to open my mouth. Lucky me. You had it worse.

Mama Rock: Trust the banana, to get the bone out, and for potassium.

Noni: You're right. It ain't easy to find someone like that in times of crisis.

Anim: Looking back I think it was more of way to transfer the guilt to someone after the-ride-of-a-lifetime experience. It wasn't a right thing to do but as a child it wasn't possible to think in this terms then.

Ikelah: Good thing is was a small bone. Must be the bones at the front half of the fish, the kind that hides in between the flesh. Salmon too has this type of bone. Pretty dangerous. Poor chap, I mean the boy who died. Could have been me. But the again, death doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It could be a blessing.

Arena: I believe those who live in Beserah and Tanjung Api are actually Trengganu people at heart. You are doing fine with your dialect, ma'am.

Dr Nurelhuda: It can be a nasty experience. And the way Dr Ikelah desribed it, it does make you want to stay off fish but no way I can do this.

To everyone who came in, thank you very much. I'll be taking some time off with my buddies for a couple of days. We are planning the routes, mostly trunk roads. We used to do this long time ago when money was good and everyone used to have a bike. Now there's only a couple of us left. Maybe we refuse to accept the fact that age is catching up. As for me, it's good to be among friends, and people, for a change. Being alone too long can be bad for me.

Have a nice day, y'all!

11:21 AM  
Blogger Sayuti said...


9:40 PM  
Blogger ubisetela said...

nicely written!

*suke kekek abih teng*

11:30 AM  
Blogger Count Byron said...

Wowwwww..... succintly sweet! Ooohh lala.. it drips

3:32 PM  

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