Thursday, December 15, 2011

Old Grouch Fable Collection pt1

The Strange Orange Cat.
One day a strange Orange cat came to the Catville. The other cats walked over to him and said, “boy, that’s strange”.

The strange Orange cat didn’t understand that. “Dear brethren, what art thou meaneth by being strangeth?” he asked.

“Well for a start, you talk strange. I mean, who speaks like that anymore,” said one of the cat, the older one. He had a Hitler moustache and a Calvin Clein eyepatch, though it read Kevin Kline.

“Alright, I speak the way you speak, which is the way the village idiot back in hometown speaks,” said the strange orange cat.

“Who are you calling Village?” shouted a young cat, a rebel cat.

“Calm down,” said the strange orange cat as he pointed its index finger ala-jedi, only quick to realise that it has mere paws. The rebel actually calmed down, sucking his mother’s milk.

“Your bearing,” said the older cat, “it’s strange”.

Realised what they were talking about, the strange orange cat launched, “that’s right folks! Come over. I have here some ball bearings you can use to replace your old ones in your vehicles. These may look strange but they are awesome…”

Moral of the story: Never judge the cover by its book. Both may not be related to each other, but boy, does it have a story to tell.

The Stubbon Octopus

Mother and Father Octopus had a big headache in their, well, if you call that gigantic alien head thingy head. Their son is stubborn.

“You are stubborn, junior,” the dad told him after helping himself to a scuba diver. “Why are you so stubborn,” he asked after picking a piece of oxygen tank off his teeth.

“How do I know? Where do you think I inherited it from? The cuttlefish?” the son retorted. There was a gulping sound, though he was not sure where it came from.

“You can’t be stubborn all the time, junior,” said the red-faced Mother Octopus. “Even god took a break on Sundays.

“That explains,” exclaimed Father Octopus, raising all its seven arms (he lost one during the 7 Days Octopus/Scallop War). “Junior was born on Sunday!” He hi-fived with his wife, though Mother Octopus’ eighth arm slipped and slapped him in the face.

Moral of the story: Answers to some mysteries should come within. Like checking stuff out in the toilet if you forgot what you ate yesterday.

The Sleepy Snake.

On one fine morning where rain didn’t threaten to fall and flood the entire jungle, a young tree frog was leaping towards the jungle Cafeteria. The menu was themed Lobster and it brought with it extra butter.
But it literally stumbled into something causing the butter hit a chameleon which immediately roasted its own tail smothered in butter and ate gleefully.

The “thing” that the frog stumbled on was a snake! Frightened it froze, and it admitted itself into a microwave to thaw. It came back and looked at what frightened him. The snake was there and it was snoring.

Thoroughly embarrassed, the frog woke the snake up using a .45 Smith & Wesson shot in the air, killing the chameleon instantly (Funeral day will be announced shortly).

The bang woke the snake up. “Why didn’t you, like, give me a chase or something? I would have escaped and have an awesome table conversation with my buddies over lunch.”

The snake said, “I was cursed. I was supposed to sleep for 200 years before a fairy serpent comes to take me away”

“Oh crap,” said the frog realising that he shouldn’t have interrupted the snake, “I broke the curse. What will happen, now?”

The snake shook a little, looked up in the sky fearfully and said, “It’s going to rain, let’s go and grab some lunch.”

“Sure,” said the frog and both headed to the Cafeteria.

Moral of the story: Lobster is the key to the happiness of many

The mute goat.

The mute goat made its living by selling dried fish in the vegetable market. It did poorly as, though it knows sign language, using front hoofs make it fall forward and hurt its chin.

It was always in pain and it tells itself, “Bear, bear” to bear the pain. That’s why goats make that sound. Get it? Beaaarrr.

One day the owner of the market came to the mute goat and said, “Look, you need to pay the rent. So do something about your fall and sign-language thingy, most patrons think you are begging. By the way, this is a vegetable market. Hullo? I see you here with those dried fishes, you don’t want to know where I’m gonna shove it in and trust me the Brahmins aunties won’t like it either”.

The goat was very sad. Selling dried fish is the only way to make a living, though some of his friends suggested equally thankless jobs sanitation worker or being a prime minister.

One day it went to the mountain to see the wise and sage mountain goat. It explained its problem. The mountain goat said, “Go back to your routine tomorrow, your problem solved!”

The next day it went to the market and started to sell the dried fish. As client came and he lifted his hoofs, it fell forward. This time the pain was minimal. There was pain, but not like before. Why? Voila! It had grown a beard on its chin to cushion the impact of the fall. The goats you see these days are all from common ancestor, ie the mute goat.

Moral of the story: What moral? Old Grouch was just giving you the origin story. Does it have to have message all the time?

Friday, December 09, 2011

History of home and why bears made cave inhabitable.

Note: Wrote this for the bosses to evaluate the writing style for the new property guide book we are working on. Its supposed to be light-hearted with a dash of humour. No comments so far.

Early days there was no such thing as home. Home or property were unheard of during men evolved into homo sapiens, real estate back then was just a dude pointing to a plantation saying, “Look, a real estate.”

The early form of people roamed around and ate what they can wherever they are, sort of what we do when we hit the highway. It was not clear if they actually sought to reside on a tree ala chimpanzee or gorillas, but we are very certain that if they did they didn’t share the bathroom with the neighbours Mr and Mrs. Gorilla.

Great, great ancestors and cave (the ones without bat dung hopefully)

When our great great ancestors decided that they are going to ascend to the ground from living in the tree, they were immediately eaten by sabre-toothed tiger. Those who survived it went on to look for home that can shelter them against all sort of weather. Soon, they found caves where they were immediately eaten by hibernating bear.

But cave was beginning of what would be known as home, as clearly evidenced by archaeological discovery of bones of men inside bones of bear. It was in cave that archaeologist’s found many obscure instruments including weapons to fend off ferocious creatures like the abovementioned tiger, bear or in-laws.

Historians argue that cave dwelling could have begun during the early Neolithic period around 7000 – 6000 BC. When we checked last, they are still arguing and might also take up arm. But as Neolithic era also saw men building houses though at the same time people were still living in cave, tent and extreme poverty.

Great, great ancestors building houses (that probably had bat or other type of dung)

Historian, when they are not arguing, estimated that house building began in Egypt and West Asia probably about 10,000 BC and in Greece about 6000 BC. Alright there seemed to be conflict on the date, so they may still be arguing after all. While they were at it, the English came to the party late and only build houses at 3000 BC.

To the uninitiated, BC years are kinda backwards. The more the number the further away the year is. Of course, the next question is, if a dude was born in 3000 BC and at 2990 BC, would he be ten years younger? The BC dudes and gals were lucky, weren’t they? We can imagine the following conversation at a birthday party:

Gal: Dude how “young” are you?
Dude: I am 80 years young (then clutches his chest and collapses)

Difference houses including the ones that kept blown away

Okay, back to the house.

The kinda houses they had back then depended on where the location was. The weather made lots of difference.  In Northern Europe and Northern China, they build what was referred to as “hearth houses” which were huts with one square or round room (think studio apartment) and a fire on a stone hearth in the middle, this to heat up the room as well as to do weekly barbecue (except the Heinz sauce was not invented yet).

The smoke goes out through the thatched or shingled roof. Often animals are kept in the room with the people, for warmth. And depending on the animal, the human are kept in the room for good diet.
Please note that chimneys were not yet invented so we assume that Santa Clause made his entry, embarrassingly enough, by knocking on the front door.

The weather is different in Egypt and West Asia, as well as in Southern China and possibly this author’s living room, whereby it was hot all the time, and you can’t get wood. So, they use mud brick and were basically just wall with flat roof where they can sleep and expose themselves again to cool night and wakeup with pneumonia.

Beginning of the modern house, or, wait for it.

Semblance to modern housing could have begun somewhere around 3000 BC itself where Eastern Meditteraneanan and West Asia had richer folks and they built better and bigger houses, not unlike now where some mansions look like they were built for that beanstalk giant. Or Godzilla.

In the meantime, the Greece folks were building “megaron” houses that transforms into a gigantic Trojan horse…wait, that’s a Transformer. A megaron house, boringly were the ones with one or two rooms and pillars in front making a porch.

It seems the bigger houses also have nice brick floors, and built-in benches and cupboards, and painted walls, and tiled roofs, and lots of people in airy toga.

So, there you go some basic information about houses back then. Of course, history did not stop there, and it ain’t stopping now either. It’s getting late and we need to get home. If only someone chase away the hibernating bear in it.