Clothes Maketh The Man

Son: What’s a costume?

Dad: An outfit we wear when we pretend to be somebody else.

Son: Like at Halloween?

Dad: Yes.

Son: Like Superman?

Dad: Yes.

Son: Which is his costume? The cape clothes or the ordinary clothes?

Dad: The cape clothes. He only wears that when he needs to rescue somebody. The rest of the time he’s in ordinary clothes, like us.

Son: But doesn’t he wear cape clothes all the time? Cos when he changes, he doesn’t have a bag. So they must be under the ordinary clothes.

Dad: Okaa-aay. You have a point.

Son: So his ordinary clothes are his costume, right? To hide the fact he’s Superman? He’s pretending to be ordinary?

Dad: Well, yes. He probably doesn’t want everyone to know who he really is.

Son: Why? He’s a good guy, right? Why does a Superhero want to pretend to be ordinary?

Dad: So that he can do his job better. And be among the people he can help.

Son: So when you go to work in your suit, are you pretending to be somebody else? Cos you said you like your shorts.

Dad: That’s my office attire. It’s like your school uniform – you need to wear a certain set of clothes at a certain time so people know who you are. That’s not pretending.

Son: Huh. So what about a birthday suit? Is that a costume too?

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DAILY PROMPT ~ COSTUME

Where Were You?

Where were you last night?

And the night before?

What is this strange scent?

Whose glove is this by the door?

 

Where were you last weekend?

Why didn’t you answer my call?

Was it you that made the hinge squeak at 5?

You know, from the door in the hall?

 

What’s this red petal on your collar?

What’s this stain on your coat?

What have you been up to?

What’s this smudge on your throat?

 

You really are a wandering minstrel

You tiny rescued scoundrel

You really need to mend your ways

Because I’ll follow you out one day.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ SUSPICIOUS

Johnny Depp and the Five Stars

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FANBOYS, ROY B GIV, MICE … No matter what the subject, mnemonics have served learners all over the world well.

My country’s flag has five stars and a crescent moon. At school, most kids have no problems explaining what the moon represents. But the five stars? We’ve heard everything from lights to twinkles.

About a decade ago, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End reached our shores. Somewhere in the movie is a scene where Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun Fatt), the Pirate Lord of Singapore, says, “Welcome to Singapore,” to the merry band of sailors here to rescue Jack Sparrow.

Historically, that wasn’t even what our country was called in the 1700s. But that’s not the point. My friends and I had an epiphany: Sparrow – Johnny Depp – star – Singapore! That was it!

Justice, Democracy, Equality, Peace, Progress. Those are the ideals as depicted by the five stars on the state flag.

And thanks to J Depp, I haven’t forgotten them yet.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ MNEMONIC

I Can Dream. Right?

I insist on being polite

And have raised the kids to be so.

I persist in believing there is kindness and good

Even when there are bullies and sadists, I know.

 

Why can’t we resist the urge to insult or taunt?

To hurt with words or deeds?

Can’t the world consist of more angels and givers

Than narcissists or brokers of power and greed?

 

Be a synthesist of hope and humanity

Cease and desist with the cruelty and hate.

Build bridges and bonds of love and faith

Spread honour, kindness and trust instead.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ INSIST

Purls Of Wisdom, Learnt By A Knitwit

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CAST ON 37 STITCHES

I was taught to knit when I was eight. This had nothing to do with my dexterity or artistic tendencies. It had everything to do with how The Powers That Be decided I had to learn about Patience, Persistence, Precision, and Pride In My Work. From two sticks and a ball of something that the cat played with that was once taken from a sheep? Right.

ROW 1: KNIT

My first project was meant to be a potholder. Cast on 37 stitches and knit for 50 rows. Repetition, I was told, would develop even tension and create perfectly formed stitches. My hands would develop dexterity and muscle memory, and the knit stitch would become second nature.

Naturally, the potholder was a disaster. It wasn’t even a square. It was a blob, a shapeless rag that even the cat sniffed at.

“So what do you think you should do?” asked The Powers That Be.

I had plenty of wonderful ideas: climb the tree so I could escape into the neighbour’s garden, get Dad to take me to the beach, bathe the cat … But I dutifully replied that I should try again. Correct answer. And The Powers That Be were pleased.

ROW 2: PURL

The blob became a polygon, then a trapezium, then a rectangle and eventually a square. Sort of. There followed a mysterious process of wetting it and blocking it on a mat to dry, and behold! a proper square that would live life as a potholder.

“See? You practised and persisted and succeeded. That was the garter stitch. Now learn to purl and use the stockinette stitch.”

What?

CONTINUE IN PATTERN TO ROW 50

Years later, there are numerous potholders (the victims of learning different stitches), wash cloths, table mats, rugs and towels. Then there are blankets made up of squares, and scarves, sweaters and shawls.

There is also an ever growing stash of yarns and a collection of needles. And boxes of patterns. And bookmarked YouTube videos.

BIND OFF

Did I actually learn any of the lessons as intended?

Patience? Check. Boatloads of it.

Persistence? Check. There are no shortcuts in knitting. To reach Row 142, you knit loop by loop till you get there.

Precision? Check. If a stitch looks odd or gets dropped, or the tension’s wrong, there may be nothing for it except to tink or frog.

Pride In My Work? Check. I’ll admit there’s a certain satisfaction in having handmade odds and ends scattered around the home. Or wound round a neck in winter.

There you have it: purls of wisdom, as learnt by a knitwit.

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DAILY PROMPT ~ KNIT

Thank you, Tara R at Thin spiral notebook, for the inspiration.

Help

Go tidy your room

Go read your book

Go practise your violin

Go do your homework

 

It’s now 10 pm

It’s time to sleep

It’s now 6 am

It’s time to wake

 

Go for your tuition

Go for your class

Go for your practice

Go for your game

 

Why can’t you be

More like your cousins?

They’re doing so well

You are so useless

 

Go revise your work

Go take your vitamins

Go clean your shoes

Go wash your bottle

 

You are so lacking

In initiative and imagination

You are so useless

You can’t do anything.

 

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DAILY PROMPT ~ STIFLE