Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's the "Haze gets in your eyes" time again

Imagine this. You're staying in a landed property with a beautiful house. As a successful businessman, you furnish your house with all the latest and fanciest. Some guys have a playroom for their kids? You made a bigger one and filled it with all the latest and expensive toys, regardless whether your kids play them. Some guys have a little poker card room for socialising? You made space for two.

You run your family meticulously and you pride yourself in keeping your house sparkling clean. You deduct your kids' pocket money if they throw rubbish around the house, and you employ maids to clean up if they do.

However your authority only stops at your house's gate. The neighbourhood bully is staying just next to you. They have a big house and lots of kids and relatives. You know they are into some murky business, but you dare not poke. When people ask about your relationship with your neighbour, you just smile and say you are friends. You even lent him a huge sum of money when he got into financial trouble during the last crisis in 1997. When he didn't bother to pay back, you don't dare to ask.

You figured out that you will have a better life by staying clear of that family's path and mind your own business. But once every year or two during the school vacation, the bully's kids will invite their friends over for BBQs in their big garden. Because they have the biggest garden in the neighbourhood, they have lots of BBQ pits in their big garden. During these times, the bully's kids will party non-stop and BBQ endlessly, lighting up pit after pit. As a result, it gets so smokey that even their house is hardly visible among all the smoke, and when the direction of the wind changes, you have a share of the smoke as well.

All these smoke from the bully is affecting your family. You have to warn your grandma who has asthma about going out to the garden, and you have to stop your kids from playing outdoor sports. You are living in an air of choking BBQ smoke and it is driving you crazy. Each time, you tried to talk to the bully about the smoke, all he said is "Oh, I already told them not to light up so many BBQ pits, but you know kids will be kids right? I can't control so many of them 24/7 right? There's not much that I can do! I'm sure you can understand right? Hahaha!"

When the other neighbour come over to play Monopoly, you'll try to get him to talk to the bully too.

"You're also affected by the smoke right?"
"Yah! Alamak! The wind is blowing the smoke all over the place! Everyone around the area kena lah!"
"Then you still allow your kids to run around outside?"
"Ah doi! Brudder, they old enough to take care of themselves lah! Actually sometimes you too protective over your kids already lah!"
"But still, don't you think we should go talk to him again?"
"Can also lah! Wait I see when I free, okay? Hey you want to exchange that piece of land with my railway station?"

This neighbour does work with you to advise the bully at times, but you two know very well that the most that the bully does in return is to put out one or two pits, but his kids will light them all up again some time later. But hey, what can you do? Just suck it all up and wish for the the smoke to go away soon lor!

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