Bill Watterson, illustrator of popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, once said “I’ve never understood people who remember childhood as an idyllic time,” and I wholeheartedly agree with him. In the future, if I look back and recall my childhood, all I’ll remember is getting chased by my mother due to my bad performance in school. It did not help that she was an expert at wielding a cane.
Just so you know, the reason I did not do well in school was not because I was lazy. Let’s just say that I was never strong enough mentally to endure hours of intensive revision. After about an hour, my mind would begin to wander and this seems to be the case for a few of my other friends as they would ring me up to ask me to meet them at the nearby mall. When I tell them that I have to study, they would somehow convince me that we could study together at the mall. Sometimes, after an hour of revision, one’s brain gets a little delirious and for a moment, you would have no common sense whatsoever. This causes you to believe something stupid such as the mall is a conducive study environment.
If there is one weakness of mine, it is giving in to peer pressure. Therefore, one can infer that the above scenario has taken place many times and that peer pressure has often gotten me into trouble. That is why I have become quite adept at various sports, such as having to avoid the cane. When your mother is the one wielding it, this is no mean feat. Most people do not understand me when I say my life is like the Olympic Games so here is an example to illustrate what I mean.
Well, as usual, I came home with a Math test paper in my hand. I’d failed miserably. The moment Mother laid her eyes on the 47/100 scrawled in bright red ink, she looked just like a bomb ready to explode. And this test paper just lighted her fuse. The lighting of the Olympic Flame - the start of the Olympic Games!
To express her anger, she snatched the paper, crumpled it into a ball and threw it at me. And to think, my teacher blames me for handing in work that looks like “kiam chye”. Thanks to my speedy reflexes, I managed to grab a ruler and used it to whack the paper back to where it came from. And I take the last point to win this badminton game 21-19. Unfortunately, it hit Mother and caused all hell to break loose.
She reached for the dreaded weapon, the cane. I managed to avoid the first two strokes but suffered a third one across my palm. Time to make a run for it as things were getting ugly. The finals of the fencing event ended with Mother as the champion and me in second place.
I ran across the hall and into the living room where I leapt over a coffee table and several chairs, widening the distance between Mother and me. I am the champion in the hurdles event!
I made a break for the open front door with Mother hot on my heels. For a split second, I felt like my heart had stopped and I held my breath. The next thing I knew, I was running out onto the hot and sunny streets. And I win the 100 metre sprint by a narrow margin!
Happy that my mother had given up on chasing me and did not follow me into the streets, I slowed to a brisk walk and headed over to my best friend, Andrew’s, house. As I entered the gate to his garden, I tripped over his pet terrier and fell to the ground, did a somersault and landed on my face. That ends the artistic gymnastics event with me winning the gold medal after that impressive finish!
After Andrew let me in, he asked me to play a game of soccer with him. I was about to head back out to the garden when he stopped me and said that we would play soccer in the house since it was too hot out there. I agreed and once again gave in to peer pressure. I guess my mind was still delirious after successfully escaping Mother’s wrath.
After five minutes, Andrew and I were running out of the house with Andrew’s mum coming after us. What happened you ask? Well, let’s just say that something happened to a window in Andrew’s room.
This leads me to my second weakness - I never seem to learn from my mistakes.