Stupidity in Progress

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I read Scott Ng’s FMT piece with great interest because the RM9,000 Anti-Hysteria Kit was something I intended to write about.

“I can think of a lot of things to do with RM9,000. Take a week-long vacation in Boracay or some other exotic island and live like some king of a long gone age. Perhaps donate half to charity and save the rest. Or even take the parents out for a first class feast, and maybe even spruce up my work area with memorabilia, as I’ve had my eye on the Hot Toys figurines released in conjunction with the new Avengers movie. Admit it, they are pretty, even if the price tag is daunting.

Perhaps you can think of some better uses for that kind of money, and I’m sure you’ll let me know in the comments. But what you and I can agree on is that it will be silly to spend RM9,000 on a anti-hysteria kit composed of, among other things, chopsticks, salt, vinegar, pepper spray, and formic acid. I don’t know about you, but I can think of some excellent dishes I could make with the ingredients, though pepper spray is largely unproven as a condiment. Sure, you receive some sort of training to use the kit as part of the package, but all in all, the very idea appears to be ridiculous to most sane Malaysians.

Most of us know that hysteria is a medical condition that can be treated, and indeed, there are many accredited and established treatments out there that provide the treatment. Best of all, they won’t charge nearly as much as Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) is asking for its anti-hysteria kit. If nothing else, the kit and its ingredients seem deeply rooted in superstition, but we’ll leave the experts at UMP to regale us with tales of how their kit is rooted in solid medical practice and born of many, many experiments to find the best approach to treating hysteria.”

Having received many Facebook messages from readers requesting me to write a satirical piece on the hot topic, I have to admit that as much as I love poking fun at things, I was a bit reluctant to do so this time around.

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I remember how people made fun of the ‘Malaysian Bomoh’ (a spiritual healer) during his quest seeking for the missing MH370 Malaysian Airlines plane using coconuts, vases, and verses from the Holy Book. I can’t seem to understand why people tend to mock about things they have no comprehension of. So ignorant of them!

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You see, I believe in the supernatural.

My late Grandma had the ability to communicate with people from the other side. As a kid, I grew up watching her talk to herself, thinking that she must be unwell. It was only after Mom told me stories of how Grandma could sense supernatural beings around her, that I understood Grandma wasn’t a weirdo. In fact, she had superpowers!

Grandma lived in a very old house along Lorong Sekerat in George Town, Penang. Next to the house is an alley, where, according to my uncle, people were executed during the Japanese Occupation. I never believed him but whenever I played there as a kid, I could swear I was being watched.

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Having a grandmother with superpowers was kinda cool. I remember once wanting to go play in the attic. Grandma stopped me because ‘someone’ was sitting on the stairs and they wouldn’t like it if I disrupted them.

My Mom inherited some of Grandma’s supernatural abilities. She doesn’t communicate with those from the other side but Mom has a very strong sense of supernatural beings. I once woke up in the middle of the night after a nightmare and felt someone rubbing my feet. Much to my horror, no one was there. Terrified, I decided to leave my room and that was when I saw Mom sitting right next to my door wearing her ‘telekung’ (prayer veil), swaying forward and back like a ‘lallang’ (tall, bendy weed), her lips mumbling verses from the Holy Book. Apparently she had sensed a presence in my room.

With Grandma passing away, Mom took over as our family’s very own ‘Ghost Whisperer’. One time, when we had moved to a new home, my younger brother got all hysterical around Maghrib (sunset). Aged seven at the time, he started screaming and running around the house, all the while hitting his head. Dad was working the night shift so my elder brother and I had to grab him and pin him down to the bed while Mom splashed water on his face and rubbed some ‘minyak angin’ (a healing, aromatic oil) on his soles. Minutes later my younger brother was back to his usual annoying self — with no recollection of what had happened.

These might seem like outlandish scenes but they are normal in my family. I relate these stories to illustrate that there are things beyond our comprehension. Thus, I do not feel it is right for us to poke fun at things we don’t understand.

Hysteria is real.

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I witnessed it several times during my schooldays — especially in the week before examinations. Sadly, there was no Anti-Hysteria Kit back then. Still, the students were lucky enough to have Ustazah Hasnah (religious teacher). All she needed was a bucket of water. First, she’d pour the water on the victim’s face and secondly, she would knock their head three times with the bucket. It worked every time.

The Malays say ‘Ke mana tumpahnya kuah kalau bukan ke nasi’ (it runs in the family). So, like Grandma and Mom, I too have my share of the family gift. While Mom and Grandma could sense supernatural things, I have a different kind of superpower — something neither of them experienced.

I have kept this a secret for a very long time. But I think the moment has come for me to reveal it: I have the ability to sense stupid people. Yes. That’s right. They don’t know they are stupid. Every day they walk among us, just like normal people.

I also realise that with great power comes great responsibility. So I’d like to offer my help to anyone wishing to get over their stupidity with my Anti-Stupid Kit. Universiti Malaysia Pahang is selling their Anti-Hysteria Kit for RM9000. I would like to offer my Stupid Kit for just RM9.90 (GST not included).

Like the Hysteria Kit, my Stupid Kit also comes with chopsticks, salt, vinegar, and pepper. Early birds will get a special mirror so you can take a long look at your stupid self.

Please leave your orders at the comment section.

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Note: Cost of shipment to foreign countries will be borne by the buyer.

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