Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Peeve One:

My officemate treated me to lunch on my birthday at a fairly expensive restaurant. And although I offered repeatedly to foot the bill, she insisted it was her treat. I didn’t feel embarrassed about her paying for my expensive meal; as a group head in our agency, she earns more than I do. But that’s not the point here. The point is she treated me on my birthday.

I’ve often maintained that most Filipinos have gotten it the wrong way. When it’s someone’s birthday, they peer-pressure the celebrant to treat everyone around them. With certain offices, groups or barkadas that is the norm, and everyone expects the celebrant to feed people on their birthday.

Now that’s sooo stupid.

It is the celebrant’s special day, so shouldn’t he be the one to be pampered and treated? Besides, do the math: it is more expensive to feed a group versus the group pitching in and buying the celebrant a gift, or a cake, or even a tacky singing telegram.

So to anyone who’s expecting me to treat him or her because it was my birthday, I say: [1] my birthday’s passed already; and [2] manigas ka, linta.

* * * * * *

Peeve Two:

Has the following ever happened to you?

You’re on the ground floor patiently waiting for the elevators, some which are still on the upper floors, to arrive. An obviously in-a-hurry guy comes along and starts jabbing furiously at the elevator’s “down” button. Repeatedly. So you think, “Boy, this guy must really be in a hurry to go down to the basement.”

The first of the elevators to arrive opens its doors: naturally it’s the one going down. But lo and behold, Mr. Can’t-You-See-I’m-In-A-Hurry doesn’t enter that elevator. Instead he waits until the next elevator—the one headed up—arrives and he jumps on it, along with you and the others. He stabs the button to his floor and starts tapping away at the door. You look at him and it dawns on you: Oh! He pressed “down” not because he wanted to go down to the basement, but because he wanted the elevators to quickly go down to the ground floor.

As if pressing the “down” button will make the elevators go down faster. As if tapping the doors impatiently will make the elevator go any faster.

Hay naku.


ONAI said...

its irritating for people to keep pressing that down or up button wherever they are headed, even though the button has been pressed already (hello naka-ilaw na po)...

hello that's not a door bell you know...

joelmcvie said...

ONAI: Korek ka jan!

(Hey, you're from Bohol or residing in Bohol now?)

Anonymous said...


Funny you should say that about Filipinos treating their friends on their b-day. My first b-day when I got to the US, I puzzled the heck out of my colleagues because I bought pastries for everyone at lunch. Even know I fight the urge to treat people out, pero it helps that most days (even on my b-day) these days, I'm usually broke due to lawyer and Immigration fees :-(


amateur misanthrope said...

Ay, that's exactly the mind-frame in this government office I left. On birthdays, everybody EXPECTS the celebrant to give a feast. There's this pressure on a person weeks before his/her birthday--biro, snide remarks, etc. Then afterwards, behind the celebrant's back, they compare it with the food given in other birthdays. It's such this big DEAL. What's with us (Pinoys) and free food?