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)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hold Up!

This happened back in 1981, between my first and second year of high school. I was with a classmate buying books in Cubao. In some small store in old Ali Mall a guy approached us and identified himself as Boy Diablo. He claimed he held a knife hidden inside his jacket pocket. He also said his colleagues were watching a few feet away, unidentified and ready to jump at us should we try to run away. I wanted to take a chance anyway and make a run for it, but my classmate froze. So I had no choice but to tag along.

Since we already bought books, we only had around 20 pesos between the two of us to give to Boy Diablo. He insisted I give him my watch; I refused, because that watch was a gift from my parents. My classmate begged me to give up the watch, and promised he’ll pay for it. “I’m holding you to that,” I muttered, pointing a finger at him. Then I took off my watch.

Boy Diablo also took our money, but left us around 5 pesos so that we can take the jeepney home.

It took my classmate several years to pay me for my watch. How? He won in the Kentucky Fried Chicken Name That Mascot Contest. He was the first who named the mascot “Chuckie”. After paying me for the watch, he used the rest of his prize money to buy a study table. How nerdy.


Anonymous said...

20 pesos and 5 pesos for a jeepney ride?! wow! that's so cheap! pati ba suhol sa magnanakaw noon mura? :)

joelmcvie said...

@PAO: The 5 pesos was enough for the both of us to get home. That was the early 80s.

cant_u_read said...

ano na nangyari sa classmate mo ngayon?

joelmcvie said...

@RYE: Ayan, bakla na rin siya. =)

cant_u_read said...

baklang nerd?! saklap!

dyakks said...

at least binayaran ka..awww how sweet!! ahahahaha

ralph said...

a few months ago i was held up by a black guy in nyc. i thought that was the end of me since i can't give anything becoz i don't bring cash with me. I knew it very well that he will try to stuck me with his knife given the reason, i was amazed where i got the strenght because i was able to grab the knife from him and run for my life after. Hahaha it was nervewracking but a learning experience. Lesson is, always bring cash and never loose presence of mind.

daniel palma tayona said...

Mr. Mcvie,

I take offense when you mentioned how "geeky" it was that your friend bought a study table out of the remainder of his prize money. Geek-bought items have their constant and practical uses and span through generations.

There was a time in my own geek-past when I bought me a thick beautifully-bound copy of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (in French) through a penpal in Paris, after I won some money in a poster-making contest. Back then, it was more fashionable to buy candy-colored espadrilles, so I had to do it secretly. I was 16 back then and I held on to that book for several years thinking I'll eventually absorb the French language.

Decades later, I still haven't learned French and the book has had its uses as a doorstop, a nice decorative piece on a mantel, a counter weight for a rickety fridge stand until it became a forgotten fossil in a corner of our attic in the old house.

A few days ago, my 12-year old nephew surprised me by greeting me with a smart and crisp delivery of some French elocution piece. I asked him where he learned it. He said he got the accent from watching all those old Rin Tin Tin tapes, the grammar from an old French language book and memorizing whole lines from my old Les Miz book that he and his brother discovered a few weeks back in the same old attic of forgotten memories.

You see Mr. Mcvie, fossils from a geek-past do have their own ways of coming back to a new life and for a new use.


p.s. I tried reading through the yellowing pages of the book and after more than twenty years it felt quite odd touching and feeling something I've held so many times in the past. Oh, and I still can't understand a single French word from that book. I think it's high time I read the whole English text

joelmcvie said...

@DANIEL: Actually I said "nerdy", not "geeky". You should have just made a painting and a blog post about your Les Mis instead of commenting here. It's so interesting; sayang lang siya dito sa blog ko.

daniel palma tayona said...

yeah, you're right. i read wrong.

hehehe... i am "dumping" my old blog and transferring everything to wordpress. it'll soon be up. and there'll be more paintings soon too.

oh, and hope you can come to my january one-man exhibit next year. (i used to think when artists say "one-man" exhibit or show, i imagine a single man being hung from a wall. hehehe)

i'll announce it soon... online.