My Happy Marbles
If you have watched Peter Pan movies, then you have also probably heard of the claim that happy memories sprinkled liberally with fairy dust can make you fly. Well I don’t know if anybody has ever been successful in achieving flight this way, much less found some fairy dust to begin with, but I do know that like one of the characters who pulls out marbles out of a bag to remind him of how to fly, I sometimes pull out happy memories out of my head to help me sleep. Of course, this is done with a liberal amount of chuckling, too (which I’m always careful not to do too loudly in case my mother barges into my room with a crucifix in her hand).
As we grow older though, there is always the offhand probability of losing our happy marbles. Just so I wont forget, I’ll keep them safe in here in my blog. For the people who are associated with my happy marbles, apologies in advance.:)
This incident occurred when I was in my 2nd year in high school. I was quite busy doing my lab report when my girl seatmate quite suddenly decided to tell me more about herself, her passion for collecting stamps to be exact. Seeing an opportunity to do something more interesting than finishing my lab report, I decided to tease her with a little lie. I told her that my cousin in Italy just recently sent us a really big, really thick book full of stamps from all over the world. I also added (offhandedly, of course) that none of us were that interested in stamps – so it was just a waste of good money.
Her eyes grew as big as saucers as she digested that fact. She grabbed my hand and pleaded that I give her the book instead. I told her that I’ll think about it and asked her (in a cynical bored voice) what I could expect from her in return.
That gave her pause (she wasn’t expecting the question). After a few moments asked me in a small voice.. “Well, what do you want?”
“I want to touch your legs” (ehe he, I still can’t believe I had enough balls then to pose that potentially disastrous question).
Now I don’t know if memories fade or distort over time but as I remember it, her expression was priceless! He he (growing pale one second and tomato red the next as her mouth opened and closed, failing to find words for what she wanted to say). I wanted to give her a paper bag then and there as it looked like she was about to hyperventilate. Then…
“NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!…..” apparently my suggestion was too much for her conservative nature and so I just said “OKAY, your choice.”
I went back to doing my lab report as if nothing happened, all the while watching her from the corner of my eye. I could almost imagine tiny gears kicking into high motion behind her forehead as she weighed the pros and cons, the morality, the risks and benefits of what she’s going to do next.
10-15 minutes later, I felt her softly tugging at my sleeves. “NOW WHAT?” I asked.
“Pwede sa tuhod lang?” “Would you like to touch my knee instead?”, ehe he, after more than 8 years, it still never fails to cheer me up!
The group decided to get together and spend the night at the beach. As it was December, several of the boys didn’t plan on going swimming in the ice cold water and so didn’t bring any change of clothes. Those of us who brought our swimming gear though were having too much fun in the water moments after we got there for them to think too much about swimming around in their briefs.
One of the “brief boys” (Marx) suddenly had a naughty (and in my opinion disgusting) idea about removing our briefs underwater then waving them above our heads as proof of total nudity. This, in turn, spawned an even naughtier idea in another’s head (Baldo’s).
“You go first” he dared Marx.
“Okay” Marx agreed cheerfully and as he bent down to remove his briefs, Baldo suddenly launched forward, stepped on Marx’s briefs, grabbed it and then proceeded to run to the shore, where he waved Marx’s briefs as if he was holding a flag.
I was laughing my head off as Marx screamed at Baldo to return the only piece of clothing that made him decent. (There were a group of girls camping out a short distance from where we were.)
Anyway, all of us who still had briefs on rushed to the shore to talk about Marx’s brief and roll over the sand laughing. Naked-as-the-day-he-was-born (but hairier?) Marx, on the other hand, watched forlornly from the water. We were still laughing about it ten minutes later when we suddenly remembered that naked Marx was still in the water. But – when we looked he was nowhere to be found. (a vision of Marx floating dead and naked on the water and being fished out the sea days later by fishing fleets flitted through my mind).
Suddenly all the rest of the gang were cheering, a naked apparition rose out of the darkness, running over the sand, in a headlong rush towards our campfire where his only piece of clothing was displayed like a big catch. He was like a Pinoy version of David Hasslehoff in Baywatch rushing off to save a wiener in distress (he he he).
Meters away from his goal though, he suddenly tripped and stumbled face down. By this time, the girls on the other campsite were starting to become curious. To save what he can of his remaining dignity, Marx used his hands to cover his ass with sand. This is actually where the Pawikan/endangered turtle title figures in as he looked like one who was washed ashore and trying to conceal himself. He was quite serious about it too.
The next thing I knew, Baldo was standing over him with a pitcher of water in his hand and a wicked gleam in his eyes. He poured the water over Marx’s recently covered ass laughing demonically and exposing it yet once more for the guys (and now the girls) to see. Finally – deciding to end the whole circus (and to stop Marx from committing suicide by stuffing sand in his mouth), some of us gave Marx back his briefs.
All of us then stood back and held our breaths wondering how Marx would recover from the situation. Marx wasn’t moving though. He just laid there one arm outstretched and the other one holding his briefs while the rest of us stood around him stupidly wondering if something snapped in his brain. How would we explain to his mother that he went crazy because of a stupid prank?
It suddenly dawned on me that Marx wasn’t moving because 1. There were lots of people around and 2. There was no way in hell he could slip on his briefs without the rest of us having a view of his weewee. “give him something to cover himself” I shouted to another as I attempted to appease the gods of Karma.
Now, I will never know if common sense flies off during high stress situations or if I would’ve done it any differently but what our friend brought back from the camp site (to cover Marx up during his attempt at transfiguration) was a Coke Cup…
And surprisingly, Marx seemed pretty happy with the choice..
He suddenly flipped over, crammed the Coke cup into his crotch to cover his private parts (it didn’t cover his pubic hair though) and used his other hand to slip on his briefs.
Later on, Marx got his revenge by suddenly pouring gasoline over the campfire as we huddled around it for warmth. Almost all of our body hairs were singed off our bodies. The gods of karma were probably laughing their heads off that time.
Setting: Standing in Line in a McDonald’s Outlet.
Scene: My friend was laughing hysterically as she stood in front of me because she couldn’t catch me in the act of plucking dead hairs off her head.
Conclusion: Plucking dead hairs out off someone else’s head is dangerous to that someone’s mental health.
Setting: Boarding House in KNL
Scene: My boardmate and I was having a serious discussion about Jolibee’s Chili Wings and how it looked like. The funny thing about this is the fact that we were contorting our arms to look like Chili Wings to get our point across – with hands folded across the wrists and elbows close to the chest.. Ehe he, never felt so foolish in my life.
Conclusion: Never use body language when discussing food.
Setting: Inside a Taxi, 2 am in the morning, in front of Ilang Dorm.
Scene: Rex was having a serious discussion with the taxi driver about possible routes to Anonas (we were going to play starcraft). Ceasar still outside puffing on his cig furiously to maximize nicotine intake before the ride.
“Sar bilisan mo!” / “Sar hurry up!” he shouted as we prepared to roll. A flick of the fingers, a dash towards the door, and a slam as the door mechanism locked in later, a huffing Ceasar was finally ready as Rex and the taxi driver finalized their route plan.
Unfortunately, Rex forgot that he had his hand along Ceasar’s door when Ceasar slammed it closed. I, on the other hand, sat transfixed looking at Rex’s fingers that suddenly melded with the metal and the doorframe. More fascinating yet was the fact that Rex was still talking calmly to the driver about traffic and such.
“Let’s go through UP Village then out to Sikatuna…” He was saying..
I’ve read somewhere that the body communicates with the brain through electrical impulses zipping along at light speeds on neuron highways. If that was the case, then the pain messengers in his hand apparently got stuck in Neuron traffic along the way, being queued as unimportant over the possibility of finding the shortest distance between two points in the map.
“Rex!” I shouted unable to keep the shock and awe out of my voice. (it was like watching David Blaine perform a magic trick live!).
He looked at me, then looked over to where my trembling fingers were pointing..
“HUH????!!!!!!!” a distinct pause (from his own shock maybe)
He meant to say “Aray!” / “ouch!” but has trouble pronouncing it.
Needless to say, the rest of us were laughing all the way to Anonas, then laughing all the way back!
It was the middle of the Sem and my friend and I were furiously trying to recover lost ground in our scrabble class. 5 games to go and I was still down two wins in order to make the required 10 needed to pass the subject.
That morning, I was competing against my friend Mike. (you get to compete against everybody in the class at one time or another). We were seated beside yet another competing pair composed of two girls sharing the same long table with us.
Scrabble might not seem much of a PE class but believe me, you could almost smell the tension in the air as tile after tile clicked against each other on the board. Mike was ecstatic. He finally found the chance to use his problematic letter Q and was now furiously counting his score.
“3 + 4 + 12, double letter yan.. (that one’s counted double) +2+…..” he was saying as he counted – his face inches from the board when suddenly, my eyes were distracted by a flapping arm belonging to the girl seated beside mike.
She was looking at me round eyed, with her mouth forming an O – all the while flapping her hands at her sides…
Is she trying to tell me something?? I wondered..
Hmmmmm… Did Mike cheat on his last turn and this girl trying to be a good Samaritan for my sake?.. I pondered as the I sat there, eyes-to-eyes with this girl, her with her still flapping arms and a look of terror on her face..
Then suddenly…. “WWHHHAAAMM!!!” she slammed down hard on the floor.. the vibrations travelling across the floor, to our table, then to the tiles Mike was intently counting.
Apparently, she was flapping her arms to balance herself and keep herself from falling.. The rounded eyes and the O shaped mouth were actually just a manifestation of the foreknowledge she had of what was to come and perhaps a tinge of regret for choosing that particular exercise as a past time. Too late, I realized that what she was trying to tell me was “SAVE Meeeeeee!!!!” or better yet “OOOHHHHH SHIT!!”..
WHAM!… Wham!!… whamm…. The sound echoed throughout the room…
“OOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh……” a gasp from our scrabble teacher who has probably never seen such a thing happen in all her years of teaching scrabble.
Mike was still busy counting his tiles… (“34 + 3….)
“MIKE TULUNGAN MO!!! (MIKE HELP HER!!)” couldn’t believe he was still counting..
“OH Right….” He said, suddenly snapping back to reality as he and some other classmates righted our fallen comrade’s chair.
The girl was not moving.. she just sat there.. eyes staring blankly ahead.. as the whole class sat rooted in their seats…
“Did the fall damage her brain?”… everyone was thinking..
15 seconds went by… then 30…. 45…
Her eyes began to move (not her head though).. swivelled left and right… seeing the shock written all over our faces and our scrabble teacher rooted on the spot with her hands over her mouth..
She probably wondered… “well, what the heck am I supposed to do now?”…
She placed one hand on each side of her head… then emitted the most eerie sound..
It was scary as hell and was probably one of the most difficult tests my self control ever went through in my whole life..
I was trying sooo hard not to laugh.. praying to God to give me the strength so I could keep my face composed and looking sympathetic at the same time..
“please bring her to the clinic.. class dismissed…” said our scrabble teacher in a very small voice.. (she was probably trying her best to keep herself from laughing too)
I bolted out of the room and ran all the way towards a safe spot far off in the distance – then I laughed and laughed and laughed; tears were streaming down my face, but I didn’t care.
Probably looked stupid..
What the heck! The “pursuit of happyness” (like the movie, duh!) is after all, still one of the basic human rights right? He he
It seems that writing down memories is hard work and the stories are much harder to write down than to tell (maybe that’s why writing came much later than storytelling in the course of human history). I’ll try to add some other “happy marbles” to this particular blog from time to time.