Tears in my eyes, and I am not crying

By Emmanuelle

STEALING ideas from one person is plagiarism. Stealing from many is research. So said Wilson Mizner, an American playright better known for his witty one-liners rather than the fame of his literary works.

This article, then, is research. Haha.

But first, a witch’s sign to ward off all cyber watchdogs. Swish the leaves here, swish the leaves there. Bari-bari, laki, bai. Pwera bambano! Ang tamaan ay huwag sanang magagalit. Kami laang naman po ay naghahanap-buhay ng pilit. Spit on the thumb and raise it to the sky. Water off my eyes; gas out my belly.

On current events. Morning news is where they begin with the greeting Good morning! And then the anchors and reporters proceed to tell you why it is a bad morning after all. Is it any different with Evening News, Balitang Tanghali or the 24-Hour News broadcasts?

On hospitality. Hospitality is telling your guests to feel right at home, ipa-abong yo, even if you wish they would not take your words seriously. They might decide to stay forever and ever. Then when the party is over, you wish they had taken your words seriously and, singa met dia ed abong da, they would go on feeling conscientiously at home, proceeding to the kitchen to wash the plates and silvers and to dispose of all the thrash. You wish. Haha.

On marriage. Then this guy summed up the sad story of his life: my wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then my wife and I met.

To which the author Oscar Wilde harrumphed back –  marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence; the second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. So, any marriage more than the second is a hapless hoping against hope?

On second chances. Noah was just following orders, but if he truly aimed to start reformatting life on earth, without the sinners, without the threats to sinless beginnings, then why oh why did he bring the pair of mosquitoes on board his ark? With the great flood done and gone, the paired animals downloaded themselves dizzily, sluggishly; but not before this winged batch swarmed fast and furious towards land. The pair of mosquitoes had multiplied into hordes beyond counting, their warmth-seeking, blood-sucking proboscis zeroing-in on tender, fleshy, blue-veined victims. Na-malaria lay aanak tan aapo nen Noah, na-dengue ni. Ay na!

On punctuality. But life goes on with the luck of second chances. Thus, if the early bird got the first worm, the mousetrap got the early mouse. The second mouse got the cheese sitting on the mousetrap.

And Franklin Jones continues to groan that the trouble with us humans arriving even earlier than punctual: nobody had come earlier to admire the deed and to clap for you their hands.

On raising children. I share Milton Berle’s puzzled query: if evolution is a fact, then why oh why do mothers still have two hands? Why do we spend the first 2 years of our kids’ lives teaching them how to walk and talk, then we spend the next 16 years telling them to sit down and shut up?

If I were given the chance to have two kids again, I would name the keys (ay! the kids pala) Backspace and Delete. If and when the keys (ay! the kids pala) mess up the sheets of their lives, I would just undo the mistake by hitting the keys (ay! the kids pala) one tonk after the other. Tonk.

And so, I go on to dream of a better and wiser tomorrow, where cows are not asked why they prefer to graze on the greener grass on the other side and the poultry are not questioned which comes first, the egg or the chicken.

On getting older than old. The perennial bridesmaid complains her friends keep telling her to wait, be patient, the right man will come along the road sooner or later. She is beginning to believe, though, that the right man took the road less travelled. Talaga amo ya ag la ra man-sabatan! Norman Wisdom does not help any when he goes on to warn all of us that as people get older, three things happen: the first is we lose our memories; the second and the third, ummm, he forgot.

On healing. Emma Bombeck advises us not to go to a doctor whose office plants are dehydrated or are well on their way to dying. While the actor Steve Martin wrings his hands as he wails: first, the doctor told me the good news – I was going to have a disease named after me! Then he simply forgot to tell me the bad news. Or did he?

Meantime Regina Griffin screams at her nutritionist: if my diet soda has zero calories, zero sugar and zero fat, what the hell am I drinking?

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