Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Autobiography of a Pencil

This is a Chinese language post designed to help me rediscover some lost linguistic skills.
English translation below.




我是一枝铅笔,性 Staedtler,无名。2B 级,长6.9寸,外色鲜黄涂黑斑,再加上金色的文字看起来十分健美。好可惜饮用者不只靠美观购买用具,否则用具商业就被我们Staedtler 一家完全控制。


12 Batang Pensel
Staedtler (M) BHD
6/6A Jalan Kilang
80350 Johore Baru









From my essay topics presented in the previous post, there were a few recommendations. Adrian suggested the Autobiography of a Pencil (he thought a pencil can be sexy) while Sonia wanted either Market Trip or a Dreadful Day. Choosing one from the three was not going to be easy, so I choose two instead. Now please do not point out that choosing one from three is equivalent to rejecting one from three.

The fusion essay would be A Pencil’s Dreadful Day.

A Pencil’s Dreadful Day
Tan Yee Wei

I am a pencil, surnamed Staedtler and nameless. Graded 2B, 6.9 inches long, finished in bright yellow paint and black stripes, and printed with gold lettering, I look robustly good. It’s a pity consumers do not buy stationery based on looks alone, otherwise the stationery business would be completely dominated by the Staedtler company.

If the consumer were to scrutinise a box of pencils, the first thing one would notice is that there are six languages printed on it. They include English, French, German and some other unnamed European languages. On further inspection, one can find 4 lines of Malay hidden away at a little corner:

12 Batang Pensel
Staedtler (M) BHD
6/6A Jalan Kilang
80350 Johore Baru

Either they must be joking, underestimating Asia, or concentrating on the export market, but it is a little strange to find a Malaysia manufactured product without Malay, nor Chinese.

Me and my boxmates were purchased by Lilly, an engineer. She prefers pencils to pens, and rarely ever uses pens, but buys boxes and of boxes of pencils. Her boyfriend was an artist, another great consumer of pencils. His pencils though, were different. They were either 5B or 6B grade, with soft tips, dark marks and an expensive price tag.

One day, Lilly needed to jot down some details, and grabbed one of her boyfriend’s 6B pencils. “Don’t use my drawing pencils; they are not good to sketch after you write with them,” he snapped at her impatiently. This matter rapidly exploded into a major argument.

A short moment of arguing later, dishes, vases and glasses were being flung around. Not only were pencils were involved, but they also fought over past issues.

“You never flush after using the toilet!”
“You didn’t even send my mother a card for her birthday!”
“You’re lazy, always asking to be brought here and there in my car!”
“You used my pencil!”
“Only to take down a telephone number!”
And so on…

Somehow, things turned violent. Lilly grabbed a pencil (me) from the table, and tried using it as a stabbing weapon against her boyfriend. She made several stabbing attempts before succeeding in piercing his abdomen. I felt myself piercing through several layers. There was the shirt, then the epidermis, a thin layer of fat, and then into the stomach itself.

At this moment, half of myself was in the boyfriend’s stomach, and the other half in Lilly’s grasp. Savagely, with poisonous hatred, she snapped me in half and left my front half in the boyfriend’s abdomen.

Blood and breakfast endlessly poured out onto the floor surface.

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