Kucing Gatal Speaks

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dealing with a nasty little boy

I was going through some of my old stuff the other day when I came across a photo album. The memory of how I got that album made me smile and realise how vindictive I had been as a child.

My neighbours had some children my age and I was always invited to their birthday parties. There was always good food and lots of games where you could win prizes. In retrospect, they were some pretty cheesy prizes but when you're a kid, everything looks novel and must be won at all costs.

At one particular party, I noticed this little kid, he had blond hair and blue eyes (my neighbours were foreigners and had a lot of expat friends) and I thought he was pretty cute. I was around 8 years old at that time and hadn't reached the boy-hating age yet.

"Hi," I said brightly to him.

He looked at me and quickly ran off with his friend. I heard him shouting "Girls are yucky!!" as he ran off.

How dare he ignore me, I thought. I was determined to teach him a lesson but didn't know how. Then I saw him looking at the prizes for the games. I snuck up behind him and heard him telling his friend that he wanted to win the photo album.

So of course I resolved to win it first.

The prizes were awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning that whoever won the first game would have first choice, and so on.

The first game started. It was a game of musical chairs. I was so busy keeping an eye out on the little boy that I missed out on chances to win and was soon out. Luckily he was soon out too.

Then the next game started and this was the "statue" game, where we would all jump up and down and dance like robots being electrocuted until the music was turned off, at which point we all had to freeze in whatever pose we were in until the music started up again. Whoever was out could walk around making faces at the "statues", trying to make them laugh and move, thus kicking them out of the game too.

The little boy was soon out of the game. It was down to me and another finalist. The music stopped, I froze in an awkward position with my arms in the air and my legs far apart from each other. The losers quickly surrounded us and made the stupidest faces imaginable. I was just about to giggle when luckily the other kid giggled first and I won.

I was led to the prize section where I pretended to think carefully about the prize I wanted, then eagerly grabbed the album.

"Hey, I wanted that!" the little anti-girl kid said petulantly and stamped his foot.

"Now, now, she won fair and square and she gets to choose," one of the adults told him.

Hah! It was a victory I savoured and as I turned, I stuck my tongue out at him after making sure no adults were looking. It served him right for ignoring me.

I clutched the album triumphantly and turned to walk away. The little twerp decided to retaliate and kicked me. Yes, he actually kicked me in the shins! Then he stuck his tongue out at me before running away.

What a little monster! He obviously didn't have a way with the ladies and wasn't well-mannered enough to know that boys do not hit girls, even if provoked.

Every time I bumped into him after that, I would stick my tongue out at him or make faces at him and he would do the same. After a while we both got tired of it and ignored each other.

I don't remember if I ever saw him again after that. Maybe I've passed by him in the street, not recognising the man he's become, or maybe he's gone home to his own country, who knows. What I do know is that things were so easy in those days. If you didn't like someone you just showed it. As an adult, you learn to hide your feelings and smile serenely even at those you dislike.

If only things could be as simple as they once were ...

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a nostalgic Meow.

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