The Couch Potato Hot Shot  

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It's no secret that I'm a regular couch potato basketball all-star. Yeah I just made that up. What I mean is I talk big about my game, but that's mostly just talk. Ever since I started wearing a headset for a profession I have had very little opportunity to actually play basketball. I've been reduced from a promising high school sweet shooter, to a wannabe coach who merely watches from the sidelines. I am a self-confessed addict to the game but my gelatinous lump of a body can only do so much. So I decided to shoot some hoops yesterday.

I played ball with some of my buddies and I was surprised and slightly impressed to see that I still shot the ball pretty well, although I really need to get my game legs back. I mean I really need to get my game legs back. My knees and legs simply wobbled because of all the weight they've been lugging around for years. I must've hit 7 or 8 shots, most of them from the perimeter. I'm really not a fan of getting all banged up and mauled in the paint. No thank you.

Some of the guys were still surprised to find out that I shot the ball with my left hand. Dexterity's kind of my thing. Thank you Allan Caidic.

As expected, when I woke up today I was sore as possum in a blender. I'm gonna play the sore joints off later today. I just need to take care of a few articles before I leave. Work won't do itself, you know.

I need a massage and a good steam bath, maybe a chiropractor too.

Ouch.

World Domination 101  

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Another job well done. Or not.

I have finally gone about updating my online resumé. I sent it to one of the more prominent but known-to-pay-below-industry-standard-wages call centers in the country, with my intentions of taking over the world being proclaimed to the high heavens. I don't think they're hiring, but I've got a few tricks up my over-sized sleeves.

To be honest, I'm really not looking forward to going back to the place that I so vehemently loathe. That explains my lackadaisical and utterly disinterested approach to job hunting. If it were up to me I'd prefer to keep sitting on my gluteus maximus, and continue scribbling down a few dollars off the Internet. But that voice inside my head keeps barking at me, telling me to get a life.

Anyway, low-paying-call-center hasn't called me yet, so I need to come up with a plan B. I want to continue writing for money, so I need to find a job that doesn't take too much of my time. I want to have some me time so I can keep tightening the noose that holds my sanity together around my neck. But what other ultra-glamorous job can I do, besides picking up the phone during the most unholy hours of the night while screaming imaginary invectives at those faceless nincompoops? I'm thinking I can:

  • keep writing and look for other online jobs, even though it'll take a while before I can make any reasonable income without having to glue myself to the computer.
  • apply for a job at a newspaper because I know how to ride a bicycle.
  • open my own computer shop. Oh wait, I did.
  • go back to school for a few years and take a job as a graphics designer.
  • take my guitar out from retirement and start a band. Again. Oh the groupies.
  • hunker down and invent perpetual energy and practical time travel.
  • buy a blow-up doll. That's just wrong on so many levels.
  • keep thinking about other bright ideas until it hurts.

I guess I'll have to go back to old proverbial drawing board. I'm gonna have to re-think my ingeniously sinister plot to take over the world. Time to start working on my evil laugh.

"Haha!"

I'll keep working on it.

Life and Death  

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Today I celebrate 31 years of what I can only describe as a frantic hodge-podge of anarchy, bliss, innocence, inner turmoil and unmitigated orgasms. Yes folks, it is this humble author's birthday.

In commemoration of this non-momentous occasion, I decided to read up on articles that talked about a sinister chapter of Philippine history. This dark day in 1942 was the day that one of our country's worst war crimes was committed, and forever etched into the annals of Philippine history. Today is anniversary of the Bataan Death March.

On April 9, 1942 - waaaaay before I was born - more than 60,000 Filipino prisoners-of-war were forcibly transferred from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps, traversing a distance of close to 100 kilometers, while enduring tremendous physical abuse, disease and starvation. The Death March also included close to a thousand Filipino-Chinese civilians and nearly twelve thousand Americans. Many of those who were forced to endure the cruelty of this event died of hunger, disease, and the sheer utter brutality of the Japanese.

While I owe all this information to Wikipedia, simply reading about this very important piece of our history sort of put me in perspective. I can only imagine the scenes of despair that took place during that long walk to uncertainty. To think that the high death toll was never accurately accounted for was for me a testament of how hard it was to live in those days. I certainly gained a different kind of respect for my heritage, and I am ashamed to admit that it took me 31 years to think about learning more about the tragic event that coincided with the day I was born.

In May of 2009, in behalf of the Japanese government, ambassadors met with Bataan Death March survivors in San Antonio Texas during their last annual reunion to extend their government's apology. Talk about long overdue.

The Bataan Death March made me think about Japan in a whole new light. From now on Japan will no longer simply be about anime or short skirt Japanese school uniforms, or even Maria Ozawa. The thought of all the suffering that those people went through simply makes a shiver run down my spine. Respect.

Being born on a day that commemorated the deaths of thousands definitely makes a person think about his own existence. It doesn't just mess up your psyche, it also makes you happy to be alive today. It's time I move on with my march.

The Other War  

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The silence was deceptively deafening. As the soldiers of all three warring armies stared out into the battlefield, they felt the tension weighing down on them like guilt.

“Remember our battle plan. Let the Paperians begin their assault on the Sciss. Hold your positions!” bellowed the Rockthum commander Drega. He was atop a standard Rockthum military-issued H.O.G., which was a mechanized mutant wild boar with plasma fangs capable of ripping flesh from bone. Only the commander of the Rockthum Army was capable of controlling this mechanical monstrosity; all the other soldiers fought on foot.

They have been fighting a war that has been going on for as long as any of them could remember. No clear victor has been determined in the war’s ten thousand year history.

“This is for Yasora”, spoke the Paperian battalion commander Hu. Yasora was the battalion’s previous commander, who was recently killed in battle by a Sciss warrior. She had led the Paperian battalion through thousands of battles, but old age caught up with her and her defenses weakened. Paperians usually shed their immensely strong hides for the last time after their fourth shedding, by which time they would have lived an average of 150 years. Hu was on a mission of vengeance against the Sciss, despite the fact that no Paperian has ever successfully killed a Sciss.

The Sciss are a barbaric yet highly intelligent race. They believed that they are the living, breathing manifestations of Existence itself, and that the Rockthum and the Paperians were merely anomalies. They never spoke, despite having the ability to do so. Instead, the Sciss communicated telepathically, with the Sciss Mind issuing commands to the Sciss Horde in singularity. The Sciss have never considered the Paperians a threat, but they have yet to gain victory over the Rockthum Army.

The battle commences. Hundreds of Paperians immediately fell against the Sciss Horde, while the Rockthum held their ground. Their seemingly impenetrable defensive alignment is soon broken when a legion of Paperians infiltrated their right flank; the Rockthum Army simply had no chance. The Paperians continued their onslaught as every Rockthum soldier fell. “That’s it men! To victory!” roared Hu, as more Paperian soldiers entered the fray.

The Sciss Mind took this opportunity to mount an attack against the Rockthum. However, Drega spearheaded one final defensive ploy that once again thwarted the Sciss Horde, bravely sacrificing himself and his H.O.G. in the process. As thousands of Rockthum soldiers fell, a thousand more took up arms and desperately continued to fight, despite losing Drega.

The battle seemed to rage on endlessly, until finally the Rockthum Army falls and succumbs to the Paperians, as the Sciss watch silently from a distance.

In the real world, Charlie drew paper and won.

Emily  

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She could hardly keep herself from smiling. Teary-eyed, she took hold of the tiny little angel that was brought into the room by the hospital nurse. He had his father’s eyes. Despite her being bed-ridden and weak from exhaustion, she managed a loving smile as her first-born son yawned his first yawn.

~o~

He came home one day with only one shoe. Bullies at school hid his shoe, and he was forced to take a humiliating walk home, half-barefoot. She felt his pain. She took the remaining shoe off his foot, and the touch of her hand consoled him, gave him comfort. He felt like he would never need to wear shoes again as long as she was by his side.

~o~

It was the unmistakable stench of alcohol. He said he came from school. She found a cigarette lighter in the pocket of his pants while she was washing them. What was happening to him? Silently she wept.

~o~

He had trouble breathing. He called for his wife just as his son got home. He came home after curfew, and despite the pain he was feeling in his chest he scolded the young man. Words were said, and he clutched his chest. He said he just needed the outdoor air. He said he wanted to go to his sister’s house to watch television.

He died in the hospital that day.

~o~

She watched helplessly, crying, as her son hides his face in shame from behind bars. He was caught buying crack from the neighborhood junkie. Lost for words, he handed over the note which he wrote for her in jail, scribbled on the back of a torn cigarette foil. She read every loving word as tears rolled down her cheek. She steadied herself. Watching him rot was killing her.

~o~

He was excited to show her his biggest paycheck ever. When she found out, she was so proud of him. She realized that he was no longer a child. He had gone through so much, and so had she.

The story continues. Mom, you inspire me.

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Stories from the Simian Crease by Binchee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
Based on a work at binchee.blogspot.com