Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


There is no wrong tool

By E. R. Ronny

You have to call a spade a spade. It cannot be called say for instance, a javelin. Of course, if you want, you can always use it as one. When thrown, the spade-cum-javelin may miss its target and embed itself in the soul of a passerby (unless that IS your target). In that case the spade can be put to its primary use - that of digging. Bury the unfortunate victim and try throwing the spade again. It also serves as a crutch when you hit your foot with the sharp end while digging. When screaming in pain, your accomplice can use it to shut your mouth with a loving bang on the head. Then he can dig and bury you… and so the story goes.

It is just an illustration to show that tools can be used for much more than the intended purpose. Take for example a knife. It may be used for a horde of other purposes besides stabbing, slitting, slashing, cutting and performing other acts of mutilation. Need to unstick a jammed drawer? Use a knife wedged into the gap. Use it when you need to scrape off paint, level an uneven section of a wooden chair or tighten a screw. Of course, after such effective display of multitasking the knife may lose its edge, in a manner of speaking.

Finding new uses for available technology is a sign of creativity. Think about the mobile phone. It lets you keep in touch wherever you are (as the ads suggest). Now think about the erratic power supply of our country. Stuck outside with muggers lurking under every shadow, you call quickly for someone to come open the door. Doorbells, they are so yesterday.

Car horns are usually meant for warning the people ahead of your presence. One irate car driver (after overturning a rickshaw) told the passenger that he had forewarned using the horn. Horns are not necessarily for saying, "Excuse me". They ARE the excuse.

One day in the car a female friend of mine asked me to pass her a CD. When I complied with the wish she handed it back, saying it was a recordable CD with a golden finish. She wanted one of the 'normal' CDs with a silver finish so that she could see her face and adjust whatever women are always adjusting. CDs are almost obsolete though. Shiny mirror-like cellphone display?

Some great discoveries are purely accidental. Archimedes discovered that bath water could be used to further discover displacement of water. Similarly, my 2-year old nephew discovered that an eggbeater could be great for curling long hair. He turned it on and put it in his unsuspecting mother's hair. The machine twirled the hair tightly giving a curly set with just a little bit of screaming.

A friend of mine living in Canada sent me one OTHER use for a microwave oven. It's so cold there, our winters feel ashamed to call themselves winter. For him, waking up in the mornings from under a warm blanket and putting on chilled clothes is a horrible experience. He would put all his underclothes and socks inside the oven and set the heat on a low setting for 30 seconds. After a while he would step outside wearing clothes that are warm as toast. Good thing none of his roommates know what goes inside the oven every morning.

There is a saying about using the right tool for the right job. Sometimes it pays to use the right tool for the wrong job.

Line for thought: Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


By Neshmeen Faatimah

“One day, a boy drew a picture in school. His teacher saw the drawing and kicked him out of the class. While he was standing outside, the principal saw him and asked him why he had been kicked out of the class. He showed her the drawing and she kicked him out of the school. When he reached home, his father asked him what had happened and he showed him the picture. He was then kicked out of his house. Confused and sad, he was crossing the road when he was hit by a car. Now, what do we learn from this story?”

My brother, flashing one of his trade-mark foolish, risible grins, stared at me and waited for my answer, simultaneously poking helpless me in a very enthusiastic manner to make sure that I didn't go back to sleep. After a few seconds of ignoring my sleepy, vexed I'm-so-going-to-slap-you-right-now look, he said, “Don't forget to look left and right before crossing the road!” and beamed at me proudly, waiting for me to perhaps burst into bouts of uncontrollable laughter.

I had been sleeping.

This wasn't the first or the only time I was 'blessed' with having the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge of these miraculous, 'hilarious' jokes. I have been pulled out of the bathroom and even whispered to during an O'Level exam (he decided it was the right time to pull off the hot invigilator joke). It's not like my brother is the only one either - lame jokes have spread around the world faster than a measles epidemic, shrouding our lives and revolutionising our sense of humour at a very fast, fated pace. They are ineluctable, inescapable and the worst part is their divine admirable ability to be so lame that no matter how much you resist, you still have to part with that long-lasting paroxysm of unexplainable laughter.

According to my brother, if you are lame, it's just not funny; it is only when you possess that special talent of reaching a level of lameness that is SO lame that you become funny (copyrighted - Shaheer's third law of lameness, he calls it)

Nevertheless, lame is the new cool, apparently. So the next time your mind is blessed with the awesomeness of a lame joke, do not slap the person who cracked it, but revel at the discovery of how cool he just made you.

“Why do we never write with a blunt pencil?”
Because it's pointless! Get it? Geddit? POINTLESS!
You're cool.

An Awesome Day

By Neshmeen Faatimah

The drizzle is here, the breeze is cool--
For admiring sunshine, I feel like a fool.
It's the end of March, still too early for this weather--
Now I know, the clouds are as uncertain as a feather.

Now it is morning, the afternoon will be sunny,
The sky'll be blue, and clouds the colour of honey. Oh! there's the sun right there!
Wonder where it comes from.
Maybe out of nowhere.

The clouds are so unjust--
Why do they let the sun peek through and break our trust?
But the bright sun is beautiful against the dark sky,
Beautiful enough to make me take my words back and wish to watch it till I die...



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star