Friday, February 29, 2008

Kid With Tough Questions

Shortly after I fetched JJ home from her grandma's last night, she suddenly asked me an interesting question.

"Dad," she said, "why do boys have different poo-poops from mine?"

"How do you mean, "different", J?" I replied, fairly alarmed.

"Well, dad, it hangs out like a small elephant's nose."

I whisked JJ into the living room, installed her in the sofa, and put on Tom & Jerry. Then I rushed into the bathroom where I laughed out loud uncontrollably for a long time. One of these days, I know I am going to faint because of JJ's questions.

Recently, subsequent to some debates and discussions on a treasure hunt question in a thread, a grandmaster hunter suddenly suggested that I clerk next year's Ox Hunt for the die-hard hunters in KL. I responded that "I am like a 2-year-old kid" in the treasure hunting sport; and the masters and grandmasters may doubt my qualification for the job. However, the said grandmaster was kind enough to say that many are eager to sample my questions, having seen some of them posted in this blog.

Then to my surprise, I received several emails from other supporters for the idea. Some were even creative in showing their supports—they did it by being poetic. I am greatly amused by these two, who I thought were getting too excited a little too early:

"Vote for this maize with a strong base,
Next year though, is far too long a wait;
An earlier day, to entertain and amaze,
Certainly hope he'll take up the bait!"

"Eager faces waiting in hope
Would this maize grab the bait?
If not there’s always dope
In the dark we lie in wait
Drug him then drag him to a boat
And zoom him to our gates!"

While I am pleased to know that I have some fans in the west, I must warn you people that this "kid" pose very strange questions. Be careful what you wish for—I have a bad feeling that you might just regret it if it really happens!


CK said...

u know wat? i think the hunters there are too bored with the typical questions. just like the election, maybe they're looking for some change!!!!!
go do it. when is tat? hm.... deliberating on sth.... any team hav vacancy?

Cornelius said...

As I said, CK, it is waaaaaay too early to get excited. I can just drop dead tomorrow.

"Different" may not be welcomed in west, CK. The only way to do the trick is apply some psychology and a strange twist in the questions. By applying the standard cryptic clueing, there is just no way you can best these crazy people!

Tell me, CK, can you explain this?

Q) A pair of eyes?


Anonymous said...

Angin bertipu ke sana ke sini
Gunung Kinabalu megah berdiri
Janganlah lepaskan peluang ini
Menyebar ilmu menguji diri

Cornelius said...

Aik!... pulak!?

dikir barat pun dah sampai ke!?

Gunung Kinabalu kemegahan tercinta
Kemasyhurannya hingga merata-rata
Kalau boleh nak tumpang tanya
Angin bertipu tu apa benda?

Anonymous said...

isn't mata-mata (a pair of eyes) = polis in traditional malay? i dunno, if memory serves right!

Cornelius said...

Yes, my friend, the kind of explanation which is very simple. Yet it is strange that it's so hard to think of it during the hunt!

The word "eyes" can't stand alone here, because it may mean more than TWO eyes. The "A pair" fixes the amount to TWO only.

"Mata-mata" is rarely used these days. Sometimes, it pays to know old words.

CK said...

aiya.... i came too late already. the question answered. let me try with my easy mind.

Q) The clock is not allowed.

A) Toilet

Gunung Kinabalu megah berdiri
Mendaki ia mencabar diri
Daku di sini tak sedar diri
Jawapan mudah senang tak terperi

Anonymous said...

That's a good one CK! I couldn't help chuckling to myself...

Cornelius said...

Oh what a night. The rotarians are really a bunch of friendly people. We gave a fine performance, singing "We Are The World" and "I Started A Joke". Brought back some good old memories! And I think we stole the show!

And this morning, when I logged on to this blog, I am pleasantly surprised to see CK with an interesting question/answer. But I am not exactly a good person to test this kind of riddle for obvious reasons.

Many of you know that it is so like me to tease the solver with English-Malay translations in my questions. Furthermore, I was the one who started "indirect" solutions like this one.

However, CK, for this particular question, I had to think a little longer, just in case I got it all wrong. So I went out for breakfast, thought further about the solution, and then have to reluctantly say that I found no better explanations.

In the end, CK, I can say it is a very good attempt. It is simple and quite straightforward, but I am afraid it won't pass the grandmasters' scrutiny! Well, OK, some grandmasters are not really bothered about accuracy... hahaha!

Let me explain why.

I can accept the overall structure of your solution. But I think the solution fails on grammatical grounds.

To equate "is not allowed" to "ban" is grammatically wrong. I wouldn't take that kind of risk with the grandmasters. I will assume that at least some of them are English purists! It should have been "banned" instead of "ban". I can accept equating "The clock" to "jam".

Perhaps a possible improvisation is like this:

Q) 60 minutes at the bar.

A) Toilet

In this case, "60 minutes" can agree with JAM (hour); and "bar" can agree with "BAN". Therefore JAM at the BAN becomes JAMBAN.

However, CK, I am still not ruling out an alternative solution from you. Please enlighten us all if you have a different explanation.

CK said...

thanks for the chance of learning here.
how abt if i treat the word ban as a noun instead of verb? then as a noun, a ban is sth not allowed.
will tis be some sort of self-fulfilling again?

Cornelius said...

I am not a linguist, CK. I only know a bit about basic grammar.

In my opinion, the word "ban", as a noun, refers more to the rule—usually an official one—that says something is not allowed. That "ban" does not refer to that "something" (which is not allowed).

I hope I am making sense. But I would invite opinions from others, expecially English experts out there.

Cornelius said...

Hey! I just thought of another possible adjustment, CK.

Maybe it is not so bad if we insert that word "something" into the question like this:

Q) The clock is something not allowed.

I think in this case, more people can agree that a "ban" is "something not allowed".

Opinions from grandmasters please?

Anonymous said...

No malice intended but leaving the sentence floating like below, will unlikely trouble the experienced hunters.

The clock is (something) not allowed.

I like to include a deceptive but simple storyline to my craft, which is intended to mislead the unassuming reader. Something like this would be a good pun on the end result.

An hour at the bar? A relief indeed to some!


Cornelius said...

Ah! that is so evil, 2R1I!... hahaha.

I must learn to develop myself in that direction. While I can improve on my "storyline", I can also shield myself from being branded as "the one-liner CoC"!

Mike, if you are reading this, maybe our friend is trying to send a message to both of us!... hahaha!