Wednesday, December 13, 2017


A couple of weeks after his mother's funeral, a man was packing some of his mother's old stuff, and he stumbled upon many of her old diaries. Curiosity got the better of him, and he started reading some pages randomly. He came upon an interesting entry from many years ago. 

It said:

"Today I've learnt a very important lesson—Sometimes, it's not worth to save a few cents by buying cheap and low-quality stuff because it might just fail to do what it's supposed to do. It's OK to spend a few cents more for the sake of quality!"

That entry made the man pause for a bit; he wondered what was that all about, and he kept thinking and thinking about it to no avail. It wasn't until much later when it suddenly occurred to him that the date of that entry was about 9 months before he was born!

Well, I have a story to tell about buying cheap stuff too. But in my story, although I'm not the one buying the cheap stuff, in the end I'm the one who paid for the consequences.

You see, I bought a smart phone for JJ, which was in itself an irony, really, because JJ is not so smart about taking good care of her stuff. She brought her phone to school one day and then left it lying around unattended, and eventually it was stolen. So daddy came in for the rescue with a new smart phone. That was almost 2 years ago. Although JJ has dropped her cellphone like a million times, the phone survived the torture somehow. It was quite an expensive cellphone, but it's not waterproof.

Then recently, while Mia was passing a phone accessories shop in a mall, a plastic casing for smartphones caught her eyes. It was designed to contain smartphones which can then be submerged into water. It was selling at a price of just RM10. Such a cheap item with the function of protecting a cellphone worth at least 6 months of my lunch allowance.

So JJ was excited. Last week, she went swimming at Sutera Harbour. She put her cellphone into that forsaken plastic casing and then took selfies in the pool. And then came the painful part of the story. After JJ had had her fun taking selfies, she noticed that water went into the plastic casing after all. What followed next were numerous attempts to revive the phone, including putting it into the rice container (not sure where she got that silly idea). But to make the long story short, her cellphone is dead. Like "DEAD" dead!

So JJ was the not-so-smart user of a smart phone; Mia was the cheapskate buyer of the miserable plastic casing at RM10; and now daddy is the one having to get JJ a new cellphone. After about a week without a cellphone, JJ finally got a new phone today. After checking out some of its features, she said to daddy, "Wow! it's cool dad!"

So JJ is happy; her mommy is happy; and I'm happy for both of them. But I'm rather sad for myself. But unlike the dead mother in the story above, I doubt that Mia has learnt anything from this episode. I bet if she sees another plastic casing selling at RM5, she'd buy it in a heartbeat...sigh.