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Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako Confession of a Crazy Columnist
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 08:13
A Cup o' Kapeng Barako 

 

People tell me I am crazy.

I have a confession to make: I am crazy. I think I can see lots of heads nodding out there. Yeah, well, nobody is perfect. Each one of us has a flaw or two. I have many, and my biggest flaw is that … I am crazy.

Read on and I’ll tell you why.

 

A couple of weeks ago, a dear reader from Kansas, Tom Martires, wrote: "I like the way you write and I like your sense of humor. You’re funny … and very articulate. I like to write, too, but I am not as articulate as you. What school did you graduate from?"

Hmm, I thought … a fan.

So, I wrote back: "I attended the University of Santo Tomas and San Sebastian College, in Manila, UConn, Connecticut College, Syracuse University, Palm Beach College and many others, but I’ve always considered UST as my alma mater. I have a doctorate and an HONORIS CAUSA in the Kuma Sutra."

Tom replied: "You’re well schooled. What is the Kuma Sutra? Also, may I ask, what’s your hobby?"

"The Kuma Sutra is a form of a Hindu philosophy. It’s a very physical philosophy actually," I answered. "But it’s also spiritual, emotional and mental. You have to be totally focused when applying this philosophy in real life … because it takes the whole self to practice the techniques and its various sets of principles. You practice this philosophy only with someone you’re physically and emotionally in tuned with. Your partner does not have to be knowledgeable with the techniques."

"The techniques can be easily taught," I said. "It’s an exhausting philosophy to apply, but very satisfying and fulfilling. When you do it well, you and your partner can both attain Nirvana. Nirvana, in layman’s term, is the joy and the bliss of a heavenly, mutual climax.

"The Kuma Sutra is also my hobby," I went on. "I used to be a macho dancer, but I’ve retired from that."

Tom replied: "You’re crazy …" See, I told ya, I am crazy.

Now, this one came from a U.S. Border Inspector, named Yoshi. My wife and I often go to Vancouver, Canada, to visit her relatives there and participate in orgies of eating, talking and gossiping. It’s only a three-hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver, and the ride is pretty and scenic all year round. So, on a whim, we often go. I always enjoy the ride and the orgies. It’s crossing the border that sours the joyride and the orgies. The Border Guards ask too many questions.

Questions like: Where are you from? Where do you live? What’s your citizenship? Why are you here? What’s your occupation? What’s the purpose of your visit? How long are you going to stay? Did you buy anything? What do you have in the trunk of your car? What are you bringing into the country? Etc, etc.

STUPID, irritating, Gestapo-like questions.

And I have to answer all their questions respectfully. Because those goofy-looking Border Inspectors on the American side work for a goof, named Michael Cherrygoff (sorry, I can’t spell his last name). But y’all know who I am talking bout … you know, that Homeland Security honcho, who looks like a clone of CNN TV pundit, Larry king.

On the Canadian side of the border, the Guards there work for a cretin, I think. And whoever you work for is who you are … and vice versa.

The Border Guards, for some reason, always suspect me as a terrorist. It’s probably because of my Erap-like mustache (Erap was my hero in my kanto-boy days) and from the way I look at them as they grill me with their IDIOTIC questions: I always look at them … cross-eyed.

So, they always pick on me. A couple of weeks ago, on the way back to the American side of the border, I decided, for a change, to pick on one of them. As we approached the guard shack, I noticed that the inspector looked Japanese. So, I asked him: "Are you Japanese?"

"No," he curtly and officiously said, "American!"

In pidgin English and pointing at myself, I said, "Me, too, American." Then I gave him the thumbs up sign and said, "Amerika-nese numbah one!"

He looked pissed. He barked an order, "Let me see your passport and open the trunk of your car." I showed him my U.S. passport and flicked the trunk open. He closely scrutinized my passport, held it against the light and flipped through the stamped pages of my travels to various countries in Europe and Asia. Then, he went to inspect the trunk.

"There are dead body parts in there," I said.

"What!" he said, looking at me, his slant eyes widening in disbelief. I looked back at him, with my own semi-slant eyes … and I crossed ‘em for effect.

That perturbed him even more.

For a second or two, he touched his automatic pistol in his holster, like he was gonna draw. For a second or two, I touched mine, too, a magnum .357, like Clint Eastwood’s, which was stashed under my seat. And I thought that day was gonna be a Clint Eastwood "make my day, punk" kind of day for me.

For eternity-like seconds, my mind entered another time, the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines, and in my mind’s eye, I saw a Jap in an Imperial Army uniform, whose face was my parents’ oppressors and I blew him away with three wire cutters, his dead body parts plastering the walls of his sentry shack.

It was surreal …

Until that Jap, wearing a U.S. Border Inspector uniform, spoke up again and said, "What did you say was in your trunk?"

"Dead body parts," I said. "They’re in the big silver pot." I couldn’t see what he was doing from where I was sitting, but he must have lifted the lid off the pot of our PABAON, because the garlicky smell wafted into the air.

"Those are dead body parts?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "Dead body parts of a pig, and the concoction is called, ADOBONG BABOY …"

"DOROBO?" he asked.

"No," I said, resorting, again, to pidgin English. "You, Dorobo! That, Adobo. Me, adobo eater, yummy, yummy, like sushi …"

At the mention of the word, sushi, Yoshi’s slant eyes, slanted to slits. I stared back at him, crossed my eyeballs, uncrossed ‘em and crossed ‘em again. Then I wiggled my ears, one at a time.

Then I farted, LOUD. That did it. He said: "You’re crazy …"

The crossing barrier to America flew up. I stepped on the gas and roared away, roaring with laughter. As I savored my mirth, Maribel said: "You’re crazy …"

See, even my wife tells me I am crazy.

JJ



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Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2007 04:46
 

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