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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Of Blogs and Rats and Me

Why do I blog?
This is as good an answer as any.

At this point, I'd like to inform everyone that Stephan Pastis (may he live forever and continue to draw Pearls) owns Pearls Before Swine. I don't. Copyright and all that, everything, belongs to Pastis & Co.

Pearls is my favourite strip. Not that kind of strip, perv. Comic strips. The kind they put in newspapers. Like, say, Dilbert. Anyway, about Pearls. It's my favourite strip (I love repeating myself). Not Calvin & Hobbes (it's a close second), not Garfield (third, like Ender), not Dilbert (it's nowhere on the list), not {insert name of comic strip here}, it's Pearls Before Swine that's my favourite. The title is taken from a line in the Bible, that goes something like, thou shalt cast no pearls before swine. The strip is about a bunch of anthropomorphic animals that live in a city, alongside humans. Humans don't appear in the strip very often, and when they do, they don't find talking animals unusual at all.

The humour is dark, it often comes across as insensitive, there are plenty of people lobbying for the un-syndication of Pearls, it pokes fun at many serious issues, but, bottom line is, I find it funny. Funny as in 'hahahaha if I laugh any more I'll die' funny.
Pearls, for the lack of better words, is me. I can identify with all of the main characters in the strip, except one. God, not that one, please.

The hero, Rat, is the personification of our greatest vices. And I don't count greatness as a vice. I think, when things get really really sticky, we think about our own skins alone. I don't mean that we are all always uncaring monsters, we do give lots of damns about our loved ones, it's just that we love our own selves a little more. Take unrequited love, for instance. X (yeah, took me an hour think up the name) loves Y (it was easier this time, only 45 minutes). But Y does not love X (big surprise, huh?). X is sad (understatement of the year) because (duh!) Y does not love X. What I'm trying to say is, although X loves Y, all X is wants is another person to love X. There is no such thing as an unselfish act. No, that's too general. I have never come across a completely unselfish act. Think about it.
Rat is the personification, or more accurately, the rodentification, of the worst of many of my faults, magnified into something enormous that fits into the body of a rat. He is a self-centred, cynical, cruel, sarcastic, insensitive, totally hateful megalomaniac. I know myself well enough to realise that I have a nasty streak in me. I don't kick small children, but I'm tempted to, if they bug me. I need to use a lot of restraint when it comes to not pulling their hair out by the roots when they do that to me, the force of temptation being directly proportional to the age of the child. Rat is multi-talented, he writes children's books and romance novels, owns a tabloid (The National Enquirat), and is also a highly successful (what else?) lawyer.

Pig, Rat's roomie, is, well, a little dumb. He says and does a lot of things that are misunderstood, because he did not know they could be taken the wrong way. He is innocent, not very worldly-wise, shy, insecure, a little slow, a misfit among his peers (he likes bacon). I wish I could say I'm nothing like him, but the truth is that I'm too much like him for comfort. But he's also very sweet, a description that, sadly, does not apply to me.
Rat: If you could have a conversation with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Pig: The living one.
Pig: You must really think I'm stupid.

Goat is quite intelligent, a loner, prefers books to people, is always the butt of Rat's ridicule, and easily exasperated by stupidity and apathy. He can't stand Rat, either, but it's always Rat who gets the last word. Goat keeps a blog that no one reads. Yes, I know, the resemblance is uncanny.

Zebra is a very ordinary sort of guy, but unfortunately, prey. There are all kinds of predators waiting to eat him, or one of his herd members back home in Africa. He's an idealist, trying to make the predators more understanding about the plight of becoming eaten. Not a particularly easy task, when staying alive is hard enough. He also has a lot of principles that he lives by, and he finds it frustrating when they are paid no heed. I could write entire books on the subject.

Most people have guard dogs, but Pig has a Guard Duck. His solution to every problem, small or big, is his rocket launcher. Not a bad idea, that. Nothing like a rocket launcher to stop others from being annoying.

Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata. The dumbest Crocs on earth live next door to Zebra, and are such incompetent predators that they have to subsist on take out from KFC. Da only seemilareety between da Crocs and me ees dat me sometimes talk like dem. But that could be because I'm addicted to Pearls.

The jokes in the strip are my favourite kind- horrible puns that would leave my victims writhing in agony.
Rat: I saw my cousin Gene today.
Pig: Is he the guy that runs marathons?
Rat: Yeah, but he's a real jerk ... nobody in my family likes him.
Pig: It must be tough to have a bad Gene that runs in the family.

I hope everyone liked the new display picture. And do check out Pearls here. You can read the Wikipedia entry on Pearls here. Enjoy.

There are dozens of recurring characters, like Danny Donkey, Farina, Stromoski, and Angry Bob, who is the hero of the romance novels Rat writes, but none of them are, well, me. The day I become Angry Bob is the day I die (pun intended). Plus the strip is really complex, with cross overs, pop culture references, running gags, and all. In short, just like life. But taken in in its entirety, the strip is totally me.

I'd like to remind everyone that all of the pictures I have used here, and the characters, are the property of Stephan Pastis, the creator of Pearls, and that the copyright and things belong to him.

There are very few things for which I have strong feelings, humour is one of them. My tastes are another. There are a few more, but Medicine tops the list. I also love stating the obvious. I don't know how boring this has been, I talk seriously only about issues that are very close to my heart.

From now on, I'll be ending all my posts on this blog with a joke that I find funny. I'm going to call it *drumroll* Postal Joke.
Pig: What are you reading?
Goat (holding book): It's a mystery.
Pig: Have you checked the title page?

Friday, September 14, 2007

18 and Above

No explicit content, peepals, it's the 18 things you've all been dying to know about me. Oh, someone already died? Thou hast not died in vain, O William of Avon, thy sacrifice has been rewarded. You can read this if you can access the net from your grave. You can all thank Sreejith for this literary masterpiece.

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.
Healed scar, 0.5 * 0.1 cm, on the dorsum of the right hand, 1 cm below and lateral to the 2nd metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint. I had my viva exam in Forensic Medicine yesterday, so please forgive me for not speaking English. Translated, it's a small scar on the back of my right hand, below my index finger. Don't be misled by the size, I bled like a stuck pig. As is true of all of women's problems, this too was due to an MCP. Looks can be deceiving. That's him on the right.

2. What does your phone look like?
You don't know what an iPhone looks like? Tsk-tsk.* I was just dying to say that. My phone is a combination of dirty silver and a particularly ugly shade of blue, thanks to some idiot at Sony Ericsson who thought he was a designer.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?
Blood, and other less colourful things that splatter when people die under torture. Makes for a very unique design. I could tell you why they were tortured, but then I'd have to kill you.

4. What is your current desktop picture?
This one, from my favourite comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis. Zeeba Zeeba Eata!

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?
Weddings are serious affairs, sometimes a little too serious, so I think a little more liveliness would do no harm. And if the bride(groom) and (bride)groom add to the gaiety, I have no objections.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
I want mosquitoes to practice birth control.

7 . What time were you born?
My mom went to work as usual, thinking about her maternity leave which began the next day, and how her little Arjun would be born after a month. She was wrong on all counts. I came along a few hours later, and turned out to be this 2.4 kg Amazon any football team would be proud of! Everyone was expecting a boy, because of how I used to kick. Amma's sari would be lifted into the air and slowly come to rest against her tummy, waiting for me to start again. And I was a month early, the doctor said I was as developed as a baby at full term, so I didn't have to be incubated.

8. Are your parents still together?

My dad is watching TV, and my mom is in the kitchen. So technically, they're not. No mean feat, considering the Bush-heart-Osama moments, (flashback to the time Sun Tzu visited them to get tips on waging wars), but it's been 32 years. Are you listening, Nobel Peace Prize guys? I need one!

9. Last person who made you cry?
It wasn't a person, it was a weighing machine. *sob*

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?
I never go out and buy perfume because all my relatives in the Gelf insist on gifting perfumes, and I don't get a choice in the matter. My favourite so far was Red Door.

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?
I can't stand guys with straightened long hair and tinted contacts, a fad that is hugely popular here. Somebody shoot me!

12. What are you listening to?
Moody Blues- Nights in White Satin.

13. Do you get scared of the dark?
I go to sleep clutching a torch and another one under my pillow so that if there's a power failure in the middle of the night and my night lamp goes off, I can scare Count Dracula away. He attacks only in total darkness. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and shine my torch around the room, to ensure that he isn't hiding behind the bookshelf. No exaggeration, this.

14. Do you like painkillers?
They go well with my migraine.

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
I think I would be. Anyone who could make me want to ask him out would be capable of making me tongue-tied.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Grapes. I'm crazy about grapes. I can eat grapes morning, noon and night, and even while I sleep.

17. Who was the last person you made you mad?
An ad for spectacle lenses with brand mark. Brand nahi to style nahi. What the bloody effing nonsense? I'd like to throw my Lacoste shoes at them.

18. Who was the last person who made you smile?
My cousin, when he rang up and asked for Dr. AP. :)

Anyone who has cats can take up this tag.

PS: Bill from Avon, stop turning over in your grave.
PPS: The guy who gave me the scar is actually a girl. He's pregnant now.