Sunday, July 21, 1996

Learning the Ropes

Sunday Style, New Sunday Times, Malaysia

Doggerel by JOHAN
Picture by ROGER TAN

Learning The Ropes

When you were three,
A kempas tree,
Was the only home you knew.
The tree was tall,
You didn't fall,
And accidents were few.

When in a tight spot,
Just knowing a lot,
Is enough for a geek who just copes.
But the one to succeed,
Is a different breed,
And he certainly knows all the ropes.

When you were a lad,
Your mum and dad,
Came down to the lowland slopes.
We helped you along,
Till you were strong,
And we taught you all the ropes.

An honours degree,
Won't set you free,
When you're held in some far foreign jail.
But a rope-knowing friend,
Can probably end,
Your term - without even putting up bail.

You're now out of college,
Bursting with knowledge,
And full of ambitions and hopes.
You're very well paid,
But to make the grade,
You've still gotta know the ropes.

Life you will find,
Is not the kind,
That TV will show you on soaps.
It's often tough,
And sometimes rough,
So go out and learn all the ropes.

Don't scorn the opinions,
Of lower-paid minions,
When you're lost on a Borneo trek.
Don't think they are dopes,
They know the ropes,
So listen, and save your red neck.

Don't be the sort,
Of spoilsport,
Who just sits down and mopes.
Just go out there,
Without a care,
And get to know the ropes.

If you happen to mate,
With an elderly date,
She'll not love a gibbon who gropes.
When down to brass tracks,
Stretch out and relax,
And just let her show you the ropes.