Sunday, November 22, 1998

Post-millennium Pigeon

Sunday Style, New Sunday Times, Malaysia

Doggerel by JOHAN
Picture by ROGER TAN

Post-millennium Pigeon

The prophets of doom,
In the cabinet room,
Are all huddled in serious discussions.
The bug Y2K,
Is on its way,
And they're braced for severe repercussion.

Tamagoths are dying,
And aircraft aren't flying,
Your shaver's kaput and your handphone's dead.
We can't calculate,
At our previous rate,
'cos now we must work out the sums in our head.

But pigeons they hope,
Will be able to cope,
When the last of the microchips fails.
We're tireless commuters,
We don't need computers,
So it's who will deliver millennial mails.

Our washing machines,
Won't clean our jeans,
And we can't trim our beards with our razors.
We must put them on hold,
As most are controlled,
By microchip, motherboards, circuits and lasers.

From the KLIA,
To Heathrow UK,
Is a journey us pigeons must now undertake.
All aircraft are grounded,
For reasons well founded,
Their systems all down for a microchip's sake.

Now the world has recourse,
To the dog-cart and horse,
And we carrier pigeons are flying for Reuters.
We're no longer fired,
Or retrenched or retired,
For a hard-working pigeon is not one who loiters.

The cars won't start,
Or buses depart,
And even the Concorde has gone on the blink.
For planes supersonic,
And thing electronic,
And more widely affected than most of us think.

Under Nelson's column,
A speaker most solemn,
Addressed in deep tones of foreboding.
You can store and recall,
From here to Pall Mall,
But on Nelson, refrain from down-loading.

My record's okay,
I'm happy to say,
And it's not my intention to spoil it.
But as I'm aware,
Trafalgar Square,
Is a pigeon's first choice for a toilet.

Sunday, November 8, 1998


Sunday Style, New Sunday Times, Malaysia

Doggerel by JOHAN
Picture by ROGER TAN


I have to keep my hand in,
By acting as a stand-in,
For a much-acclaimed and celebrated ape.
Although his fees are dearer,
I'm a substitute for Wira,
A menial role from which I can't escape.

What Wira does for real,
With heavy bars of steel,
I do with polystyrene, balsawood and cork.
In everything athletic,
My efforts are pathetic,
And I even tire quickly if asked to walk.

I'm not the Wira type,
In spite of all the hype,
For 'Wira' means a brave outstanding hero.
I chicken out of fights,
I'm terrified of heights,
And my rating as a warrior's nigh to zero.

I really just can't take it,
But when I'm told to fake it,
That's when you find I really go for gold.
For pixmen always wangle,
A convincing camera angle,
To make me look a winner - brave and bold.

I tried for many days,
To ape his winning ways,
But some things Wira has I just ain't got.
Although I'm not a fool,
Ol' Wira's really cool,
And those who really know me think I'm not.

At the starting block,
There's a special clock,
Which the cameraman always gets into frame.
He shoots me beginning,
And once again winning,
And the time on the clock is nearly the same.

But with a touch of make-up,
I'm quite prepared to take up,
Whatever pose the studio team dictates.
Whether finishing the mile,
With a big triumphant smile,
Or going gold by lifting heavy weights.

It seems like I'm fast,
But the time that's passed,
Is longer than ever the viewers would guess.
It's no more than a fiddle,
'Cos the bit in the middle,
Is just not recorded, I'm ashamed to confess.

But don't call me 'Wira',
My real name is Elvira,
His five-year-old sister, youthful and tender.
Though I'm truly his double,
It could cause real trouble,
Because I'm the wrong age - and wrong gender!