Last weekend I did what I do on weekends. I turn into the garden variety Malaysian. I become a foodie.
It was a scorching Malaysian Saturday afternoon. The sun was in full glory. Roads were melting. Even the flies were having their unplanned siesta. My car rolled into one of the ex-New Villages that was created by one of Gerald Templar's boys. New villages created by the Briggs Plan to combat the communist insurgency in the old days have turned into a great success story. Almost every one of them. This one was no different.
By the main road of this new village there was an array of metal-roofed stalls. The sight, smell and sound was pitched at maximum. The heat of the day did not deter any of the patrons. Fried food, kueh, popiah, kuay teow - you name it, they had it. And, the thirst-busting sugarcane machine was an inviting sight.
So, I ordered an assortment of delicacies. When the food was served I tucked in with gusto.
To perform my usual after-meal oral ablution, being a typical Malaysian, I searched in vain for a toothpick. Not a single stick was to be found. I was undeterred because I knew I had a pack of Jordan toothpicks in the car.
As I drove off, I reached for the Jordan pack and extracted a toothpick. The toothpick has an promising triangular design that is as pointy as a needle at one end and stubby at the other. I happily picked at my teeth. At one particular gap there was a stubborn bit of fibre. I stabbed at it. Nothing budged. I stabbed further. Still, nothing. I stabbed harder. The toothpick broke. Now I had a splinter lodged in my upper pre-molars.
A part of it is still lodged there. The salivary enzymes have worked hard to break it down. It has taken some days now. It's a lousy way to find out how complex the cellulose of tree trunks are.
So, I have a localised gum infection. It will go away. Gargling with Listerine has helped reduce the terrible throbbing that occurs from time to time. But, it is not a comfortable feeling. In fact, it hurts. It hurts when I chew. It is annoying.
What has this business of gum infection got to do with Rocky and Rais? I'm not quite sure.
Rocky is the doyen of Malaysian bloggers. He's got a sly glint in his eye whenever the journo in him sniffs something. Sometimes its nothing. At other times there's something.
It appears to me that in a recent post on the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture's plans to disburse an RM1 billion allocation in relation to the Wimax and 3G (or, 4G) spectrums, Rocky's post appears to have become the aforementioned splintered Jordan toothpick in the Minister's gums. And, like my oral travails, that posting has had a similar effect on the Minister as the annoying splintered toothpick has had on my gums. For some reason, it has hurt.
Now, I think I know enough basics of writing to know not to stretch a metaphor too far. But, I am tempted to say that instead of rushing to the dentist (an incredibly stupid metaphor for the Police or multimedia enforcers), perhaps going into the privacy of one's bathroom to do a bit of gargling or popping some Ponstans may be a better alternative to lessen the hurt. And, it will be less costly.
For some unfathomable reason, this episode has reminded me of the Wilde vs Queensberry defamation case. In a fit of anger over a perceived defamatory note left by the Marquis of Queensberry that suggested that Oscar Wilde was a "sodomite", Wilde sued the Marquis for defamation with disastrous consequences.
To mix up a bit of canine metaphor, it may be said that sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie since some people's bark can be worse than their bite.
That said, some barking bloggers travel with rabid blogger friends. And, in spite of modern medicine, a series of rabid bites may hurt even more than a splintered toothpick lodged in the gums - if you get my meaning. If not, then, c'est la vie.