I love Spam and other (non-essential) thoughts on a Tuesday night

Like many Filipinos, English is my second language. Big thanks to the Americans who aside from liberating us from the Japanese, greatly improved our life in many ways, the effect of which not limited to what happened decades ago. When I was young, all I thought they were good for was making available products like Pringles, Hershey’s chocolate bars, and Spam. Yes, I love Spam. I never eat it straight from the can. I fry both sides of a slice until the color turns from pink to brown and pair it with rice. But wait, I digress.

While many of my people are expected to understand and speak this second language, I must admit that there are times when I get stumped. Frustration can eat me up real quick as I mutter under my breath, What is that word I’m looking for? It’s funny how I sometimes joke around by using the fancier word “pulchritudinous” when I mean “beautiful” or say “altruistic” instead of “selfless,” yet there was this one time when I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the term for that thing that keeps on spinning in electric fans. (In my desire to snuff out the dead air, I said the first word that came to mind when I was describing to somebody a cool—pun intended—electric fan without it. Propeller! I imagined myself in a game show and all I had for clues were the following: revolves, spins, attached to a mechanical device. Propeller?! Pathetic, I know. I blame it on today’s current events, what with the former FG embroiled in the helicopter controversy. Propellers are all over the place, you know.)

Most of the time, I just laugh at my blunders. Sure, some previous blunders proved to be costly and humiliating (I work in publishing, after all, and am responsible for many books that see print) but my default reaction is to avoid bludgeoning myself to death whenever evidence of my imperfections rears its ugly head. Among many, I am directionally challenged. I will go the opposite way twice, and sometimes even more, until my brain remembers which way to go. But there’s hope for me. A personal GPS device that people can wear on their necks is being mass-produced already in China. How did I know? I tested the prototype. I got lost on my way to our bathroom only once while wearing it.

Who among us, descendants of Adam of Eve, can claim to be perfect? Who among us, citizens of this rapidly changing world, can claim to know everything? Not me, definitely. But I do not consider myself hopeless either. For the only hopeless person is the one who carries a homemade sign that reads Dead End, which he stakes to the ground everywhere he goes. As for me, the directionally-challenged me, I know for a fact that no Dead End signs can stop me on my way to reach the end of rainbow. I am wearing my ruby slippers after all, from Dorothy who used the pair on her way to the Emerald City.

Am I ever worried about getting lost? Not really. To help me with my vocabulary, I’ve tucked under one arm the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. On the other, my personal GPS device from China plus some extra batteries.


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