I rile my mother up every single day. It is not unintentional [only when I want to pull off my holier than thou act], it is purely meditated. The conflict in question is seldom about dirty laundry, unclean room or vices [unlike most of you losers]. I rile my mum up using my youngest sibling.

Yes, the apple of everyone's eye. The brat who's never had to work towards a reward in exchange for good academics. Not that good academics really matters anymore these days. It did matter in the old days, when Transformers were still on our staple cartoon diet. Back in old skool, every parent beats up their child, smacks them about silly for the most mundane of reasons. One of the most mundane would be that they got lower marks than the average Joe [or John, depending on which alter ego is in play].

My mum too has evolved with times and has let go that lofty ideal that everyone is capable of As. In fact, she'd be happy if one can just sail through with mediocrity these days because some apparently mis informed losers happened to convince her so. We do accept mediocrity with open arms these days because we no longer subscribe to the fact that perfection is an attainable goal. I still say getting 100/100 in a Math paper is not an impossibility and the only barriers to it are pure laziness and lack of motivation in balancing out both sides of the equal sign.

Yet even after evolution, she still has this deep rooted desire for her children to hit the upper echelons of whatever sphere they are thrown in. In old skool terms; SAP or Independent school after PSLE, JC after the O Levels, a place in uni after the A Levels, SISPEC/OCS after BMT and a full time job with attached benefis after uni. Fair enough. You want the best. Yet, it is pretty perturbing when you come around one day and say, "Well, I don't think I want the best anymore, almost there is good enough. Cos, maybe some of youse just are not "that" inclined". Ah, I smell a dirty rat, commonly known as "educator cads". Some people have obviously been fuckin with her mind. Expectations are an Yindian woman's domain and may all be wary when they are lowered even for a split second.

Back to the riling. All I gotta do at any given time when the time on the wall clock has passed 3 pm is ask, "So where is he? What time did school end?". This translates to an almost carbon copy argument every single time.

Mum: He's got a handphone right? Call him la. Ask me for what.

Me: Don't want. Shouldn't you know? Anyhow, what time does school end today for him?

Mum: Call la. All of you are the same. Asking me for what? Summore you're the one who got him the phone right. No wonder he's missing. The number of girls in there, the number of smses he gets everyday, even at dawn and at the middle of the night.

Me: Ok what...

Mum: Ya ya ya. Easy for you to say, you where got give a damn? It's me that's worried.

Me: Worried. Call la.

Mum: I know where my son is ok? He's got extra lessons today.

Me: Are you sure he never ponteng and now sitting under the block opposite school trying his first cig? Are you sure he got even go school today? How would you know? I myself ponteng millions of times to go gallivanting before.

Mum: He's not like you ok? He's pretty well behaved.

Me: Is it..........?

See, the idea is, for me to win this rile-up competition, I have to prod her till she picks up the phone and calls. More times than not she doesn't. Because, she has already been dutifully informed of his movements. And then, sometimes, I do win. Like today.

Mum: Eh, where are you ah?

He: I'm at NYP.

Mum: Who the hell ask you to go there? Today school finished early right? It's already 5! Why aren't you at home?

He: I told you on Monday what that I going there on Thursday.

Mum: You think you're the only thing on my mind is it that I gotta remember your schedule. What the hell are you doing there?

He: It's their Open House today.

[ME in the background: See, see, fella has zero aspirations. He knows he's gonna fuck up his Os.]

Mum: I don't care. Get your ass back now! How dare you go roaming without even informing me? You got handphone for what? Call all the chicks up is it? Can't call your mum la!

He: Hokay *shrug*

I like winning. It gives me joy. Though I realize I need to use this innocent bloke as a pawn to win, I still relish it. Then again, when it was all over, I thought to myself: "What if it wasn't a Poly open house but RJC's? Would the woman still be erupting with brimstones over it? ". I think not. I have a vague idea where I get my double standards from.


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