Friday, June 13, 2003

Dances with Piolo

Bad Piolo
He tore my favorite love-pillow to shreds and left the pillow's fiber innards strewn all over the place. He pooped in my grand aunt's dining area. Where he ain't pooping, he's taking long doggie pisses. He's playing "bite me" with the neighbor's (possibly rabid) doggies.

And he did. Bite me, that is. Again. It'll be a full moon soon, and I think I'm growing fur.

I'm no longer concerned about whether the dog is rabid. Turns out that rabies shots for doggies costs P250. It's now a simple matter of getting out the trank gun and driving the pooch to the vet without the obligatory bites and scratches.

Next time he gets me, I'm taking out Mommy's .38 and filling it with silver bullets.

Foamy at the Mouth
It, uh, miffs me that nobody in the family, who's in any position to take care of Piolo, seems to understand the responsibility involved with raising doggies. They don't seem to see the full scope of the risks they take when they turn Piolo loose and slipper-train him --spare the rod and you spoil the doggie-- when he does unsavory things.

1. The mobility of a doggie outside the house is directly proportional to his chances of getting rabid.
2. The mobility of a possibly rabid doggie outside the house is directly proportional to his getting someone else rabid.
3. To raise the possibility of rabies is to raise the possibility of time-consuming, expensive treatments and lawsuits.
4. Piolo, for all intents and purposes, has a diminished moral capacity. Slipper training cannot be applied to him as it would to a human child. The punishments meted out to him will seem to him arbitrary and confusing. Piolo simply will not know how to behave. Taken to its logical extreme, he won't stay as "Bad Piolo"-- but he'll be "Mad Piolo."

My cousin should not have brought Piolo to the house at such an early stage of Piolo's development. My family should not have accepted him. But he's here, and we're all dog lovers, so the issue is moot.

Arf, arf. Woof.
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Kuwentong Barbero� Part II

"...trust God to screw with the loudest boasts of mice and men. Because somewhere along the line something happened to me, and while it didn't involve an epiphany on the road to Damascus, it was in itself, a miracle." So what, exactly, happened?

People suddenly shut up about my hair.

How blissful, how golden that silence was. Deeper than oceans, wider and more expansive than the trackless void of outer space. I was in heaven. I was a man.

"Hey, back up a minute here. I didn't get that," says former-IASA astronaut John Crichton. I'm sure you didn't either and I'll admit, it is a stretch.

In fine, John, I've observed that people tend to make statements with their clothing, or with their choice of job, their choice of mobile phone, their choice of music, their choice of hair.

A Simplistic Example
From the Gen TXT Girl's display and avid patronage of Globe Telecom's Gen TXT paraphernalia --the snazzy celphone, the clothes, the the Gen TXT membership/discount card-- as well as her use of the snazzy catch-phrase "R U 1 of Us?" another person might infer that--

a) she's part of the Gen TXT bandwagon
b) you're not
c) there are obvious benefits to joining Gen TXT
d) Gen TXT is what defines her, or is part of what defines her
e) you should join too

If you, as someone she admires, looks up to or otherwise cares about, reject the acoutrements of Gen TXT, she may infer that--

a) you are rejecting the Gen TXT bandwagon
b) you are rejecting the things Gen TXT stands for
c) you are rejecting what defines her, and others like her
d) you are rejecting her.
e) there are obvious benefits to not being part of the Gen-TXT taxonomy
f) she must be deficient in some way, because she does not partake of life without Gen-TXT

My Hair as Statement
a) I will live my life the way I choose to
b) I have (or will have) control over my existence: "My Body, My Choice"
c) You can not box me in with your preconceived notions of what is neat and orderly
d) These ideas are important to my sense of well-being; they are part of what defines me
e) Financial and social success need not be dependent on how you look

By b!tching about my hair, the people I cared about were rejecting it and me.
" ...e) there are obvious benefits to being part of the clean-cut majority
"...f) you must be deficient in some way, because you do not partake of life without long hair, i.e. life without your values"


By their silence, they implied acceptance, even if it was of the grudging and resigned varieties. Yes, they take me seriously now. Yes, they see past appearances now. Yes, they treat me as if I were a man.

"Walaaaa! Walang Himala!"�
John Crichton asks, "Why do you attribute such importance in so little a thing?"

I answer, "Because it's all about power, John. Symbols have power, and my hair was a symbol. Infusing symbols with meaning gives these symbols power. People who use these symbols feel they're given its power. It's what people do.

People infuse a symbol with a disproportionate amount of power when they feel they don't have power enough to begin with. As a person gains more power, the need to cling to symbols of power diminishes. That has always been the case with me.


Silence Begets Discovery
Without the nagging opposition, I could take the time to objectively look at my hair, to weigh the pros and cons of keeping it long.

I'll list some of the cons--

I found out that there really is no masculine way to tuck long hair behind the ears. You need more shampoo and more bathroom time just to wash it. Bad hair days are more powerfully felt. Long hair is inconvenient on windy days. It can get in your eyes and mouth. It gets in your food. It's often between you and the telephone's earpiece. Piolo can chew on it while you sleep. Long hair can be an impediment to kissing. Bad guys have an extra limb they can grab when you try to run for safety. Some old people don't respect you. You stick out like a sore thumb. People know you grew up in the eighties.

So What Made You Decide to Cut Your Hair?

Not the cons, but another symbol.

Meteor Garden.

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NOTES

Kuwentong Barbero, literally: "Barbers' Tales" . Funny anecdotes, stories not to be taken seriously.

Then again, they could have just gotten tired of nagging me about it.

Famous line from a movie top-billed by Nora Aunor. Translated, keeping in mind the context: "It was all a hoax! There was no miracle!"

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