Monday, 11 March 2013

When smart people overdo… (当聪明人一时糊涂)

I always like to joke that catching up with the latest gossips is always a “must have” to add on to the itinerary in any wedding, funeral or other social events, regardless of ethnicity or geographical location. Even among strangers, gossips about politics and certain personalities can get very lively that by the end of the event; add on with few glasses of drinks, the few people who were strangers just a few hours ago behaved as if they have known each other for dozen of years.
At last Saturday night’s wedding dinner; the romantic classical pieces produced by the orchestra team on stage with its lively conductor still can’t steal the attention of the guests away from talking and predicting the outcome of the 13th General Election. All that I can gather was doomsday coming soon for BN. I was about to suggest another topic instead of Rosmah’s diamonds and Ong Tee Keat’s fate when someone wondered aloud: “Don’t you all think Najib, Rosmah, Chua Soi Lek, Ong Tee Keat and the BN team should go to the famous temple in Chinatown to pray to the Tiger God and do the “hit the valiant (打小人)” ritual?” Another friend echoed: “Absolutely agree, they should but make sure the foreign workers there gave the right instruction, else….”
“Else what?” another friend asked.
“Else they might do the wrong thing like what our two colleagues did some years back.”
Well, this real story happened 3 years ago when two smart chaps who were sworn enemies and contenders in office went to this famous temple in downtown Kuala Lumpur (this temple is now infested by foreign caretakers) on the day that is supposed to be auspicious day to pray to the Tiger God. At the temple, after telling the caretaker about one’s intention to打小人, the caretaker will give a package of praying materials that consists of joss sticks and some paper cuts that are meant as replica for bad people and also a set that represents nobleman.
The paper replicas. The one in green and yellow represents nobleman while the other two are valiant.

It was somehow in the folklore that if you have a targeted person that you deemed as bad people and you want this person to have some hardships or mishaps, you can write his name on the replica for bad people. Colleague A reached the temple about half an hour earlier than his nemesis and so he started his ritual and happily writing on the replica of the bad people the name of nemesis, colleague B. By the way, the replica for the bad people are meant to be burn after the whole ritual to indicate that they have been send to hell while the replica for the nobleman will be pasted on a corner of the temple near the Tiger God to indicate protection from the Tiger God.



Pasted replicas of nobleman on the temple wall. The smart one went all the way to have his name and his nemesis's written on it.


Instead of just stopping there, A went on further to write on the replica for the nobleman his name as nobleman and also the name of B as the bad one. After that he happily pasted the replica on the wall and laughing all his way out of the temple with his friends, feeling good that he had hit and split on his nemesis’s paper effigy. When B arrived, I was there too. While waiting for our turn to do the ritual, B suddenly found his name on the wall with some bad characters attached to it. B did exactly what A did to him at the temple and he wrote A’s name as big as the space allowed him. Hanging up there, that effigy certainly catches attention, what else right? 
What happened next when B returned to office was disastrous. Instantly, both of them became laughing stock because of their stupidity and till today, when someone mentions the Tiger God, naturally their story will surface. So, the moral of the story is, it is okay to be smart but do not overdo things, it may backfire. The end, it just made you looked so stupid when you are actually a smart person like the Chinese idiom: 画蛇添足。

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