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The important issues of Life
Humour and Nonsense by
Posted on Fri, May 4, 2007 at 12:09 IST (last updated: Thu, Oct 30, 2008 @ 08:05 IST)
Crucial investment adviceJoe (name changed), the parent of a student of Papa Hari Institute for Higher Studies writes in:
Dear Papa Hari, My son has been studying in your institute without a pencil box for around three years now. Recently he lost two rulers, one eraser and one pencil. Upon investigation, I found a hole in the bottom of the bag as the reason for the loss. After overcoming the trauma of this discovery, I've finally decided to invest in a secure, sturdy pencil box to carry all his essential implements in. Can you please advise me on how to go about investing in a suitable pencil box that will serve as his ideal companion throughout his days in your prestigious institution? Your tips will be much appreciated.Dear Joe, You have made a wise decision in writing in to Papa Hari. Buying a pencil box is no trivial matter. It is an important investment that could change your son's life forever for better or worse. According to Markicius Markov Lateeni-Choran, the world renowned expert in pencil box design and development, in his best-selling treatise Pencil Boxes And How To Make Them Work For You (1956) he has mentioned three major aspects you need to consider when investing in a sound pencil box. They are:
- Size and shape. You need to carefully consider your son's requirements. How many pens does he carry? What are their lengths? How bulky are they? Does he carry additional pencils? What about space for the pencils, rulers, the eraser and sharpener? Be very clear about this. Take measurements if necessary for the purpose. You cannot be too careful about your investment, so be prepared to do adequate research to avoid anger and frustration later.
- Durability. A pencil box should stand by your son through good times and bad. It's very important that you choose a really durable pencil box. Be careful about the material - is it made of metal or plastic? What is the catch mechanism used to open and close it? Does it withstand being dropped from a height? Research on these aspects and never fear to ask the shopkeeper these crucial questions. It's your life-savings on the line and nobody has the right to deny you crucial information before purchase.
- Fashion and design. A true pencil box should make your son proud of it. Your son should identify himself in his pencil box. It should represent his personality. Markicius has mentioned that the modern trend of plastering a pencil box with fancy stickers of celebrities is an unartistic and destructive trend and that a worthy pencil box, in its pristine form, should need no added decoration or glitter. Buying an ugly or unsuitable box for your son can result in depression, dejection and long-term personality disorders, so be very, very cautious on this point without compromising on the other two aspects mentioned above.
A question of freedom and safetyJack (name changed), another long-time fan of Papa Hari writes in with a question that has the deepest implications for society, tolerance, freedom and safety.
Dear Papa Hari, I'm sending my son to a school which doesn't have a strict anti-banana peel policy. Recently he was involved in an accident where he slipped up on a banana peel which had been dropped carelessly on the corridor outside his class room. Upon investigation it was his friend who was responsible for placing that banana peel in that location. I come from a very religious, law-abiding family and have nothing whatever to do with the pro-banana movement. I don't believe in their propaganda that "banana peels don't slip up people; people slip up people". Banana peels are an increasing menace in this school as many students are lured into this modern trend of eating bananas for lunch as they are considered a nutritious alternative to pizza and burgers. Should I complain to the principal?Dear Jack, The pro-banana movement is indeed a worry in this day and age. According to the Organization Dedicated to Banana Peel Control (ODBPC) in its Annual Report for the year 2005-2006, on an average 1252.534 people are involved in banana peel related accidents every day and the number is growing in alarming proportions. The National Banana Agency (NBA, not to be confused with the National Basketball Assocation) sticks to its stance that it is people who are responsible for leaving banana peels knowingly or unknowingly on corridors and other public places. Papa Hari personally feels that while bananas are good as a whole for society (even though over-consumption can have its own side effects), banana peels are not. The inherent property of the banana peel (its slipperiness) belies the NBA's propaganda that "banana peels don't slip up people; people slip up people" If banana peels weren't so slippery, would people actually slip up on them? No. Therefore the Papa Hari Foundation for the Creation of Bananas Without Peels (PHFCBWP) is currently dedicated to research to discover bananas that grow without peels, thus eliminating the problem altogether. We don't need to throw the banana out with the banana peel. Recently our top scientist made a major breakthough: he found that the solution is to peel the banana immediately upon plucking from the plant and then preserve it in frozen form before shipping it to the supermarkets. As far as the liberal and tolerant attitude towards banana peel accidents in society goes, Papa Hari feels that it's the prevailing attitude that such incidents are funny/amusing which is the prime reason for it. People continue to insist on the Freedom to Laugh which they claim is a fundamental human behaviour which no legislation can outlaw. Until one is personally involved in such accidents, this attitude will not change. It is important to educate society to become concerned about the safe and proper disposal of banana peels in garbage and trash cans manufactured to exact specification by companies with ISO certification. While the Society for the Protection of Banana Peels from Discrimination and Abuse (SPBPDA) might object to such harsh and cruel treatment of banana by-products, it is necessary for a democratic, civilized society to implement such steps to safeguard its citizens from unfortunate accidents. P.S. Almost forgot your original question. Yes, go ahead and complain. And make sure your son's friend gets suspended for a week or two - Papa Hari says: revenge is fun! That's all for this week!