We were gathered in the hall one night recalling how once when we were on Christmas holiday in KL, we returned to Labuan after our home had blacked out for two weeks and the smell of putreficiation red carpeted our luggage-laden way up the stairs. Ethan and Ellen were young kids then, Brenda full in the belly with Rowena.Then how I had to clean the fridge of wrigglies, from every conceivable point the eye could see.
"EEEwwwww, that's gross!!" Ellen quipped in typical Yank teen fashion. Rowena was in concurrence with her elder sister.
"It's all in the attitude, how you see the maggots," I insisted."Yes, it may appear disgusting at first, but you put your hand to it and then you will find that you can do it, pong and all. They are used to clean up rotten flesh on patients suffering from gangrene in hospitals."
Ethan listened silently. I continued, sensing that my point was being made.
It's like all that plastic dog shit from Hong Kong. I was in school once and while I was away from my desk, my classmate placed an authentic-looking turd on a piece of paper and positioned it dead centre on my desk hoping to gross me out. When I returned to my desk, a few guys were gathered 'round me to see what I would do. I gazed at it calmly, and picked it up with my hand, returning it to the waiting owner and to the disappointed surprise of my friends. It's relative. It looked disgusting, but once I told myself that real dog crap doesn't end up neatly on a piece of exercise book paper, I could pick it up with my hand. Just like with maggots."
"Oh," said Rowena, her mind a million miles away in absorption of the concept. Then her face piqued in puzzlement.
"Dad??? When on earth did you ever get to Hong Kong?"