Sunday 14 August 2016

Ode to 5039: Why I wasn't as fast as Joseph Schooling to buy 4D

That’s what you need
To beat the rest
And be the best
To get the gold
Before you get too old
And speed is what I lack
That’s why I’m always behind the pack
I wanted to buy the 4D number 5039
But it was sold out
Now all I can do is pout

Fifty point three nine
Was the history-making time
Joseph Schooling clocked in the 100m butterfly
Leaving the runners-up in a three-way tie
Even Michael Phelps who has the most gold
Couldn’t beat the 21-year-old

Just as Phelps wasn’t fast enough in the pool
I wasn’t speedy enough to get to Singapore Pools
Before it was too late
Condemning me to my fate
You know why I was so slow?
Because I was playing Pokemon Go
Why did I stop for the stupid Zubat?
I already have too many of that
The need to catch them all
Led to my downfall
And that’s why the game is evil
And should be made illegal

The gold medal Schooling won
Was better than finding a rare Pokemon

Oh, how the Lion City roared
Watching him top the leaderboard
We would’ve been aghast
If it were a delayed telecast

Even President Tony Tan was there in Rio
I hope he doesn’t get bitten by a mosquito
At least the pool wasn’t green
If I dive in, will I get gangrene?

I wiped the tears from my eyes
When I saw the Singapore flag rise
And heard our National Anthem
As Schooling stood on the podium
Majulah Singapura
It can still move us from afar
Does he remember the words?
If he doesn’t, it would be awkward

Detractors say Schooling is ang moh
His father says no
His son is Eurasian
100 per cent Singaporean
But his mother is Malaysian
Doesn’t that make him 50 per cent Malaysian?

For all Schooling has done, an online poll queries:
Should he be exempted from national service?
My answer is negative
NS should not be treated as punitive
To waive as reward for those you think deserving
Is a slap to those who have served and are serving

But do I think a public holiday should be declared?
Yes, that would really make me glad
Any weekday would be okay
Even though we just had National Day
If Fiji can do it, why not us, I say
Anything to get out of work and hit the hay
Is that too much to ask for?
We have never won gold in the Olympics before

For his 50.39-second feat
Schooling is in for a treat
He will get a million bucks
Meanwhile my life still sucks
I can’t even buy 4D
How hopeless can I be?
One thing I wish I knew
Does he play Pokemon Go too?

- Published in The New Paper, 14 August 2016

UPDATE: Celebrating Joseph Schooling: Victory parade accidents, leftover fried carrot cake and free McNuggets