Snippet Of My Life Episode 38 – Moon Tower: A Builder, A Girl, And A Mysterious White Rabbit

“This is insane! It is just not possible!” exclaimed the female journalist on top of a tower that was still work-in-progress.

Dooku the builder gasped, quickly put a finger on his mouth and said, “Shhhh!  That is treason!”, as though someone would hear them talking.  But in this evening, there were only Dooku and the girl, an interview that took place in this tall, tall tower.

No one in this isolated island remembered how long the war had lasted.  Or for what course.  The north and the south had fought.  One day, they stopped.  Instead, they agreed to build a high wall from east to west dividing the island into two.  Tired of the war, they had become.  Coexistence was a bitter compromise.  It was tolerable so long as they did not see each other.

The wall was so high that the people from either side called it Cliff of Impenetrable.  For years, no one knew how the other side was doing.  But that did not fool Dooku.  At night, Dooku could see an orange hue of light from the south painted onto the sky encroaching onto his northern part of the pitch black atmosphere   The buzzing of music, the laughter, and the noise.  The southern noise!  Dooku and his fellow northern inhabitants hardly had the time to think of anything else other than their basic needs.  Such as food, work, water, and more work.

“You honestly think that we can build a tower and reach the Moon from Earth?  On this very land we stand?” asked the girl.

Dooku pondered.  The question was not whether or not this was the best space exploration program the government had come up with in order to compete with the south.  The question was, without this tower, a lot of people including Dooku would have to find another job.  So what if it was the stupidest idea to build the lousiest tower that would absolutely be useless?  People were kept productive.  Their lives became meaningful.  Routines tended to numb people’s mind brainwashing all sorts of ideals down the drain.  People needed routines.

Dooku also knew that the girl had a story to write, one that might inspire.  So he replied, “You see the full moon over there?”  The girl nodded.

“I have been working here for quite some time.  Each night before I call it a day, I spend some time admiring the skyline, admiring the progress from the south.  I don’t think people in the south really want to leave their homes and the good life they have.  But life in the north is different.  We hardly have enough to eat!  This is an island.  We have nowhere else to go.  We hang our hope onto the moon and wish for a better future.

You know.  At times I feel as though the moon is getting bigger and bigger.  Maybe she is coming closer to us.  Or maybe our tower strategy is really working.”

The mood was lightened.  The girl giggled and added, “Or perhaps all our combined hope weights the moon down just a little.  And she dips down just a little?”

As the night fell, the air was chilly.  It was an hour long descend for the journalist, or more.  As for Dooku the builder, his temporary shelter had always been one level below the top of the tower.  There was used to be plenty of builders.  But as the tower gradually raised from the ground, its circumference became smaller and smaller.  Now, it could only fit one.

*     *     *     *     *

A month later, the female journalist revisited the tower at night.  She spoke the first question that came into her mind.

“If you are the only builder working on this tower, what do the rest of the people do?”

Dooku replied almost immediately, “We invent new tasks!  Some are looking for cracks to repair.  Some are reinforcing the tower.  Some are even decorating the tower!  Many are pretending to work.  But right now, that is not a question of importance.”

“It is not?”

“No.  Come.  You see the full moon over there?”

“Yes?”

“What do you see?”

“A … moon?”

“Yes.  But what else?” asked Dooku with an infectious enthusiasm.

“A full moon?”

“Look how close the moon is this time round!”

The girl took and deep breath and exhaled, “It does look bigger than last month!  Much bigger!”

“… which means closer!  A lot closer!  Come back next month, would you?” proposed Dooku.

*     *     *     *     *

Another month had passed and the female journalist returned to the top of an even taller tower as promised.  Something was not right in this very evening.  The wind was exceptionally strong.  The sound was almost deafening.  Underneath them, Dooku and the girl could sense the rage of the ocean.  As though something was upsetting the sea and it pounded the shore relentlessly with bigger and bigger wave.  Panic was felt across the people from either side of the wall.  The island might be divided.  But fear united them all.

“You see the full moon over there?” Dooku shouted through the wind.

The girl shouted back, “Yes, the moon is hanging low, really low!  And she is coming to our direction!”

The chaos on the ground intensified as the moon approached the island.  The water broke free and flooded the ground.  To the south, all hope was lost.  It was a doomsday scenario.  To the north, everyone was looking upon the tower as a beacon of hope.  Out of nowhere, a mysterious white rabbit made a dash to the tower and started the climb.  That little sign amassed the northerners.  Soon, everyone from the north headed to the tower as the water level raised higher and higher.

The mysterious white rabbit did not stop.  It went up and up and just when the rabbit reached the top of the tower, the gigantic moon swung by low, almost came in contact with the tower.  A deep humming sound emitted from the orbiting moon.  The sight was mesmerizing to look at.  The rabbit made a leap and landed onto the moon!  The girl delighted by what she saw too made a leap and landed safely.  The northerners needed no further encouragement.  Life was lousy from where they stayed.  One by one, they made a leap of hope believing that whatever lied ahead could not be worse.

“Jump!  Come to us!” exclaimed the girl frantically waving one hand with another holding the mysterious white rabbit close to her chest.

Dooku waited till the last northerner landed onto the moon making sure that no one was left behind.  He took a last look at his island below that was no longer divided for the wall was brought down by the force of nature.  Dooku thought to himself, “Should I stay or should I go?  Would the moon come that close ever again?  Would I have a second chance?”

If Dooku was a risk taker, he would not have chosen to be a builder.  Dooku took a deep breath and joined his people on the moon.  The female journalist smiled and exclaimed, “This is insane!  It is just not possible!”

Snippet Of My Life Episode 37 – Ostrich Power

In this island of Thrapswana where her native inhabitants live in isolation from the rest of the universe, lead scientist Vector Eden has a vision: To mutate and transform all existing chickens into the long extinct ostrich.  It was a grand vision.  One that guaranteed a promotion within Poultry Inc.  Incredible funding in the scale of billions of dollars was poured into this scientific exploration.  It was one of those journeys that has to succeed, in whichever forms and by whatever means.  Vector Eden – young and charming – has won many endorsements.  But that was from within Poultry Inc.  What about the rest of the world?

In a recent customer survey, no one seemed to care what went into a poultry burger.  One customer went by the name of Thunder said, “In the end of the day, a burger is a burger.  I want my food fast and that’s all that I care.  But seriously, can you tell between minced duck and minced goose?  Just don’t charge me more now that it is rebranded as ostrich!”

The Mayor however was less than impressed with the new initiative. “Tell me one thing.  If right now I am having trouble in auditing the parts that go into a chicken patty, what makes you think that it is easier to tell ostrich meat from ostrich intestine when it is all mashed up.  You get my drift?”

Sure, Mr. Mayor.  Wise as ever.

The chicken farmers though were less than thrilled about this new announcement.  One farmer who did not wish to be named lamented, “Everything works fine.  We don’t need no ostrich.  What’s wrong with chickens you tell me?  We have built our farms and infrastructure to process chicken meat.  We handle chicken eggs with one hand.  There are containers built just to distribute chicken eggs.  Are you going to have an ostrich egg for breakfast?  You can have one chicken egg for breakfast.  Maybe two. Ostrich eggs.  Are you nuts?  So why are we getting rid of the chickens again?”

Vector Eden sang a different tune. “Human psychology tells us one thing.  We don’t like change.  Nature tells us one thing.  Change is the only certainty.  History tells us one thing.  Resistance is futile.  Let me tell you one thing.  The entire chicken model is a failure.  We need a much stronger poultry that has a much better resistance to flu and diseases.  This is a revolution.  No.  This, is an evolution!”

To preserve the existing chicken business, Poultry Inc. has offered free services in transforming existing chicken eggs into ostrich eggs and mutating existing chickens into ostriches.  To spread out the initial load, farmers turned in their eggs and livestock in batches.  Carefully labeling each chicken and egg with serial numbers and the owners’ initials, the farmers handed over their livelihoods to Poultry Inc. in good faith trusting that everything would be fine.

“In retrospect, we should have seen this coming,” continued the unnamed farmer in a second interview. “Thousands of chickens and eggs were lost, and still are.  We have the orders but we can’t fulfill.  Fast food restaurants are not getting the chickens.  Customers are not getting the burgers.  I am not having my eggs for breakfast.  This is a lose-lose-lose situation.  How much are these scientists drawing again?”

The widespread collapse of poultry supply has created one giant media disaster.  One day, our hero Dooku was called into NMU*.  His boss spoke with a genuine urgency, “Dooku, we have a situation.”

*Noise management unit – A rebranded department within Poultry Inc.

Dooku nodded coolly, knowing exactly what was to come.

“We need you to help handling these lost chicken and egg cases,” his boss continued.

“Sure,” replied Dooku, “I have one question though.”

“Shoot!”

“Which cases come first?  Chicken or egg?”

His boss was not amused and soon, Dooku found himself drowned in a sea of queries and requests.

“Where are my ostriches?!  I need them today!”

“If I don’t get my eggs by the end of this month, my farm will be out of business!”

“Our factory needs to supply poultry patty to the restaurants.  Can the farmers have the chickens back please?”

“Why are you not replying?”

“Hello?”

The most hilarious query that Dooku has come across perhaps was this one below.

“Please rectify whatever needs rectifying, it seems like that would be everything.  I assumed (Ass-U-Me) when I put a chicken into your state-of-the-art mutation engine, it would come out an ostrich.  Obviously I was wrong.  The chicken disappeared instead!”

Dooku wished that there was something he could really help.  But these were no honey jars; this was not a marketplace; and Dooku was no longer a chef.  Day in and day out, Dooku struggled with what he did not understand.  Some science jargon that was way beyond his comprehension.  One day, Dooku had a dream.  In his dream, he was pushed into the mutation engine and was turned into an ostrich.  Have the problems gone away?  No.  The farmers kept up with the chasing.  Where are my ostriches?  Where are my eggs?

Dooku the Ostrich kept running.  The voices would not go away!  They hunted Dooku down in day, haunted him at night.  Fed up with the entire universe of merde de la merde, with his new found power thanks to the improved ostrich DNA, in one grand swift moment, Dooku buried his head into the sand.

All of a sudden, in this dream island of Thrapswana, all his troubles seemed so far away.

*     *     *     *    *

This entry, like all my Dooku related entries, is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to persons and situations in real life can only be a coincidence.  If it was up to me, I would mutate chicken into dodo.  When I was working in Mauritius, I was told that the forty pound wild birds were all eaten by the Dutch sailors.  What a pity though.  Dodo was such a majestic species (picture taken from Wikipedia.org).

Snippet Of My Life Episode 36 – The Songs Of The Bees

How time flies!  The last Dooku story was told two years ago.  To satisfy your curious mind, Dooku no longer works in an office.  The only thing human about human resource is that: Do you have the arms and legs to do the job?  Oh yes.  And a brain that performs basic functions which may or not not include the ability to perceive or articulate senses that are deemed common.  It was an eyeopening experience for Dooku.  Because alas!  In reality, there is nothing human about human resource.  Very soon, Dooku finds himself being re-purposed, and then re-purposed again.  Aspiration is an illusion one creates in order to mask the lack of a direction one partakes.  Organization is an entity that keeps on reorganizing itself from within.  In the end, only the bees sing the songs inspired by the backward wind of change that swirls in a downward spiral.  At infinity, it is a beeline to nothingness.

*     *     *     *     *

One day, Dooku has decided to leave the city.  In his usual state of hungriness, he has stumbled upon a village called Bumble Bees and the Magic Flute.  How odd the name is.  How odd the village appears.  But that did not matter.  With no money in his pocket, all Dooku could think of was: What’s for dinner tonight?

By now, Dooku has worked in this village for quite some time.  Not long enough to feel like home.  But not short enough to cling onto the joy of discovering new things the first time either.  One fine morning, one of the elders approaches him and says, “We have a crisis.  It is time to re-purpose your role in this village again, Dooku”.  Dooku is surprised, though not that surprised.  He replies, “It was only recently when I was re-purposed to become a blacksmith plan designer.  So soon?”

“It is never too soon, son.  You see.  Our village exports magic flutes and right now, magic appears to have stopped working.  Our customers from outside our village are not happy.”

Dooku should have said, “But I know nothing about magic!  Or flute for that matter!  Surely you can find someone better to re-purpose?”  Instead, he nods, unintentionally encouraged the elder to carry on.

The elder shakes his head in distress and continues, “There is a massive shift of magnet core interfering with the vines that give forth magic.  Without its sustenance, the vines are interlocked with its surrounding energy.  Quite simply put, some of our magic flutes sold to our customers have stopped working.  Do you see the gravity of the situation, Dooku?  The pulsation is killing the system!  You can feel it, can’t you?”

Dooku looks out to the horizon thinking about today’s dinner.  The elder takes it as a sign of contemplation and secretly admire Dooku’s dedication to the village.  This one gets it.  After a long moment, Dooku speaks, like he does every time he is re-purposed, “So tell me what I have to do.”

Throughout the day and night, jars of honey are being brought in by the flying owls.  Inside each jar, all sorts of messages and communications between the customers and villagers – past and present – are preserved within the honey.  These are the messages to be listened to, not read.  Messages of how broken magic flutes are affecting the customers’ lives.  Messages of the villagers asking the customers to be patience.  Messages of the customers demanding the magic flutes to be working, now.  Messages of the villagers trying all that they can to resume magic.  Messages of desperation, of suggestion, of threat, and of imploration.  Messages of missing messages.

In the village of Bumble Bees and the Magic Flute, language is a collection of the songs of the bees.  Writing is not necessary.  Ideas are painted by a honey brush, spoken through the bees.  New ideas are added onto the old ones.  Mixed together.  Blended into one single jar of honey.  Preserved by honey.  Ideas are made timeless.

Each morning as Dooku arrives at work, the first thing he has to deal with are 200 jars of honey delivered overnight.  He opens up the honey jar one by one and listen to its content.  With very little knowledge of what magic flute does, Dooku would pick up his honey brush, add on a polite acknowledge that is neither helpful nor meaningful, and return the honey jars to the senders using the owls.  A little bit of honey is now added into the honey jar as Dooku solidifies his thought, his thought of acknowledgement.

Dooku ponders: Someone needs to keep an eye on the overall big picture.  Songs intertwined are weaved into a tapestry made of new pieces of human knowledge accumulated daily that form a whole new honey world.  An ocean of honey understood only by the keen observers.  The song weavers.  One such as Dooku.

Honey jars come in batches.  The more Dooku handles, the more they arrive.  As the day goes by, every time when the number reduces to manageable size, the owls fly in and deliver a new batch of honey jars.

Dooku has developed a habit.  Towards the end of day, whenever the number of honey jars reaches zero or the closing hour is at hand, he would close his eye and slowly tune out the surrounding.  There are no owls.  No honey jars.  There are no anxious customers.  No magic related problems.  He has handled 500 honey jars today and that is enough.  In his head, there is nothing but the songs of the bees.  Of honey baked chicken and honey cake with caramelized pears, lemon honey water, maybe honey ginger tea.  There is no way to keep a public toilet clean so long as people keep on peeing.  Dooku feels the growling of his stomach.  He is ready to go home.

That night, Dooku has a dream.  In his dream, on the next day, more honey jars are delivered.  Many more indeed.  Customers are demanding answers to why their magic flutes are still not working.  This time, directly to Dooku.  By the hours, the situation is snowballing to a whole new level of epic failure.  Honey jars upon honey jars, they are strapped onto Dooku’s body.  Are you reading mine now?  Aren’t you answering me now?  In this ocean of honey, the songs of the bees can be deafening.  The only thing Dooku can do is to drown himself into the honey, weighed down by the jars.  There is an eerie sense of clamminess underneath.  Dooku is falling asleep, but he wants to wake up.  What if he doesn’t wake up the next day?  1,000 jars of honey will be waiting.  Next week?  3,500 jars of honey will be waiting.  By the end of next year?  Maybe magic will resume working.  All the problems will disappear.

That may not be a bad idea at all.

The owls keep coming.  And the honey jars pile up.  Darkness falls but the problems don’t go away.  The wind of change is howling.  From this point onward, it is all going down.

Snippet Of My Life Episode 29 – Pigs And Sheep Estate, With A Marketplace

This is a story of Dooku, of which the prequel you may have already read.  Dooku was a farmer, a chef, but not any more.  At least for now.   While the story may be inspired by the people at work, all the characters are works of fiction.  If you feel that I am writing a story about you, you should buy me a drink.  Because you are about to get famous.

Kidding.

*     *     *     *     *

One day, Dooku has entered a city.  Not the biggest city on earth.   But one that is sophisticated enough to have people working on a desk that comes with a chair.  An office, as the city dwellers may call it.   Dooku chuckles whenever he hears the word “office”.   An office or a farm – in Dooku’s simplistic mind – mean the same.   In a farm, you wake up early, plow the soil, add some cow dung if need to, do more plowing, and when the time comes, you harvest your produce; the cycle continues.   In an office – as Dooku observes – people wake up early, push some paperwork around, create more work for others if need to, push more work to each other, and when the time comes, collect their paychecks; the cycle continues.

In this new office, Dooku loves to ask people what their roles are.  That seems to piss people off.   Because most people prefer to keep their roles as fuzzy and vague as possible.  But in Dooku’s defense, he asks because he wants to know what he needs to do.   Back in his farming days, if Dooku knows that no one is going to clean up the excess cow dung left in the farm after the fertilization process, Dooku would clean up the cow dung himself.   All farmers do that.  Why?  Because too much cow dung piled up under the sun attracts flies.  And it especially intrudes Dooku’s olfactory senses.   Dooku is a simple man.  A helpful simple man, who is often misunderstood at work.

One day, an unfinished piece of work is handed over to Dooku.  No matter.  Work is work, unfinished or not.   There is an architectural model large enough to fill up a boardroom that needs some touchups.   Dooku takes a closer look.  First at the signage.  It says: An estate for rapid evolution with the goal of galactic domination! He then stares at the proposed housing units for the pigs, and at the proposed housing units for the sheep.  The marketplace for the pigs, and the marketplace for the sheep to trade their produces with the outside world.  Where are the weapons of mass destruction?   How do the pigs and the sheep envisage the means to dominate the galaxy?   Dooku then takes the liberty to rename the signage to: An estate for the pigs and the sheep with an efficient and hygienic marketplace for trading purposes. Satisfied with what he does, Dooku goes on touching up the aesthetic aspect of the model.  The look-and-feel.  Correcting some obvious design flaws like sheep do not need handrails, unlike the pigs that at times, walk on two feet.   Just like how it is documented in the “Animal Farm”.

Next, Dooku takes another look at the model.   As it is, the estate looks like a DMZ between the pigs and the sheep.  Such obvious demarcation between the two races.  What gives?  The pigs and the sheep suppose to co-exist in one allocated area.  Are they not talking to each other?   (Dooku, a simple man as he is, may not aware that pigs and sheep do not normally talk to each other.)   Again, Dooku takes the liberty to slightly rearrange the housing estate, making it more like pigs and sheep living in harmony.   He then combines the two marketplaces into one by knocking down some walls, clearly labels the “Vegetarian” section for the sheep to sell their vegetables.   And the “Meat Lover” section for the pigs to sell pork chops.   As an icing on the cake, Dooku even illustrates how the outsiders should be led into the marketplace, how money can be exchanged, details that were not available in the previous model.

The peace loving sheep look at the polished model, love it, with no further question.   The war raging pigs look at the same model, hate it, and spit on it.  Because it looks superficially different from what they have seen before.  But surely this is a more polished design, Dooku asks.  Besides, what lie inside the houses and the marketplace remain unchanged.   Unfortunately, the pigs cannot be reasoned with and insist that something major, other that cosmetic, has been modified.   Flabbergasted, Dooku is asked to organize a town hall meeting that involves a large team of people and pigs and sheep to iron out the differences.   In the meeting, Chief Porky goes on and on about not able to verify the interior design of the houses and of the marketplace for the mere fact that the model looks different.  And he has no time or found it too tedious to reconcile the two, unlike his sheep counterpart.  More and more time is poured into this pointless discussion whereby in the good old day, Dooku would have seen his maize grow beautifully, day by day, taking in the sunlight from the sky and the water mixed with the cow dung from the ground, turning into something so yummy in salad and in soup.   As this pointless discussion carries on, in this farm now called office, Dooku wonders what does time and effort turn into.  The pigs talk louder, more and more.   Chief Porky bangs onto table going into all four (instead of the usual civilized standing posture).  Dooku cannot help but daydream.  In his dream, he sees a parallel universe.  In this dream, he is a bird.  An angry bird.  Together with his fellow birdies, they have launched an angry attack against the pigs.  Because enough is enough.   One flying angry bird threatens to pulverize the home of the pigs.  Two flying angry birds threaten to penetrate the pigs’ last defense.  As more and more angry birds rain down from the heaven, the pigs are squashed into oblivion.   Mashed together with the cow dung, this enhanced pig-cow dung serves as a rich fertilizer to the maize nearby.  What was so irritatingly useless in pig form becomes so useful mixed with dung.   Maize grows and grows, getting taller and taller almost touching the heaven and bum!

Dooku wakes up.  It is dinner time.  And he orders a pork chop served with corns feeling a whole lot better already.

Snippet Of My Life Episode 26 – Maize Farmer And A Chef

The company I work for has recently published a guideline on what not to share in a social networking environment, which includes personal websites I suppose.  It is now officially out of the question to post the photo of that huge condom machine commonly found inside our office toilets a while ago.  Because that is a photo taken inside the building and we are not allowed to share it to the public.  Too bad.  It is one of the cutest condom machines I have seen.

In any case, I am a small fry inside this gigantic organization.  You don’t expect me to write in a coded message from now on, do you?

*     *     *     *     *

One day, as Dooku hikes along yet another random country road looking for something to earn a living, he spots a sign saying: Maize Farmer Wanted.  What does Dooku know about farming maize?  No matter.  His stomach is growling and anything is better than taking another hike the next day, and the day after.

It is a simple business.  At the end of the farming season, Dooku delivers the maize to the factories that turn the maize into different products used by the restaurants nearby.  Dooku works closely with the restaurant owners and knows precisely their requirements, what is needed for each of their dishes.  Juicy, fresh, and pest free maize grown to the highest quality, Dooku takes pride in farming maize even though it is quite a brainless job compares to what he did in the past.  Dooku has become one with his maize.

For reasons beyond Dooku’s comprehension, the factory owners have taken over the farms.  One day, a representative from one of the factories knocks on Dooku’s door.  Dooku being a good host invites this stranger inside and offers him a piece of sweet corn tart.

“We should not be farming maize.  In fact, if it is up to us, the restaurant owners should send in their waiters and waitresses to farm maize,” says the stranger with a smile.  “If I don’t farm maize, what else can I do?” asks Dooku.  The stranger continues with his smile and offers no further explanation.

Perplexed and confused, Dooku works even harder trying to focus not on the uncertainty.  The next day, the factory owners have sent in a few of their workers who doubled as maize farmers.  Dooku feels even more perplexed.  At the end of yet another farming season, Dooku compares his maize to those grown by the factory workers.  Clearly they are different.  In no way the restaurant owners would not notice!  His is juicy, fresh and pest free while others are not as juicy and not as big.

One evening, Dooku has decided to disguise himself as a dining customer and investigate.  He has talked to other customers and he has talked to the kitchen staffs in an attempt to find out if the sweet corn supplied by him is indeed better than others.  One chef shakes his head and says, “You see, these are canned food.  All canned food tastes the same.  Unlike wine that is characterized by the year and region, a can of sweet corn is just a can of sweet corn.  It is merely a mean to an end.  In this case, it is not the sweet corn that makes this dish famous.  It is the freshness of crab meat, the right amount of flour and water, my secret seasoning, together with a can of sweet corn that makes people wanting to pay for this bowl of soup.  Understand?  These are canned food.  Not wine.”

Deflated, Dooku is feeling smaller and smaller.  As though going through a merciless machinery that processes food of one form to another, Dooku finds himself breaking into pieces.  Soon he finds elements of him trapped inside a huge cylinder mixed with elements of others.  The last thing he sees is a lid that seals the container.  And then, all Dooku can see is darkness, homogeneously coexists with others.

The next morning, Dooku is nowhere to be found.  In the afternoon, a new sign is erected.  And it says: Maize Farmer Wanted.

*     *     *     *     *

Working as a chef you would imagine taking order only from the restaurant owner and the customers.  Not for Chef Dooku.

A waiter, a demanding waiter whom in Dooku’s eyes looks more like a stranger in this restaurant than someone who serves food to the customers walks into the kitchen.  “We need the Royal Seafood Platter,” says the waiter with a smile.  “Today,” adds he.  Seafood is not in season.  Neither does the restaurant has the right ingredients for this grand dish!  Dooku tries to reason with the waiter but the waiter stands his ground and says, “We need the Royal Seafood Platter, today.”

“But who will be ordering it?” asks Dooku.  “No one is ordering Royal Seafood Platter in this time of the year!” adds Dooku.  The waiter consults with another waitress and in unison, they say, “Royal Seafood Platter, today!”

Dooku has seen this before.  And he is seeing it now.  Who is going to eat the dish, even if he manages to cook it?  Dooku is a hard worker.  He seldom complains.  First, he drops by the nearest aquarium store and buys some goldfish.  Next, he visits the garden by the restaurant and pulls out some weeds.  With his magical hands, in-depth knowledge, and a few good drops of sweat from his forehead, Dooku works throughout the day to create this signature dish called Royal Seafood Platter.

Feeling satisfied, Dooku rings the bell notifying the pair of waiter and waitress that the dish is ready.  Minutes have passed and the dish still sits on the same place waiting to be served.  Minutes become hours and in closing hour, Royal Seafood Platter is served into the trash bin.  Like before.

Days later, Dooku has to dash to the nearest aquarium store and buy some goldfish, for yet another Royal Seafood Platter that he bets nobody will eat.  Not because the dish is bad, but it is not something people eat in this time of year.  After the purchase, instead of heading straight to the restaurant, Dooku stops and asks the store owner, “Do you care what happens to your goldfish once they leave your store?”

The store owner looks Dooku into his eyes and replies,”Look, my job is to supply you with goldfish when you need some.  In return, I get paid for selling them to you.  Whether you display them in your living room, or replace them as you are supposed to keep the original ones alive while their owners are on holiday, or feed them to bigger fish, it is none of my business.”

That evening, Dooku has a dream.  In his dream, the goldfish are different.  They have faces that resemble the faces of the pair of waiter and waitress!  To a skilled chef, this poses as no challenge in making his legendary Royal Seafood Platter.  Dooku reckons that this time round, the dish may taste somewhat different.  May even be better.  But who would know?  No one is eating it anyway.