The Quirky Life of P

Humor and satire revolving around Mr P- a fictional mix of an avatar of Mr Bean and the veritable Bertram Wooster of Wodehouse fame.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Holy Basil, Fire Ants and a Good Neighbour!….

Mr P was collecting the newspaper from his porch in the morning when he saw over the fence that  his neighbour was already seated on the veranda next door in his arm chair with a cuppa, going through  his paper. He noticed that his neighbour was sneezing and seemed to have a bit of a cold. Whenever Mr P came in the proximity of a sick person, he had this vision of all these little creatures (they looked like creatures from the movie ‘Critters’ in Mr P’s imagination) jumping off from that person to invade Mr P’s body. And even with a common cold, Mr P imagined the worst possible scenarios. “What if that person had the dengue fever or an infection by a super bug?” Mr P was very scared of germs. Normally Mr P would have rushed back inside and shut the door… to keep the germs out. But today he was feeling generous and kind. He had had a good night after an evening spent in his garden which was now rid of all those fire ants.

The morning was pleasant and all was right with Mr P’s world. The sky was blue, the birds were singing and the flowers were smiling…. So he called out to his neighbour and asked about his well being. The neighbour told Mr P that he was recovering from a cold and it wasn’t too bad.  Mr P commiserated and the neighbour then responded he was feeling quite alright and planned to go to work that morning.  Mr P advised him to take a home remedy to get over the cold very quickly. He suggested a hot cup of tea made with holy basil (known as Tulsi locally) leaves, jaggery, pepper and dried ginger. As if to prove his good neighbourliness, Mr P walked into his garden, plucked a heap of the holy basil leaves and offered it over the fence to his neighbour who came and collected it. Mr P quickly withdrew his hands from over the fence, scooted up the porch back into his house, shut the door, washed his hands and face with Dettol soap and went about his day’s business.

It was a few hours later that he heard the sirens of an ambulance that stopped at his neighbour’s house. Peering through the curtains, Mr P saw his neighbour being taken to the ambulance which left in a hurry. Mr P solemnly shook his head. “These days people seem to call for an ambulance even for such silly things as a common cold!” he thought. Later, he saw his neighbour’s wife return back from the hospital and Mr P rushed out to get the news from her. He learned that his neighbour had had a stomach wash and was stabilising in the hospital and would probably be back home the next day. The wife was very puzzled about the illness as her husband had been doing fine till he had taken the basil tea. It was after that the diarrhoea and vomiting had started. “And holy cow, it was not that he had never had holy basil tea ever before” she said!

It then dawned on Mr P that his neighbour’s illness was related to how he himself had spent his time the previous evening. Mr P had spent a lot of time in his garden. He felt that sinking feeling as though the bottom of his stomach was falling down. He recollected what he was doing in his garden. He was generously sprinkling ant killing insecticide and had dusted lavish amounts on the basil plants!

Mr P in Kiel amidst the throes of labour…..

Kleiner Kiel

The place where this tale took place was Kiel in Germany. Kiel is the state capital of Schleswig-Holstein and has a long ship-building and naval tradition. A group of Indian submariners were deputed there to get trained and be involved with the assembling of some submarines that India was buying from Germany. The navy men could take their families also  with them and it happened that a lot of the accompanying wives were pregnant. It is with one such family that Mr P stayed to save on boarding charges on a trip to Germany.

As his host officer could not take a day off from work, Mr P volunteered to escort the wife who had reached full term to the hospital for a scheduled check up. Three other pregnant ladies also then tagged along for check ups as their husbands could not leave work as well. So Mr P drove all four ladies to the hospital and after reporting at the reception they all sat on chairs waiting for their names to be called for the doctor to see them. While Mr P sat down, the four fully pregnant ladies sat on either side. Can you imagine the spectacle it would have made in that German city? No wonder the local people who walked in and went through the reception area looked stunned, stared and kept giving furtive looks at the four women and Mr P sitting in the middle. After getting a lot of these strange looks, Mr P realised what was happening. He understood that people thought all four fully pregnant ladies were his resposibility and he was to be blamed for their condition. Mr P felt embarrassed. He started to sweat and turned red. Somehow he got up and distanced himself from the ladies till all their check ups were finished and it was time to go home.

He had to go back to the hospital again a few days later as his hostess was going into labour and the husband was not at home to take her. After he phoned and the husband reached the hospital, Mr P planned to make a speedy exit. However a couple more ladies in labour were also admitted into the hospital at the same time and Mr P’s friend arrived with the other two husbands. The usual routine in the hospital was that these ladies would have to get out of their clothes and get into hospital gowns. They would also have to remove their jewelry and hand them to someone for safekeeping.

From one of the rooms a nurse came out and asked for the husband. Mr P immediately understood that it was probably for taking care of the jewelry. He also understood that only the husband could go in as the lady would be without any clothes. He rushed and summoned his host officer who was just coming in and took him to the room and hurried him in to see his wife. Mr P wisely stayed back.

Mr P’s friend who went in saw the lady and she certainly did not have any clothes on. But then she was surely wife,…………………………………………….. only to somebody else!!!

Funny travel incidents: Mr P, “Figura” and the lion…

LionsIn a previous post ( ) Mr P had forgotten his parcel of party food on his desk because of all that Australian wine. It is no way as big an adventure that he had had through his interactions with a port wine in India, with the beautiful name of “Figura”. 

It was during his holidays in India that Mr P travelled to Diu, (let me settle your doubts right now. It is indeed DIU and NOT DUI) a union territory of India, that till 1961 had been under the Portuguese  for more than 400 years, where remnants of Portuguese culture still linger.The Portuguese are believed to take pride in their wines, especially the port wines. 

Now, Mr P had a very relaxing holiday on the beaches of Diu and bought two large bottles of the Figura port wine, one for himself and another as a gift for a friend back in Kochi. He then proceeded to travel in a car with two others to Baroda in the neighbouring state of Gujarat. This journey was through the road that traversed the Gir forests famous for its diverse flora and fauna and of course the Asiatic lions. Mr P was all excited about this trip and he would vehemently deny that he had been even a tiny bit scared! But he consumed half a bottle of Figura just before they departed from Diu – for courage!

Mr P sat in front with the driver and his two companions sat at the back. As the car wound its way through the jungle road, Mr P rested his eyes (Or was he in a stupor from the port?). His companions kept their eyes peeled, hoping and praying that they would see some lions, Mr P however, was praying that they wouldn’t. Every now and then he would open his eyes slowly to check whether they were out of the jungle yet. He would also open his eyes when he heard the others mention the deer and other fauna they were seeing. But by the time he roused himself and looked out, the animal would have long gone its way. It was during one of his “open eye episodes” that he thought he saw something in the bushes. 

“A lion! A lion!”, he pointed and then slunk down his seat in a crouch. 

“Where is it sir?” said the driver and brought the car to a crawl.

“Right behind that clump of trees”, Mr P managed to point out and slunk down again.

Now, a bus loaded with tourists and a car following it  came from the opposite direction and they stopped and inquired why Mr P’s car was stopping there. Seeing a lot more of his own species, Mr P gathered courage and blurted out that he had seen a lion and all the tourists got very excited. They got their cameras out and started gazing all around. 

The driver of Mr P’s car then realised that Mr P’s lion was nothing other than a portion of a big tree trunk and surreptitiously informed that to Mr P. To save the situation, a sheepish Mr P told the passengers in the bus and the other car that because of all the noise they made, the lion could have disappeared back into the forest.  Mr P was relieved indeed when his driver slowly started the car again and began to drive away.

To overcome the embarrassment and also to give him more courage, Mr P decided to take another swig of his bottle of the Figura. It was a very potent wine and he could hardly keep his eyes open. He was hoping to take the rest of the wine to Gujarat and said as much to the driver who was eying him curiously.

“No, you are not allowed to do that sir,” said the driver. “Gujarat  is a dry state”.

“What the…..!” Mr P shouted. He huffed and he puffed. And he brooded on what could be done. Rather than waste the wine on his companions or throw the wine with the bottle away before they crossed the borders into Gujarat, Mr P being Mr P decided to finish the whole bottle of wine then and there. A very inebriated Mr P fell into a slumber that was interspersed with nightmares of lions sitting on his tummy, which made him wake up and get the car to stop – so he could empty his bladder. It was during one such occasion that Mr P saw those two lions. They were slinking slowly across the road and Mr P gave a shrill ear-piercing cry.

“Lions ! Lions!” he shouted at the top of his lungs and jolted everybody else out of their skins.

The others looked eagerly to where Mr P was pointing and saw those two scared little puppies that appeared to be trembling, quite shaken by Mr P’s screams. They belonged to the dog or canine species (Canis lupus familiaris) rather than the feline species (Felidae panthera leo)!

                                                                                        (image wallpaper of iphone)

The story ends here and it is left to your imagination as to what could have happened with the rest of Mr P’s journey. Of course, it being Mr P, one can only imagine that everything would have gone incident free(tongue in cheek)!  

Of course Mr P would have had to go through a police check post into a dry state with a full bottle of the gift wine in his bags! What with all the lion encounters and the tryst with ‘La Bella Figura’, he had completely forgotten about that!

Did you?

He Bunks Work with a ‘tummy bug’ and drinks Moose Drool..…..!

A Long Island Iced Tea in the traditional high...

It was Wednesday and Mr P  was already feeling very weary and tired of work. He felt like leaving work early and he badly wanted to go somewhere like Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill to relax. He knew that to get a nice place to sit at Cubby’s, he had to be there early before the other office goers hit the place. Leaving work early was quite a habit for Mr P. In fact it had become so much of a routine to him that he had exhausted all the excuses for obtaining permission to leave early. He did not like to bunk work and go without permission after that incident when he had sneaked off one afternoon on the sly and on the way out had walked into his boss who was returning from a meeting.

Mr P thought over all the excuses he had used recently and the list included 1) headache 2) tooth ache 3) toe ache 4) sore eyes  5) nose bleed 6) itches and bites 7) chills 8) dentist’s appointment 9) doctor’s appointment 10) receiving parcels and postal order deliveries couriered to his home address 11) Sister’s, brother’s, uncle’s, aunt’s, niece’s and nephew’s weddings 12) Grandma’s and Grandpa’s funerals 13) hospital visits to see sick parents, friends, cousins and all sorts of relatives 14) appointments with the cable and internet services guy, plumber, electrician and exterminator. He noted that there were not that many stomach aches in the excuses he had used. So he decided to have a“tummy bug”.

He saw his boss in his office and told him about this excruciating stomach pain he was having from something he must have eaten the previous night. He said he just wanted to go home and curl up in his bed. His bedroom had an en-suite and attached toilet. With the readily and hastily given permission, Mr P slunk off from work and drove straight to “Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill”. There, he found himself a nice little niche from where he could watch the football on TV and he congratulated himself for having beaten the rush. He lounged on the Cubby seat and ordered Nachos, fried chicken and sweet potato fries with a Caesar salad. To wash the food down, he ordered some ‘Michelob Golden Light’ (definitely not something off the Alaskan gold mines). He ate and drank and watched the games on the TV and later ordered some ‘Moose Drool’ (definitely not that liquid trickling down the jaws of that big North American animal Alces alces, also known as the Elk in Eurasia).

 Time just seemed to fly at Cubby’s. (Not at all like at work where it seemed to take ages for the clock to strike five and one could go home.) Mr P had finished his food, the ‘Michelob Golden Light’ and the ‘Moose Drool’ and was nursing a tall glass of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ (certainly not liquid black tea from Long Island with ice cubes floating on top) when he called the waitress over and ordered a Mexicali Burger.

 He had to raise his voice because of the din with all the blaring TVs and the chatter of the people. Then he saw from the seats across that were now occupied, two glaring eyes watching him. Mr P could never mistake those eyes. They sent a shiver down his spine even with the fortifications from the Michelob Gold, the Moose Drool and the Long Island Iced Tea. And they were not even in his boss’s office then! No matter where, even at cool Cubby’s, those eyes looking at him with displeasure covered him in cold sweat! How could he explain the sudden disappearance of his “tummy bug”?

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