*Originally written in Shah Alam High Court, 14 august 2009*
You know you are a permanent fixture in court when everybody looks younger than you save for the judges. Courtroom is about waiting in vain. If today you are number three in the list of cases; tomorrow you could plunge to number 45. I kid you not. I saw a lot of things and struck many conversations while waiting in court.
The late Yasmin Ahmad used to say, “there are no creative people, only sharp observers.” Some lawyers – I have no inkling about their creativity though – are really sharp observers.
As I was tapping the soles of my battered Mary Jane onto the pathetic looking dark green and grey tiles flooring of the court’s corridor, I felt a soft tap on my shoulders.
“Kak, can I ask you something?” A young lawyer in her 20s was speaking to me in a conspiratorial tone.
Okay, ‘Kak’ is much better than ‘Makcik’. I could live with ‘Kak’.
“Of course, what’s up?”
“I saw you here last week…” She replied with a pause at the end.
“And on Monday…”
“That’s right, that’s me too.”
Elviza, patience is virtue, please do not snap at this poor girl.
“Yes, that would be correct and your point being?” I asked her – nicely.
“Every time I see you, I notice that your shirt is really, really white. I mean bright sparkly white. Not yellowish, not off-white, not creamy but white.”
At this point – please forgive me – I burst out laughing. The girl looked perplexed, then she continued:
“I mean how do you wash your white shirt? What did you use?” She pressed on.
I thought of pulling her leg by telling her I wash my white shirt with Luqman’s baby formula or something, but the innocence on her face put an end to my evil idea.
“Sweetie, I wash mine exactly like you wash yours.”
“Then how come mine is not as white as yours?” She confronted my statement.
“This is brand new, kiddo. The moment it turns off-white I buy new ones.”
She looked aghast – probably with the way I spend my money.
“No, no, no, no… the trick is to buy your white shirt as cheap as possible, so when you throw it away you won’t feel guilty.”
How’s my skill in economizing? Brilliant huh?