Today is a Bonus


“What you doing, bro?” I blurted into the phone.

“Same old thing: Writing cheques to pay very angry creditors with money the company does not have. What did you think?” Jamal replied (real name withheld to protect the guilty).

“Again? I think you’re not allowed to do that, Jamal”

“I’ll be dammed if I don’t do anything about this mess. I’ll find the money to cover these cheques, tho. However, it won’t come from my useless shareholders, I can assure you that!”

Jamal is your regular go-to guy, a Mr Fixit extraordinaire whose resourcefulness and tenacity is second to none. I had no doubt in my mind he’d be able to find the money necessary to cover the cheques when the time came; but my heart bled a little for him.

Given his skills and gumption, Jamal should by right, be drawing a five-figure monthly income at some major corporation somewhere. Instead, because he hasn’t got a degree to show potential employers during an interview, he is now only a manager (in an obscure company) and his sole function seems to be to clean-up his shareholders’ mess – for a pittance, I might add. Got something you can’t or won’t handle? Lump it on Jamal. He’ll sort it out for us. Problem solved.

After exchanging some of our usual ribbing, I put down the phone, and felt immensely lucky. Why shouldn’t I feel lucky? Here I am, only half as smart as Jamal, and all I have to do is work half as hard as he does to earn twice as much. How much luckier can one get?

On my way out of the car park, I noticed the elderly parking lot attendant, a wiry old Chinese geezer who looks like he could have been a respected kung-fu master in his younger days. He seemed to look as if he wanted to say something to me.

I wound down my window and asked “Yes, boss! You were saying something?” (I always call him boss lest he gets pissed-off with me and kung-fus my sorry ass into next week)

“Today is a bonus, isn’t it?” he declared, smiling

“Huh? Bonus? What bonus, boss?”

“Of course! For old guys like us, every day we are not in a hospital or dead is a bonus! Right?”

Today is a bonus. I’m not going to forget this in a hurry.

25 thoughts on “Today is a Bonus

  1. It’s a bonus that my eyes are working well for me to read your blog.

    While I read your blog, all my internal organs are functioning. My stomach is not screaming for food as I have just had lunch.

    I don’t have bloods flowing out from my skin.

    There’s no bomb flying over my head.

    No one is threatening to kill me.

    I am not grieving over anyone close to me.

    It is a bonus. Alhamdulillah.


    Alhamdulillah indeed, ma’am.

  2. bonus is living in this nation of ours, even with its warts and all


    That’s right, isn’t it? My neighbour isn’t trying to kill me and mine. There’s enough food to go around. No earthquakes, no major floods, no volcanic eruptions. The military isn’t randomly mowing down civilians with machine-gun fire. In other words, life is just dandy.

  3. bonus is when i don’t have to get up in the morning to come to ths godforsaken place they call the office! hehehe…mumsie ni tak pandai nak bersyukur ek?!


    Some people will consider it a bonus just to have an office to go to. I know this because there was once a time when I didn’t have a job for a very long time. It wasn’t pretty 🙂

  4. Hai MB.Thank you again for flying swiftly into my blog.Thats a bonus for me alright.U know,its a bonus that old man reminded you to cherish life everyday.We tend to take many things for granted kan?Until we read of our dear blogger friend Raden Galoh tengah sakit yet she nak always update us with her painful experience or we hear of somebody healthy who had a hit and run accident,we never realise the precious time ticking.So thank you for sharing your bonus meeting with us.That old man is so special!Mula2 I really ingat dia nak mengecek you some pocket money which is a norm at parking bays.Rupanya dia hanya nak just a quick chat.Thats very rare.Bonuslah tu.


    William is indeed a very special gentleman

  5. Dear MB,

    It is a bonus indeed when you still have children, family and your love ones around you even you have none, and it is a double bonus if we still have the health to watch them grow. Thank you sir.


    The pleasure is mine. ma’am

  6. Never forget to be thankful for the little things. But we often forget and instead grumble and moan over very small matters that don’t go our way. Sometimes a little reminder is all it takes.


    I’m glad I had this reminder, ma’am. You never know wen it would be too late…

  7. MB, come december, it is bonus time for me. I never asked for much, no roses, no diamonds – but another year together. So far it has been 29 bonuses. Alhamdulillah.

    Kak Teh

    By William’s definition, I may have had one too many bonuses already…

  8. dear abang bangkai (ahem)

    sometimes, these inconsequential incidents (or so we thought) are the ones that leave great impact on us and make us realise how lucky we’ve been in life.


    This did have great impact on me: Made me come to terms with my mortality

  9. screeeeeeech!!!!


    i was revving my funny bone to be tickled silly, only to find myself having to apply the emergency toot-sweet, bak kata omperancis. [phew!]

    this is truly profound, man. thanks, mb!

    [aside: gosh, lucky my brakes makan! could have run down old william’s bonus and i’d never be able to live with my own bonus. or worse, show my face here again. that must be a small bonus too, in itself. ;)]


    Omputeh ni tak berapa paham cakap omperancis. Tapi OK lah, can figure it out from the context.

    Sorrylah this didn’t turn out the way you expected 😦 But then again,I hope it didn’t turn out too bad for you. Glad you think its profound, tho.

  10. mb said… I hope it didn’t turn out too bad for you.

    of course not.

    it turned out as old will probably intended it to. 🙂

    scales fell off my eyes and life’s rosy tint is definitely more visible today.

    i was so especially nice and sweet to my other half this morning, poorting must be still bewildered about it.


    Ah! Something good did come out of it. I am so glad.

  11. Mat,

    Honestly, I can’t take this no more


    I think I’m done with the motivational guru phase, anyway. Going back to my down-and-out hero-tua self soon.

  12. that’s right! it’s a BONUS that we can live till today… appreciate on what we have and have achieved so far.

    all the best!


    Bonus is the word, ma’am. Good to see you here again

  13. MB?I wonder apabenda mekyam buat sampai husband dia jadi bewildered betul kan?hahaha

    Sometimes I nak imitate your style of writing suspenseful stories.Takut orang boring asyik cerita pasal family je.

    So I nak try tulis short stories yang you’re famous for.Boleh Sir?


    Now that you’ve brought up the matter, I too, am curious. What was it Mek Yam? What?

    Ma’am, don’tlah imitate – just be yourself. I’m sure people will love you. Go on, ma’am, write your short stories. I for one, am certain that you’ve got many wonderful stories to tell – in ways nobody else can tell them.

    So there, Datin. Go write!

  14. Dear Kahlil Gibran,

    What are you doing here and what have you done with our beloved Mr Bangkai?

    *sharpens machete


    I have escaped, sir – by the skin of my teeth. I kicked that Gibran fellow in the gonads and now he’s lying in a gutter somewhere.

    You can put the machete away (for now).

  15. Salam MB. its a bonus that i bloghopped here. you’re refreshingly like my fav juice limau.. a little tart but goes down real cool n easy lol.

    i’ll be coming back for more 🙂


    Salam to you, too. I am glad you found your visit an enjoyable (refreshing) one, ma’am. See you again, soon.

  16. Bugger lu bro, coming onto blogosphere without coming to pay respect.

    I’ll make an offfer you can’t refuse.

    Why that GRO blog went dead? Cock teaser.

    Call me …Need your fuckin reflexology

    A Voice

    I’ll be buggered! You came to he meet after all. Should have come sooner bro. I had already left when you arrived.

    The GRO blog? That was good, wasn’t it? I had to take it down. She was getting too many proposals – both the marital and the indecent kind.

    OK… you got a reflexology session coming your way soon, bro

  17. bonus ….!!! where ??

    like u matB, by any definition i think i have one too many already lah. errmmm, another bonus today….my gout pain subsided! thanks to zeronutric pills….

    errr…was cikesahGRO u?? errrrr, pls burn all my love letters to her! LoL. hahahaha


    Good to know your gout has subsided.

    Yes, I was Esah! The love letters? They are now ashes… But you wrote some mighty good ones 😉

  18. Bonus is living through another day with my loved ones.
    One of my perks in life is reading your blog (as well as other talented writers).


    Good to hear from you again. Yes, seeing another day with our loved ones is a big bonus.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you (if its not too late)

  19. Finding your blog was definitely a bonus. Please update soon. Cheers.


    As usual, you make me blush with your kindness. I’ll update soon… in fact, I already have!

  20. got comment moderation meh? Did you know I was going to comment? But I always behave myself in your comment box. lol


    Yes, I’ve got comment moderation now. The hate mail was getting too much to bear *lol*

    And yes, you have always been behaving yourself in my comment box, ma’am.

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