Where’s My Flame-Thrower?


Being an unabashed old-timer, acquiring prejudices has became somewhat of a hobby to me. Whenever I go listen to how the kids speak, watch TV or read a magazine and I’d invariably come across a few over-worked phrases or mannerisms that make me want to tear my hair (whats left of it) out!. I imagine that initially these were cool. But when everyone and his brother-in-law starts using them – no doubt to appear cool – they eventually become pretty ‘uncool’. Those who use them indiscriminately start looking like nothing more than uncool Paris Hilton wannabes to me – not that Paris Hilton was ever cool in my books in the first place.

Here are some that I can think of right now:

  • “Drop dead gorgeous!”
  • “…to die for!”
  • “Wazzup?” At least Bug Bunny (who originally made the it famous), pulled it off with some class.
  • “I’m soooo not… (going/impressed/doing it)”
  • “Kewl!” – Especially when spelt that way
  • “Hawt!’ – Especially when spelt that way
  • “Loser!” – while forming the alphabet ‘L’ over your forehead
  • “DJ (whatever)” – as if the prefix DJ were a badge of honour like ‘chef’, ‘Datuk’ or ‘colonel’

Here’s a typical conversation (incorporating these cliches) that would, some day, make me feel like getting a flame-thrower and flaming every crotch in sight:

Cool person wannabe 1: “Wazzup, homey?”
Cool person wannabe 2: “Kewl!
Cool person wannabe 1: “Did you see DJ Shag-a-lot last night? He was soooo hawt!”
Cool person wannabe 2: “Yeah! He’s just to die for.”
Cool person wannabe 1: “I overheard him say that he thought you were drop dead gorgeous!”
Cool person wannabe 2: “Did he?” *preening*
Cool person wannabe 1: “Oh… I sooo hate you! I just adore DJ Shag-a-lot, but he sooo doesn’t know I exist!”
Cool person wannabe 2: “Loser!” *forms alphabet ‘L’ over her forehead*
Cool person wannabe 1: “I am sooo not going to be friends with you any more!”

Now, where did I put that flame-thrower?

16 thoughts on “Where’s My Flame-Thrower?

  1. The response, “Whatever…..” complete with eyeballs rolled towards the ceiling coupled with the disdainful brush-off gesture with a flick of the wrist, riles me. I guess that makes me an old-timer, too. And, gladly so, if I may say.

    I’m also extremely glad that “PHAT” is getting passe. I’m reliably informed that the word is a dreadful abbreviation of the inane phrase, ‘Pretty Hot And Tempting”. Every time I heard the so-called word, all I had in my mind was “FAT”, that is to say, “Flatulent And Tarty”. I’m not sure why that happened.

    de minimis

    How could I have missed the “whatever!” brush off? I must be getting old (older?).

    *LOL* And that PHAT thing drives me insane, too. Never thought it was an acronym!

  2. Apa yang kau meraban ni mamak!

    Lately gua belajar bahasa istana,rupanya ‘patek mohon durhaka ertinya saya tidak setuju’ by a commonner addressing His Highness,

    I wonder how to get all the ‘Bahasa Halus’ in book or is there any at our local Kino ke atau di Borders.

    Any one knows?

    Atau buku macam mana nak Lipat Daun Sireh?

    Makin meraban mentality colonial lu ni.

    pak tuo

    Bila semangat penjajah gua menebal, gua mulalah meraban!

  3. Mat-san,

    When you get to that stage where you are ready to direct a flame-thrower at some poor gal`s crotch(you aren`t serious,right?That`s a bit sadistic,don`t you reckon?), that`s the time when a chilling-out session at that Writer`s Bar at the Raffles in that tiny red dot down south,becomes a matter of expediency.Call me OK?A shot or two of kalua or drumboi,or any one of those Caribbean mind-numbing spirits, will still give you that flame-thrower effect with a lighted match-stick, but it`s a flame too timid to make any impact even on my moustache(which I treasure with my life!),methinks.

    Know how my 2-big girls speak to each other or with their friends?The word “like” is uttered like, every 3-4 words,in the conversation, like,it`s so cool,you know, like, the subject being discussed(poor guy!)is so conceited, like, he`s the only drop-dead gorgeous dude around.Man, totally gross,don`t you think?Fortunately for lucky Dad, my 2-girls live abroad and only come home once or twice a year during “breaks”(thank God for that!), like, can you imagine if I have to put up with that sort of conversation around the house 24/7?And the first thing they exclaim when they greet poor Mum and Dad at the airport is,”Hey Dad..you still cool these days?And Mum, you cool too? Good, Coool!So, what`s cool in the city right now?etc,etc” (Gawd!These are my girls all right..no mistaking that neanderthal greeting!)

    Cheers, my friend!


    Yep, I wasn’t serious, sir. I haven’t gone over the edge – at least, not yet.

    But I’m sure your girls are wonderful young ladies.

  4. Oh, I was going to write, whatever, but …never mind, whatevah! And can you count the number of ‘like’ used by like kids these days, before they, like, finish a sentence. Like, they have to pause and like, think, before, they, like ,find another word. It is so like , annoying. But, whatever!

    Kak Teh

    Like, I know like what you mean. It, like, makes me, like, want to, like, get my flame-thrower and like…

    Yes, ma’am, I know exactly what you’re talking about.

  5. I am getting the subliminal messages…but still can’t figure that last bit.Is it Siva or Zambri?They do look like twins…but I reckon its a bit too early for that “loser”remark ..

    I am learning a lot more from this blog than rpk’s.


    I am over the moon that you think you have learnt something here.

    However, the message must have been so subliminal that I have missed it 🙂

    Good to see you again. sir

  6. Do you remember what the “kewl” words of our time were? Quick, think of some and like, shoot them off at the Reunion next weekend. You are going, aren’t you?

    I can only think of “relax laaa”, or rather, “relax sihanouk” whatever that means!!



    Yeah lah… remember ‘lados’, ‘shenggo’, ‘liau’ and the rest of it? But I think these words are quite localised – used only at MRSM, if I am not mistaken.

    And yes, ma’am. I am going to the reunion.

  7. My niece spends too much time watching the Disney Channel. At one time, she AND her friends overused this phrase: “Whatever, loser!” complete with hand gestures showing the letter W, E and L. They were 7 years old.

    Here’s an example of a cute Whatever Baby 🙂


    Hmmm… I guess when a 3 year old does it, its kind of cute. The trouble begins when people over the age of 12 start overusing it…

    Thanks for the You Tube ink, ma’am

  8. Mat

    The generation gap does not necessarily produce a size or brain gap.

    I know a 12 year old who is as tall and as big as, even heavier than, a 50 year old. The dialogue is: pizza, burger, kfc, pizza, burger, kfc …

    But he knows how to operate the lap top, mobile phone, gps, more than the 50 year old.


    Dry Humour

    Hmmm… how right you are, sir. There’s perspective for you!

  9. why is Paktuo calling u mamak?

    thot ur Bogart’s grandson…and a suave,irresistible gentleman who no friends and foe can say no to.A unique specimen gracing our streets..
    So ur just another mamak then..ur sure ur bloodline does not have a tributary from the Bogarts or the Grants?At this stage..i will settle for Shammi Kapur…
    Bad morning sir…need a stiff drink to get over this disappointment.


    Actually, mamak is the Minang endearment for uncle. When a true blue Minang wants to show respect for an elder, we refer to them as mamak. This can easily be confused with the more popular meaning that denotes a person of Indian Muslim lineage.

    But you are right. Why the hell does he call me mamak? I am not older than him. But I I take it as a sign of respect – not that I deserve any, though. Pak Tuo is a much better person than I.

  10. Mat

    I want to borrow your Mont Blanc to sign a petition against the haves not to pollute the minds of the have nots (have not will power) with ads on fast foods, instead, to promote tempe and tapai.

    Talking about have nots, a Korean Economist at Oxord University had written a book saying the poor are poor not necessarily because they are lazy but could be lazy because they are poor.
    This is his serious, considered statement.

    I can’t propagate this because they might impale me. Suffice to say I’m lazy because I’m lazy.

    Having humoured myself a little, I can now go read the dismal and unpalateable follow up stories on the Perak leaping frogs, the unresolved c4 blow up after the blow job, the 40 cows and the poor naked cow that didn’t get away.

    Thanks for the courtesy of your blog, Mat.

    Dry Humour

    Hmmm… interesting theory that – possibly, people are lazy because they are poor.

    However, rich folks aren’t necessary hardworking. I personally know rich folks who are stupendously lazy. But hardworking people are usually rich, though.

    I’ve learnt something new from you today. Thanks

  11. Is Cary grant a Minang too?Or when did Bogart masuk suku..thot he’s a guy who gets it done the right way and all the way.

    Anyway..this cyber adoration is real risky..u never know who is on the other side of ur streamyx.Could be your neighbour,your boss’s daughter (or horror2..mistress),or even your mom in law.

    I think I will go join ur fren “dry humour” in search of the truth now..

    Good Day Mamak


    I’d say neither Grant nor Bogart were Minang.

    Nobody would have guessed, huh?

  12. Permisi Mamak,

    Iftinaz ,
    where ever your sir/madam

    “Dari niniak turun ka mamak, Dari mamak turun ka kamanakan

    Patah tumbuah hilang baganti, Pusako baitu juo.”

    (Dari ninik/sesepuh turun kepada mamak/paman

    Dari mamak/paman turun kepada keponakan

    Patah tumbuh hilang berganti, Pusaka demikian jua)

    Penggunaan ganti diri ‘mamak’ udah digunakan sebegitu lama dalam persuratan Melayu Lama.

    Dalam kesustraastraan Melayu Lama,ganti diri ‘mamak’ ditujukan kepada ahli-ahli lembaga yang hampir dengan Sultan.

    Mamak Memanda Mentri atau Mamak Bendahara merujuk kepada permulaan sekarang Enchik atau Tuan atau Haji ,Mister/Sir,Esquire,

    Mamak Memanda,merujuk ranking dalam susul jalur Pentadbiran Kerajaan Melayu Lama.

    Bagi diri yang diguna pakai oleh masyarakat minangkau diSumatra Barat.
    Istilah ganti diri ini masih digunkan seharian.
    Betul pengiktirafan saudara saya itu tentang pengunnaan ‘mamak’ dikalangan masyarakat minang.
    Malah,ganti diri tersebut digunakan oleh keluarga saya diJakarta.
    Didalam sesebuah keluarga,hanya seorang sahaja akan digelarkan mamak.Ia merupakan tunjang utama dalam sesebuah keluarga.
    Mamak merupakan payung keluarga,ianya menjaga anak buahnya sebaik mungkin sehingga sekiranya anak saudaranya lelaki sehingga ia dewasa sehingga mampu berdiri diatas kakinya sendiri atau sekirannya dia seorang perawan maka tanggung-jawab sehingga anak ponakannya diijab-kabulkan.
    ‘Mamak’ tersebut merupakan mukrim bagi gadis tersebut dan ia sah disegi Undand-Ungang Islam mengikut syarak untuk mewalikan nya dan menikahkan ia.
    ‘Posisi ‘mamak’dalam keluarga amat tinggi statusnya,kedudukannya dari segi materlial,kepahlawanannya,kebatinannya serta kejantanannya.
    Ia saperti Knight dalam perlawanan Chess.
    Kata-putusnya adalah termaktub dan binding diatas semua anak-anak-buahnya.

    Tiang sesebuah keluarga minangkabau adalah ‘mamak’.Ia adalah representasi keluarga di dalam perhimpunan balai antara suku-suku.

    Tegah mamak,maka tegah lah keluarga itu,lemah mamak maka ‘crumbling’ lah keluarga tersebut.

    Didalam keluarga saya mamak,kami adalah abang saudara,dan gelaran adatnya adalah’Dato Pado Sakti’manakala saya adalah Temenggong nya.
    Gelaran adat saya adalah Temenggong Fakir

    I’m a bit old fashion and a holder of good ole family tradition.

    Saya menggunakan ganti diri ‘mamak’ kepada teman saya itu adalah diatas kesedaran saya sendiri akan kehalusan bahasa kita sendiri.

    Ianya lebih halus daripada kita menggunakan bahasa yang agak keterlaluan,saperti yoo…..h!
    malah perkataan ‘aku’ itu sendiri menunjukkan berapa rapat seseorang dengan gandingannya.
    Cuba kita renongkan lafaz nikah kita yang digunakan “…..aku terima nikahnya….. atau aku nikahkan dikau dengan….”
    malah ganti diri aku dalam bentuk ejaan Jawi,

    alif,qaf,wau ada mengdungi hikmah serta zat kalimah sekiranya kita menyelidikinya.

    Wassalm.diharap sedikit penjelasan menanamkan budaya yang makin terhakin dek globisasai in.

    ‘tegak Bahasa kerana Budi
    tegah Budi tegaklah Bangsa
    rosak Bahasa rosaklah Bangsa’

    p.s : on a sentimental feel.

    Untuk keterangan lanjung tentang adap budaya Minangkabau sila layari.


  13. Thank you paktuo..AKU appreciate the brief and especially the link.We are losing the refinements that have created the civil society that we were brought up in…and in place we’re more into the wassups,like ur so loser,like watever..

    AKU need the gentle reminders that there’s more to life than MTV and its fascinating that it can crop up in between scones and flamethrowers…thanks again.

    By the way my boss is an Indian Muslim..so is he double mamak?

  14. ‘By the way my boss is an Indian Muslim..so is he double mamak?’

    It depends by what you mean by such a statement Iftinaz?

    ‘Only fools bet on lame horses!dont we?

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