Thursday, December 08, 2011

Bats and Taxes

"Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made."

John Berryman

I had an afternoon off last Friday and I spent it driving around town distributing a significant portion of my fledgling savings to various creditors. I had credit card bills and the car loan to pay off. I had to make rent and break even with the utility companies. That afternoon, I had one of those moments when I suddenly realised that I'm a giddy thousand feet up in the air, strung up only by the contracts of daily adult living. It can all be over if I look down.

What a life. The few measly hours in which I am not working to generate my salary was spent delivering it to other people. Ever had that nagging feeling deep down inside that we are living wrong? I do all the time.

The Ministry of Health made it clear that any and all leaves we take from work is a privilege, not a right. That's something that my bosses and even my colleagues kept parroting; the former as a psychological slogan to keep stiffs like me in line and the latter as an expression of undiagnosed Stockholm Syndrome. It stinks of manure and I couldn't be the only person smelling it. No, the allotted number of days I am allowed to forget about work, work, work is rightfully mine. I am not a slave. To try and brainwash me into thinking otherwise is cruel and inhumane.

And now for an unrelated aside: here's a bat I rescued earlier this year right before my med school finals,

Bat Rescue
I shall call it Percival and rub its round velvet belly.

I'm fascinated by bats. They are the only mammals to ever evolve powered flight and but yet are practically helpless once they are floored. They are like living metaphors for overachievers who just can't deal with setbacks or failures.

It's almost cute.

I'm also fascinated by humans. If we find a crash-landed bat scrabbling about on the ground, our first instinct (except for children and psychos) is to try and help it take flight again. Contrast that with the first instinct of a cat, which is probably to eat it.

That reminds me: I need to get a cat.

A friend of bats,
k0k s3n w4i


nicoletta said...

gah, cats. bats on the other hand are adorable.

Zzzyun said...

Totally totally agree on having leave is a RIGHT, not a privilege. Have been drumming that into my bf's mind who's working in msia currently.

If it's a privilege, let's try and take away the bosses' leave and see what they do?

fevrier said...

SO CUTE. also. we have a cat!

Terri said...

do cats eat bats? do bats eat cats? tell me Dinah dear, have you ever eaten a bat?


shanaz@RS said...

Life is just wrong when it comes to money spent monthly on bills and loans. Urgh. The bat that you rescued on the other hand, gave me warm feelings. Must be your compassionate gesture. Bats by themselves are kind of freaky-looking, but still they are interesting creatures. If you really want a cat, I hope you'll rescue one of the strays you see in the streets or your hospital? hehe. People who 'sell' their cats are just disturbing, imho. It all goes back to money, money, money!

yuhhui said...

so.. what happens to the bat now?

k0k s3n w4i said...

nicoletta: with the exception of pteropids, bats are mostly grotesque. cats had thousands of years of artificial selection to make them cute.

Zzzyun: why, was your boyfriend brainwashed?

beve: wha... where? and who is "we"?

Terri: i don't get the reference :(

shanaz@RS: i like friendly strays, but i must confess that there are specific breeds i'm interested in for their particular temperaments.

yuhhui: i let it fly away. it crashed and couldn't take off again, that's all.

nicoletta said...

the reference was to Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in WOnderland"

k0k s3n w4i said...

nicoletta: yeah! i knew it was an allusion to something! the penny dropped on the name dinah. thanks for bringing it back to me :)

Zzzyun said...

haha almost. then rescued back by me :P

made me realised how strong and scary brainwashing can be if the same mantra is repeated by the ppl above you and around you.

c3rs3i said...

Hello, long time no comment!

Just looked up income tax in Malaysia and.... I might have to move to Malaysia. You're probably on a highest bracket of 12%? Mine's more than triple that. T.T

How's your pet Percival now?