Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Of all the stupid things that they need to fill the forum pages with, this is one of the big 'uns. (Thanks ahead to Terz for stealing the text...)

Jan 11, 2005
Put an end to this dangerous JC 'game'
I AM a parent of a boy studying in a premier junior college in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area. Recently, it has come to my attention that rowdy behaviour is threatening to compromise the safety of the students.

According to my son, the violent act is dubbed 'taupok', a reference to a highly compressible piece of brown beancurd. A student would shout 'taupok' and other students would pounce on the targeted person, drag him down forcefully and climb on top of him. Due to peer pressure, more and more students would join in until the stack of bodies is about a metre high.

This violent act is supposedly done in the name of fun but, as a parent, I feel that it is potentially dangerous and even life-threatening.

Furthermore, the 'taupoking' is not a rare occurrence. It can happen up to five times a day, anywhere and to any person.

During the orientation programme for Year One students, even a person standing on the stage during a performance could get 'taupoked'.

Supposing that an average person weighs 60kg, a typical group of 15 would weigh almost a tonne. Just as a person cannot survive without air for three minutes, I am very sure that the human backbone cannot bear the sheer weight of a thousand kilograms.

What happens if the victim's spine breaks? Or if he sustains any other injuries? Who will bear the consequences?

Fortunately, my son has not been a victim of 'taupoking' yet, but he still feels rather uncomfortable about this dangerous act. Also, he feels obliged to join in due to peer pressure, as everyone else is doing it.

Some would say that 'taupoking' is perfectly safe if one assumes the correct position, with one's elbows and forearms touching the floor so as to support the weight, like in rugby. However, not everyone knows the correct position to take, and when surprised one might also forget to assume that position.

I write this letter in the sincere hope of preventing a tragedy. Hopefully, we can keep 'taupok' where it belongs - in that delicious bowl of noodles.

Justin Situ Ren Jun

Ugh...Talk about overprotective moron!s. Geez.
Firstly, let's undo the math.

15 bodies in a pile does not equal to 1 tonne of force exerted on the body at the bottom. Having been said one person on the bottom, I can safely vouch that aside from a REALLY bad smell, nothing's broken.

Secondly, let's talk responsibility.

In typical Singaporean fashion, Mr Justin Situ Ren Jun decides to dish off responsibility of stopping "abhorrent" behaviour to the schools. Here's an idea...why don't you tell your kid to not bow to peer pressure instead of spewing some passive-aggressive crap about how he doesn't know who will be held responsible for accidents (O, he knows who he's going to blame...).

Thirdly...Ah well, that's already been covered by Terz. But here's the thing. Boys will indeed be boys...and I think that the term should be used to describe this kind of activity. (As opposed to this...) Geez.
There are things that we men (and women, according to Nardac...although a female taupok's totally fine with me. :) ) do...they're pretty much stupid moronic things that we have to go through...a kind of initiation thing that is part of a male's journey through life. It's's dangerous...but then again, we learn from it. Or we learn to laugh about it. Today's parent tends to err a little too much on the side of caution and I think it's got something to do with the fact that they are pretty detached from their own childhood foolishness to realise that it all added up to who they are now.
Meanwhile, I think that spawn of Mr Situ shall have a rather interesting time in Stamford Junior College*.

*Name changed to protect the guilty. :)


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