Wednesday, November 21, 2012


IT'S a story so shocking, no mother or father can afford to look away.

Not this ...

Or this ...

Or even this ...

No, the other afternoon, I came home to this ...


Just before I became a father, I saw comedian Chris Rock talk about his hopes for his own newborn daughter. He expressed his primary goal as a father thus:

"Nomatter what else happens, above all else, I've got to keep her off the pole!"

I think I can speak for all fathers in saying that whilst the pole avoidance strategy sets the bar fairly low, it's a sentiment that rings true throughout the world.

Yet here was my beloved Evie ... AGED ONLY FIVE!

Her life flashed before my eyes, from holding her as a newborn, to what she was getting up to now.

From this smiling little two-day old imp ...

To this ...

Aiyah! I started to question myself, asking where I had gone wrong.

And, of course, whether I was as bad as this guy ...

Being completely honest, I had to walk into the bathroom and point the finger of blame directly at the mirror. After all, in trying to figure out how this tool of the devil had got into our house, the answer was this: "Daddy bought it."

At least, in my defence, it's supposed to look like this ...

Phew! That's it, Your Honour - Totem tennis, aka Swing Ball, aka Tether Ball. I quickly re-attached said ball and told Evie to never ever untie it again lest she wanted to end up on the wrong side of the tracks and that I would explain what all that meant one day.

This is actually not a bad thing
for Beijing, or other places
where it's hard to get outside
because of cold weather,
pollution, or both.
Make sure, though, that the
racquet's safety cord is looped
around the wrist, thus protecting
your TV, Ming vases, etc.

This shot unfortunately appears
to combine both uses of the

Here she is again. I thought I'd
include this for one important
reason: she's clearly missed.
I consulted my parenting
bible, Battle Hymn of the Tiger
but could find nothing
from Amy Chua on totem tennis
technique. However, I did tell
Evie she was 'garbage' and to
 get out of my house.

Finally, no piece on Totem Tennis would be complete without featuring this tribute, this paean, if you will, to two of the legends of the game, in T-shirt form from


Speaking of smut, who remembers this photo from a few weeks ago?

It seemed like 'saloon' was probably a fair word for the place, which like many such places in China, most probably deals with areas other than the feet.

It was a nice try at respectability with the sign in any case. But on passing the place in the daytime, I noticed it had another sign, at bottom right below.

Which says this ...

Now come on, guys. Some clarification please: Is your place a brothel or a hospital?

More on Monday readers!

Credits: Python baby and strip club pics from Huffington Post 'parenting fails'.

All other photos, I'm afraid to say, are the author's own work. I know, I know, I should get a decent camera, or else learn how to use one, but there's a kind of charm in the amateurishness of it all isn't there? No?

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