Thursday, February 09, 2006

Museum's No to Chook-Duck Bloke!

The Chinese has a saying for such a person. In Hokkien it would be ‘Kay khar arh ch’ew’, meaning chicken feet, duck’s hands; in Cantonese it would be, I think (my Cantonese is rather dodgy), ‘Kai sau arp kiok’ or chicken hands, duck’s feet.

Don’t ask me why the Hokkiens and Cantonese have their fowls’ appendages the opposite way to each other. But if you remember, I did mention in How Sugar Canes Saved the Chinese Hokkiens they had a civil war of sorts during the Ming dynasty, though reader i-TTL corrected me by averring that the aggressors of the Hokkiens were the Manchus, and not Cantonese as I was told by granddad.

Anyway, it describes a person who is utterly clumsy - not unlike a bull in a china shop.

But if anyone has earned the dubious description of having the appendages of chicken and duck - hmmm, clever am I not, by avoiding any accusation of favouring either the Hokkiens or Cantonese - it’s Nick Flynn, a Brit who visited the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge recently. During that unfortunate visit, he tripped over his shoelace and horror of horrors, smashed two priceless 17th Century Chinese vases. I would have love to see his face then, or that of the museum staff.

The Museum director has since written to the poor bloke asking, nay, probably begging him not to return in the near future. Maybe Flynn ought to take ballet lessons to improve his balance. A couple of sessions to the melody of Swan Lake may be helpful to his rehabilitation for re-admittance to the museum.

1 comment:

  1. Lol, why not ask him to repay a couple of million dollars for it?