Those of you who are going/went through the Literature Component in English Language in school would know Roald Dahl’s “The Sound Machine” and as a matter of fact, his short story, “The Landlady”, is in the present cycle if you are studying English Literature or what is today known as Literature in English for the SPM Examination. Otherwise, you may know him from the movies, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda” which are based on his works as well.

I was first introduced to something written by Roald Dahl when I saw his book, “Revolting Rhymes” (1984:Picture Puffin, England). The Poh Huai Bin of, who was in primary school then, had borrowed the book (And hey! Wasn’t he too young to be reading things like that? Hahahahahaha!!! Some people start very young, don’t they, Huai Bin? Wink! Wink!) from the library in his tuition centre and flipping to it, I found his poems – all parodies of fairy tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Little Pigs” absolutely hilarious…so I photocopied it. Years later, I bought the original at Times in Kuching for RM12.35. It is a very thin book with big fonts, lots of illustrations and about 50 pages only.

When I was in England in 1994, I got hold of the follow-up or sequel (1990: Penguin Books, England), “Rhyme Stew” – that rhymes with Rhymes Two, you see! – with more parodies including “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and the illustration on the cover has a warning: Unsuitable for small people! I don’t think they were that serious about it though! Well, that cost me around RM17 in our currency at the time, but at the current exchange rate, it would probably cost around RM35!!!

Just for a sampling of what we may find inside these two books of poems by Roald Dahl, I would like to share with you one of the shorter ones entitled: “Physical Training”.

Physical Olivia Newton John

Our gym-instructress, Miss McPhee,
When gym was over, said to me,
“Stay on, Bill Smith, I’ll teach you things.
I’ll make you better on the rings,
And after that, let’s reinforce
Your work upon the vaulting horse.”
I stayed behind. She shut the door.
She’d never been so kind before.
She said, “So you can get it right
I’ll have to hold you very tight.”
She held me here, she held me there,
By gum, she held me everywhere.
She kindly taught me, after that,
To wrestle with her on the mat.
Oh gosh, the things she taught me,
Our gym-instructress, Miss McPhee!

LOL!!! I certainly hope all of you enjoyed that! Do have a nice weekend, everybody!

Olivia Newton John’s PHYSICAL photo
P.S.: This looks like an interesting blog to visit, especially those of you who love “CLASSIC” 80’S & 90’S ANTHEMS”.