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”.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

5 thoughts on “Physical…”

  1. *LOL* Didn’t know that poems can be so funny in a way 😀

    You’ve a nice weekend too 🙂

    You should see the rest!!! Really funny…and really not suitable for small people!!! Hahahahahaha!!!

  2. Never heard of Roald Dahl – but I’ve watched both Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… in fact I don’t know how many times I watched Matilda when my sister was a kid, she watched that over and over and over and over again… we all had to sit and watched with her hehehe

    Aiyor! U not intellectual lah like dat!!! Even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has good message – about the evil characteristics in man! I love Matilda too – especially the way the teacher punished the student by swinging her in the air by the hair!! Humph! Some students! Wish I could do that! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

  3. Emmmm….got a staack of RD books in my sch lib. Did not know he can be so ‘interesting’. Tot its all innocent. would like to read the rest. How come you never show me???

    Innocent? Not necessarily! The Landlady, for example!!! Eeee…what are they teaching the students? And they’re using that for SPM Literature!!! LOL!!! Better read all yourself first! My daughter has a very thick “The Roald Dahl Treasury”…but the collection inside ok ones! She loves his works! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  4. hahaha…you jus have to love Roald Dahl, i have quite a collection of his books during my early sec school years…except for revolting rhymes…cos i felt that it was too expensive for such a thin book with big fonts…lol!…

    You don’t know what you’re missing! I love that Red Riding Hood character with her gun in her knickers and what happened to the Three Little Pigs in the end! Really hilarious!!! So funny!!!

  5. Roald Dahl is a great author for any child or student of English. Great stories and some real tongue-in-cheek stuff as your article points out. My favorite is the BFG, great book.


    blog: uk student news and events

    I read in one of the related posts that he ranks top among the favourite authors among young readers, and J.K. Rowling only comes in at No. 4. My daughter likes BFG too! Reminds her of me! LOL!!!

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