Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Who needs logic?

This is going to be a long post because Michelle and I met a most unreasonable person last night.

Michelle and I went down and met a very difficult man and his family last night. He claimed that he had problems with the cats coming into his garden and had borrowed a trap from the AVA. We went over with repellents. He claimed at first that he loves animals but that cats are starting to head the list of animals he dislikes. He also said that if the cats do not come into his yard, he has no issue with them.

He also said in front of his teenaged children that he was pleased to see the report about the animal abuser in the newspapers. He said that he was glad to see someone doing something about the cats because the cat must have 'done something' to the man. Michelle and I explained that animal abuse is often a sign that violence is escalating - we pointed out that David Hooi for example had been convicted of a string of other crimes. This man said that while these people may be prone to violence, it's actually caregivers that drive them to hurt the cats because caregivers feed. Then when they have been violent to the cats they move on to other people. So if caregivers didn't feed then these abusers would not be forced to commit acts of violence.

He also said that if he put poison out and the cats 'happened' to eat it, he would not be at fault.

Michelle and I tried to explain the vacuum effect to the man. He said that if we remove the cats then fresh air will rush in to fill the vacuum. We offered to show him studies. He insisted that studies were not proof - but that he had proof of the cats in his garden. I pointed out that we had not seen a cat in the hour we were at his house, nor did he have anything to back up his assertion other than his claiming this to the the case. We said that we were prepared to accept his word, and that in addition, we could send him studies since he didn't believe us.

He also kept arguing that civet cats are cats - I told him there was no point arguing, he could look it up or we could send him the details. He also claimed that cats were the dirtiest animals around - look at when they bit people. I pointed out that any mouth was dirty - whether it be cat, dog or baby. In addition, we said that it didn't mean that every bite would get infected, just as every dog bite did not. He claimed that of course we would say that because we would suffer anything for the cats dog bites did not infect people. I said that we could get a doctor to speak with him if he didn't believe us. He refused.

He also asked why the AVA did not want to support sterilisation. We told him to call up and speak with the Head of the department as this was not the case. He refused and said he prefers to speak to people working at the 'bottom' as he put it.

We told him that since he had no problem with the cats as long as they didn't come in why not try the Scarecrow (which is a motion sensor that sprays water at anything that moves). Then the litany of complaints started - what if it got his clothes wet (which he hangs in his garden), what if it sprays his car (and thereby damages it), what if his teenaged children get wet if it is on, how much extra water bill would he need to pay, what sized battery would he need (his wife wanted to know if it was AA or AAA), would he become a 'laughing stock' because he gets sprayed? By this point, I told him I would pay the extra for the water bill from the Scarecrow, but he claimed that he could not calculate this as he had no idea what his average water bill is. He wanted to know why we didn't have a remote controlled one - I told him he was welcome to buy his own but this was the one I was offering. i also told him thatinstead of asking so many questions, he could try it and see if it worked. His wife wanted to know what would happen if someone came into their house to steal it as they weren't always home. I pointed out that they had a trap from the AVA and if that was stolen, the AVA wasn't going to accept that they weren't at home - and that they would still need to pay the AVA the $500. Michelle asked reasonably why anyone would come in and steal the Scarecrow - and the man said perhaps for the scrap metal. I told him he could put his mind at rest because it was a plastic device.

By this time, he was getting irritated because I think he realised he was sounding quite unreasonable. We told him we were just there to offer him a solution and he could either accept it or not, but that as he himself said he didn't want to hurt animals, then why not try something that would stop what he said was bothering him?

So of course, the man started to get abusive. He said that he blamed 'you people' for coming down only now that we knew he had a problem! I told him that unfortunately we were not mindreaders, and unless we knew he had a problem, we would not be able to help him. We told him that if we had known, we would certainly have come down or he could have contacted us.

He then said he never heard of us. I asked him how long he had lived in the estate and when he told us that he had lived there for 10 years, I told him that he must have lived there when a few volunteers and myself had walked door to door distributing letters about the TNRM programme in the estate and asking people to call if they had a problem.

Suddenly, the man who had not heard of us two minutes ago was able to correct me and say that the letter had not said to call with problems - he said it said to call for 'enquiries and clarifications'. When I pointed out that other neighbours in his estate had no problems calling with clarifications, he turned his back on us.

In the end, Michelle and I said that we were going to thank them for their time, and they knew how to contact us if they wanted the Scarecrow. The man insisted that he had said that he would try it. I told him that he had not - he had to undertake the risk that he might get wet, his children and his car might to, because I certainly was not going to guarantee that it might not happen.

The worrying thing is that he has two teenaged children. They laughed along with their father at first when he was making these ridiculous statements. In the end, they stopped laughing when I think even they realised how silly he sounded. These are the people who are raising children though - to think it's fine to abuse animals, that some people are just more prone to violence and hence it's okay to excuse them.


Blogger Mezzo said...

Sounds like usual macho bull. A pity his family was there; he probably felt he had something to prove.

Sterilisation is a great behaviour modifier. Just sayin'

15/8/06 12:35 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Wow, how did both of you tahan him? He is so quarrelsome, arrogant, unreasonable, not interested for a remedy. Pity his children, he is imparting wrong views to them. Mezzo said it right, sterilisation is a great behaviour modifier - he needs to be sterilised.

15/8/06 12:55 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Mezzo - yes quite possibly he felt he needed to prove something. We went in though to just say we knew he had a problem and we wanted to try and solve it. I don't know why he felt the need to be so argumentative about it.

15/8/06 1:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Mary - it was DEEP BREATH time :)

15/8/06 1:23 PM  
Anonymous yskat said...

Dawn: it would be great if you could write your encounters with these people as short stories and get them published either serially or in a collection. I think they will tell us much more about singapore society than what we get in our "mainstream media". A good title for the story of this man will be ""the single-celled fascist - an organism found commonly in singapore".

15/8/06 2:17 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yskat - I bet people would think it's a work of fiction! Michelle said she was sorry she didn't have a recorder with her last time!

15/8/06 2:23 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

for some people, senility comes early to them ...

this person has teenage children, so he must be around 50+ ? people who do not stay healthy can become senile at 50+ ...

forgive him, he's ill, very ill ...

15/8/06 2:46 PM  
Blogger Salt * Wet * Fish said...

Whenever I read thinks like this, it reminds me of the show "Money Not Enough".

In it, Selena (?) went to a Chinese medium to ask why their family are getting so bad luck and business is failling and asked for the God to help. The medium then asked Selena: "Have you been generous and charitable to others recently?"

Sometimes we admire the rich people with their houses and cars, but I have met a number of these rich people who are not rich inside.

15/8/06 2:54 PM  
Blogger Celeste Lock said...

What a stupid and irritating man!

15/8/06 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My neighbour, suppossedly a C-I-O of a big company is aka to us as
Crazy- Irrational-Oppessor. He is exactly like this man mentioned.

15/8/06 4:38 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh dear - if you'd like us to give it a shot, we can try and speak with him.

15/8/06 4:48 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

A video of this encounter would have displaced Phua Chu Kang anytime for top viewing spot on TV!
Are this man, his wife and teenaged children "educated"?

15/8/06 7:06 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

How does one tell? :) They all spoke fairly well and he was telling us he has a job somewhere at the top (but also at the bottom) and then settled with somewhere in the middle. So-called educated people can be the worst behaved if educated means having gone through the school system.

15/8/06 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this type of people, I just cannot stand them.Luckily I have parents who teach me right values!


15/8/06 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have already snapped at that mention of feeding poison to cats. That man is beyond stupidity and reasoning. So it's not my fault too if he happened to accept my offer of a poisoned drink?

Maybe he should sponsor the upkeep of civet cats in the zoo so that his children can go learn more about them. Perhaps he is also confused with what the sealion and peacock belongs to.

15/8/06 9:00 PM  
Anonymous kaori said...

Oh and please don't start telling us that a hotdog is a canine, your children are already mortified enough.

15/8/06 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This man wants to put poison and he said if the cats eat it and died, not his problem. What an unreasonable and irresponsible fellow. I hope his children eat it and serve him right. Sometimes things will backfire. He thinks he can poison the cats, he might end up poisoning his own family.
What a wicked man.

15/8/06 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His children will learn all the wrong things from their father. They will grow up to be abusive adults. They will abuse animals first, and then abuse the father when he is old, frail and redundant. Serve him right.

15/8/06 11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of lousy father will not produce good children. His children will become abusive one day and the father will regret for life.

He sounds like a frustrated and unreasonable man. I agreed with mary, maybe he needs to be sterilised in order to be calm.
Is he going through menopause like women?

16/8/06 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I cannot believe it, but I believe it!!

This is utter shame and embarrasment, actually beyond that, that we here in Singapore have this kind of people, and his family.

They remind me of the families in the Joo Chiat spat.

I hate to say this, but likely the children will grow up to be like their father, and perhaps in one or more times, they may just as well, check into the mental institute themselves.

But he sounds like just one loud ridiculuous bully, this kind of people, you know what they scare most? The law, the fear of being apprehended by the law/police

So if he did say out loud about putting posion out, you two should have told him you can easily call the police, act as witness to a possible crime he would have commit, might just scare the hell and shit out of him.

Well, I love if you would, I know it's impossible la, but to give us his home address!! Sure want to meet this legendary person. Either the law will get him, or he be shame with utter maximum embarassment.

You should put the story up on the papers, if they read the papers, they will know who they are!!

Gosh, cannot imagine if I have this kind of neighbour, I will move immediately!!!!


16/8/06 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a pathetic heart-less human being. My condolence to his children and I hope they are able see their father as a "bad father", strictly not to be emulated.
What a pathetic man who thinks that the external appearance of a garden is more important than a fellow fellow animal, clawing to escape from the trap because it, too, like this pathetic man,wants to live.
Pathetic is this man who feels nothing watching a fellow animal being writhing in agony after consuming the poison in the trap.
I think we ought to "cull" this man "out of his miserable existence".
I hope this man and his family are educated enough to find this website and do some "soul searching" and reflect on what life is all about. It is not just about living in a big house with a beautiful garden that is devoid of kindness.
To this family, I say, "Do not let your pride and ego get in the way of thinking with an open heart."

16/8/06 7:32 AM  
Blogger KXBC said...

Idiots will never admit they are idiots. And idiots should never have children.

I believe there are lots of these people in Singapore. I've met quite a few of them.

I pity you have to deal with so many of them in your daily work. I think only a very patient person can do your kind of work.

I like yskat's idea of compiling some of your blog entries into a book of short stories. I am sure it should sell at least 5000 copies. AVA, the various town councils and MPs should receive free copies. Perhaps then they will understand.

16/8/06 9:38 AM  
Anonymous mola said...

Hahah! I'm sorry, I can believe this happens! I feel for you both - this is why I moved north! (though there are crackpots here too...)

But I go with the book idea! It's great - I'll help you write & edit!!

hang in there guys...

16/8/06 4:34 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Haha - cool, we have an editor (Mola), we have stories and KXBC thinks we have a market! We're good to go!

16/8/06 4:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, some days I am SO tempted to put the address on my blog too - if for no other reason then so no one will make the mistake of moving in next to them!

16/8/06 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be tough for you to deal with this big bully. that shows that you are very patient and tolerant with this unreasonable guy.

wait till he gets some setbacks then he will become wiser

16/8/06 11:49 PM  
Blogger KXBC said...

You get it printed and we can always do free publicity on our blogs. Words of mouth can spread very fast and the book may even sell well overseas.

17/8/06 9:31 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I have always admire Dawn for her coolness and level-headedness in such situation. What's your secret?

17/8/06 10:03 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Yes indeed I won't move out of my apartment because I have a neighbour who loves cats. I have always anyone who is scouting for a new home to ask the neighbours if they are ok with cats before putting down that deposit!

17/8/06 10:05 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

KXBC - thanks for the vote of confidence.

Vegancat - that's a very good idea. I have often thought that they should have a registry to put new people moving in on notice too. For example, if there have always been cats in the neighbourhood, and everyone else is okay with it, then why should someone new move in knowing about the cats and kick up a fuss? It's like a land right in a way - for example if your neighbour has a right of passage over your land, you can't deprive them of it if you have notice of it.

17/8/06 10:22 AM  
Anonymous shacwebdesigner said...

This type of people, go to furniture shop ask for discount. Give 10% ask for 20%, then ask for 50%. After that say cannot wait for two months to place order. So take showpiece. Show piece ask for discount, give 60%. Then he say must touch up got scratch here and there. Must do quick send on Saturday. Say Saturday full, threaten to cancel. Then call a customer to cancel his delivery right under his nose. So that can accomodate to him. Smile, smile. Clearly knows delivery 4pm to 6pm then he ask for morning. Again kana call morning delivery customer to cancel so can accomodate him.
Sorry to say this, its not macho bull, its macho bullshit, you can always see this in government civil servants who owns car and terrace house. The simplest way to deal with him when he walks in is to kow tow to him, then straight away offer him free delivery and 99% discount when he asked for the first time.

8/9/06 8:17 PM  

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