Me: *closes door* It's refreshing to have people over once in a while, Mr. Ham. Nephews included. I always like to think of myself as being good at tutoring children. Like, for history, I like to go over the story of the Immortal Queen Elizabeth of the Seven Kingdoms, who rose to prominence due to her unmatched skill at dual-wielding sword and handbag, whilst telepathically controlling an army of killer robots - all backed up by photographic evidence, mind. Sure, so the kids might not score very highly in exams, but I like to imagine that I'm imparting something much more important: critical thinking.
Heh heh heh
Speaking of education, the College Board will be including an "adversity score" with their SAT assessment, incorporating features such as the crime and poverty level of the student's neighbourhood. The last time Singapore did this for entry to desirable schools, wealthy parents merely domiciled their offspring within the requisite radius, which is what I'd expect would happen in the States too.
Okay, okay, on to Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Mr. Ham. As you were saying, it sure reminded me of us - young, intrepid Pokémon hunters back in the day.
Hamchu: Righto, only I'm more adorable than Pikachu, and you're dorkier than that guy.
Me: Modesty was never your strong suit, Hamchu. I almost forgot why I stopped doing the rounds with you.
Hamchu: Hey, don't blame not being able to keep up with my scintillating intellect. These insensitive put-downs are good for ya, human. Can't improve if you don't know what you're poor at. Fortunately, there's no lack of such areas for further attention. *condescending pat pat*
Me: Eh, speak for yourself. I sure don't see you running and jumping about like that Pikachu can.
Hamchu: I dunno, I can do maybe three kneebends.
Hamchu: Fine, two.
Me: And it's not like you get a cool evolution.
Hamchu: *swivels around* Ta-dah! You didn't notice, but Hamzilla at your service!
Me: That's not an evolution, you just put on weight.
Hamchu: You too.
Me: Fair enough. You can't charge a handphone like Pikachu can, though.
*Hamchu retrieves powerbank from cheek pouch*
Me: Huh. Well played, I'm genuinely impressed.
Hamchu: Don't mention it. And seriously, I have so much in common with Pikachu - he's not modest, I'm not modest too. He wears a deerstalker, I wear a bowler hat. We both love caffeine. Neither of us wear pants, and I'm proud of it. But, I'm so totally the type of Pokémon that invites others back to his apartment after the first date.
Me: ...I didn't need to know that.
Also weak to chin scritchies
Hamchu: Now you know anyway. And come to think of it, the film was predicated on humans and Pokémon not being able to communicate, whereas I, Hamchu, have always been conversant in both English and Mandarin. While you, human, remain hopeless in hamsterese. What do you say to that, huh?
Hamchu: Don't even think about it, human. This isn't something you can pick up through an hour a day on Duolingo. Hamsterese is intricate, nuanced, a work of divinely-inspired art, as opposed to what passes for language amongst hairless apekind. Humans simply don't have the internal cultivation to attempt it.
Okay, maybe a few useful phrases. Here goes. *chirp chirpp chirrrrppp*
Me: *chirp chirrp chirrrppp*
Hamchu: This is my disappointed Hamchu face.
Me: So what did it mean?
Hamchu: "Hello, gormless human", or alternatively, "Gimme sunflower seed". From you, however, it was some unholy cross between invective and unintelligible squeaking.
Me: Aren't those two meanings somewhat far apart?
Hamchu: *sighs* It's a feature of hamsterese, not found in far less sophisticated human languages. Here, let's try a slightly longer example. *chirpp chirp chirpp chirp chirppp*
Me: Sounds Greek to me.
Hamchu: That's "A human shall be judged by the plumpness of his hamster", or "Gimme another sunflower seed".
Me: Actually, I think I'm getting the hang of it.
Hamchu: *ccchirp chiirp chirp chirppppp*
Me: Here, sunflower seed.
Hamchu: *deposits seed in cheek pouch* My word, fast learner, ain't ya? We may make something of you yet, human.
Next: Future Peek
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