Tuesday at Cheongster Cafe: More doors for headmaster Lee

Sep 06, 2016 10.59AM |

by Felix Cheong

HEADMASTER Lee looks at his school.

“Too many pupils who are fools!

Too many pupils who are stools!

I do not think this at all cool.”


My school is new but rich.

My school is small but pitched.

Pupils must reserve their niche.

Pupils must deserve their smitch.


My school is not for everyone

My school is not the sun.

It does not shine on every son.

It does not shine for underdone.


I will make entry hard and nigh.

I will make it whiter than sky.

I will make sure you fly so high.

I do not have to ask you why.


So Headmaster Lee makes a door.

On second thought, he makes four.

Each is part of a greater more,

Each smaller than the one before.


To the pupils still in line,

He says in a voice refined:

“To enter, you dress to the nines

And open these doors of mine.”


The pupils do not like what they see.

They think this game rather silly.

“Since we pay and pay school fees,

Why can I not enter freely?”


Headmaster Lee shakes his head

Till it turns remarkably red.

“I will not repeat what I have said.

Follow or get out instead.”


So half the pupils leave the queue,

Knowing they do not meet the due.

Half of half take this as a cue.

To cheer the remaining few.


Six pupils make it past Door One,

Laughing like they had already won.

But Door Two puts one on the run.

People say he is the son of a gun.


Five pupils try for Door Three,

Holding their breath and some pee.

One leaks shamefully and flees:

“I cannot take this, no siree!”


Everyone waits for the last round,

The smallest door to be found.

Only four are left on the ground.

Only four are right and sound.


After too much push and cleave,

One squeezes through with a great heave.

The rest pack up their pet peeves

Reluctantly as they leave.


Before The Pupil gets the “Aye”,

A few people in the crowd cry:

“But he is not whiter than sky!

He is of the wrong colour dye!”


He does wear a tan to some degree,

Headmaster Lee has to agree.

The rules must not be bent to a tee

Just because he is Headmaster Lee.


So Headmaster Lee adds another door,

To those already done before.

He keeps adding doors galore

Till no pupil comes to the fore.


Featured image by Guet Ghee Pang.

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