Squirrel Chittering


Photocredit: Sugarbush Squirrel
This just isn’t me.
Sorry but formal and dashing just isn’t me. I am more of the casual, hippie type. I get a rash from wearing ties and suits just seem like dead-weight on me. I also am not fond about protocols especially when it gets in the way of common sense. Suits and ties, for example, seems like evolutionary suicide when one has to wear it at 35 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity and yet there are some who insist on it as proper protocol for outdoor events in Malaysia.

This squirrel is chittering which is equivalent to a human ranting and I am chittering against narrow-minded and blinkered bureaucrats. I am involved in the organising of a public event to celebrate the annual migration of birds of prey. This event is meant to increase public awareness of the phenomena and to garner their support for the continued protection of certain key forests associated with this annual migration. In substance, it is like a big fiesta with lots of fun activities for everyone and especially families. Just recently, I was invited to appear on the morning show on national TV to talk about the event.

When this was being mooted, all parties, the TV station, the Tourism Development Corporation and ourselves , agreed that we wanted more young people to attend. It was with this in mind that we had artists help create some cool and funky T-shirts for the event. In preparation, I tried to include examples and anecdotes that would appeal to the younger crowd. For example, linking birds of prey, also known as raptors, to the velociraptors of the movie Jurassic Park fame. We agreed to emphasise during the interview events and activities tailored for the youth.

So I show up at the studio, wearing the attractive and cool T-shirt (it had a large stylised head of a raptor on it). The manager looks at me and tells me to change into a suit and tie.

“Kids aren’t going to listen to a stuffy, old guy in a suit and tie.” I protested.

“We have a dress code for guests on the program. Suit and tie. Rules are rules.” She retorted, glaring.

“But the kids….” I started but was cut off by her terrifyingly unblinking glare.

Okay, so I caved in. It was her turf and you weren’t there, you didn’t experience “the glare”.

Anyway, I think it is another example of protocol getting in the way of the task at hand which was to relate to and excite the young people. Does the studio wonder why they rate so poorly with the youth?

And so, this squirrel will keep chittering against such senseless application of protocol.

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