If you ever watched a Star Trek episode on TV or one of the countless Star Trek movies you’ll understand what I mean by the Prime Directive I quickly figured out many years ago when that first foreigner married that first Piney, and that it must have originated right here in the Philippines.. Gene Roddenberry must have based the Prime Directive for Star Trek after a visit to the Philippines
Yes, I violated the prime directive again here in the Philippines. To whit I interfered with my wife’s method of doing something, it this case it was shopping and this is not the first time in twenty years that I’ve done it, and once more it bit me square on the arse. (Notice when you use the British term arse it sounds nicer than the American term ass?)
But in my defense it’s March and it’s so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk; I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking I’m talking it’s hot! The Royal store on Subic was trying to keep their prices down by cutting back on the Air/Con I was pushing the larger of the two shopping carts following behind Mayang in a dutiful manner. When it occurred to me that I could slide to the checkout area and wait there. And wait there a little longer and a little longer so I waited with perspiration dripping from my brow and spoiling the fresh produce.
As good stewards of the Philippine Ecology we have over the years transitioned from the use of plastic shopping bags to the reusable cloth ones. Now before I pat myself on the back and you think I’m a liberal tree hugger it was done because it is now the law in this area. The National Flower of the Philippines “The Plastic Shopping Bag” which once decorated every tree and bush along the roadways is fast becoming a thing of the past. Another passing dinosaur headed for extinction.
Twenty years ago it was the incandescent light bulb and then came the Fluorescent light bulbs (CFL light bulb) and we even tried a few halogens which will fry your brain if sitting under one. Well now it’s the shift is to LED light bulbs and dear lord are they expensive, but I’m told (And verified it on line) that the little devils last an inordinately long time and use less power. Plus all of Mayang’s friends use them, so that is reason enough.
She wheels up the second shopping cart and said; “I need to get some LED light bulbs, I’ll be right back.” You and I both know that is not true, all light bulbs must be unpackaged and tested one at a time. My heat index was peaked (Still conserving money with the Air/Con at the store and I’ve been pushing the damn cart for what seemed like hours.. I’m, you can stick a fork in me done.
I grab a young employee and task him with guarding my carts so an overzealous manager will not have them put my stuff back on the shelves, I’ve seen it happen and dash to the bulb section to try and hurry the process up. I stick my Kano nose in the middle of something that I truly don’t understand all in the name of expediency; I am foolish to the tenth power. But Mayang said; “Okay we will not test the bulbs but remember Honey KO they cost PNP 600.00 each!”
Now this is why the Prime Directive was written: “To protect against the unintentional unbalancing of the Space Time Continuum” Which may cause the world to spin wildly off its axes. That is exactly what I had done…..Captain Kirk why didn’t we remember the lessons Mr. Spock tried to teach us.
After arriving home: I unload the car, then my wife sister-in-law niece and daughter proceed to stow all purchases, in the proper locations. I head upstairs to our room and jump into the shower and using the coldest shower to wash away the heat of the Big PO (Olongapo City). As I came back down the ladies were waiting with the new LED bulbs for me to install in the kitchen’s ceiling light and fan. I knew I was in the wrong as I stood on the ladder removing the old CFL light bulbs. Then I hear it as I screw in the new and improved LED Light bulb. It’s YELLOW for use outside and not in Mayang’s kitchen. Wait for it…. Paul if I was allowed to test them at the Royal store we would not own PNP 3,000.00 worth of the WRONG type of bulb. You saw that coming didn’t you?
Brain shift’s to save Paul’s butt mode, remembering that all the LED bulbs in the car port and surrounding the house were of the daylight indoor type. Trusty ladder and I sally forth to exchange the old for the new and return the proper lights to her kitchen.
Then I turn to those sceptical ladies and announce; “See that was my plan all along!” Well that didn’t work for a second, but I stood my ground as any former man of the sea would. And thinking of the sailor’s adage: “Scheme never plan and deceit prior to disaster.” and once more pulled my fat from the fire.
Hopefully I’ll remember not to violate the Prime Directive in the future because I doubt if I could think that fast on my feet again, whereas in my younger days I could do it anytime, it is becoming harder in my advancing years. The “Prime Directive” was established with a valid reason, adhere to it and maintain your happy life.