an excerpt from The Diary of Amos Lee : I Sit, I Write, I Flush!
THIS diary began as Mum’s New Year resolution to get me to write.
She came up with this weird idea that we should make good use of our time in the bathroom. On a wall above the toilet seat, she put in a wire rack to hold an old jotter book, some pens and coloured pencils. She said that when I am doing my big business, I can write. “Five to eight minutes max!” she said. “I don’t want you to develop piles!”
I think that means something that blocks my poop from coming out.
“And why must I do this?” I asked.
“It’s either this or you spend one hour every day writing one composition!” she said.
“Who wouldn’t pick writing in the bathroom?” I thought to myself.
And so my writing in the bathroom began.
Dad said it would teach me to multi-task, a very important skill to have when I go out to work next time.
My entries started with the boring old stuff – describing my family, my day at school, things I would love to do to my pesky little sister, and so on … then Mum got this new job as a writer for a magazine.
She received the weirdest of assignments and would drag my sister and I along to check out new places. And that’s how I got more things to write about. Some of these places Mum brought us were quite fun. I started collecting entry tickets to these places, so that I could enter my name in the Guinness World Records one day. That way, I will become famous, and one day, my diary will be worth a lot of money!
ABOUT ME – HOW I GOT MY NAME!
Mum had weird food cravings when she was pregnant with me. At one time, it was for char siew bao. Another time, it was for cookies – double chocolate macadamia nut. She ate so many cookies in the nine months carrying me that when the doctor asked what she was naming her baby boy as I was being pushed out of her womb, she shouted, “He will be famous one day, I will call him Amos!”
And that’s how I got my name – Amos Lee. Well, it could have been worse. Imagine being called Lee Char Siew!
Dad works at the airport. He says it’s an important job. He has to make sure that the airport is running 24 hours a day and that nothing breaks down, so that he doesn’t get complaints.
I was happier when Mum had a job. But she quit to spend more time with my sister and I. She drives us to school, cooks, cleans the house, irons our clothes, send us for tuition, swimming and ballet classes. She is very busy but she knows when I am going to the bathroom. “Write in the bathroom!” she yells all the time. I wish she had a real job.
© Epigram Books
by Adeline Foo
from The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush! (2014)
published by Epigram Books