Spare the cane? Sure. Because I have a better deterrent in Haw Par Villa.
It’s one hell of a the theme park, literally. Someone has recently threatened to revamp it and bring back the joy rides, so better go before its closure.
One unique attraction at Haw Par Villa that I’m sure will stay is the infamous 10 Courts of Hell that every kid in Singapore should know. Pangzi is the lucky one next to visit.
1st Court of Hell
“Your lesson starts here so listen carefully,” I said. “After dying, evildoers will be sent to repent before the Mirror of Retribution.”
Pangzi examined the exhibit… and started dancing like Michael Jackson. “Daddy look, I’m the man in the mirror!” What the hell?
2nd Court of Hell
“This is no joke. Conmen and robbers will be thrown into a volcanic pit. Thieves and gamblers will be frozen in ice,” I said, reading off the notice.
“But you always play mahjong during Chinese New Year!” he pointed out. What the hell?
3rd Court of Hell
“Okay, this is very applicable to you. Those disrespectful to old people will have their hearts torn out,” I snarled.
“Daddy, are you admitting that you’re old already?” he asked. What the hell?
4th Court of Hell
“No fooling around. Unfilial children will be stoned!” I shouted for maximum effect.
“Ah ma! Daddy says he’ll be stoned!” he shouted to his grandmother. What the hell?
5th Court of Hell
“You’d better hear this. Loansharks and murderers will be thrown into a pit of knives,” I warned.
“But you eat sharks’ fin. Are you a murderer?” he exclaimed. What the hell?
6th Court of Hell
“Ah, look at this. Food wasters and porn watchers will have their bodies sawn into two. So always finish your food.”
“Daddy, stop watching porn too!” What the hell?
7th Court of Hell
“This is interesting. Rumour-mongers will have their tongues pulled out. Don’t ever talk bad about other people.”
“Never! I only talk bad about you.” What the hell?
8th Court of Hell
“I like this one. Exam cheaters will have their internal organs dug out. So you must study very hard.”
“Daddy, if I don’t go to school, I won’t have to cheat, right?” What the hell?
9th Court of Hell
“Listen, those neglecting elders will be crushed under boulders. So make enough money next time and give it all to me.”
“Must be enough? Is that why you still burn money for our ancestors?” What the hell?
10th Court of Hell
“Last one. Get serious now,” I said, wrapping up. “Having gone through all those levels after dying, everyone will come to the Wheel of Reincarnation and be reborn as a human – or a beast.”
For once, Pangzi didn’t add a comment immediately. He seemed to be pondering.
I hoped that he would pick up something useful today and start being a good boy. Finally, before we left Haw Par Villa, he told me something that I’d never forget.
“Daddy… I fear for you.”
What the hell!
We were here: