Thursday, November 09, 2006

Goodbye Boys

Anyone of you who has ever been a scout - no matter how nominally - would appreciate Bernard Chauly's Goodbye Boys. Even the poster of the movie itself had me stopping for a second look since it featured a bunch of fresh-faced boys clad in the immediately recognizable scouts uniform - not because I'm a drooling child / scout perv ( though some of the thankfully legal actors looked particularly yummy ) but because it brought back funny little memories.

Not gonna reveal the whole plot over here but it tells the simple, uncomplicated story of a gang of pimply, testosteroney boy scouts out to fulfil a King Scout requirement, all with different contrasting personalities and races - possibly as written in the Federal Constitution :P - making a grueling 5 day journey through the dusty tin-mine deserts of Kinta Valley. Just like one of the protagonists says, when you're a kid that age, everything seems larger than life after all.

Unsurprisingly - especially for anyone who has ever been on a trek such as this - all sorts of hilarious misadventures ensue. Made my own pilgrimage ten years back ( OMG has it actually been that long! ) and even now, I can almost recall the bitter squabbles as we lost the way despite the reputable map, the incessant complaints from the stragglers about the blistering heat and the sheer boredom. Even my tie-scarf was drooping at the end of the day.

It's getting hot in here - and not in a good way...

By now I know half of you must have fainted from sheer disbelief over the fact that I was actually a dyed-in-the-wool, bonafide scout - but it's undeniably true. Right now in luxurious air-conditioned comfort, I swear I wouldn't dream of repeating that particular episode of my life ever again - especially since during that period of time, not only was I permanently sunbaked to a dark brown, I was also covered in freaking leeches and mud half the time. Damn medicinal purposes and all, but I'd still gladly toast those slimy suckers. Oddly enough, endless marching and camping out in the dirt definitely didn't count as my favourite activities. Even now the thought of barely sanitary makeshift latrines / dugouts and the ever-miserable kitchen duty ( imagine growing teenage boys ravaging their dinner plates ) makes me cringe. And through it all, I never could understand exactly why the boys were all so desperately gung-ho about getting campfire dances with the Convent guides. :)

But there were some memorable times... singing mindless repetitive lyrics ( Ging Gang Gooli anyone? ), eating burnt charcoal / food that we cooked ourselves over a primitive fire, late nights talking with friends over UNO and cards( yeah, my ISO was part of the crowd ), abseiling down a ravine seemingly without a care ( though I held on dearly for life ), leisurely kayaking a canoe out into the Straits ( without fear of stinging jellyfish, capsizing or marauding pirates! )- and having my own insane misadventure with a floating tent.

And no, unfortunately there wasn't any nubile bicurious young scout beside me in that dark tent. Honestly? Back then little innocent me wouldn't even have known what to do with the bicurious dude! Think of being barely 16, brought into the woods at midnight, then left panicked and alone with some canned food, matches and tent equipment. Anyone who's aching to repeat such a jungle adventure, just take my advice and remember the position of the river before you pitch that tent.

And just remember when it rains, the river swells.

Oh BTW out of eight aspiring scouts in the movie, you know there has to be that one cute guy who leans our way, right? :) Small subtle hints ( the better to escape the overzealous censors ) but if you look closely, it's quite obvious.


matrianklw said...

Not much of a difference from my scouting days! LOL. Don't think I'll ever want to relive those dark moments, ever again! Feeding mosquitoes in the dead of the night, drenched under the rain (because the tent was destroyed in the rain!) and living off unclean water and charcoal tainted food... eeek! Still, those bring back the best memories with fellow scouts. Can't help it!

ikanbilis said...

the movie was stunning! but the you-know-who doesn't really know how to act, sadly. [not sure if he is THE one]

Daniel Henry said..
he can't act. and we both know who i'm talking about la. seriously. that's why he has like... no dialogs...

a total turn off. fortunately, the movie was great. a great plot of high school boys growing up.

Anonymous said...

me was a scout - expected

dr was a scout??!? - Gasps!!!

and let me tell u the ultimate...

Lex was a scout - .......

Anonymous said...

I was a scout too.. Back to like erh.. 10 years ago.. ahah!

Anonymous said...

Gasp! You're a scout!? OMG!

You are definitely an older version of my friend Kai. I'm sure of it:

1. You are terror when woken up at the wrong times.
2. You are (actually WERE) a scout.
3. You look like him. Period.

But I have to admit it too... I used to be a scout too, back when I was in Primary 3-4.

ian said...

LOL... I didn't know of such movie exists! I'll definitely grab a copy when I go back.

As expected, I myself was a scout, but only in primary. Still, seeing the uniforms brings back lots of memories.

Anonymous said...

I barely remember my scouting days (from Kid Scout to Boy Scout, yes) but I do remember that that ring/thing holding the tie-scarf, mine was shaped like a head of a bull. How rural, hehehe.

Ging gang gooli? Is that the song that goes "ging gang gooli gooli gooli watcha (?) ging gang goo ging gang goo"?


maxius said...

As long as you didn't get kicked in the gooli's.. heh.

Now, who got fiddled with by their leader? haha

charm.calvin said...

Am I the only one who wasn't a scout??

I was in choir, brass band and stage plays. And I'm engineer now. I should've become a singer/actor.


yeah, it's Razif Hashim. he's featured as one of the Female's 50 Most Gorgeous. although he said he's 22 in the movie's website, believe me, he isn't.

executorlouis said...

Which part was it that had the 'nudge nudge wink wink'? Its unlikely i would be able to get my hands on the movie anyway so let on some juicy tidbits! =>

Ban said...

I was in the scouts but on *barely* and only there cos most of my friends were. Almost never went for anything. Didn't like any other uniformed soceity for that matter. Hated the repetitive songs, the marching, and mostly the damned stuck up attitude of the seniors (that's MHS for you).

And I actually like the wild outdoors and all. Go fig.

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

Glad to come across your blog. And I liked your post too. I actually chanced upon it while googling my way through several blogs.

nyonyapenang said...

but if you are a good-looking king scout or something, your 'saham' naik sikit wif the girl guides wor. ;)

Harvey said...

I wanted to join scouts but there was a certain biatch who joined it first so i had to opt for fire brigade cadet. Hmm... after the mountain trip I'd rather die than to live and trek in the wild for more than a day.

Anonymous said...

how i wish my scouting days as adventurous as that.

i might be the youngest commenter of all cause to get kings scout during my time (a very few years back) was rather easy. we got to attend the ujian and do all the marching with stick, do the ikatan and all complete a log book and get the badge.

savante said...

Your scouting days aren't that far away, matt :) A few months at the most?

Ooh, how did you get everyone who acted in it, ikanbilis?

Well, xavier, seriously? Lex. Hmm... I would have orientated him kau kau :P Striptease and all.

Good God. How can it be as long as mine, famez!

Is Kai single and available for threesomes, sam?

Check it out, ian. Kinda new but interesting.

Yeah, it's that song, mark!

Unfortunately I didn't. THough I wouldn't have minded, maxius :)

Sweetie, you are so gay :)

Shah, you mean he's older or younger?

It's an innocent movie, louis. Nothing nudge nudge wink wink unfortunately. Just a small bit on one of the characters taking his first steps towards discovering his sexuality.

Were we seniors all that stuck up, daniel? :P

Hi, mayank!

Hardly good looking but I had a friendly charm so I got lotsa autographs during campfires, nyonya.

Fire brigade? I was in that company too, harvey. Not to mention red crescent, counselling club, art club, chess club, computer club, english society, debating club, maths and science club, the choir... etc. I did my share of co-curriculum.

That easy, anon! Not even a single trek.. let's say about 100 km? Walking / cycling? Sure that's King Scouts?


danielhenry said...

thanks paul for ranting about us. glad that people... liked it? heh. it's currenly being shown in singapore. so whoever is in town or going there... or from singapore... do visit picture house off orchard road. and we recently had a screening in tokyo international film festival.

and sorry paul... i have to... SCREAM now...

IKANBILIS... EVILS!!! i'm going to kill you for quoting that... EVILS!!! how could you!!! EVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's a small ONLINE WORLD!!! what if he/they/it reads this??? he... they... it... will kills me!!! OMG! OMG!

THE HONOURABLE SHAH: razif is 23. time of casting he was 22. i got him in the 50 most gorgeus and he was doing that as a favor for me. anyone else wants to be in for 2007? ;)

btw... razif are not gay. so... mati je la that hope...

merci beaucoup paul!

danielhenry said...

is... not are... NO... stop wondering why i said are... no no... i shall not comment any futher... PEACE y'all. ;)

savante said...

Hey, danielhenry! :) Glad you dropped in. Doubt they'd get mad since I doubt many would find this post. Good that they're showing it in Singapore, hope it gets good reviews.

And I find the Leonard actor... hawt!

Bryan said...

I wasn't surprised that Bernard directed this movie. It was his experience anyway. We studied in the same school and he was used to be my sister's classmate. Anyway, he was 3 years my senior. Of course, he was very active in scouts back then :)