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The final exams were over, the results in and there was a tie – a girl whom I did not know even existed, received the same marks as I. We were tested on English, Science and Arithmetic. (Back then, it was not called mathematics or worse, maths!)

School rules were, no ties allowed, as there simply wasn’t enough money to buy two first prizes. The teachers went into a huddle and came up with a solution.

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Now you know why I came to be called the sarong boy! I suppose it’s a lot better than sarong party boy!

Somehow, I didn’t feel that I was second…after all, who but that girl would want Cinderella!

(Grapes too had not entered my life yet. I stole rambutans and guavas from my neighbours’ trees, but that is another story).

Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2011 ***