Rude awakening for Eric

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 12:00am

Do you ever dream you are in a fantasy world where you can have anything you want? We all day-dream sometimes, but Eric Poon does his more often than the average person. Bullied at school, Eric lets his mind take him to a world where he can be a hero.

You can hear the first episode of The Secret Life of Eric Poon tonight on Songbirds on RTHK Radio 4 (FM 97.6) at 9.30.

Tonight's episode takes place during a swimming lesson. Eric discovers he has forgotten his trunks. Mr Lam, the sports master, makes Eric wear a pair of trunks that are much too big for him. The boys laugh at Eric and Mr Lam bullies him. In the pool, Eric starts daydreaming about winning gold at the Beijing Olympic Games - but, before long, Eric gets a rude awakening.

Below is the first part of tonight's Songbirds drama episode for you to read before or during the broadcast.

(SFX: A public swimming pool.)

Mr Lam: Come on, boys, let's have you ... hurry up ... let's get those swimming togs on and get out to the pool!

Eric: Oh, no!

Benson: What is it, Eric?

Eric: My mum forgot to pack my swimming trunks! She usually rolls them up in my towel, but look ... nothing ... just the towel.

Joe: Hey, guys! Eric Poon's forgotten his swimming trunks!

Boys: (Laugh)

Eric: What am I going to do?

Joe: Swim in the nude?

Boys: (Laugh)

Mr Lam: Hey, quiet! No swimming for anyone who isn't changed in three minutes.

Benson: Sir!

Mr Lam: What is it, Benson?

Benson: Eric Poon's forgotten his swimming trunks.

Boys: (Laugh)

Mr Lam: Quiet! Have you, Poon?

Eric: Yes, Sir, my mother forgot to put them in my towel.

Mr Lam: Your mother? Am I hearing right? Is that what you heard him say, Benson, 'my mother'?

Benson: Yes, Sir.

Mr Lam: I'd be ashamed to say such a thing ... 'my mother forgot to put my swimming trunks in my towel'.

Boys: (Laugh)

Sam: Mummy's boy.

Boys: (Laugh)

Mr Lam: I'd be ashamed, wouldn't you, Benson?

Benson: Yes, Sir.

Mr Lam: I bet your mother doesn't pack YOUR swimming trunks for you, does she, Benson?

Benson: No, Sir.

Mr Lam: Or yours, Sam?

Sam: No way, Sir!

Mr Lam: Joseph?

Joe: No, Sir!

Mr Lam: Of course not. Does anyone's mother pack their swimming trunks for them? (Silence) Of course not. How old are you, Poon?

Eric: Fourteen, Sir.

Mr Lam: What was that? I didn't quite hear ... did you say four?

Boys: (Laugh)

Eric: Fourteen, Sir.

Mr Lam: Fourteen? I see ... Fourteen and your mother still packs your swimming trunks for you! Isn't it about time you started packing them for yourself, boy?

Eric:Yes, Sir.

Mr Lam: I should think so, too. I'm sure your mother has got far better things to do than pack your swimming trunks.

Eric: Yes, Sir.

Mr Lam: So, what are we going to do with you, boy?

Sam: Let him swim with nothing on, Sir!

Boys: (Laugh)

Mr Lam: Well, Poon, what are we going to do with you?

Eric: I don't know, Sir. I could sit and watch, Sir.

Mr Lam: Sit and watch ... maybe you'd like me to buy you a soft drink and a comic as well.

Boys: (Snigger)

Mr Lam: You'd like that, wouldn't you, Poon?

Eric: No, Sir.

Mr Lam: You know what I think, Poon? I think you left your swimming trunks at home deliberately. I think you got up this morning and thought to yourself ... 'I know I'll leave my swimming trunks at home and tell Mr Lam that my mother forgot to pack them. He's stupid, that Mr Lam, he'll believe anything. That's what you thought, wasn't it, boy?

Eric: No, Sir.

Mr Lam: Don't you lie to me, Poon. Don't you dare!

Now listen to the rest of the Songbirds drama episode and answer these questions:

1. Mr Lam explains what a relay race is. Listen and fill in the gaps:

Two boys from each team will go to the other a) ________of the swimming pool and two will stay here. Make sure you're b)_________ each other in the same lane. Then, when I blow my whistle, the first swimmer in the deep end will c) ____________ and swim to this end and, as soon as he d) ___________ at this end, the second swimmer will start swimming back to the e) ___________ side and so on.

2. Eric dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal in swimming, but in the pool ...

a) he comes last in the relay race

b) he swallows a lot of water

c) he starts swimming in the wrong direction

d) his swimming trunks come off

You can access all Songbirds programmes and drama texts by visiting

Answers: 1 a) end; b) facing; c) dive in; d) touches; e) far; 2. d