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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Illegal Signatures and School Days

I'm good at forging signatures. I probably shouldn't divulge potentially harmful information such as this, but I trust you fellows not to let my secret out. I know you lot is a good bunch. Anyway, I'm quite good at it, and usually withing 20 to 30 minutes I can reproduce one good enough for petty crimes - the ones that are more or less harmless - of others. I often struggle to reproduce Sinhala signatures though - they are too complicated - and that is perhaps one reason among many why I sign in Sinhala. Not that anybody will ever think mine is worth reproducing, but still. English ones are a different matter though - I only have to keep practising the curves, and eventually I get it. The key is finding out where the lines start and where they end. Because it is near impossible to do a perfect impression starting a line from a different position to that of the original. If you study people's handwriting you will see that though they are vastly different and unique, they all carry some very common characteristics too. For instance, take the block letter F. There are three main ways in which someone would write it; one - draw the two horizontal lines from left to right, then the vertical line, usually from top to bottom. Two - draw the vertical first, then the horizontal lines. Three - draw the top horizontal line, then the vertical and at last the lower horizontal line. Almost all the time people write lines from left to right and top to bottom. Of course there are exceptions but generally above mentioned are the three ways in which F is written. So, if you can look at the handwriting and find out start and end points, then the rest is only a matter of practising the curves.

So, this skill of mine came in very handy while at school. I'm not sure if it still is the case, but back then if you were absent you were supposed to bring a latter from your parents the next day, stating the reason why you were absent. But of course there arise the need of being absent without your parents knowing due to a variety of very important reasons ranging from going out on a date (for the lack of a better term) with your girlfriend, going to the latest movie or just because you felt like. But there is a better chance of government media in paradise being unbiased than your parents writing a letter for something like that, so we had to do it for ourselves. And I was the go-to man when they needed to get it signed.

So one day, a Tuesday morning as I can remember, this dude comes to me early in the morning.
"Machan, sign this quickly please, I was absent yesterday"
I never ask many questions, so I just signed it and away went the happy fella to show it to one of the discipline masters before the school starts. He (the discipline master) read the letter and was like;
"Oh, your grandmother passed away? I'm sorry son, please accept my condolences. But is one day enough?"

"Uh... yes sir, she passed away on Saturday, so we had the funeral yesterday. So it's alright. Thank you sir"
Now, our school had a 'College Diary' in which you have all the pre-planned school activities were listed on the left hand side pages while the right hand side pages were blank. We were supposed to write all these letter on it - no letters on pieces of paper were accepted for any reason whatsoever - and that day too the letter was written on this diary of my friend. So, the discipline master casually turns the pages for no reason and finds out that the grandmother in question had died not once, but thrice.

We heard that the discipline master, who was a man with a good sense of humor, had a good laugh before punishing the poor dude. Oh and he too must be credited since he never said a word as to who actually signed it because had the word got out I would have been in deep shit because my father, at that time, was the assistant discipline master.



  1. Lol... would have loved to see your father's reaction, had you been caught!~ btw, I don't write the 'F' in any of those 3 ways!

  2. Whatever the reaction is, I'm sure I would have gotten some good punishment. Because there were times, with other crimes, that I wasn't as lucky and he has punished me good. LOL.

    Btw, how do you write it then? I'm interested to know.

  3. I start with a curve on top, go diagonally down to the right then double back in a curve to cross the "f" all in one movement

  4. I write the F the second way, vertical like first... ;)

    We used to forge those letters too. I'm sure 95% of the letters the teachers get are forged! ;) lol

  5. @Dan
    I know what you're laughing at!

    Oh yeah, that too people use, but comparatively less I guess. Still, if you know where you start and end, it's easy to reproduce it. At least not greatly difficult.

    More importantly, did you get caught?

  6. Aah, yet another one! Join the club machan. I once faked a letter from school to a friend’s parents to allow him to participate in an art exhibition in a popular girl’s school in Colombo (where his girl friend was) and the guy even got pocket money from the parents!
    LOL, those were the days!

  7. So what did he do when he was supposed to be in an exhibition?

  8. hehehehe...my..my...i am an angel compared to you guys!!!lol...

  9. Don't lie! You must have done equally bad stuff!

  10. Well, we all used to eat thosai in Jei Bhavani in Bamba junction with the money, (that was his payback OR my fees) and we sneaked him in to the girls school, we (few chosen guys from the college Art Circle) were helping them out with organising their Art Exhibition. :D

  11. Hahaha those are the golden days, aren't they man? Also that reminded me of another crazy thing we did, but I think that should be good for another post. LOL.