Singapore National Education Part 29
Week of 16 January to 23 January 1998
So after last issue's earth-shattering Titanic Special Edition, we gladly return you to our regular programming. I hope that the previous issue was a night to remember.
I have also learned lately:
1. That while many property agents have looked to taxi driving as an alternative career in these dire economic times, it does not seem to have caught on with the 400+ lawyers who have left the profession recently. Perhaps it was the lack of medical benefits.
Shameless Plug: See a possible reason why some lawyers are leaving the profession, in the Browntown Readers' Contributions page!
2. That when you diss The New Paper in your copycat late night show, you will be dissed in return, with full page colour spreads. "Teruk", man. Latest scores:
3. That the fastest way to get "Tonight With Gurmit" axed would be to have Gurmit interview a local politician. Either his interview will be so safe as to be lame ("So our economy is in better shape than our ASEAN neighbours because of your fine leadership, hor?"), or he will go out on the edge and get himself sued for defamation ("That white shirt-and-pants combo is not really you, is it? And why you all use so much Brylcreem, har?").
I have a soft spot for Gurmit and hope TCS doesn't try this. I would miss watching Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd.
4. That in a recent episode of "Tonight With Gurmit", Gurmit told a Completely Original Joke about a University Course for Men, Men 101. You can find this joke in its entirety in my Reader's Contributions page in Browntown. One of my readers sent it to me eons ago. What a coincidence.
Shameless Plug: See the complete unabridged "Men 101" in Readers' Contributions!
5. That in a recent episode of "Three Rooms", Diana Ser was seen playing with her pair of bongo drums.
6. That TCS's idea of "Sci-Fi on Five" is the movie "Master of the Universe". I pity the voice-over guy who had to announce this on the TV trailer with a straight face.
7. That watching the New York of "Mad About You" and the New York of "NYPD Blue" back to back, on Wednesday nights, really messes my mind up.
8. That at first Singaporeans were blamed for the Malaysian sugar shortage and Kastam checked us all to make sure we didn't bring out more than 2kg of sugar each. Then it was discovered that the sugar shortage was caused by Malaysians stocking up on sugar because they feared rapid price increases.
Boy am I glad we were not blamed for anything important, like toilet paper shortage or something.
9. That MAS tells us that while the SingDollar loses to US$, DM and Sterling, it gains on Ringgit, Rupiah and Baht (apparently three of the strongest currencies in the world, sort of like the Superfriends). That is so reassuring. And I always thought the SingDollar's position against the major currencies was more important than our position against the minor ones like the Mighty Rupiah. Silly me.
(Thanks to Bass)
10. That in Singapore, unlike our Asian neighbours, banks don't go bust, they merge.
11. That our banks are sound and strong and that is why they need to merge, to combine their superpowers, you see, like the Wonder Twins from Superfriends cartoon. I hope that cleared things up for you.
12. That at some new HDB blocks in Jurong East, along the MRT line, is a construction site bearing the name "Lian Beng". Hey, I don't name 'em, I just report 'em.
13. That the new electronic traffic signboard thingy called EMAS does not stand for "Extra Money Anyhow Spend". It stands for "Expensive Mass of Animated Signs".
14. That someone on Usenet was wondering what the "J" in "CHIJMES" stood for. I have always wondered myself. A helpful Usenet reader suggested that "CHIJMES" stands for "Commercialising Historical Institutions Just Makes Economic Sense". Sounds about right to me.
15 . That Honest Happy Pte Ltd, a Japanese company that sells medical products to old folks at frenzied sales rallies, was apparently fined five times in the past two years for false advertising. They were fined from $500 to as high as $1600. I bet that really hit them hard.
Let's see now, one of their popular magnetic mattresses retails at $1700. You do the math.
16. That people who buy $2000 JPG transparent plastic handbags should not laugh at old folks buying $1700 magnetic mattresses.
At least the latter can sleep on their purchase and use it to pick up a roomful of paper clips at once.
17. That when your country's independent judiciary interprets the law differently from the government, it is perfectly okay for the government to amend the law to correct the situation.
18. That getting rid of your long nose hair by pulling it off is very painful.
19. That Trust is letting your wife stick a pair of small sharp scissors up your nostril to cut off the ugly nose hairs sticking out. Nothing as frightening as cold steel pressed against the inner walls of your nose.
20. That, speaking of ugly things sticking out, the installation of the ultra-ugly ERP device has made some ultra-cool sporty motorbikes look like The Bike with the Pimple from Hell.
21. That the ugly ERP device for motorbikes that is mounted out there in the open, is not detachable and owners have to pay for replacements from their own pocket if the devices are vandalised. I doubt if the engineers of this monstrosity have ever ridden a bike.
23. That we should not complain too much about the ultra-ugly design of the ERP device for bikes. Things could be worse. The rocket scientists in LTA could have installed it on your helmet. Then you will look like Ultraman.
24. That fears that the ERP device for motorbikes is not securely installed are unfounded. The engineers who designed it are confident that the cow gum will hold.
25. That there is this restaurant called "Cola" at East Coast Park that has an ala carte buffet (which does not allow patrons to order the same ala carte dish more than once - some "buffet") and a steamboat buffet.
Here is the clincher: the said restaurant apparently has a $3 weekend surcharge per diner that is only revealed when you see your bill.
One Usenet reader called this EFP (Electronic Food Pricing). Some parts of Singapore supposedly have this and hence the surcharge. My guess is that it is designed to minimise restaurant congestion at these areas. I say we all do our part and go elsewhere to eat, so that we can help this kind of restaurant "minimise congestion".
Surcharge This (oof)!
Copyright 2004 by Lee Kin Mun