Monday, March 31, 2014

One more 'walk into a bar' joke... Tiger Woods and Stevie Wonder.

Stevie Wonder and Tiger Woods walk into a bar...
Woods turns to Wonder and says: "How is the singing career going?"

Stevie Wonder replies: "Not too bad! How's the golf?"

Woods replies: "Not too bad. I've had some problems with my swing, but I think I've got that right now."

Stevie Wonder says: "I always find that when my swing goes wrong, I need to stop playing for a while and not think about it. Then, the next time I play, it seems to be all right.

Tiger Woods (taken by surprise that a blind person plays golf) says: "You play golf?"

Stevie Wonder says: "Oh, yes. I've been playing for years."

Woods says: "But, you're blind. How can you play golf if you're blind?"

Wonder replies: "I get my caddy to stand in the middle of the fairway and call to me. I listen for the sound of his voice and play the ball towards him. Then, when I get to where the ball lands, the caddy moves to the green or farther down the fairway and again I play the ball towards his voice."

"But, how do you putt?" asks Woods, still skeptical.

"Well," says Stevie Wonder, "I get my caddy to lean down in front of the hole and call to me with his head on the ground and I just play the ball towards his voice."

Woods asks: "What's your handicap?"

Stevie Wonder says: "Well, I'm a scratch golfer."

Woods, incredulous, says to Stevie Wonder: "We've got to play a round some time."

Stevie Wonder replies: "Well, people don't take me seriously, so I only play for money, and never play for less than $10,000 a hole."

Woods thinks about it and finally says: "OK, I'm game for that. When would you like to play?"

Stevie Wonder says: "Pick a night!"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beer ('walks into a bar') joke... just add name!

This "... walks into a bar" joke is kind of universal. Just add in the fictional name of your choice...
_______ walks into a bar in London, orders 3 glasses of beer and sits in the backyard of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn.

When he finishes, he comes back to the bar counter and orders 3 more. The bartender asks him, "You know, beer goes flat after I fill it in the glass; it would taste better if you buy one at a time."

_______ replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Dubai , the other in Canada and I'm here in London. When we left our home country, we promised that we'll drink this way to remember the days when we drank together."

The bartender admits this is a nice custom and leaves it there.

_______ becomes a regular in the bar and would always drink the same way. He'd order 3 beers and drink them in turn.

One day, he comes in and orders only 2 beers. All the other regulars notice it and they fall silent.

When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bar tender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I would like to offer my sincere condolences on your great loss."

_______ looks confused for a moment, and then he laughs.... "Oh, no," h
e says, "Everyone's fine; both my brothers are alive. The only thing is . . .

 have quit drinking"!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget -- by Kent Nerburn

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
"Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
"It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."
"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers."
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
Postscript: If you are of a cynical disposition, you might think this is a made-up story. Well, see this link then (go to the end of the story):

Friday, March 28, 2014

Some random musings...

Pioneer Generator... the saga continues

I said I would be keeping track. Here's what PM Lee was quoted as saying while in London:

To reiterate, I do think people of my parents' and older siblings' generation -- people born before and during the Second World War -- deserve all the accolades, such as PM Lee's eulogy to their dreaming "of a far better Singapore when we became independent". I would even agree that those born in the hardscrabble early postwar years, say, until 1947, deserve being referred to as the Pioneer Generation. But to draw an artificial line between those born in 1949 and those born in 1950 shows how far this well-intended policy had become compromised.

My school class cohort spanned children born in 1949 and 1950. So how can it be that my older friends but from the same cohort dreamt "of a far better Singapore when we became independent" while I and my fellow 1950 birth-year classmates dreamt only of catching spiders as soon as the day's final bell had rung?

Stay tuned!

At least 1950 was a very good vintage year...

Aged to perfection, But of course.

Meanwhile, harking back to the much-ridiculed Gwyneth Paltrow (yesterday's blog entry), if she had wanted to make classy quotable quotes, she should have taken a leaf from the legendary Mae West:

Still on quotable quotes, I thought the Australian Labor MP below who criticised Tony Abbott didn't quite get his choice of words right at the end of that soundbite...

Why "good old days"? If the play on words is on knight/night, then Mr Husic should have said "dark old days"!

Finally, this ST headline below got my over-active imagination ticking into overdrive mode...

A big tick:

Three ticks:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Conscious uncoupling? Doggone it!

She said it: "Conscious uncoupling." You've got to hand it to her for newsbite/soundbite pizzazz that got all the newshounds wagging their tails. Some samples:

I think the best read is this one:

20 pretentious terms for divorce that are as good as or better than 'Conscious Uncoupling.'

But, really, the lady cannot better the maestro, Paul Simon, as in...

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit...

It all started, it seems, when local councils in Britain decided to...

...for street signage, that is. Something like this (the bottom sign)...

That's what this AFP story in ST (March 26) says...

Naturally, the politicians will then jump into the fray, with talk of "rocket science" and what not...

Using apostrophes is 'not rocket science’, says Tory MP

So, why is the correct usage of the humble apostrophe so important? A picture -- well, a poster will also do -- says a thousand words...

Same pungent point, put a little differently...

Examples of apostrophe catastrophes (there is such a blog, , abound online:

I believe I've (I have) made my point. So let's (let us) wrap up with this one...

Um, almost wrapped up. Just a couple more links you should check out...

How to use an apostrophe

Thumb's up or thumbs up?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MH370's closure (of sorts); water from stone; and 3 captions and an ad...

Rest in peace, MH370's 239...


Water update... water from stone!


Three picture captions and a funerary ad...

NO! For the longest time, ST had kept to an institutional tradition to spell certain words according to its preferred way. It has always been "queueing", not "queuing". Now this!

YES! Thankfully, the caption writer here got it right... "cannon" (even the plural form), not "cannons".

Did you see cheeky Malia about to photobomb the photo-op? An alert sub-editor could have enlivened the caption by working that naughty gesture in.

Don't you think there is something strange about this testimonial for a funerary services company? Hint: as expressed, the words are in the first person speech.

Finally, Scoot first ran this ad a short time ago:

I guess we should have seen it coming; this sequel ad below, that is!...

Monday, March 24, 2014

No, just because you drive a Lexus, that does not make you a lexophile!

Ah so, that's what I am... a lexophile!

Such a person is "a lover of words, especially in word games, puzzles, anagrams, palindromes, etc" (Wiktionary).

KA had alerted me to the existence of the term, and helpfully sent me this link below which has a list of puns (both good and awful):


1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

16. A calendar's days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'

41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

         46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.


Liane almost had the last word. She sent me this:

Someone asked a famous baker for his special recipe. "It's on a knead to know basis," he replied.

The last word would have to be the flour-ry of punning in this link below (No 26 in the list above): Do bakers trade recipes on a knead to know basis?


Postscript: Heard on the radio...

Q: How many grooms can be find at a wedding?
A: Sixteen. Four richer, four poorer, four better, four worse!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

OK, three things to make you smile (smil)...

The OK is 175 years old!

An amazing video -- killer whales chasing a speed boat!


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Old wives' tales and memories evoked by the playground swing...

Angie, Seng, Huat, Li Peng and I were at Mandai columbarium just after lunchtime to witness the placement of the urn with Tiong's ashes in the niche that I had previously selected. The niche face was then sealed up, with a marble slab that had a very nice picture of Tiong:

Later, the five of us adjourned for coffee at a nearby cafe. Among the stuff we discussed were the "old wives' tales" that we picked up as children:

* you will get a spouse with a pockmarked (or pimply) face -- if you don't finish ALL the rice on your plate.
* your hair will fall out -- if you open an umbrella indoors.
* if you cut your nails at night -- the tiger will come and get you (that's from my late mother but apparently there are other versions)!
* (for boys) if you watch girls pee -- you'll get red eyes (conjunctivitis)!
* if you point at the moon -- your ears will be cut off the next day (presumably you'll find out when you awake).

I later remembered this one: during a meal, never stick your chopsticks in your rice bowl (presumably because that would make them look like joss sticks used in ancestral prayers). Boon Sin had earlier contributed these:

* When there is both rain and sunshine, the monkey god is getting married (wah, he must have a humongous harem by now)!
* To see your future spouse, cut an apple in front of the mirror late at night.

I decided to check online and found this link which includes a number of the superstitions I listed above:

20 Crazy Things Our Singaporean Mothers Believed (In)


This letter below reminded me of long forgotten teenage days spent at places like the Cold Storage Creamery and Snack Bar in Orchard Road, the Van Kleef Aquarium in River Valley Road, and of course the National Library in Stamford Road:


Then there were the playground swings -- Oh, the memories of happy care-free childhood!...

To wrap up on this nostalgic note, here's this video titled:

If you grew up in the '50s, '60s, '70s, or '80s...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Asking 'Why?'...

WTF! Why are they stirring shit again??...

TODAY (which gave the proper coverage, with a spot-on headline and with a photo from Tempo)

ST (which put its story on a prime page but with a muted headline and with no pic... a busy reader might well have missed the story) (which carried a wire report from AFP)


Why 'gallons'? And PUB's reply...

(Hello, mister! We baby boomers excluded from the definition of "pioneer generation" are also familiar with the one-gallon and five-gallon drum containers!)


Okay, it's Friday. Time to get less serious.

Why are they called Brazil nuts if they come from Bolivia? 


Why do certain birds fly in a V formation?...


Finally, why is a cockpit a cockpit? When is it a flight deck?

Follow this thread below which started out as a serious query -- "Why is the flight deck called a 'cockpit'?" -- and watch it degenerate into off-colour ribalry!...