It was a little joke that took on a life of its own.
Imagine my horror last Friday when I opened The Straits Times and saw a caricature of me labelled “Dear Sotong”. How did this come about?
A few days earlier, my New Paper colleague Sylvia Toh Paik Choo surprised me with news that she and I are going to be writing an advice column in The New Paper on Sunday for a new section called Family Matters.
Naturally, my first reaction was to act blur, although as many have surmised, I’m not acting.
Why didn’t anyone tell me about this earlier? I could’ve prepared for it by re-watching all the Oprah Winfrey episodes where Dr Phil was a guest.
Paik Choo told me to relax. She said the fact that she and I were asked to do it and not, say, someone with actual qualifications or at least capable of appearing to give a damn meant that our joint advice column was not intended to be taken seriously.
Now that stung. Who says I’m not qualified?
Having been married twice, in therapy, retrenched, a country music fan and arrested for violating a restraining order, I can certainly give advice on what not to do.
But I saw Paik Choo’s point. After all, my current column in The New Paper on Sunday is called Act Blur. How can I expect anyone to take me seriously?
When I told my wife about the new advice column, she immediately told me she had the perfect name for it. “Dear Sotong,” she said excitedly.
Oh, as in “blur like sotong”. A great idea except that I wasn’t keen on being named after a squid.
But when Paik Choo asked me to come up with a name for the advice column the next day, I made the mistake of telling her what my wife suggested – as a joke.
“And I can be Dear Goondu!” Paik Choo said excitedly, referring to her decades-old bestseller Eh, Goondu!
Before I knew it, e-mails were sent, caricatures were drawn and there I was in the newspaper as “Dear Sotong”. It was part of a blurb inviting readers to write in about their problems to Paik Choo and me.
But who in their right minds would write to seafood for advice, serious or otherwise?
If the answer is you, please send your problems email@example.com.
The Goondu and I await your mail with dread.
- Published in The New Paper, 2 May 2010
Dear Goondu, Dear Sotong column: My teacher sister behaves like a kid
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
I dread Christmas. Because Christmas means Chinese New Year is lurking around the corner like a mugger disguised as the God of Misfortune....
Okay, I surrender. I admit it. I was wrong. In April last year, I wrote a column called “ So is Joanne Peh really going out with Qi Yuwu? ...
When I learnt that Vernetta Lopez ’s autobiography Memoirs Of A DJ: Life In Progress was published last week, I rushed to the nearest major...
Two years ago, when celebrity radio deejay Glenn Ong revealed that he was dating fellow MediaCorp deejay Jean Danker after splitting fro...
Lately, I've been noticing the recurring use of an unfamiliar word on social media. Aisey. Posted by SMRT Ltd (Feedback) on Wedne...
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...
On Friday, former White House official K.T. McFarland , who was picked by President Donald Trump to be the US ambassador to Singapore, withd...
Last month, it was reported that Nike would stop supplying to smaller shops like those in Queensway Shopping Centre and Peninsula Plaza. ...
I have a favourite T-shirt. One reason it’s my favourite is that it was given to me many years ago by a friend who has since passed away...
Toggle has reported that actress Carole Lin has given birth to her first child: Despite being told by a gynaecologist that conceiving at ...