Monday 31 October 2011

A Halloween treat for Phua Chu Kang fans

An episode written by me where Rosie thinks Margaret is turning into a vampire. It climaxes with the funniest scene I've ever written involving Unchained Melody.

Phua Chu Kang Season 2 Episode 19 from gurmitsinghfan on Vimeo.

The Ally McBeal reference in the first scene dates it terribly. By the way, it was the highest rated PCK episode ever.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Why Deepavali is better than Halloween (but not Independence Day)

Deepavali versus Halloween?

How did we come to this?

I remember a time when Halloween was like Thanksgiving and Independence Day – US holidays familiar to Singaporeans mostly as plot devices in Hollywood movies and TV shows.

But in recent weeks, some grumbled about seeing more decorations in Singapore for Halloween (which is tomorrow) than Deepavali (which was on Wednesday).

Halloween detractors regard the foreign holiday as an interloper, encroaching on the celebrations of a long-standing local holiday.

Halloween-themed events are being held around Singapore with at least two on Sentosa alone – Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights and the Sentosa Leisure Group’s Sentosa Spooktacular.

Why the sudden fervor for all things mock scary?

I blame Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

By abruptly deciding to replace the popular Halloween Horrors event at Night Safari with a Deepavali-themed line-up, WRS unwittingly turned Halloween into the wronged underdog and Deepavali the unwelcomed interloper.

The irony is that in its clumsy rush to promote Deepavali, I fear WRS might have inadvertently diminished the holiday instead.

This is why I now feel the need to remind people why Deepavali is better than Halloween:

Deepavali is an actual public holiday – as in you get a day off from work or school. Halloween is not, even in the US.

2. Deepavali is the festival of lights. Halloween is the festival of black and orange.

3. I don’t like pumpkin.

4. Three words: no devil worshipping.

5. For Halloween, we get horror movie sequels like Paranormal Activity 3. For Deepavali, we get Ra One, reportedly India's most expensive blockbuster ever, starring Shah Rukh Khan as a Bollywood superhero.

I repeat, a Bollywood superhero. To quote Stan Lee, ’nuff said.

Unfortunately, despite the misgivings, I expect Halloween to get even more popular in Singapore in coming years.

Fortunately, Deepavali will be on Nov 13 next year, so no more Deepavali versus Halloween.

Unfortunately, in place of Deepavali, Hari Raya Haji takes over the Oct 26 date next year, so it will be Raya versus Halloween instead.

So a year from now, will my column be about how Hari Raya Haji is better than Halloween?

Aiyah, you know what I’m thinking? Why stop at just Halloween?

Since Singaporeans are already celebrating one US holiday, we might as well celebrate them all.

Here are a few to start:


This is probably the most important holiday for Americans apart from Christmas. But I don't think it will catch on with Singaporeans because it involves a lot of travelling, eating turkey and watching American football. (Go, Packers!)

Groundhog Day

This is the day when you wake up and it's the same day as yesterday.

Independence Day

Also known as the Fourth of July, this is no longer just an American holiday, thanks to Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and US President Bill Pullman.

This was the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”

And then we beat the aliens.

I’m sorry, but even Deepavali – or Shah Rukh Khan – can’t top that.

- Published in The New Paper, 30 October 2011

Very funny and enjoyable article. Really made my day. I was at Clarke Quay last night and somehow Halloween has become a costume party. With superman, princesses and prince charmings, playboy bunnies sexy busty policewomen, topless cowboys and clowns. Heehee.


Sunday 23 October 2011

Hair-raising mole mail just in time for Halloween

I’ve got mail!

And not the usual “You’re so sexy and talented” fan mail. These e-mails are only slightly less disturbing. Just in time for Halloween too.

I received them after last week’s column about how I ended up removing one of the three moles on the face - the Ber-mole-da Triangle - because of something a fengshui expert said.

The mole that I amputated was on my lower left cheek and had two strands of hair growing out of it.

I still have that mole in a plastic container in my refrigerator so that I can pay my respects every time I open the fridge door to get my Marigold Peel Fresh Mangosteen Mixed Fruit Juice with no sugar added.

(You too can get your product placement here. Just write to to get rates.)

I mentioned in the column that the hairs on the mole are still intact.

A reader wrote: “Try keeping the amputated mole for a few months and see if the hair continues to grow. Wouldn't that be insanely creepy?”

Thank you for the suggestion.

In fact, I plan to keep the mole for not just a few months, but for many years so that I can show it to my grandchildren and give them nightmares to remember me by after I’m dead and cremated, possibly with the amputated mole.

“Remember when crazy Ah Kong showed us that fossilised mole he kept in his fridge? Eeeeee! I couldn’t sleep for weeks after that. I could still see the hair!”

And yes, it would be insanely creepy if the hair continues to grow.

Now there’s an idea for a Halloween costume - a human-size amputated mole with still-growing hair.

Don’t worry. You won’t hurt my feelings if you’re still going as Lady Gaga.

But you know what would be creepier than if the hair continues to grow? If a whole other me grew out of that amputated mole.

We would probably end up fighting over the mangosteen juice. I don’t like to share.

Though it would be nice to have someone else take the kids to tuition.

Actually, my bigger concern is that hair would continue to grow from the spot on my face where the mole used to be. I have enough stray hairs growing from unexpected parts of my anatomy to trim. I’m looking at you, nipple fur.

As it turned out, I might have been a little too hasty to excise my mole because of something a fengshui expert said, according to another reader.

The reader wrote: “Actually, your life path is all in your date of birth. Not about looking at the number of moles you have.”

Oh, now he tells me.

The reader continued: “If you do not mind giving me your date of birth, I can tell who you are and what will become of you. It is free of charge just for you only.

“I set up my company PON Consultant Pte Ltd doing consulting on Life Destiny. If you are keen, please provide me with your date of birth and I will provide you with a 20-page report of who you actually are and what will become of you in the future.”

Flattered as I am that someone is offering something free “just” for me, I find this e-mail disturbing on several existential levels.

First is the idea that everyone’s future is pre-determined on the day he or she is born.

Second is the idea that my life can be summed up in 20 pages. I’m not sure whether it’s too many pages or too few. I don’t know what font size he’s using.

Third is the idea that this stranger, whom I’ve never met and know next to nothing about, expects me to give him my birthdate so that he can unlock everything about me. And you thought Facebook had privacy issues.

And last but not least, the idea of knowing my future is scarier to me than mutant mole hair or any Lady Gaga costume.

I can barely deal with knowing the present.

Have a creepy Halloween and keep the fan mail coming.

- Published in The New Paper, 23 October 2011

UPDATE: I had the "teardrop" mole removed on 15 Nov and it's also in my fridge now.

Sunday 16 October 2011

(Remove) The mole, the merrier?

Talk about losing face.

Last month, without my knowledge, a reporter colleague showed a photo of me to a fengshui expert to read my fortune based on my face and birthdate for an article in The New Paper on Sunday.

Among other things, Mr Fengshui said that I was “childlike”, “too candid” and that I should take up yoga to be more relaxed.

You know what would make me more relaxed? If people would stop showing my photo to creepy fengshui experts without my knowledge!

Oh, am I being too candid?

Anyway, the fengshui guy also said: “A narrow nose indicates that making big bucks does not come easily and he may spend more than he earns.”

He was right about that – I have not been making big bucks, easily or otherwise.

Naturally, my first thought was that I should get a nose job. The problem is that Mr Fengshui said I have a narrow nose, so to change it would mean I need to make my nose wider?

I’m sorry, but I think my nose is fat enough as it is.

So my dilemma was this: Stay poor with my narrow nose or get a fatter nose and make big bucks easily?

But the dilemma sort of resolved itself because since I don’t make big bucks, I don’t think I can afford a nose job that would’ve allowed me to make the big bucks. Which would’ve allowed to me to get a nose job.

I believe this is what is known as the poverty cycle.

The fengshui guy also said that because of the mole below my left eye, I should “pay attention” to my small intestines and my heart .

I can take care of my heart by watching my diet and exercising, but I have no idea how to look after my small intestines.

This leaves me no choice but to remove my mole.

My wife was okay with it, but I felt I also needed to get permission from my mother because, well, my body belonged to her too, if you know what mean.

She said she was all for it as she never liked that mole anyway because it resembled a teardrop below my eye.

So I made an appointment to see a doctor at the National Skin Centre.

I told the doctor I wanted to remove all three moles on the left side of my face: the “teardrop”, the one on my temple and the Phua Chu Kang mole on my lower cheek with two strands of hair growing out of it, which I had to keep trimming.

Those three moles form what I call the Ber-mole-da Triangle.

But the doctor said I should remove just one mole first and see how it goes.

I said I was hoping I could pay for two mole removals and get the third one free. She said no.

Okay then, which mole should I remove first?

She recommended the Phua Chu Kang mole because it was the smallest. She didn’t say anything about the two strands of hair and didn’t seem to care about the fengshui guy or my small intestines or my mother.

The doctor also warned that I would be exchanging a mole for a scar on my face. I told her just to make sure the scar was at a sexy angle (whatever that means).

And so on Tuesday, I went under the knife for the first time in my life.

I think it counts as cosmetic surgery. I feel so Hollywood. Maybe I’ll get implants next – I mean for my cheeks. Or perhaps even a nose job?

To remove that one mole cost me about $300. So the rest of the Ber-mole-da Triangle would cost me another $600. That’s a lot of money. I’m not sure I want to go through with it now.

Hmmm... what would Phua Chu Kang do?

By the way, I’m keeping my amputated Phua Chu Kang mole in a plastic container in the fridge so that I can visit it every day.

The hairs are still intact.

- Published in The New Paper, 16 October 2011

Dear Mr. Ong,

Actually your life path is all in your date of birth. Not about looking at the number of moles you have.

If you do not mind giving me your date of birth, I can tell who you are and what will become of you. It is FOC just for you only.

I set up my company PON Consultant Pte Ltd doing consulting on Life Destiny. If you are keen please provide me with your date of birth I will provide you with a 20 page report of who you actually are and what will become of you in the future. This discovery is truly amazing and awesome. Its all true statistics and research over more than 10 years.

You can actually go to my website at to have a look.

Best regards
Raymond Suen
PON Consultant Pte Ltd

UPDATE: My response to the e-mails and comments.

UPDATE UPDATE: I had the "teardrop" mole removed on 15 Nov and it's also in my fridge now.

Sunday 9 October 2011

My love-hate thing with Apple (Or why I will never buy a Mac)

My sister used to work for Apple, whose co-founder Steve Jobs died on Wednesday.

After leaving the company, she posted on her Facebook page that “working for it was like marrying the hottest guy and realising that he snores and farts like any other man”.

Then she added: “But he’s still the hottest guy.”

Let me first clarify that my sister has never been married – to the hottest guy or otherwise. So I’m wondering what qualifies her to make this analogy.

And no matter how accurate it is, if she imagines that even the hottest guy she marries to snore and fart... well, no wonder she’s still single.

But I get her point.

Although I have never worked for the company, I too have this love-hate thing with Apple.

It all started when I was in Secondary 3.

I joined my school’s new computer club and was introduced to my first computer, the Apple II. (Yes, I’m that old.)

It was, as they say, love at first byte.

This was before the iPad. Before data plans. Before social media. Before the World Wide Web. Before the mouse. Before the compact disc. Before IBM made personal computers. Before Abba broke up.

If not for the Apple II kicking off the home computer revolution, all those things might not have happened (well, except the Abba thing).

Thanks to the Apple II, I learned how to program a computer using a language called Basic, which stands for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code and is - surprise! - quite basic.

I saved my programs on floppy disks, back when floppy disks were still floppy.

I loved the games that came on these floppy disks, especially strip poker, which was how I learned to play poker (although I still can’t tell a flush from a straight – but at least now I know Kumar isn’t one).

I was so loyal to Apple in the 80s that even when everyone I knew bought an IBM-compatible, I refused to switch. IBM was the enemy.

To me, the only true personal computer was the Apple computer.

But I hated Apple when it unveiled the Lisa computer in 1983. Protective of my beloved Apple II, I felt threatened by the new Apple product.

To me, the only true Apple computer was the Apple II computer.

I rejoiced when the Lisa flopped.

(I was kind of sad when the Apple III died though.)

When the Macintosh came along a year after the Lisa, I expected and hoped that it would flop too. It didn’t.

I resented the Mac’s success – especially when the company killed the Apple II series in 1993.

If you look up the Apple II page in Wikipedia, there’s a line that says: “Many outspoken Apple II fans were bitter that the company had invested its Apple II profits into the Macintosh rather than using them to further the Apple II series.”

I’m one of those bitter Apple II fans.

Although I have used the Mac at work, till this day, I will not buy a Mac for myself. I’m still bitter over the betrayal and death of my first computer love, the Apple II.

I hate the Mac so much, I switched my loyalty from Apple to the descendant of a former enemy, the Windows PC.

But I was still rooting for Apple to succeed when it released the Newton in the 90s, even though the handheld device kind of sucked. It also flopped.

And then I bought my first iPod in 2005. It was like falling in love for the first time all over again. All that music in my pocket! Good-bye, Discman.

In 2008, I got my sister to buy the iPod Touch for me at a staff discount and for the first time, I had the Internet in the palm of my hand. It changed my life.

I not only went everywhere with it, I was sleeping with it. If I could marry it and book an HDB flat with it, I would. If I could have children with it, I would. My wife got a little jealous.

Two years later, I upgraded to the iPhone, which to me, is just an iPod Touch that I can make phone calls with.

And then Apple introduced the iPad, which looked great until ... eh, how come no Flash support?

So now I’m hating Apple again – actually, just the Apple iPad, at least until the company reverses its anti-Flash policy.

I have a cousin who works at Samsung. I asked him for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. He got one for me for free last month.

I love it! You know why? It plays Flash.

I’m not sure I would marry it though. It may snore and fart like any other man.

- Published in The New Paper, 9 October 2011

Dear Mr Ong,

Thank you so much for your Apple piece.

So many people are busy praising Steve they completely overlook his bad side.

Like you, I'll use Apple but I won't buy - not since I spent S$1,800 on a PowerBook and S$2,500 on repairs.

I'm aghast people keep saying, "Singapore need more people like Steve."

Really? People who are worth billions but won't give a cent to charity? Is this what we want to tell our kids - and I have none.

Thanks again - as usual, your piece was accurate and entertaining.

Not like some brain-dead celeb who can only echo the 'we need more Jobs' comments.

Best regards,

Sunday 2 October 2011

An award for insulting all men everywhere...

We are well into the 21st century and yet shit still happens that makes us men look bad.

So the Association of Men for Action and Research (Amare) has created the Nasi Lemak! Award to search for the most annoying, face-palm, gut-wrenching, you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me instance of virtual emasculation in Singapore.

The Nasi Lemak! Award is also a response to the Alamak! Award for sexism recently announced by Amare’s arch-enemy, the Association of Women for Action and Research.

It's all about equality. (And achieving happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.)

As executive director and founder of Amare, I hereby present the Nasi Lemak! Award nominees:

1. The London Weight Management “suicide” commercial.

The ad has been decried as being insulting to women. The company has since removed the video from YouTube.

In the ad, the husband treats the woman badly. But after she loses weight, he’s all smiles.

This is an insult to all men everywhere. Are we so shallow? Real men don't behave like this.

In the ad, the woman also loses her job and yet could still afford to sign up with the weight loss company.

Who do you think will be paying for it? The husband won’t be smiling when he sees the bill.

2. The four-storey high Abercrombie & Fitch ad featuring a topless male model outside Knightsbridge mall.

Real men are not four storeys tall. We don't need to be made to feel smaller than some of us already do.

To further reduce men to nonhuman sex objects, the model in the ad is not only topless, he is also headless.

Is this another case of covering the face and firing the base?

3. The man found sleeping in a plastic bag at the stairwell of an HDB block in Geylang last week.

Someone thought he was dead and called the police. Pathetic.

I, too, have slept in the stairwell once when I was accidentally locked out of my flat. (At least, my wife claimed it was “accidental”, but sometimes I wonder.)

I came home late one night and unlocked the door, but couldn’t open it.

You know why? Because it was latched from the inside!

I pounded on the door and tried calling my wife with my mobile phone, but she was sleeping so soundly that only my snoring next to her could’ve awakened her.

I eventually gave up and decided to sleep in the stairwell so that I could use the step as a pillow.

A very hard, angular pillow

When morning came, I tried calling my wife again. She finally woke up and opened the door to face a very haggard, angry husband.

Did I have anything to keep me warm in that stairwell apart from the clothes I was wearing? No, I did not.

Real men don’t sleep in plastic bags.

But I really missed my bolster though.

Fortunately, no one called the police.

The Geylang man was wearing an army T-shirt. I was from the navy. More proof that navy men are manlier than army men.

And there you have it, the three nominees for the Nasi Lemak! Award.

For some reason, I feel like some nasi lemak now.

- Published in The New Paper, 2 October 2011

Good Evening boss!

Here are some pictures highlighting exactly why Amare should exist! Gender equality is dead because of things like this.

Additionally, my name, Jamie, has been viciously classified as "only for girls".

Whenever I introduce myself, I get these funny looks and the million-dollar question: "Isn't Jamie a girl's name".

I'll just sigh and go "Yes, I get that a lot."

What has the world come to when even the world has failed to accept Jamie as a boy's name too.

It doesn't help that famous dudes with the name "Jamie" aren't big manly people but chefs and singers. (Damn you Jamie Oliver!)

Now I'm resigned to having to defending my name each time I introduce myself.

Oh the humanity!

Yours truly,
The marvelous, extraordinary, awesome to the power of infinity, intelligent and smart Jamie.