Sunday 15 December 2013

Where alcohol should really be banned — Mirkwood, Fish & Co

Alcohol means trouble.

Last week, I learnt that otherwise normally responsible people can behave abominably under the influence of alcohol.

Of course, you can argue that elves can't be considered “people”, but that’s just racist.

If you haven't seen The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, you may want to stop reading this to avoid spoilers. You may also want to stop reading because, well, you have better things to do.

In the movie, the dwarves are captured by the elves in Mirkwood forest and imprisoned in funky little elf dungeons.

Taking a break, the elf holding the keys to the dungeons is persuaded by his elf buddy to sample the king’s wine.

He soon passes out drunk, allowing Bilbo the hobbit to steal the keys and free the dwarves, which leads to a chaotic chase sequence with gnarly orcs, flying arrows and damaged barrels.

In a word: trouble.

And it all started because of alcohol.

In the elves’ defence, I have seen all The Lord Of The Rings movies (including the extended editions on DVD) and the first Hobbit movie, but I’ve never seen elves behaving like such booze hounds before.

What is this – Mirkwood or ZoukOut?

And I thought elves can hold their liquor. I remember Legolas the elf drinking Gimli the dwarf under the table in The Lord Of The Rings.

But then Legolas is no ordinary elf. He married a Victoria's Secret model.

In the aftermath of dwarves’ escape (which occurs only once in 50 years), it seems to me that if alcohol should be banned anywhere, it should be in the elf kingdom.

Like what the Singapore authorities are doing in Little India this weekend, Thranduil the Elvenking should declare Mirkwood a “proclaimed area” under the Public Order Preservation Act, allowing him to take action against anyone who consumes alcohol in his kingdom.

At least whenever there are dwarves imprisoned in the funky little elf dungeons.

And a pesky hobbit with the ability to turn invisible using the One Ring is around.

In other words, the weekend.

I wonder if alcohol consumption was also involved in the creation of the Fish & Co ad that read: “Stay away from riot and eat Bombay fish and chips.”

Posted on the restaurant chain’s Facebook page soon after the Little India riot, the ad was criticised for being insensitive and went viral. The post has since been removed and Fish & Co apologised for the ad, which has been called a “marketing stunt”.

Marketing stunt? Really? You mean the evil geniuses at Fish & Co planned for people to complain about the ad, so that the company can apologise for it - all just to publicise the Bombay fish and chips?

In which case, couldn’t we have easily foiled their dastardly scheme by simply ignoring the ad and not sharing it online?

So by making a big deal out of the ad, the detractors were merely playing into Fish & Co’s greasy devious hands.

I’m not so bothered by the ad because I always order the swordfish collar anyway.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to tell what is considered insensitive nowadays.

For instance, I’m a little troubled by the number of headlines about the riot that read: “Big trouble in Little India.”

That’s not insensitive?

Even Taufik Batisah tweeted it. But then this is the same guy who tweeted: “Winner winner chicken dinner.” So you just can’t tell with these wacky former Singapore Idols.

What I find more troubling is how many people actually realised that “Big trouble in Little India” is not just a play on the words “big” and “little” but also a reference to an old movie from the 80s, Big Trouble In Little China.

My wife didn’t. Does Taufik?

Big Trouble In Little China had big action sequences, ancient sorcerers and nasty-looking creatures. So it’s basically like The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug – but with Kurt Russell, who is now actually old enough play Gandalf.

Well, at least now I know what Blu-ray I want this Christmas - Big Trouble In Little China. And maybe Star Trek Into Darkness if it has a director’s commentary track.

I can wait until 2015 for The Hobbit extended edition trilogy boxed set.

Would anyone hold it against me if I get the Bombay fish and chips at Fish & Co. today?

I haven’t tried it yet. I promise not to order any alcohol even though I won’t be anywhere near Mirkwood.

I don’t want any trouble.

- Published in The New Paper, 15 December 2013