Sunday 8 November 2015

No haze: Today, China-Taiwan summit; tomorrow, Taylor Swift-Katy Perry

Just when you think the haze is finally gone, air pollution of a different kind made the news.

Livestock flatulence.

Last month, something called The Aviation Herald reported that a Singapore Airlines cargo flight had to be diverted because of “exhaust gasses and manure” produced by the 2,186 sheep on board.

The Boeing 747-400 freighter was flying from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur when the four-member crew received a smoke indication.

The plane was diverted to Denpasar International Airport in Bali for a safe landing. Emergency services did not find any trace of fire, heat or smoke.

The smoke indication was identified to be the result of the gas emitted by the aforementioned sheep.

Oh, sure, blame the innocent creatures. What about the four-member crew? Don’t humans fart, too?

Isn’t it just like homo sapiens to make the sheep the scapegoat?

Well, it is the year of the scapegoat.

SIA has since refuted the report, saying the cause of the smoke indication on the plane is “an assumption being made by media, which is not able to be confirmed”.

Gee, thanks for clearing the air.

Speaking of the haze, it cleared just in time for people to queue overnight for the new Hello Kitty toy at McDonald’s last week.

No? It’s not Hello Kitty?

Is the iPhone 7 out already? Wow, Apple really accelerated its product cycle.

No? Uh… K-pop concert tickets?

Did Mr Lee Kuan Yew die again?

Actually, the long queues were for the Balmain x H&M collection launched in Singapore on Thursday.


And it’s not even free stuff. A simple wool hat costs $24.90.

You better buy one since we all know how cold the winter can get in Singapore.

Come on, Singapore! Can’t we go back to queueing for something more meaningful?

Like Minion toys.

What a waste of blue skies.

You would think that after months of avoiding going outside because of the haze, we would better appreciate the freedom that clean air gives us and make better use of it.

Instead of standing in line, you could have been taking part in The Urgent Run yesterday at East Coast Park.

Organised by the World Toilet Organisation, the event aims to raise awareness for the need of proper toilets around the world.

You don’t want to be like the sheep on the plane, producing “exhaust gasses and manure” in the cargo bay.

The skies also cleared up in time for the arrival of a very important foreigner in Singapore.

No, not Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Or Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou.

Of course, it’s Taylor Swift.

She performed last night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and will do so again tonight.

We’re all cray cray for Tay Tay.

Some even suspect that the two presidents chose Singapore for their historic meeting this weekend because the Blank Space singer would be here at the same time.

Sixty-six years of bad blood between China and Taiwan? As Swift would say, shake it off.

In your wildest dreams.

Come to think of it, if Singapore can be the venue for such a high-level tête-à-tête between two bitter long-time political rivals, perhaps we can also host a summit between Swift and everyone she has ever “feuded” with.

Like Katy Perry, who just beat Swift to become this year’s highest paid woman in music, according to Forbes magazine.

Swift said in an interview last year:
“For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not. She would come up to me at award shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’

“(Then) she did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’”
So Perry is clearly not a member of Swift’s squad.

Neither is Nicki Minaj, although she and Swift appeared to have made up at the MTV Video Music Awards after their overblown Twitter spat.

But there's still Miley Cyrus. And Avril Lavigne? Maybe... Madonna?

Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes or snarky sub-tweets.

Imagine all of them coming to Singapore for “peace talks” with Swift. It could be more tense than the China-Taiwan summit.

Our city-state could end up in flames like the explosive climax of Swift’s Bad Blood video.

Talk about fireworks.

And after we just made it through the haze, too.

But it probably still wouldn’t be as bad as 2,186 sheep farts.

- Published in The New Paper, 8 November 2015