Monday 27 April 2020

Virus Vanguard aftermath: Paging VR Man, we need you now more than ever

Dear VR Man,

Where are you?

The last time we saw you was in 1998.

(I’m not counting your brief 2015 appearance in the Channel 5 animated series Heartland Hubby because you are not a cartoon – even though you were probably more suited for a kids’ show.)

Remember how in the apocalyptic post-credit scene of Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury desperately used his intergalactic pager to page Captain Marvel, whom he hadn’t seen since the 90s?

You are our Captain Marvel.

And you can consider what you’re reading now a page. (Not a web page even though it is. I mean a pager page.)

We need you, VR Man.

We are in a post-bubble tea/McDonald’s apocalypse and we are desperate for a superhero.

He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast and he's gotta be fresh from the fight.

So desperate that last week, our Government introduced its own superhero team, the Virus Vanguard, to fight the coronavirus.

And Singapore responded with a collective “Errrr…”

The team included MAWA Man, which reminds me a bit of you.

Like you, his mask doesn’t cover his nose and mouth, which means he may still get a $300 fine even if he wears his mask when he goes out.

Like you, he has an abbreviation and “Man” in his name.

He is called MAWA Man because he enforces safe-distancing and MAWA stands for Must Always Walk Alone.

That’s something he won’t have trouble doing since the Government has quickly distanced itself from him and his team.

MAWA is also a rebuttal to the song You’ll Never Walk Alone because MAWA Man hates Gerry And The Pacemakers. He prefers the Beatles like any sane person would.

Another similarity between you and MAWA Man is that he was as poorly received as your TV series was 22 years ago.

At least you lasted 13 episodes. The Virus Vanguard didn’t last even a day.

The misstep could have easily been sidestepped.

Another local TV character from the 90s, Phua Chu Kang has already been revived by the Government during this pandemic. Why not you too?

After all, the name recognition is already there, unlike with MAWA Man and gang.

Sure, many people may not have actually seen your show, but who hasn’t seen the 18-second YouTube video where you speed past two policemen so fast that you spin them right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round round round?

Someone even started a petition to get former Mediacorp actor James Lye to play you again to fight Covid-19.

What else does Diana Ser’s husband have to do these days anyway? Play Animal Crossing, drink dalgona coffee and sing Home from the balcony?

The petition says:
“In these uncertain times, we need a true Singaporean Hero to teach us right from wrong and how to wear a mask and not be a Covidiot.

“We need VR Man now, more than ever.”
I agree – except for needing you to teach us how to wear a mask because, you know, your mask covers the wrong part of your face.

The petition has 24 signatures.

Well, it was started only over a week ago.

Wait, I just noticed something. The petition was started by… “VR Man”?

You mean you started your own petition to bring yourself back?

Heehee heehee heeheehee.

We may have a chance against Thanos, I mean, the coronavirus after all.

I guess it’s now all up to James Lye.

Is he a Man U fan?

- Published in The New Paper, 27 April 2020

EARLIER: Why VR Man will outlive us all