Monday 19 April 2021

I got the Moderna vaccine because I didn't know I could choose by vaccination centre

Dear Ministry of Health,

I am sort of a healthcare professional. Or at least used to be.

I was a medic in the navy during my national service and used to vaccinate shiploads of servicemen. That was hundreds of pricks. I mean the injections. The jabs were mostly for tetanus, rubella and hepatitis.

I became rather proficient with a syringe. I had good reviews.

So I am more accustomed to giving injections than getting one.

I wanted to share this fun fact about myself with the young woman giving my first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to show that I can relate to what she was doing.

She probably wouldn’t care, although that hasn’t stopped me before. Otherwise, this column would not exist.

But there was a long queue at Hong Kah North Community Club and I did not want to hold up the line with my reminiscence of injecting seamen 35 years ago.

The young woman was pretty deft with the needle too. Maybe even better than I was. It was over before I knew it. I barely felt the prick. It was like nothing.

The pain only hit me the day after and it hit like a sumbitch.

My left shoulder felt as if it had been punched by shiploads of servicemen. The rest of me was also out of sorts.

But I was fine by the next day, although I still feel a lingering ache in my left shoulder even now when I exercise, two weeks after the jab.

My wife, who had the injection at the same time as me, had the same side effects except maybe a little worse. She also had headaches.

She blamed the Moderna vaccine we were given because her mother, who is in her 90s, reported only minor side effects after getting the Pfizer vaccine.

Before you Pofma me, I should clarify that clinical trials for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown that younger adults tend to report more frequent and severe side effects than older people.

So my wife is wrong to blame Moderna for her suffering. She should blame being younger than her mother.

But despite all the unpleasant side effects, I am still glad I had my shot.

You know why? Because I got a free box of 50 disposable masks and small bottle of water out of it. Woo-hoo!

That is how you get more Singaporeans to go for vaccination – free stuff! Why aren’t you advertising this?

I later found out that a friend who went to a different vaccination centre didn’t get anything. So not everyone gets freebies.

It was only after our injections that we discovered you had published a list indicating which vaccination centre administers the Pfizer and which the Moderna vaccine – but not which centre hands out free stuff.

If we had known earlier, my wife would have chosen the Pfizer one since the Pfizer vaccine is supposedly 1 per cent more effective than Moderna.

That 1 per cent makes all the difference to her.

Don’t you find it funny that even for vaccines, people also care about brand name now?

When I was injecting seamen in the navy, I didn’t know whether the vaccine was from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson or Dettol.

I didn’t know if anyone had a blood clot or a microchip tracked by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates implanted in them after getting vaccinated.

Nowadays, we seem to know so much about the Covid-19 vaccines and yet not enough.

Back then, I just made sure to expel any air bubbles in the needle before sticking it in to avoid accidentally giving someone an air embolism. Hopefully, I didn’t kill anyone.

I can’t wait for my second dose to get more free stuff.

- Published in The New Paper, 19 April 2021

Dear Mr Ong

I do understand your articles are meant not to be taken seriously. And I must say that it is humourless most of the time. There is also a lot of creative writing in your articles. However, I wonder where the boundary line is, as far as use of improper English is concerned.

You mentioned 'don't profma me'. Don't you think that the way you write has a great influence on the readers, especially those who are young and impressionable and those who have little or no proper education in the English language?

I have also seen a lot of others using 'whatapps me,' 'pm me', 'dm me', etc The list goes on. Could you possibly be one of those who are encouraging the use of improper English?

With regards
LEE Thien Poh Steven

Okay, boomer.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

I bought the KFC mask and here's my review

So KFC started selling masks today.

Instead of Original or Extra Crispy, the choice is Night or Day. I picked Night because it's black.

The price is $6.95, but if you order it as an add-on with your food, the mask is only $1.65.

KFC makes no claims that it will protect you from any virus and the packaging says it's "not intended for medical use".

It's made up of two layers of fabric, so it's not so flimsy.

The mask comes in only one size though. I feel it's slightly small for my giant-ass flat face, but because of the adjustable ear loops, it doesn't feel too snug or uncomfortable.

I like the KFC mask enough that I may get the other design.

Which is rather similar to the McDonald's pyjamas from two years ago.

EARLIER: Inspired by Alfian Sa'at, I wrote a poem called McDonald's, You Did Not Have My Pyjamas

Monday 5 April 2021

No April Fool's joke: After 3 years, Burger King finally makes Chocolate Whopper a reality

No one likes to be played for a fool.

Yet, it remains an annual tradition that otherwise veracious people and organisations would lie in the name of April Fool’s.

And it is your own fault for being dumb enough to fall victim to a joke.

It is probably the only time of year when victim-blaming is acceptable and practically a sport. It is all fun and games until it happens to you.

You think you are too smart to be fooled? Me too.

Beware the end of March as the first of April is nigh.

So I started questioning everything I read and even reality itself.

A giant ship blocked the Suez Canal, disrupting 12 per cent of world trade?

Yeah, sure. Was the Easter Bunny on board too?

But a giant ship did block the canal for six days and someone should search the decks for a bow-tied hare with a basket of chocolate eggs.

Speaking of sweet treats, when Durex announced three new condom flavours called Mao Shan Wang, Singapore Chendol and Botak Coconut Sherbet, I knew immediately it was a lie.

Come on, it was so obvious. You put a condom on your penis during sex to prevent pregnancy or disease transmission.

You do not eat it. Why would it come in different flavours?

I was proven right when Durex confirmed that it was a “prank” on April Fool’s Day and said that the three aforementioned flavours were actually the new flavours of Udders ice cream.

I thought that was another joke, but Durex added the hashtag #NotAJoke.

Why would Udders partner with Durex to promote its new flavours?

Now when I think of Udders ice cream, I imagine it tastes like rubber.

I have a question for you – which would you prefer, rubbery ice cream or a chocolate burger?

The rubbery ice cream is hypothetical, but the chocolate burger is not.

At first, I assumed it was another April Fool’s joke when last week, Burger King launched its Chocolate Whopper, described as a “beef patty topped with fresh juicy tomatoes and onion, dressed with a layer of rich chocolate sauce swirly richness and cushioned between the King’s signature sesame drench buns”.

After all, the restaurant chain had teased the Chocolate Whopper exactly three years ago, but that turned out to be a hoax, cheating my feelings.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I must really want the Chocolate Whopper.

So it shook me to learn that like Pizza Hut’s alleged-crime-against-nature Bubble Tea Blossom Pizza, the Chocolate Whopper is for real.

It seems the joke this time is that it’s not a joke. Well played, Burger King, well played.

We ain’t joking this time! Get your hands on the King’s new sweet and savoury treats this April Fool’s. Available until 15 April.

Posted by Burger King Singapore on Thursday, April 1, 2021

Like a diabetic moth to a sugary flame, I was drawn to the brown abomination.

Surprisingly, the Chocolate Whopper is not as disgusting as it may look and sound. My only complaint is that I could have used more chocolate sauce and less onion. Those two ingredients kind of clashed.

To complete the meal, BK is also offering nuggets with chocolate sauce for dipping plus fries in a chocolate sundae for, ummm... dessert?

All that chocolate! And just in time for Easter too.


Which, by the way, is now officially part of the German language.

Last Thursday, German Ambassador to Singapore Norbert Riedel tweeted: “Shiok, the #Singlish word to express a delightful experience such as eating delicious food, has made it into the Duden, the official dictionary of the German language.”

The German embassy even posted a video online showing supposed German individuals saying “shiok” while eating.

So not only has Singlish been recognised by Oxford dictionary, but also... wait a minute.

What was last Thursday’s date?


Et tu, Germany?

- Published in The New Paper, 5 April 2021

EARLIER: April drool: Flame-grilled Chocolate Whopper is mouth-watering fake news