Insensitivity Personified

During a WhatsApp chat:

Commiserating with a friend in Macau who just had her bedroom window blown to bits by typhoon No. 10 that hit Macau on August 23rd. The No. 10 signal has only been hoisted 14 other times since 1946. The typhoon – the strongest storm to hit Macau in 53 years – was packing maximum sustained winds of up to 80 miles per hour. Death toll: according to one report, at least 16 that day, and many were reported missing.

Friend: I was in the living room when the glass in the bedroom broke with a bang. I closed the bedroom door and was hanging onto it outside the bedroom. Did not want the door to be blown open and damage the rest of the apartment.

But it was real scary.

I ran in quickly about 3 times to grab my pillows and some stuff on the bedside table. Forgot to wear slippers first and stepped on the glass under my feet. Got cut and bled. In the meantime, the wind was howling, the heavy rain was pelting the apartment and it was total mayhem.

So I stood hanging onto the door as the wind whipped in and out of the room on the other side of the door. I pressed myself against the door and didn’t let go until the end of the storm about 4 hours or so later. Then I sat down to pick the splinters of glass off my feet and cleared out the bedroom.

I managed to get a cleaner to help sweep the glass away but there were glass shards and splinters everywhere in the room. Hope the landlord can get the glass replaced ASAP; also worried about the rain and damp in the room…

Bed linens will have to be trashed because of the broken pieces of glass on them. Managed to drag the duvet, mattress protector and mattress out of the room so that I will have something to sleep on tonight.

Almost everyone in the chat group immediately expressed concern and offered her words of comfort, then in the midst of all that:

A member: Anyone meeting for cigars tonight?

And later:

Another member (who was vacationing somewhere in Europe and posted a picture of a steak): Great steak, nearly two inches thick, got a great bottle of wine to go with it too. Nice light lunch.

What the fuck! 

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Imputation of stupidity

Coffee Bean lays claim to having invented the ice blended drink decades ago.

Well, so what?

Copycats and disrupters are changing in a big way, how business is done.

The biggest taxi company in Singapore has just reported a massive loss. Its net profit for the second quarter ended June 30th fell 6.8% to S$79.4 million.

Taxi drivers used to be a spoilt lot, cherry picking passengers and disappearing whenever they are needed only to emerge when surcharges kick in.

Today Uber and Grab are eating their lunch.

No longer finding it viable to continue as taxi drivers, many are returning their taxis.

You may be the cock of the walk, but a day will come when you’ll end up as a feather duster.

Comeuppance time, retards!

Taxi companies are licking their wounds now.

There are at least 42,800 private-hire cars on Singapore roads today and only 26,000 taxis.

Flexible working hours and the perks of having a car are what attracted many to become private-hire car drivers.

Taxi companies caught asleep at the wheel are now shitting bricks. Never did they anticipate that a day like this will come.

Their parking lots are filled with taxis returned by their drivers.

Those still hanging on to the taxis are begging the LTA to let them double up as delivery drivers.

Fucking pathetic.

It’s disastrous when you have stupid people in charge of companies.

Coffee Bean at JEM is a classic example; the behavior of most of the staff must be due to what I call imputation of stupidity from the top. If you go there, look out for a big-sized buffoon who looks like a Mongoloid and whose face looks like a trainwreck. Prepare to vomit blood.

It’s the same with a store named Eat Organic at 619H Bukit Timah Road. I have never met employees not just so rude and stupid but abso-fucking-lutely rude and stupid. It’s a horrible combination. You would have thought that people who make money out of new age hooey are welcoming, but not this bunch of shitheads, no sir.

Check these places out, they are good for a laugh. I won’t go into details. Oh no, I won’t deprive you of the unique experience that you will undergo when you visit these places and sample world-class stupidity first hand.

But eat tranquilizers before you go.

Stupidity may not kill the stupid, but it can give us smart people heart attacks.

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How to Age Cigars

Took this picture when I was in Cuba; freshly-rolled cigars!

Do cigars get better if you age them?

Is the Dalai Lama Buddhist?

All cigars are smokeable.

But freshly-rolled cigars tend to smoke better if laid aside for about a year.

Some continue to become nicer even after many years of being stored. (Under the right conditions of course.)

Someone told me that only Cuban cigars should be aged, not the non-Cuban ones.

My reply is that unfortunately stupidity is not lethal.

All cigars, Cuban or non-Cuban can be aged.

That being said, how should cigars be aged?

An acquaintance whom I shall name “Mr Schizo” once asked if deep-freezing them or storing them in the refrigerator will do the trick. Sigh, some idiots will swallow any bullshit fed to them, hook, line and sinker. Then they behave like know-it-alls and spread the wrong info to everyone.

When I heard the question about refrigerating cigars,  I said to myself “Indeed, the reason why this retard is still alive is because stupidity is not lethal.” Stupidity doesn’t make people keel over and die instantaneously. How unfortunate.

First, let’s be clear about something, and that is: You’ve got to start with a good cigar to begin with.

You cannot expect to pay five cents for a shitty cigar, throw it in Kim Kardashian’s underwear drawer for five years, and expect it to smoke like a Partagas Lusitania five years later.

Aging does not transform a bad cigar into a good cigar. As with humans, a moron remains a moron whether he or she is 20 or 50.

The keys to aging are:

  1. Start with a good cigar. Forget the cheap shit, the supermarket crap, the machine made, or those manufactureed with homogenized tobacco leaves, which is a fancy term meaning “excrement.” Seriously, homogenized tobacco leaf is a mixture of chopped scrap tobacco and a cellulose adhesive, which is extruded into a sheet that can be cut in any size. You might as well roll up yesterday’s Straits Times and smoke it. So, if you smoke a cigar that is so superlative you would want to smoke more of, quickly buy a few boxes of the same to age. Don’t ever believe some hustler who will sell you a box of utter trash that will cost you an arm and a leg and telling you “Wait five years, these will smoke superbly then.” By then, he’ll be holidaying in the Bahamas with a drink that has a tiny umbrella in it, and you’ll be cursing yourself for believing his sales patter.
  2. If you are really serious, place your cigars sans aluminum tubes or cellophane wrappers in a good airtight humidor that is cedar-lined. Do not mix various cigars into one humidor if you can. This means you don’t use the same humidor to store your Arturo Fuentes with your Cohibas. If you can afford to, one humidor for one type of cigar. You see, you don’t want the different flavors to intermingle. Costly you say? Well, this is a fucking expensive hobby anyway and did anyone put a gun to your head and forced you to smoke cigars? If you think this is costing too much, stick to beedies or cigarettes!
  3. Remember the 70-70 rule – it is recommended that cigars should be kept at 70° Fahrenheit and 70° humidity. Do not move your humidor from one room to another especially when the temperature in the rooms are not the same. Do not subject your humidors to variations in temperatures. If your air-conditioning is off when you are out in the day but on when you get home after work, your cigars are going to get fucked royally. (They contract and expand and then crack. The only cracks that are acceptable are those between the legs of sexy women.) Cigar merchants will sell you a whole bunch of gizmos to help you maintain that 70° humidity in your humidor; they include silica gel beads, moisture packs, sponges soaked with distilled water, etc. Well, with luck, some of these can be useful but are you able to attain a room temperature of 70° Fahrenheit? And do you have time to take the trouble to keep on replacing those stuff? Life is too short to become burdened with such terribly tedious tasks. The last thing you want is to become a slave to your cigars. You don’t want the cigars you own to own you, do you?
  4. So, what’s the best solution? Find a trusted cigar merchant who will be in business for the long haul, not some loony hawking cigars from the back of a bicycle. Purchase your cigars from a tobacconist who is knowledgeable, ie a cigar merchant who knows his products and arrange to have your cigars kept inside his premises. Any cigar store worth its salt would have temperature and humidity controlled walk-in humidors operating 27 by 7 and lockers for regular customers. This way if your cigars get fucked, you fuck the merchant. Simple. This is what I do. I have tens of thousands of sticks of cigars in just about every legit cigar store in Singapore and throughout Asia, and a bunch of cigar merchants standing by to be fucked.
  5. And talking about purchasing cigars, I never buy my cigars online. Too many fraudsters around and even if the online seller is honest, will the cigars survive the journey here? In a brick and mortar store, I can view the cigars I am interested in, ask for each box to be opened for me to examine at leisure and then make my purchases only when I am 100% happy. Notice I said “view” because it is impolite to touch the cigars that are being shown to you and a completely idiotic behavior to pick one up, sniff it and squeeze it to hear its crackle by putting it near one of your ears. Sure, do that with a hooker you’re planning to copulate with, but not with cigars. These behaviors are just affectations and they contribute nothing to help you select your cigars. Your eyes are all you need, my friend. If a cigar looks like a piece of dried up moldy dog turd, sniffing it doesn’t make it better! If I own a cigar store and you do that to my cigars, I’ll physically throw you out, without batting an eyelid.My friend, Didier Houvenaghel, who is an agricultural engineer, trained in Cuba, advises smokers to exercise the visual, tactile, olfactory, and auditory approach in choosing a cigar but I have not found it necessary other than deploying the visual approach. I don’t give a flying fuck what others think of my method. It works for me. I also avoid snooty bastards working in cigar stores who think they know more than me, because, truth be told I’ve smoked more cigars than some of these clowns have eaten bowls of rice. I also do not do business with the rip-off artists who masquerade as cigar merchants. Yes, sir, there are certain cigar stores I will never walk into, including those whose managers don’t respond to my WhatsApp messages – cretins who do not respond to my communications get moved right up to the top of my shit list – and those staffed with bimbos in miniskirts who know nothing about cigars but who are more interested in selling you crappy whiskies at inflated prices. The cons who operate these outfits will never make a single cent from me. Buying online doesn’t allow you the luxury of seeing your cigars before you buy them. Buying cigars online is like getting married by sending for a mail-order bride. What looks good on the website can be a far cry from what you’ll receive. And you are a fool if you trust so-called online “reviews.” Any unemployed, jobless nutcase or scammer can set up a webstore and sell cigars and write their own reviews; yet, many stupid people still buy online. But, it’s cheaper to buy online, you say. Fuck cheap. How clueless can you be? As I’ve said, this is an expensive hobby and if you can’t afford this indulgence, perhaps you should just stick to beedies or cigarettes.

Finally, please don’t ever mention the word “refrigerator” to me again. Stay schizo and behave like a know-it-all by all means, it’s your birthright after all, and last time I checked, this is still a free country, so spread all the wrong info all you want (the rest of us are discerning, thank goodness) but don’t ever mention the word “refrigerator” to me again.

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Monkey See Monkey Do

I like what you like cos it’s your moola that I like.

My best friend Phil responded to my last post by saying “you provided a sound analysis of marriage and composed a pretty accurate picture of looking many years down the road. Yup, your wife does in time come to look like her mother. I just saw my ex after many years and what you said is a fact. I’ve made that same observation in the past but the notion really became more of a reality when I saw my ex.”

Phil shared another gem of truth with me. He said “maybe the only one thing that eluded you in your advice on/analysis of marriage is what I can only think to call at this moment: copycat behavior.” He added that such behavior is “another potential warning sign about the predictability of what makes some marriages last and others not last.”

What is copycat behavior?

Phil went on to explain “When I first met the love of my life, it seemed we had many many things in common; but the specific example I am going to use are books/reading. My love liked to read and curiously – this is retrospective – she liked to read some of the same books as me. Ten years ago, on a visit to her house I was quite shocked that her bookcase (if you could call it that) was all but empty. It had some stupid junk in it but nothing that constituted what an inquisitive mind would be reading.”

Phil continued by saying “So, imagine if you will, two factors: First – in the beginning – she was only mimicking my interests. Second, can you imagine me still being married to this now, mostly vacuous woman?”

“I can’t,” said Phil.

Phil raised a darn good point. Have a gal who’s ultra and extraordinarily crazy about what you’re crazy about? Time for reality check! Be wary of behavior modeling after her hero (or object of desire) just to get close when in reality her genuine interest could lie in other topics. Example, still books but not the same genre.

So, if suddenly someone starts to show abnormally great interest in your hobby of raising earthworms, or your passion for curating navel lint, take a step back and wonder if that interest is for real. What is the possibility of someone becoming as obsessed as raising earthworms or collecting navel lint as you?

Can’t keep up that act for long.

To be fair, your beloved ought – and is expected – to express and demonstrate interest in whatever excites you, but if someone (who until recently is a stranger) suddenly displays so much desire to know about your expertise as an earthworm breeder  (when she doesn’t even know what worms are in the first place) to the extent that she signs up for a PhD in earthworm breeding, then alarm bells ought to go off in your head.

I mean the big head.

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For Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and in Health…No Shit!

In Singapore, 7,614 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment last year, up by 1.2% from 2015.

I can’t really comment on why people get divorced. People have their reasons and I guess some marriages are simply too broken to fix.

But I do have some tips for young men contemplating marriage.

First, remember, marriage is a choice. You don’t get married because society demands it, you want free sex for life, or you find your girlfriend cute.

You shouldn’t let what others think to determine the way you live your life, sex is over-rated, and all women eventually become old, bloated and fat and will irritate the hell out of you.

Cute is nice when she is a young virginal lass, but cute at 50 would make her look like some alien from a bad sci-fi movie.

Nina Wang, from cute to puke.

See what I mean?

Next, ask some of these questions:

  1. Does she respect your parents and family members? Does she make an effort to interact with them? If at courting stage, she acts coy and would rather sit in the darkest corner of your house with a book, or stares at her phone doing Facebook, (ie when she visits), or hides in your bedroom, you will get an idea of how she will be like if she gets married into the family.
  2. Have you seen her mum? If not, take a look at her mum. Trust me, she will look like her mum one day. Can you live with that?
  3. Is her love unconditional love or does her love hinges on certain conditions? In the last year or so, my opinions of Christians have sunk to an all-time low; still, it is useful to turn to the Bible and read 1 Corinthians 13; you can find a definition of love there that I can accept.

I have additional questions under this 3rd point.

Love is what marriage is really about, after all.

Will she be by your side for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health? Really? In other words, is she the type who will stand by her man? If you should be inflicted with illness, will she tend to you or would she be sitting in front of the TV all night, glued to Korean soap opera, seemingly oblivious to your suffering? If you need cash for medicine, does she help out or tell you to “go figure it out yourself”? If she is brilliant enough to have a second income, would she let you have her second stream of income if you are jobless, or does she talk about saving it for her retirement? Yes, her own fucking retirement. She claims you are the love of her life but she’s saving her additional income for her retirement! If your business has collapsed, would she mortgage her properties (if she has any) to help you out? If you are hungry in the middle of the night, would she rise to quickly provide a solution or does she ask you to “drink water lah.” And in general, does she behave like a help-meet (a term from Genesis, yes that’s a book in the Bible, the very first, in fact) or a damsel in perpetual state of distress or a dominating mother? (I wrote the above based on what I hear people I know saying about what their spouses have said to them.)

Let me also say that since love ought to be absolute, you yourself must in no way be found derelict in your care and affection for the woman whom you have chosen to be your life partner. I am old-fashioned in that I think marriage is forever; you don’t get into it thinking there’s always a way out. It’s not like hiring a maid or to use a politically-correct term, a “foreign domestic worker” supplied by an employment agency (polite term for “body shop”), someone you can simply replace if things don’t work out.

More questions for you: Will you abandon her if she gets a disease that incapacitates or disfigures her? Will you still be proud of her? If she gets conned by some hucksters and lose everything, will you help bail her out financially even if it means having to sell your golf clubs, your golf club membership, your BMW, your second property, your holiday home, your left kidney?

Tough questions huh? I’ve been married for 35 years and am still married, and feel I am qualified to advise young men contemplating marriage to ask themselves these questions.

And I’m glad to say that though my dear wife is already 59, I don’t have to wake up every morning to a monster like Yayoi Kusama:

What a scream!

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Barbarians in our Midst

Invited people to a soirée recently – a time of piano music, champagne and caviar and the replies I’ve gotten convince me that Singaporeans need to seriously attend some etiquette classes.

I indicated that only those who CANNOT make it let me know.

But there were a few who disregarded that, cluttering my inbox unnecessarily, creating confusion.

The declines were particularly bad.

One said “Sorry, got to make a living.” It sounded like a rebuke to me. It sounded like “I am working hard to earn some money while you have the gall to organize parties.”

Another said “Cannot attend medically.” As if showing up would kill him. Honestly I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say; I can only guess that he is not able to attend for medical reasons. Like I give a fuck if you are an alcoholic.

And there were some who didn’t make a pip squeak, they didn’t send regrets and they’re not likely to turn up anyway. An inexperienced party organizer would be stumped with his catering plans due to the behavior of such retards.

Now I know who to strike off my future guest lists.

Singaporeans should learn how to accept an invitation and how to decline one graciously.

Sending regrets is particularly tricky and it’s something people should learn how to do with grace, finesse and class.

Third world behavior has no place in the first world country.

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Another custom-made Baki

It is always a joy to receive a meerschaum pipe from Fikri Baki – no one carves meerschaums like him.

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Starbucks at Jurong Point on Sunday June 25th

Sign was ignored; Starbucks not enforcing it, so a library atmosphere is the result.

She didn’t even buy a drink but it looks like she intends to hog this place all day, depriving paying customers their seats.

If you own a cafe but non-paying cretins plonk themselves in the seats, use your electricity to charge their electronic devices and stay all day without paying, would you like it?

Why can’t students study at home? In my youth, I did my homework using the light from streetlamps and my dad, who was a student during the Japanese Occupation hid in smelly chicken coops, surrounded by chicken shit and studied using the illumination from candles.

Hey, you shit-for-brains, what’s the use of all these studying when ultimately, you end up as a retard with all kinds of fancy paper qualifications – oh yes, and certifications too – but have zero EQ, zero interpersonal capability, zero communication skills, lack basic courtesy, and are a completely insensitive prick?

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Can Professors Think?

Can Asians think?

Kishore Mahbubani’s thinly-disguised plug for his latest book has some noteworthy points. (It was an op-ed piece entitled How the Western media gets the Korean crisis wrong published in The Straits Times on May 13th. Google for it.)

However, I can’t help thinking that the ex-career diplomat’s piece is also an unwarranted broadside against Singaporeans. For someone who once wrote Can Asians Think? he infantilized his readers by implying that Singaporeans are cerebrally-challenged. His lecturing tone was condescending and irritating. Just look at some of his phrasings. For example: “Let me ask my fellow Singaporeans a simple question…” and “Let me conclude with a simple piece of advice to my fellow Singaporeans.” I find his choice of words annoying at best. That style is best used for dealing with some non-Asians, especially American deplorables who have very short attention spans and not too many grey cells to rub together. Ironic then that he used the same style of the very media he was warning against.

Well, my dear Professor Mahbubani, let me just say this in as simple a manner as possible: no matter how useful your tips are for the rest of us, patronizing and belittling-sounding exhortations are repulsive and insulting and can result in them not heeded.

If more old-school highbrow haughty pompous asses and self-proclaimed luminaries hiding behind the shadow of the late Lee Kuan Yew think and behave like Mahbubani did and get their way, and continue to talk down to the masses, we will recede back into a nanny state which we have all started to slowly crawl out from. Singaporeans shouldn’t be told want to think.  We have enough of arrogant individuals in our country who are self-congratulatory, unrepresentative, unresponsive and complacent – members of the vulgar elitism; the self-serving establishment that Prof Kenneth Paul Tan – who works in the same school as Mahbubani –  wrote about.

We have survived a tumultuous past and we have been discerning and smart enough to know our way. We have transitioned from Third to First World, not because we are idiots; complex, difficult questions do not stymie us, so a little respect is in order, my dear Professor.

Not only that, the prof is actually wrong; if you read the papers, and use the Internet intelligently, you will notice that more Western media than Mahbubani probably realizes are of the same view that he seems to claim sole ownership of; so what’s he crowing about? Where’s the original thinking expected of no less an achiever than a professor?

By the way, Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan is emerging as a very thoughtful though at times forceful writer. He’s a bit of a busy-body and a know-it-all as well as quite a loudmouth but he could be trumping (sorry) the prof, hence, the latter’s perceived need to be more forthright. Professional survival instead of professional advancement – sounds like North Korea, no?

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A JT Cooke

JT Cooke is a legend among American pipe makers; his waiting list is at least three years long. Happy to acquire a brand new one recently:

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