sing when you're wanking
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
The below letter was published on the Sunday Times. Great application of analogy, i must say.
SINGAPORE is widely recognised as a food paradise. However, the actual experience of dining in food courts during peak hours is anything but. Eating at a food court during peak times is not unlike guerilla warfare. Upon entering, one scans the horizon, hoping futilely a table will be available.
The next course of action is to conduct a reconnaissance of the 'battleground', peering over shoulders to determine the stages of completion of meals and the likelihood of a table being vacated soon.
One then stations oneself barnacle-like in close proximity to a targeted site, waiting to pounce on it once it is vacated. This vulture-like presence causes different degrees of discomfort, depending how predatory the tactics to hurry the diner along.
Some resort to psychological warfare, such as glaring venomously or making snide remarks if diners are a mite tardy, while others plant themselves so close, they literally lean against the table.
Whatever the means, most diners finish the meal post-haste to escape the oppression.
If the reconnaissance party consists of more than one individual, the others are dispatched to stake out other likely territories and will then signal frantically to each other if a territory has been won.
However, as in all military campaigns, miscalculations sometimes occur, with some targets ignoring the hovering presence of the would-be usurpers and lingering longer than expected at the meal.
Adrenaline levels now rise, especially at the sight of other more fortunate but undeserv-ing 'soldiers' claiming their places elsewhere. Sometimes, altercations erupt between different parties over the rights to a table, with ugly results.
Once a table is secured, all manner of things, such as bags and even packets of tissue paper, are used to claim victory over the territory while the triumphant parties go in search of food.
Then the cycle repeats itself, with the predator becoming the prey of the next party of hungry diners.
It is a wonder we have any appetite left after all these skirmishes. As they say, local knowledge is paramount when it comes to dealing with the eccentricities of a culture. Sadly, the 17 million tourists we plan to attract will be clueless as to how to navigate the intricacies of food-court dining here.
It is about time food courts devised some system to improve the chaotic situation. This can be in the form of a queue system, similar to that in restaurants, so dining becomes a more pleasant experience for all.
Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)
"Rex crys when he ejaculates"
Uttered by Rex's wife,Bree, at a dinner party
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