BUSY WEEK. Your humble narrator finished an 8,000-word story for an anthology on Monday. Tuesday I wrote a looong speech for someone. Today (Wednesday) I have some urgent magazine columns on deadline. And I owe people TWO books this month, neither of which I’ve started.
I was feeling sorry for myself when a sage reader offered some advice.
“Don’t complain. Happiness is when people are willing to pay you to do what you love.”
Okay, but a bit glib. Luckily, she came to her senses and offered a revised version:
“Happiness is when you are useless at pretty much everything but mugs exist who are willing to pay you for the tiny, laughable ‘skill’ that you claim to have.”
Yes. Nailed it. That should be pinned above every writer’s desk.
OKAY, time to turn to the Mr Jam mailbag. A quick scan reveals that the world in 2013 is as mad as ever. Here goes:
“I’ve done the same thing myself, but only with four jackets,” said Shreya Gangul, the reader who sent the story to me. “I was really uncomfortable. I can’t imagine wearing 60 layers.”
The news clip said the passenger, a non-Chinese man at Guangzhou airport in southern China, looked like a giant ball. I can imagine the conversations that would have ensued had he managed to board the aircraft:
“Please sit down, sir.”
“I AM sitting down.”
But he never made it onto the plane. That’s because he had a USB drive or two tucked into one or other of his garments. When the security gate went beeeeep, guards asked him to empty his pockets. Imagine his horror: “Yeah, sure. Just gimme a moment.”
But there was no way he could reach all his pockets. Staff detained him.
“I started the journey in a really hot country, so I nearly died of heatstroke on the way to the airport. I had to drink two liters of water.”
But the worst part of the ordeal was still to come.
“NEVER wear a leotard as your bottom layer. When you have to go to the toilet, you have to strip totally naked, even if it’s just for a ten-second pee.”
On a 19-hour trip with a three-hour stopover, she had to strip naked seven times. “I seriously considered asking the baby sitting behind me if I could have one of his diapers,” she said.
KIM JONG-UN, the sexiest man on earth, released video footage of his missile launch center. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed his monitors were running Windows Vista.
This is a terrifying thought for anyone in range of North Korean missiles (ie, all of us in Asia). Picture the scene. Hackers send a virus to launch all the missiles at once. Kim reaches for his master computer to stop them.
But the screen freezes and up pops a message:
1) “This computer is re-configuring itself. Do not interrupt, underling.”
2) “Windows has detected that your trousers are two years out of fashion. Please restart your computer.”
3) “Illegal operation. This computer will now shut down while you kick yourself for not having bought a Mac.”
4) “Keyboard not responding. Press any key to continue.”
A RESTAURANT in China serves spicy soup which is so hot it burns a hole in your stomach, I read in several Asian news sites. After dealing with a 26-year-old victim, hospitalized after just one bowl, doctors in Wuhan said that 15 per cent of gastrointestinal cases now came from extreme soup eating.
Women reading this are thinking:
Yeuuch, how dumb can people be?
Men reading this are thinking:
Where can I get me some of that?