Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Memorable tag lines

JUST a day ago, I was behind this van which carried this tagline on its back "The Carrier Man Can". I haven't seen this tagline for a long time. But during my childhood, we always sang the jangle from the commercial. It's very simple, just repeat the line three times.

And not too long ago either, I saw another tagline which I rather like -- "Have Ice Will Revel" -- a throwback to the TV series "Have Gun Will Travel" (starring Richard Boone) which was popular in the 60s. It was printed on the back of a "freezer" van, presumably delivering ice to some riotous parties where there would be much "revelling".

The clever tagline seems a bit incongruous on the very unpretentious van (which was not in the least trying to be retro or hip but just being its practical self), But I thought it was quite ingenuous on the part of the one who thought up the line. "Revel" is not a common word and rather archaic. But it does rhyme with "travel". It's probably someone who studied Shakespeare as the playwright's characters were often "revelling". (I think I first learnt the word from a Shakespearean play.)

I am not sure whether this tagline has indeed travelled down from the good old days as I don't remember seeing it before. When the TV series was popular, there were quite a few headlines like "Have Hair Will Travel..." or well, something like that, punning on the title.

Anther memorable tagline from the 60s -- "First to Bata then to School". Don't see it these days and I am not sure whether there's a current Bata one liner.

But I think Metro's "Metro Christmas Magic" is still being used. I remember the advert in the 70s. Can even remember the TV commercial for some reason -- on a girl who went shopping at Metro and pretended to be a mannequin. Yes, I was quite a Metro fan in those days :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Pasar Malam

The rabbit key chain which mum bought
for me at a pasar malam -- as I remember it.
I LOVED going to pasar malam or night markets. Where I used to live, there was one every Thursday, first near the Serangoon Garden Circus (the roundabout) and later, along Lorong Chuan. I distinctly remember that the market was always held on a Thursday evening  because we used to refer to it as "Thursday Night" (or Bai Say Man in Cantonese). Just mentioning the words would cheer me up no end.

Almost the entire length of Lorong Chuan would be lined with stalls, with goods spread over canvases on both sides of the road. Kerosene lamps lit up each stall. The stalls were not covered and so if the evening looked like rain, there would be no pasar malam. And it would be a great disappointment for me.

My mum usually spent a long time pouring over crockery. She also loved looking at bales of cloths and picking up suitable materials for our clothes. There was a lot of bargaining -- and walking on -- so that the stallholders could call us back with offers to lower prices.

I was one for instant gratification -- my favourite stalls were those selling handkerchiefs. In those days, tissue paper was unheard of. We all used handkerchiefs and they came in lovely laced ones, checked and floral ones with scalloped edges, and those with embroideries at the corners. It was such a joy to sneeze into a new cotton hanky in the classroom.

I also liked those stalls selling costumed jewellery -- stainless steel and silver rings, chains and pendants... Mocked jade made from plastic. They were usually sold with other small knick knacks like vases, key chains, etc. My priced purchases were a tiny locket which could be clicked open to insert two tiny photographs; and a key chain in the shape of a white bunny.

I can't remember when the ones at 5th Mile and 6th Mile (Upper Serangoon Road) were held. But sometimes, we would even walk as far as those places from Serangoon Gardens. We would get very tired after a while and the walk back was always a drag. We would badger our parents to hop on to a "pirate taxi". But usually no such luck as Dad liked to walk, a firm believer in exercising.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Funny or not 2

For a painless cuppa, remove spoon.
OK, here are two more jokes for the road:

Patient: I always feel this pain in my left eye when I take my morning cup of coffee.
Doctor: Try putting the spoon on the right side when you drink. Better still, take it out first.

Chef to junior cook: Why is there a drumstick missing from this pigeon?
Junior cook (with a little bone sticking out from his mouth): We cooked this pigeon when it was resting with one foot up, sir.

There seems to be quite a bit of interest in why birds like to sleep with one foot tucked in. Apparently, one suggested reason was that the bird does that to retain heat. It's a wonder how they could balance so well sleeping on one leg. That's yoga for you.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Turtle Institute -- an arts grad's dream

If ever there's really a Turtle Institute, let it be at this great beach at Sembawang Park.
HAD a real pleasant dream. I was walking through this long corridor, filled with labs on both sides. As I peered into the labs, the people inside did not give me any strange glances -- probably thought I was one of them. Some even nodded at me. A big signboard at the end of the corridor said "Turtle Institute".

I walked to the end of the corridor which opened immediately into  a seafront. People were seated at the edge of the concrete embankment, dangling their legs, chatting and laughing and yet seemed to be in some kind of discussion. Some nice, great waves were splashing up the embankment.

I thought what  a nice job being a scientist at Turtle Institute! Too bad, I am an arts graduate and won't be able to apply for a job here. My idea of a great working place -- just watching the waves. Then I found that the people were actually working and not just admiring the waves. They were dangling cars and dousing them in the foamy waters -- like tea bags. In my dream, the cars were like turtles being popped into the waters. They must be making cars which can swim like turtles.

I was just about to walk on down the embankment, when I woke up. What a pity. I simply love this dream.