Alec: What’s that Hokkien way of describing a business tycoon again? Tau huey? Tau kwa?

Me: Um, I think you mean “towkay”. The other things you’re mentioning are forms of beancurd.

Alec: Ah.

Me: Also, you should be aware that for some reason, if this big boss person is female, they might be called a “towkay neo”. But the term I hear used more these days is “ladyboss”.

Alec: That’s actually quite refined for a Singlish term.

Me: True. If it were left to someone like me I’d probably have come up with “cheebye-E-O”.

Alec: ……

Somehow my attempts to teach Alec Singlish always end up in the same place. I don’t think I’m a very good teacher.

Date Night

We had a date night. It involved Burger King and Bruno, and so gave rise to numerous jibes from me that we suck at date night. On the way home, we had this conversation:

Alec: I love Hungry Ghosts month. Yesterday when I was walking home with our ta pau [1. Takeaway], the guys at the bike shop were setting up their little altar outside. It had a bike wheel as its centrepiece. The boss was very strict with his employees, very particular about how he wanted the altar set up.

Me: Well of course he was! If the ghosts think you don’t give a fuck then they’ll get fucking pissed off lah!

Alec: Dear, I think maybe the Taoists would have a more sophisticated way of explaining thi…

Me: No lah! I bet if you could just understand what the boss was telling his employees in Hokkien…

Alec: He’d be saying “This altar looks like you pulled it out of your wife’s cunt”?

Me: Your mother’s smelly cunt. [2. Explained in full Hokkien glory here.]

Alec: Oh yah, sorry.


Alec: Okay, you’re right. We really suck at date night.

Love In The Time Of Online Dating

It’s not clear why the guy trying to sign up for online dating in this short skit confines his prospective dirty screen names to authors only, but I still laughed loudly and childishly.

And then of course, I had to come up with my own list of cuncontenders. Feel free to add yours!

  • Walt Clitman
  • Edith Whoreton
  • David Spreaddings
  • Don Dedildo
  • Henry Wadsworth Shlongfellow
  • Saul Bellowjob
  • Honore de Ballsack
  • John Bangville
  • Rideher Haggard
  • Doris Lezzing
  • Haruki Murakumming
  • Alexander Bushkin

Edit (29 Jan): More additions, contributed by John’s Jamie!

  • Whoris Lezzing
  • Salman Bushdie
  • Bram Stroker
  • Iain M Wanks
  • William Ernest Fuckeray
  • Franz Kafcock
  • Edgar Allen Pube
  • Vagina Woolf
  • Cunter S. Thompson (my personal favourite)
  • Wet Pissed-On Ellis


I have to return House of Meetings to the library today without having finished it, unfortunately (The Somnambulist got in the way), but before I do I just have to capture this rather intriguing line: “…even in their most intimate dealings the women, too, were worked on by socio-economic reality. In the post-war years, there were no non-swallowers in the Soviet Union. None.”


Is it just me or is the logo of Singapore’s National Family Council rather…instructive?

White Meat Diet

Alec, ranting: Every day, I eat the same ta pao¹ local food as everyone else in the office, or I walk out to somewhere like Lau Pa Sat and eat whatever takes my fancy there. But then there’s ONE day, where I just HAPPEN to be eating McDonald’s in the office pantry, and everyone who comes in says “Oh, you don’t like local food?”

Me: But I thought you talk quite a lot about local food with them?

Alec: I do! But it’s like they refuse to believe! We went for a buffet and I didn’t eat wasabi with my sashimi and everyone’s first remark was “Oh, you can’t take spicy food?” GRAAARGH!

Me: Well, why don’t you explain that your girlfriend is local and you eat everything she eats?

Alec: Oh, that’ll be no use. They probably think you’re some SPG anyway.

Me: Haha, they’ll be all like “Oh, you eat cock?”

¹ Takeaway


Some people see Jesus in a potato chip. Last night, I had my own miraculous encounter when, while squeezing my tube of facial moisturiser, the white gob that came shooting out landed on my finger in the shape of…

Praise the Lord!


Far funnier jokes about IKEA product names have been made by people far funnier than me, but what the hell. Surfing the IKEA website in search of a frame which would fit the fantastic poster Russ brought me from London, I was very impressed by the following products:

  • KOLON floor protector “protects flooring and flat-woven rugs against wear and dirt.” Cost: $69.
  • KONJUGAT curtain rod is made of powder-coated steel, “can be extended with enclosed connector”, and “cut to desired length with a hacksaw.”
  • Finally, VÄGIS key cabinet. Consists of 3 compartments for mobile phone, small items, “etc”.

I didn’t find what I was looking for though, boo. Does anyone know where in Singapore I can find an affordably priced frame big enough for a 85 cm by 120 cm poster?


I thought Tamade was a one-off occurrence of a Japanese restaurant here with a name which is a swear word in another language (Mandarin), but today my family had dinner at Nabeya.¹ It appeared that I was either the only one who knew which swear word it sounded like, or the only one puerile enough to be secretly amused by it.

Sample conversation in the run-up to dinner, and I am so not kidding:
My mum: So, where are we going for dinner?
My sister: Nabeya.
My mum: Nabeya?! No, I don’t feel like it. Let’s go somewhere else.
My sister: But I only feel like Nabeya.
Me: Yah, mum, why not? Nothing wrong with Nabeya what.
My mum: Okay, fine then. Nabeya.

¹ Tips as to meaning can be found here and here.