THE KING OF TONGA died near my house the other day.
No, I don’t live in Tonga.
The king preferred to have his medical treatment in Hong Kong, were hospitals have state-of-the art medical technology such as disposable tongue depressors, beds, hacksaws, etc.
To most people, King George Tupou V was a shortish, heavy man who was always surrounded by an entourage. But Tongans said he was a direct descendant of the sky god Tangaloa.
At first I was impressed by this, but then I realized that I was a direct descendant of Adam and Eve, yet I don’t put that on my CV.
Still, I liked him. I first met the King of Tonga on a staircase. This was a problem. Obesity is pretty much the state religion of Tonga. Tongans make Americans look anorexic. More than 90 per cent of Tongans are overweight. Since their width often exceeds their height, Tongans measure how “tall” they are horizontally.
On that occasion, I gracefully reversed all the way down the stairs and into a rubbish chute to allow the royal Tongan group to pass.
I liked George Tupou V because he pushed democracy in his land and declared himself a man of his people. However, he rather undermined these efforts by dressing as the sort of British person you see everywhere except in Britain.
Indeed, he was the sort of Brit you ONLY see in movies made by non-Brits. He wore a double-breasted suit from Savile Row, a monocle in one eye, and a pith helmet on his head. He made the Queen of England, in her humble headscarf, look like a tea lady.
(The Queen of England)
(The King of Tonga)
The king’s favorite royal carriage was a black London taxi. He said it was the easiest vehicle to get in and out of “for people who wear swords”. Lots of people were probably tempted to point out that ACTUAL British people stopped wearing swords to work in the 1700s, but why bother? The world needs colorful characters like him. Farewell, son of the sky god, we’ll miss you.
I’VE DECIDED I really like the system of government in the book/ movie The Hunger Games. Next election, let’s put all the candidates on an island and get them to hunt each other. The survivor will be the next leader.
And of course if the citizens are REALLY lucky, none of the candidates will make it. We can but pray.
TALKING OF books, I was excited to hear that JK Rowling has started writing a novel series for grown-ups which will focus on “the major concerns of adult life”. The first volume will be called “Harry Potter Considers Competing Annuity Packages”.
THE AD agency Ogilvy and Mather has rigged up a drinks machine in Singapore so that if children hug it, free cans of Coke come out.
Okay, the needle on my creepiness detector has gone deep into the red zone.
Coca-Cola is a wildly profitable habit-forming drug that children consume instead of ACTUAL NUTRITION. Go hug trees, at least they respond and hug you back.
CONFIRMING THE much held belief that my contributors are much more handsome than I am, here’s a picture of Hong Kong-based funny man Chris:
THANKS FOR the funny signs in the comments column of my earlier post – will definitely do a full article piece on Google translations of Asian menus one of these days, so keep your eyes peeled for interesting examples.