Sunday, January 15, 2017

Party Favours

In a world filled with so much bad news, Amanda thinks Singaporeans would have less to complain about.
            “I mean, this country is paradise compared to what’s going on in Brazil!” she said the other day after a particularly gruelling taxi ride home during which the driver ranted about everything from the ERP to the quality of day time soap operas on Channel 8.
            Saffy looked up from the latest YouTube installment of Dr Sandra Lee – aka Dr Pimple Popper, aka the woman we would all love to have as our best friend. “Why, what’s happening in Brazil?”
            Amanda paused. You could tell she was mentally adjusting her political commentry to suit Saffy’s notoriously short attention span. “Zika and Dilma Rousseff,” she said finally.
            Saffy frowned. “Are those herbal tea blends?” she asked.
            Amanda turned to me. I stared hard at something on the ceiling. She decided the best course of action was to pretend she hadn’t been interrupted.
            “The world is falling apart around us and all my friends on Facebook can do is complain about how boring Singapore is. Lemme tell ya,” Amanda said, putting the full force of an expensive Harvard education into her voice, “it’s a hell of a lot better than dying of a mosquito-borne virus or being Andy Murray’s new coach!”
            Saffy’s bosom perked up with interest. She has long harboured an unrequited lust for the Scotsman’s bad boy routine. “Andy Murray has a new coach?”
            “Who cares?” Amanda snapped. “My point is, there are more important things to be worked up about. And besides, if peope are really so unhappy about Singapore, why don’t they do something about it? Like…like…start their own political party and fight for the change that they want!”
            “I think people are already doing that…” I began.
            “Yes, but they wear such boring uniforms!” Amanda said. “I mean, just look at the last elections. What were some people wearing! It was like they made a last minute stop at their constituency on their way to a tze char dinner!”
            In the world according to Amanda, political parties of every persuasion would get a lot more traction if they would only dress better. Here, she invariably trots out Hillary Clinton as an example of lost electoral opportunities. “If she would only wear a lovely Chanel pant-suit, she would look so incredibly chic and votable!” she said. “I mean, look at Carla Bruni!”
            “Her husband lost the election!” I pointed out.
            “Isn’t Carla Bruni a model?” Saffy asked. She was rewarded with the kind of look that Noah’s friends must have given him when he announced God had told him to build a very big boat.
            “She was the First Lady of France,” Amanda said witheringly.
            “Really? When did this happen?” It was just the kind of comment guaranteed to send Amanda into a rage about the state of Singapore’s education system. And when it’s pointed out that Saffy went to school in Sydney, it only confirms her point.
            “Maybe you should stand for election!” Sharyn told Amanda recently over lunch. “Confirm I vote for you, one!”
            “Me, too!” Barney Chen rumbled, loyally.
            “You don’t even know where her platform is, Shazz!” Saffy said.
            Neh-ber mind! She look good, she wear nice clothes, she pretty, and some more she so cheem when she talk. Even if she say she want to increase ERP, all the cheeko-pek and auntie ah-so sure vote for her, one!”
            Amanda preened slightly, thoroughly encouraged by her massive electoral following of two. “All my candidates would be required to wear Chanel and Bottega!” she said, her eyes losing focus as she peered into her political future. “And when we’re in government, I will have a full-on dress code in parliament. If you’re not wearing a tie, you don’t get in!”
            Barney said he’d make a perfect parliamentary bouncer. “How fab would that be?” he growled as he flexed his impeccably honed pecs. “And in between debating sessions, we can play Madonna on the soundtrack!”
            “I want to be in charge of the treasury!” Saffy said.
            “I can be Speaker of the House! So shiok, right?” Sharyn said. “But, hor, I oh-so do not know what the Speaker of the House do. Saffy, you know or not?”
            “Who cares?” Saffy told her. “As long as we’re all in positions of power, it’ll be fine!”
            I told Amanda that, with such rampant cronyism this early in her campaign, she’d be impeached within two months of her taking office.
            “Not if I make you the Attorney-General!” she said.
            Sharyn says this could be the start of an exciting new chapter in Singaporean politics. If that’s not good news worth spreading, what is?


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