Rude flight attendants could be good thing, for a change (The Funny Side)

June 29th, 2012 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

As we begin our descent, all passengers should stow their tray tables and shut their stupid mouths. A Japanese low-cost airline offers something truly unusual: rude flight attendants. The customer relationship policy of Skymark Airlines, a budget carrier, specifically says passengers should not expect flight attendants to help with luggage, listen to complaints or even be minimally polite.

Passengers and consumer organisations demanded that written versions of the policy be removed from aircraft. But me, I would pay extra to fly on Skymark. Just think of the pleasure of FINALLY hearing flight attendants speak the truth to obnoxious passengers: “Shut up and sit down, sir, if you have the brains to do both things at once. And you, madam, are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort for us today? As for your child, I’d call him an idiot, but that would be unfair to stupid people.” Etc etc.


Buddhists wanting to gain good karma bought 200 live snakes and set them free in China’s Hebei province. A passer-by alerted nearby villagers, who beat a few of the snakes to death but resisted doing the same to the visitors.

Reading about the incident in the UK Daily Telegraph reminded me of the time I used to live around the corner from a live snake shop in Hong Kong. The shopkeeper had everything from keelbacks to cobras at about US$10 per kilo (same price whether you wanted to cook them or release them). I lived in terror of a group of happy Buddhists turning up, buying the lot and releasing them on my front doorstep. People who do this sort of thing, please think about MY karma rather than your own or that of the snakes.


President Obama last week issued a surprise order allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the US. So, FINALLY he’s going to admit to being a Muslim from Kenya. (If Donald Trump is reading this, don’t get over-excited, it’s a joke.)


There is now only 58 cm of road for each citizen of Shenzhen, officials told the Shenzhen Daily newspaper recently. This new, 15-million-strong city in Southern China has grown faster than any other community in the world, with, I guess, the possible exception of “people who don’t like Justin Bieber”.


The Freudian slip, a belief that spoken errors reveal the issues which are really on our minds, really exists, scientists confirmed last week. Yes, when it comes to grabbing headlines, scientists know just the right bottoms to press. Er, buttons. I meant buttons.


A man with a camera-phone caught on video a vandal using spray paint to damage a Picasso painting at a US museum last week. Luckily, guards at The Mencil Collection in Houston leapt into action to stop the unauthorized use of a camera-phone. Yes, some guards really are issued Stupidity Pills along with their uniforms.


A South Korean woman got pregnant from eating calamari (cooked squid). She had 12 baby cephalopods. Her husband was not very happy about it. At first I thought this was a dumb urban legend to stop me eating seafood. But reader Sunita Chau tells me it really happened. A woman who felt something go into her mouth when she bit into a squid later had 12 tiny nascent squid-things removed by doctors from her gums and inner cheek, according to a US National Center for Biotechnology Information report issued last week.

“But the report infuriatingly fails to answer the obvious question,” Sunita wrote. “Can insemination by a squid or an octopus lead to women giving birth to human octopuses with large numbers of long, probing limbs? I only ask because I’ve dated several guys like that.”


A village called Dull in Scotland and the town of Boring in Oregon have just become “twin towns”. I guess citizens feel that being Dull AND Boring will attract more tourists than being Dull OR Boring. The jury’s out. Or asleep.


SHOCKER: One of the world’s best-known statistics has just been proved wrong. When it comes to human population, which is the largest country in the world? No, it’s not China. Nor India.

Instead of looking at the number of humans in each country, scientists calculated how many actual kilos of humanity were found in each place. The results, published last week, show that the largest concentration of humanity on the planet is not in China, but in North America. FINALLY, a positive angle to being fat.

Asians make up 61 percent of the world’s population but we are so puny that we add up to a mere 13 percent of human biomass. North Americans make up just six percent of the world’s population but they are so gigantic that they provide 34 percent of the world’s human biomass, the report said.

Perhaps the most dramatic finding in the report, issued by BMC Public Health, is that there are 15 million tonnes of excess human fat in the world. And that’s just actress Kirstie Alley. No, I’m joking. I’m sure Kirstie doesn’t weigh a gramme over 14 million tonnes. And what does it matter anyway? Just because a person weighs 14 million tonnes, why should she pay for two seats on the train? Was it her fault that she ate a medium-sized Friesian cow and a dozen donuts every day?

The report also says that the human race as a whole weighs 287 million tonnes. I’m going to pin that page in my bathroom, so that whenever my weighing machine delivers bad news, I can rejoice: “Wow. I weigh significantly less than humanity as a whole!”


Superhero fans such as myself were stunned last week when DC Comics revealed that Green Lantern is gay. In the next issue he’ll get a new superpower: the ability to choose wallpapers which perfectly complement sofa sets. I can’t wait.


A man with a screwdriver reportedly robbed a full-time Singaporean army soldier of his assault rifle last week, reader Naren Thiyagarajan told me. Good thing the alleged assailant didn’t have a Swiss army knife, or the entire government might have collapsed, leaving distraught citizens running around making anguished laments such as “Thank God” and “About time”.

(Nury Vittachi is a columnist who travels around Asia. Send him ideas and comments via )

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