Tales of the Chicken Little (Part 2)

Brain Smurf wannabe: (within earshot of the Chicken Little) Hey D W. Is there such a word – “rupiahs”?

D W: (thinks VERY CAREFULLY for a moment) Don’t think so.

Chicken Little: (within split seconds) Yes there is. It’s not right to use “rupiah” unless it is singular.

D W fires up Google Chrome, goes straight to Google News and types “rupiahs” in the search box.

The search engine threw out 10 results*.

Next, D W types “rupiah” in the search box.

Search engine threw out 4,251 results*, with notable names such as the Straits “Occasional grammar mistake” Times, Reuters and even Forbes turning up.

Then, D W goes on a frantic rummage of “My Documents” to look for past “masterpieces” written by Chicken Little.

The word “rupiah” – without the “s” – stared back innocently at him.

Moral of the story?

“Rupiahs” is now kosher, doesn’t matter if the rest of the world, including the journalists of decent publications, use something else.

By the way, has anyone heard of “Renminbis”?

* As of 31 December 2008

Addendum: So what does The Economist use? Come this way — Article 1Article 2


This is part of an email that I wrote to a group of people recently:

“There are times when I think memory — being able to remember — is generally a curse (especially when there are bad ones). However, tonight I realised that memories can be such sweet gifts to all of us. And the thing about memories as a gift? It is ours to lose.”

Not sure if it is a good or bad thing — none of them responded.

The sampler

20 copies had been given out. I’m sure amongst the 20, some of them have landed in someone’s fridge (keeping the fish or vegetables fresh), if it has not been used as emergency toilet paper already. 

I’m sure when the book gets published (and it must!), it will be an extremely good alternative source of toilet paper…

(Photo courtesy of onelittletwit; illustration by Siew)  

Friday night

They sat in the car for almost half an hour and there wasn’t one second of awkward silence between the both of them.

All of the 30 minutes were filled with words. Far from being the clichéd setting of a breakup scene, the mood as these words were spoken was one of excitement, warmth and comfort.

He knew she was doing more of the talking. It was close to midnight and he had been listening to her for the better part of the evening – which started at 8pm. He was glad that he could slip into the role of a listener effortlessly. He was happy about not having to talk too much.

Her company was already a perfect salve for any internal emotional turmoil on any night.

During the dinner earlier, it was enough to see her beaming as the wait staff placed a plate of fried pork cutlets on the table. Or that smile on her face as they walked into the restaurant renowned for Japanese cutlets.

It was only when the car pulled up at the driveway outside her house that he told her about his yet-to-be-published book. It got her a little excited as she immediately started a mental checklist of her contacts from the publishing industry.

“I know of someone who’s good in cover design!”

“Ah… next time when you need an editor…”

From the excitement, she lapsed into talking about her future – which was her primary concern that night, given the current economic climate – for a few minutes. Then, the conversation moved back to the topic of his little book project again.

If not for the luminous LCD display of the car clock – which read “11.53”, the car might not have remained in the driveway for just 30 minutes. Reluctantly, he initiated the end to their night.

“Wow. It’s close to midnight now,” he muttered.

“Ok. I guess it’s time for me to go,” she responded.

He watched as she lifted the door catch, grabbed her bags and got out of the car. At that moment, a negative thought struck him.

“Thanks for tonight! It has been a great time of catching up with you. Good night,” she exclaimed as she slammed the door.

The car remained in its position for a while more – until the gate to her house was closed – before it sped off into the night.

Busting the speed limit on the expressway by more than 20km/h and amid the cackle of the BBC presenter on the radio, he wondered if he was in love.

Book project: A little update

In the tradition of the first self-published effort, I walked out of the little zapping hub (that is Queensway) with 20 copies of the book sample (which contained one of the ten illustrations representing ten short stories I have selected).After an event on Wednesday (17 Dec) — when I publicly announced my book project, only two copies of the sample are left.

Words of encouragement came in the form of words from someone — whom I’ve not met in person for the longest time.

“My friends would be given a copy of the published book for their birthdays.”

Not only that, I have now two illustrators who have stepped forward and will be helping me with the book cover and the little bits of stuff inside the tome.

This monster has taken on a life of its own.

And you know what? It’s all good.

My only concern now is how hardworking the printers will be during Chinese New Year.

(I’ll upload a photo of the sample book as soon as I get hold of a digital camera.)