Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Desolation of Smog


(A food inspired tale. :-D )

Along came Towkay Brokenjeem

Looking a little worn in his torn dwarf jeans
Behind him his ragged clan and kin
Hoping Brokenjeem will mend their broken dream

They were descendants of a once proud race
Who cooked Laketown fish with assam paste
But since that stupid dragon invaded their abode
They had nothing great but sundried toad

Deep in the larder of their fortress lay 
Secrets of taste that sing and interplay
Gems of dining halls and giant plates
No present-day chef can recreate

No present-day chef can recreate
(The dwarf underlings echo thus)

And so Dandruff in a fit of hairy snow
Planned a journey they would all follow
"Dang, I haven't had a great sandwich
Since that Cuisinart fella made the switch
Instead of pure grain bread
That bugger used one with gluten instead
And so my runs had continued to this day
Ruining my magic with girls in the barnyard hay

"But these dwarf fellas seem to agree
Upon my great intuition as to pedigree
That this one Brillo Bagatausarbing
Can steal back their precious larder things"

Yes, to steal back our precious larder things
(Again the dwarf underlings echo)

Towkay Brokenjeem was a shifty crab
Didn't believe Brillo could handle a stealthy grab
"He's such a prim little Hobbit boy
Couldn't swing an axe even if it's a toy!"

But Dandruff would hear none of it
The hobbit's great with his cakes and eats
He didn't see the dwarves make a great sandwich
"I'll be damned if I'm going to survive on just toady treats!"

"But... but... that dragon Smog is a nasty one
Breathing out foul air that blocks even the sun
He's keen of sight and great at scent
"He'll pick out Brillo quicker than a count to ten!"

Yo, pick out Brillo quicker than a count to ten!
(The dwarf underlings suddenly breaking into Harlem rap)

For that stupid dragon Superslime
Is as violent as he is sublime
Make him madder than Geroge Bush in Iraq 
He'll Shock and Awe you into a sauerkraut 

Yo, he'll Shock and Awe you into a sauerkraut!
(The dwarf underlings do a Dougie swag)

The folks to suffer would be Laketown
Who is famed for their fish and wedding gowns
They are a folk who can match a bream and seam
A soonhock at the wedding, now you see the theme?

And so Towkay Brokenjeem
Led his fellas across the Misty Mountain stream
Up the slopes to a secret hole
That recipes of old had foretold

"On a windless moonlit night 
By Mid-Autumn's lantern light
Eat a mooncake and pig in cage
There you'll find the secret message"

And so the dwarves sat outside the gate and ate
All kinds of mooncakes and tausar bakes
So stuffed they were that they moaned and groaned
Even the dragon could hear them through ancient stone

And so when Brillo finally entered into the fold
He was already found out and sold
The dragon he opened an eye
And then laughed till he could die

"You little hobbit had come to steal
But you are just a fly I could easily kill.
The dwarves themselves showed no guts
Yet you still want to help them retake their stuff?"

And so the dragon swept Brillo aside
And flew off to Laketown countryside
Brillo turned, his face all ashen and stunned
"Oh no Laketown, what have I done!!!"

- to be continued (as in the movie!)

*Towkay - dialect for boss
*Brokenjeem - 'jeem' is dialect for crab
*assam paste - a kind of sour curry paste (good with fish)
*tausarbing - Mandarin for a kind of green bean pastry
*soonhock - an expensive bottom-feeding food fish
*pig in cage - a popular Chinese Mid-Autumn snack


===The poem below started it all, from my baked bean posting at SBM. ;-)===

In the Land of Odor, where flatulence scatter them 
Orcs and goblins from their lair
Into the Shire they went to seek
The One Pan bearer who looked sick
From a can of doubtful beans
His face now a sheen of green
Whence upon the door came a knock
"Hey Prodo, it's me Dandruff!" - the Dork!

"I have here a library book
Says your One Pan wonder is no crook
It can indeed summon the deadliest arts
Much better than that Isengard fella Cuisinart
Ooh, he slammed me a rotten sandwich 'other day
Gave me the runs from Bree to Rivendell

"Even the Nine Wraiths gave up the scent
I must admit it was quite the stench
But oh well, let's sit down and make room
Of how to melt down the One Pan at Mount Doom

"For things are finally afoot
Folks are hawking hosin sauce to chinchalok
Orcs and goblins robbing foodies along the way
I tell you, things are getting sibeh sway
If we don't act now
Sauron the Foul Mouth chef will scowl
And huff and puff he will
Blow up the fire under that big hill
And heat up the One Pan wonder
The non-stick, ceramic coated killer

"And sift and flap and ya-ya king
All of us will become his underlings
And be served makan from Kitchen's Hell
Until stomach upset, minds cannot tell
Our desire for great food will surely die
Gone to the Grey Havens like those Eldar guys

So quick, come with me on this epic journey
Across the clumpy Milkwoods but first to Bree
Where a stranger of a ranger called Ah Hawthorn
Is sharpening his knives and removing corn
He's walked a thousand miles you see
Like on some Makansutra spiritual journey
So he can return to his Condo a wise king
To instruct his Filippina maid about foodie things
But not till he has tested and rejected that round wonder
That One Pan non-stick that's nothing but trouble
For recipes are no good if you are under their spell
You ought to improvise and make it your sell


- a story that grew very much in the telling! Haha....

A Seed In My Shoe


I dreamed I had a seed in my shoe
It caused me to hop/walk to the loo
Needless to say I slipped and fell
Hitting my head on the side unrinal
I fell into a coma
And met Mr Schumacher 
Dude, why have you been?
I've been in a long dream
The man once from Ferrari Red said
Absentmindedly and touched his head
I am still not sure where I am
Perhaps you can share me a lamp
It's been rather dark here for very long
I am worried if I can stay strong
I took Michael by the arm
And led us to what I thought was the sun
A bright round circular light
At times dimming, at times bright
We then heard a voice entreating
Michael, Michael your heart's still beating
Come back to us
We are all waiting in earnest
Michael looked at me his eyes grateful
I think it's time for me to be wakeful
As he strode towards the light
I couldn't hide my delight
A hero to many following F1
Is finally going home to everyone
But what about me?
I am still stuck in this grey eternity
A slight bump on the head
Remembering what Cobb had said
Spin your token and then you'll know
If you are real or in levels way below
So I took my seed and spun it round
It stood for a while and fell to the ground
And here I am now in front of my comp
Typing in FB about a seed someone found

- by TC Lai

Monday, 14 April 2014

Buffet Regret


Everything so nice
Spread out so wide
More than the eye can see

I look for a plate
The plate so small
It stumped my joyful glee

But they never say
I can't take two plates
Or an extra cup of tea

So back to the table
A few more times
Catching looks from the maitre'd

Did I do a wrong?
Oh, forgot to wear a sarong
So my waistline can wobble free

A bit of Italian
A bit of Chinese
And a whole lot of Jap sushi

My plates a-brimming
Of color and shapes
My eyes glazed over greedily

I am in dreamland
At the buffet line
Like suddenly kenna big 4-D

Happy as a clam
And chomping away
Ignoring my companion's plea

'Eh, slow down bud
You got no need to rush
When the day's young, still early!'

I muffle a reply
He doesn't understand why
Coz my mouth's full of Jap moichi

And towards the end of day
When we have to pay
I am stuffed like a pregnant tee

Hand over mouth
As nausea sweeps
I want to throw up mightily

Slumped in the toilet
Down against a wall
I am regretting too easily

Coz come next buffet
Offer, deal and opp
You find me there again excitedly

So take a gun
Or a pointed knife
And put me out of my misery

For the food I waste
Is a big disgrace
To the worldwide starving humanity

- by TC Lai

Si You Si Bi



(A Lionel Ritchie Say You, Say Me parody - mostly in Hokkien. ;-)

Si you, si bi, toot tiok claypot
Jing choot bi
Si you, si bi, toot tiok bachang
Jing jiak pang

I had a dream, that was sibeh cheem
Heiko in roti, putting orh luak in curry
What I made was so indeterminate
My stomach rumbled a shout, I had to throw up

Si you si bi, toot tiok porridge
ho seng li
Si you si bi, toot tiok kiam neng
buay jing ee

As we go down life's kitchen highway
Seems the hardest thing to do is find a helper or two
That able hand or a server you'll understand
That when you order laksa mai hum
She's not going to stand there and stare, "Shen mo tilam?'

Si you si bi, toot tiok tiong-kok nang
Bo cake ki
Si you si bi, toot tiok wa nang
Poon bi bi

- by TC Lai

*si yu - soy sauce
*si bi - is rice grain
*toot tiok - meet/bump into
*jing choot bi - very flavourful
*jing jiak pang - very fragrant
*ho seng li - good business

*buay jing ee - cannot recognise
*shen mo - 'what is' in Mandarin
*tilam - pillow
*tiong-kok - PRC (mainland Chinese)
*bo cake ki - direct/ no need to be polite
*poon bi bi - blow whistle (happy like a child)  

Friday, 11 April 2014

Don't Cry For Me SBM Members


(Sung to the tune of Don't Cry For Me Argentina)

I'm not greasy
You'll think it strange
I am a mud fish with a strange smell
That may be too strong 
for the discerning amongst you
You won't believe me
All you see is a meaty fish
you once knew
That could be dressed up to the nines
With garlic, shallots and rice wine!

I had to let it to happen
You'll think it strange
When all a fish wants is to stay at sea
Avoiding predators and
mermaids with RPGs
So I chose suicide
Biting at every bait I see
But nothing impressed me at all
Except for Angeline's bait lor

Chorus:
Don't cry for me SBM members!
The truth is I don't know half of you
You cut short my wild days
My river existence
So keep your promise
Make me delicious!

As for fortune, as for fame
It depends on which joint I go
Is the chef famous and 
innovative like René Redzepi
Some are pretenders
They are not Michelin-starred
as they all claimed to be
I better not waste my time
I love you and hope you'll soon gut me!

Don't cry for me SBM members!

Chorus:
Don't cry for me SBM members!
The truth is I don't know half of you
You cut short my wild days
My river existence
So keep your promise
Make me delicious!

Have I said too much
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do 
Is look at the recipe books
And not waste my death, can you?

The End

- by TC Lai (another food inspired parody song) *SBM: Singapura Best Makan - an FB group.

The Jhok of Canton



(Sung to the Streets of London)

Have you seen the old man
In the old town market
Who cooks the jhok
That my mama used to make?
In his eyes you see the love
Like the strong fire in his stove 
Yesteryear's comfort made this morning's breakfast 

Chorus:
So now can you tell me why I'm crazy
For that old man's jhok that is so sublime
Let me take you by the hand and stir gently through those grains of porridge
Yesterday's memories return to blow the mind

Have you seen that old girl
Who also likes his porridge
She is 92, her clothes worn and old
She's no time for talking,
She just keeps on slurping
Thinking of her sweet mama of a 100 years ago

Chorus:
So now can you tell me why I'm crazy
For that old man's jhok that is so sublime
Let me take you by the hand and stir gently through those grains of porridge
Yesterday's memories return to blow the mind

In the all-night market
At a quarter past eleven
Same old man is still cooking on his own
Looking at the pot
Over the counter of his stove
The image of his one lady love
Is keeping him warm through the night

Chorus:
So now can you tell me why I'm crazy
For that old man's jhok that is so sublime
Let me take you by the hand and stir gently through those grains of porridge
Yesterday's memories return to blow the mind

Have you seen that old man
Who once used to make this porridge
His stove is quiet like the street that it stands by
In our fast paced city
Where hawker-food is dying like crazy
This one remembered porridge
Always brings a tear to my eye

Chorus:
So now can you tell me why I'm crazy
For that old man's jhok that is so sublime
Let me take you by the hand and stir gently through those grains of porridge
Yesterday's memories return to blow the mind

The End

Note: This ditty is dedicated to a 92-year old lady I met at a porridge stall in Pipit Road Market. She shared with me three Chinese medallion coins that her mom gave her when she was a young girl. They were the common talismans that mothers give their children to keep them from harm. She kept them in her purse all these years. And yes, the porridge reminded her of what her mom used to make. - TC Lai *Jhok is Cantonese for porridge. Alt spell: chok

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Chaboh


(Sung to the tune of Skyfall)

This is my pants
Hold your breath and count to ten
Always the chaboh never end
See my gun they faint

For me no end
I'm speed bedding frame to frame
So overdued I owe them
So tired I snored

Let the chaboh
Don't come bother
Where's 008?
Oh how my body ache

Let the chaboh
Don't come bother
Where's 008?
Oh how my body ache!

Oh the chaboh
More the chaboh

Chaboh don't you start
You know you are not the only one
That is behaving like a tart
You can have my number, you can say my name
But you never win my heart!

Let the chaboh
Don't come bother
Where's 008?
Oh how my body ache!

Let the chaboh
Don't come bother
Where's 008?
Oh how my body ache!

Oh the chaboh

Where I go they go
When I sleep they sleep
When I pungsai they stand outside
Asking if no 1 or no 2
"Don't take too long James!
You know I haven't come
Oh James, oh James!"

OMG the chaboh
The queue never seems to end... (fade)

- by TC Lai *Chaboh - Hokkien dialect for woman/women. I use 'chaboh' in both singular and plural sense (as in native use).