Monkey spit, by a nose
In response to your comments on coffee beans that have been passed through either end of a mammalian digestive tract ("Truly the next best thing to China," Nov. 17, page 8), I can only say: "Better spat by a monkey than shat by a civet!"
Thomas E. Smith
Johnny replies: Say, Thomas, what say we get together and put you to the test? By the way, I think your slogan would make a great motto for National Taiwan University -- or maybe the Centers for Disease Control. "SARS-free coffee, guaranteed," indeed.
All this fuss about names, changing names, spelling them differently, placing them in advertisements, tearing them down, returning mails, etc, is getting a bit overwhelming.
Why not simply "TaiwUN"? This way, at least, if TaiwUN can't get into the UN, then at least the UN will be in TaiwUN!
(using my Taiwunese name)
Johnny replies: Matsu help us if your idea catches on. We're having enough trouble dealing with Tongyong without further politicized Romanization.
The story "Lawmakers tour trash incinerators" appeared in two Hawaii newspapers, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, on Nov. 5.
I'm wondering if Ka'u Councilman Ken Jacobson's allegations about the Neihu incinerator in Taipei are true.
Is it really smelly and "disgusting" as Jacobson says? Will the Neihu plant be closing in four years? Did Jacobson actually meet with managers at the Neihu facility? Do they recall his "surprise" visit last month? What's the scoop, Johnny?
Johnny replies: I've never been near the incinerator, based on the principle that you shouldn't complain about the smell if you stick your head down someone's pants.
I'd have to return with the good councilman to the scene of his abysmal olfactory experience to verify that what he smelled was in fact the Neihu incinerator.
In all likelihood the odor came from the nearby Sloppy Seconds Seafood Emporium, where I once consumed one too many fish ball soups. You could smell the result as far away as Kaohsiung.
Ah, the emporium. Now that's a place that should be closed.