Sat, Jul 18, 2009 - Page 8 News List

JOHNNY NEIHU’S MAILBAG

The need for bloody patience

Dear Johnny,

Sorry, but I must take issue with the moan from Harry Adamopoulos about the new Neihu Line (Johnny Neihu’s Mailbag, July 11, page 8).

Harry, you decided to “try” the line on inauguration day? As in you had no real need to take it? With the Taiwanese famous for their propensity to appear in their thousands at the opening of an envelope, this was a ridiculous decision on your part and immediately disqualifies you from receiving sympathy.

When you have a baby that is hungry, you have many choices. For example:

1. Don’t take it unnecessarily into what was clearly going to be a situation of barely organized chaos (assuming you have lived in Taipei for more than five minutes).

2. Have some bloody patience and don’t board the train while feeding it — would it have killed you to wait for the next train and finish feeding it in the station?

People around you seemed appalled that you had to feed a four-month-old baby while standing? Sorry to break it to you, but I think it is more likely that they were simmering with barely concealed rage that someone could be so lacking in common sense as to bring a hungry kid onto crowded public transport and try to feed it whilst annoying the hell out of everyone else in the damn carriage (hence the stampede when the doors opened).

SENSIBLE COMMUTER

Johnny replies: As a singer once asked: “Why are people so unkind?”

Of course, I don’t expect a sympathetic missive on opening weekend MRT use by someone surnamed “Commuter.” But can we be less forgiving of the Taipei City Government?

A redemptive history quiz

Dear Johnny,

According to press reports, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is a little hazy on his Republic of China (ROC) history.

While in Panama, he announced that Panama and the ROC formally established diplomatic ties in 1910 — impossibile given that the ROC was established on Jan. 1, 1912.

So, I thought that I might give him a chance to redeem himself by giving him another [albeit easier] history test.

1. Scientists are in general agreement that the Earth is (a) more than 4 billion years old, or (b) about 6,135 years old?

2. Who was born first, Napoleon or Jesus Christ?

3. Which came first, the Gutenberg printing press or Twitter?

4. The Gutenberg printing press is famous for having printed (a) the Bible, or (b) a road map to Jimmy Hoffa’s final “resting place”?

5. A person who uses Twitter to send a brief message is said to have sent:

(a) a twit

(b) a twirp

(c) a twat

(d) a toot

6. Which is responsible for the deaths of millions of Europeans?

(a) The Black Plague

(b) The Black Crowes

7. Which came first, “Big Bang” or “Tiny Knock Knock”?

8. The series of civil wars between supporters of the rival houses of Lancaster and York is referred to as (a) the Wars of the Roses, or (b) the Wars of the Dandelions and Ragweed?

9. How long did the “Hundred Years War” last?

10. Chiang Kai-shek found himself having to seek refuge in:

(a) Canada

(b) Iceland

(c) Japan

(d) Lappland

Johnny replies: And how about:

11. Can one in good conscience compare White Terror suffering to one’s own exoneration on corruption charges?

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