Sat, Aug 08, 2009 - Page 8 News List

JOHNNY NEIHU'S MAILBAG

Appropriate me, now!

Dear Johnny,

“A bunch of unemployed Kiwi interlopers,” eh? (“Don’t come the raw prawn, Kev,” Aug. 1, page 8) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and other whingeing Aussies should thank their lucky stars.

As late New Zealand prime minister Robert Muldoon once famously quipped (excuse my adaptation of a Neihuian phrase), “The addition of just one more unemployed Kiwi interloper to that Great Southern Land’s shores can’t but raise the IQ index of both nations!”

STEVE MCENTEE

Kiwi interloper (but employed) in Tainan

Johnny replies: Yes, I’ve heard this one before. I’ve always felt that New Zealand to Australia is like Canada to the US: Show some talent and soften your accent and the big neighbor will co-opt your achievements — and your identity. But you have to have lived there.

The difference with Taiwan and China is that a disturbingly large number of my compatriots seem to be begging to be appropriated — without ever having been to Crazyland.

Johnny’s got a rod

Dear Johnny,

I have been one of your countless readers since this May. Once I read one of your articles, I just couldn’t help reading more, expecting the coming Saturday as the greatest refreshment of weekly spiritual staple besides the Holy Bible.

I like your style: humorous with a bit of coarse slang, candid with a strong love for Taiwan, and eloquent with a voice of a once vigorous young “chap,” now a kind grandpa!

The topics turn out to be so interesting after being touched by your pen — a magic rod!

What a great pleasure it is to read your words and how lucky we Taiwanese are to have such an author, claiming justice for us against the bullying “Chicoms” in an international language, through which the voice of Taiwanese people can permeate worldwide.

Thanks, dear Johnny. All I want to say is I love you!

CHRIS

Johnny replies: I must assure my guffawing readers that this is a real letter. I can’t vouch for Chris’ identity, but I can say that the unedited version reads rather convincingly. So thank you, Chris: You made my typhoon day.

But I would like to draw the line at being compared to a holy text. Anyone turning to me for spiritual refreshment would be better advised to set out on a part-John Bunyan, part-Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) trek to the nearest mountain peak and get some fresh air.

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