Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Suzanne Hsiao has been mixing up her medication and will pay for it.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

An American, a Japanese man, an Englishman and an Indian are traveling on a train. Each of them insists their country is best. The American throws his dollars out of the train window to demonstrate how little he cares about money, since America has so much of it. The Japanese man responds by chucking out his PDA. Surprisingly, the Englishman throws the Indian out of the train. Asked to explain himself, he says he doesn't care about having an empire any more. This joke, as told on the popular Here Comes Kang and Xi (康熙來了) program, shows that humor is universal. Or is it?

When is a brothel not a place full of prostitutes? When local politicians and businessmen go there. Then they are "guesthouses," with women who just happen to be available, for a price. Press coverage last weekend about the nocturnal habits of a presidential aide and some lawmakers revealed just how inventive politicians can be when it comes to the truth. DPP lawmaker Yu Jan-daw (余政道), for instance, explained he went to a guesthouse to ask for expert opinion about a land deal. So now we all know where to go for legal advice.

Politicians may be the kings of cant but show business agents run a close second. For instance, personality Suzanne Hsiao's (蕭淑慎) representative blamed cosmetic surgery for his client's positive drugs test this week, according to the Apple Daily. Hsiao has in the past admitted to eye and ear surgery, breast augmentation and liposuction. So when hair samples found she had used copious amounts of cocaine and ketamine, her agent imaginatively responded police were mistaken and said the medication she was taking to recover from cosmetic surgery was to blame. Not.

Hsiao is facing jail time in a "rehabilitation center" which will begin with intrusive searches of the anus and other possible drug hiding holes. Apple rammed this point home with a harrowing graphic illustrating how searches of this nature are conducted. In addition to her freedom and loss of dignity, Hsiao also stands to lose up to NT$20 million next year in TV and film appearances.

Other high-profile people found in the police's drug net include actors Jung Hsiung (戎祥) and Chang Li-wei (張立威), who were found to have taken marijuana and are looking at eight months and two months, respectively, behind bars. Former child actor Fang Shun-ji (方順吉) was found to have taken ketamine. On a previous occasion he was caught with the evil weed but is currently claiming he's innocent and has "turned over a new leaf," according to the English-language Taiwan News. TV host Tuo Tsung-kang (庹宗康) faces two months inside and the loss of three shows and income of around NT$27 million for puffing on the magic dragon. Presenter Chu Chung-heng (屈中恆) is in a similar predicament; while Hung Chi-te (洪其德) stands to lose more than two months of freedom, with a projected loss of NT$60 million after traces of amphetamine, ketamine and Ecstasy were found in his hair.

In less seedy news, Gong Li (鞏俐) and her breasts, which knocked out Jay Chou (周杰倫) while he was filming Curse of the Golden Flower (滿城盡帶黃金甲) were splashed all over most papers when the cast came to Taiwan for the movie premiere earlier this week. One picture in the United Evening News shows Li's agent protecting her boss' assets with her hands. Pop Stop has to ask: Why go out dressed in a low cut NT$130,000 Dior dress if you're worried about photographers taking pictures? The Shanghai Daily, meanwhile, said Chou was so taken with Li and her 36D figure during filming he couldn't look her in the eyes.

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