The Business Times

A right wanton case of injustice

Published Fri, Jan 24, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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With apologies to PG Wodehouse

Atten: The Right Honourable Lord Whipplebottom, Esq., OBE, KBE, so on and so forth.

Tuppy, my good man,

Greetings from the Orient! By the time you read this missive, it will be of little news to you that I've been in a spot of trouble with the natives, what.

As you know, it does not become me to overstate the gravity of a situation, so believe me, old horse, when I say it's been a dashed nasty business from start to finish - not that it is finished of course, for the natives will not cease banging on about it.

All I did, old top, was offer my unvarnished opinion of this infernal contraption called "public" transportation. Would you believe it, Tuppy, that on these things, the proletariat have the temerity to sit next to you? And there is nowhere to rest your pipe! (I once tried to balance mine on a nearby chap's head, for he was of the right height, but was savagely rebuffed for my trouble.)

At no point, I must add, is there an opportunity on this "train" to tell the driver where you want to go, directly. Instead, I am forced to jerk back and forth, swallowing wave after wave of nausea as the doors clang open and shut at various abominable locations I most certainly did not commission.

At each of these unnecessary stoppages, a hoi polloi stampede transpires as the great unwashed surge in and out, no doubt headed towards their respective workhouses, rank with the crass odour of sweat and industry.

I say, Tuppy, can you imagine a more vulgar thing - the exchange of lucre for producing something you can see and hold. Why did you and I throw our lot into finance, if not to extinguish this ludicrous practice?

What is more, there is now some kerfuffle about my choice of word for the blighters on this train - "poor", as it were.

Tuppy, old thing, you have always been a man of Reason, and I implore you to turn your analytical eye on the matter at hand.

Surely, the natives understand that this has nothing to do with Singapore - I mean to say, anyone in the world on public transport is poor and therefore equally odious to the nose. By Jove, perhaps if I had been clearer, I wouldn't be in this pickle.

I plum forgot that to make yourself understood in English here, one simply needs to speak English louder. Perhaps, when I expressed myself on Facebook, I should have done so in all-capital letters, thereby "shouting" my English, what.

While we are on the subject, would you mind terribly telling me if poverty is contagious? I took the utmost precaution with my post-train bath, but have been seized by a terrible and inexplicable urge to wear polyester.

It goes without saying (why does one say this, right before they say the very thing that needs no saying?) that the events of the last few days have been a shock to the nerves. Even the sight of my infinity pool no longer lifts the spirits like it used to.

Now, upon my family, Porsche and me, the island's collective finger of scorn has been pointed - the unwashed finger of scorn! Between you and me, laddie, I have the most sinking of suspicions that it is not the index finger that has been activated for this purpose.

Upon my Sam, it is a wearing life. A wearing life, old boy, for which no amount of happy hour at Clarke Quay can be a balm.

The very Dickens of it all, wouldn't you know, is that I have already been seen to apologise! By Gad, I told my PR man to say, "Sorry, jolly bad show, better luck next time," and all that rot to the good people of Singapore.

But this seems to have riled them further, these savages who have traded in their bamboo spears for laptops.

It is here, Tuppy old chum, where I come to the reason for this bit of writing. I don't suppose it would be too much trouble if you had a bit of a poke around the City, see if there is a job that needs doing?

I hear London is no longer the beacon of activity it was once but surely it can't be as bad as all that. I will be at Heathrow next Saturday. Have a car waiting for me, won't you, there's a good lad. I will not be taking the bally Tube.

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