Friday, May 16, 2008

Fat 101 – The Fundamentals of Adipose

After numerous plaintive requests from the well-larded, I have put together this small instruction manual on all matters adipose.

As a citizen of some weight and girth, these are some fundamental facts you should keep in mind:-

Fat is GOOD for you.(1)
Fat gives you an electric and magnetic personality (2)
Fat saves you from labial injury, BO and cancer (3)
Fat is good for your arteries (4)
Fat is good for national security (5)

Explanatory Notes:-

(1) Here is a mathematical proof:
Beer makes you fat. Beer is GOOD for you (refer previous chapter: Beer101: the fundamentals of Beer). QED: Fat is GOOD for you.

(2) Fat is an Insulator. It says so in the Biology book. At least, it did the last time I read it. Insulation is what you put on a live wire. A live wire is one that carries an electric current. If you warp a wire carrying an electric current around a metal rod, it creates a magnetic field. At least, it says so in the Physics book. I wouldn’t know- I bunked Physics lab. If you take your Biology book and Physics book and soak them in water a few days, you get papier-mâché. Papier-mâché can be used for making decorative pieces for your sitting room. Not that it is relevant.

(3) Are you disturbed your lips don’t reach your spouses when you embrace? Does the tum-tum get in the way of the passionate hug? Ask yourself this: do you really want that kiss to be consummated? How do you know she doesn’t have BO? What if she bites? Did you know that lipstick is carcinogenic? You know…you are better off just keeping her at belly’s length.

(4) Roman Gladiators were all fat people. Don’t believe me? Read the history books. What’s a book? Oh…you are one of those Gen-whatever kids, are you? OK watch the BBC series on the Roman Empire on YouTube. They actually ate fattening foods on purpose – the extra layer of fat shielded them from minor sword slashes- it prevented muscles and arteries from getting cut. Think about it. This is a comforting piece of information to have, next time you get caught in a sword fight.

(5) People are sad. They laugh at the strangest things. They find it funny when someone sits on a thumb tack. Someone else. They laugh at fat people. But in a way it is good. Laughter is good for people. It reduces stress. Reduced stress lowers the risk of heart attacks, diabetes, and varicose veins. On a national scale, this means less budgetary allocation for public health and more for truly useful stuff like battle tanks and warships.

Thoughts on a Carburetor

What is a carburetor? It is that odd-shaped little thingy with tubes and stuff somewhere in the innards of your car engine. Go on… pull it out, and examine it. It is easy to put back. You just kind of shove it back in the general area you pulled it out of. After that you call the mechanic. Or you walk. Walking is GOOD for you. Saves greenhouse gases.

OK, now that you have pulled it out, let’s look at it. What ARE all those tubes and things? I dunno…stuff, I suppose. What’d ya expect? A lesson on automobile mechanics? Gimme a break… this is a humor blog. Anyway I checked up Carburetor in the Webster’s dictionary. It says “A device for mixing vaporized fuel with air to produce an explosive mixture” You don’t wanna know what Oxford dictionary says about it. Believe me, you don’t.

Anyway…explosive air-fuel mixture. That is what you girlfriend (or wife, you poor sap) is doing when you catch her dousing herself in Chanel No. 5. Fuel? That stuff is 99 % alcohol. They run cars on alcohol in Brazil. The other 1% is stuff you really don’t wanna know about. Explosive? Wrinkle your nose and ask (no one in particular) …”What on earth is that funny smell?” Go on… ask her.

In other words, your wife (or girlfriend) is actually a carburetor. At least, when she is dressing up to go out. Which means most of the time. The rest of the time she is trying to improve you.

So now that you have pulled out the carburetor and mechanics are on strike, can you just plug your girlfriend (or wife) into the car engine?

Well….you could try. On the other hand, as I said: Walking is GOOD for you.

Image Credits: lady with carb from, scooter carb from The cartoon is by yours truly.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Oh those Priceless Ads

This is the English version of the end-of-term project I did for French 3A , last week...we had to make a presentation on an ad. For the French version, see the previous post

Don’t you get seriously fed-up of those smarmy, sugary ‘Priceless’ ads? I mean those ‘for –everything-else-there’s-Mastercrud’ thingies. Why, oh, why do those guys insist on inflicting them on a cringing populace? The last time I saw one, I had to pass-up on the dessert.

Anyway, here is my little revenge on those smooth-faced, hair-gelled martini imbibers…my own version of the Mastercarp ads:

Root Canal: Rs. 4000
Scaling: Rs. 2000
Dental Filling: Rs. 2000
Tooth Extraction: Rs. 5000
Gum-message: Rs 500
Biting the ear off that darn dentist when you get the bill: Priceless
There are some things Dinars can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mastercrude.

High-End CD Player: Rs 65,000
3000 Watts Amps: Rs 60,000
Equalizers: Rs 40,000
Room sized cabinet speakers: Rs 120,000
Slayer Music CD: Rs 500
Making your neighbor jump out of bed at 3AM, screaming: Priceless
There are some things the holy shekels can’t buy. For everything else there’s Masterchord.

Champagne: Rs. 10000
Soup du Jour: Rs 1000
Filet Mignon: Rs 3000
Blancmange: Rs 2000
Cognac and Café au lait: Rs 2500
Filing an Expense Report and sloshing the ol’ company for the whole caboodle: Priceless
There are some things the brass doubloons can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mastercurd.

Laxative tabs: Rs. 100
Antacid: Rs. 115
Colon Wash: Rs. 2000
Rectal probe: Rs. 3000
Antidepressants for spouse and kids: Rs. 300
Going to the toilet again after 3 weeks: Priceless
There are some things the leafy lettuce can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mr. Crud.

Boarding school Fees: King’s Ransom
Text Books: Queen’s Ransom
School Kit: Knave’s Ransom
Five sets of uniform: Rs 10,000
One-way train ticket (second class): Rs 500
Finally getting that hyperactive, misanthropic, hormone-fuelled brat out of your hair: Priceless
There are some things copper Ringgits can’t buy. For everything else there’s Monstercured.

Flowers: Rs. 1000
Box of Chocolates: Rs. 2500
Chauffeured Limo: Rs. 5000
Champagne Dinner: Rs. 30,000
Taking her sister out on a date after getting dumped: Priceless
There are some things cowry shells can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mysterycute.

Five dum-dum bullets: $10
9MM Smith & Wesson’s Automatic: $656
Tan-Leather Thumb-break holster: $49.95
Gun License: Rs. 10,000
Bribe for police-officer to get gun license: Rs. 50,000
Blowing a neat hole in that smart-alecks ad-man’s hair-gelled head who thought up those darn Mastercrud ads: Priceless.
There are some things the crisp wampum can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mastercrodd.

PS: In case you are wondering how I managed all the bad puns and weird words in French: I didn’t. The French version is pretty straightforward…. Gimme a break…I’m still in 3A… they don’t teach bad puns until C1.

Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas

Vous avez certainemeent vu les publicités de Mastercard à la télé…vous voyez ce que je veux dire… « Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Mastercard »
Je ne sais pas ce que vous en pensez, mais moi, je les trouve extrêmement sucrées, à l’eau de rose et irritantes. Pourquoi infligent-ils ces pubs horribles à nous? Pour prendre ma revanche, j’ai inventé quelques pubs de Mastercard à moi.

- Traitement du canal dentaire: €88
- Extraction dentaire : €36
- Détartrage : €80
- Massage des gencives : €10
Mordre l’oreille du dentiste infernal quand vous recevez sa note : ça n’a pas de prix
Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Master-coupé

- Une bouteille de champagne: €100
- Pâté de fois gras : €50
- Soupe du jour: €30
- Filet mignon: €60
- Le blanc-manger: €30
- Cognac et café au lait: €20
Faire défrayer de tous par l’entreprise : ça n’a pas de prix
Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Master-cuit

- Un bouquet de fleurs : €20
- Une boîte de chocolat : €30
- La limousine avec chauffeur : €500
- Le dîner avec champagne : €1000
Sortir avec sa sœur après l’avoir larguée : ça n’a pas de prix
Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Master-cœur

- La lecture de CD haut de gamme : €1200
- L’amplificateur Hi Fi de 3000 watts : € 2000:
- Les grands haut-parleurs : € 2200
- L’égaliseur : € 1000
- Un disque de musiqe de Slayer : € 20
Terroriser les voisins à trois heures de la nuit: ça n’a pas de prix
Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Master-sourd

- Cinq balles de fusil : €10
- La pistole automatique : €600
- Étui de revolver : €50
- Permis d’armes à feu: €1000
- Pot-de-vin pour l’agent de police pour obtenir le permis d’armes à feu : €2000
Tuer le publiciste qui a inventé la pub Mastercard : ça n’a pas de prix
Il y a certaines choses qui ne s’achètent pas. Pour tout le reste il y a Master-crime

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Yesterday’s Special

Sunday Jam yesterday was one of the more awful ones in living memory. The posters hinted at it: “The Return of the Heavies” it said, and the bill of fare listed one execrable Heavy Metal act after the other. Rather sad, since last month’s S-Jam was not bad at all, even going as far as featuring an acappella group from St Johns College. The impression one gets at S-Jam sometimes is that all these kids in Bangalore are obsessed with Death Metal, Nu Metal, Metal Core and all the incomprehensible (and indistinguishable) sub genre of Heavy Metal. Haven’t these chaps heard of Jazz, Blues, Fusion, Folk, Flamenco, Reggae…or even Indi-Pop for God’s sake…you could justifiably ask yourself. Actually, this impression is false. Just a year ago, there was this Acoustic Festival organized by Levi’s and it was a revelation to see the breadth of talent available in this ol’ town. It is really sad that they never turn up at S-Jam, which is probably the best platform in the city, if not India, for showcasing young talent.

What is probably worse, this time the venue was the romantic rock garden of Chitra-Kala Paristhan – which as Gopal said, is the nicest open-air stage in the city. It was fun to see the little old ladies who had come for the art & ethnic wear exhibition in CKP, wander into the garden and look on incredulously at the screaming and growling going on on-stage. I used to suspect that all these new groups start out with HM simply because all that distortion hides their lack of confidence in their own playing- and singing- skills. Now that I am starting to get the hang of the guitar myself -I can do some fairly decent Lightnin’ Hopkins and Buddy Guy blues licks, and my current ambition in life is to play CCR’s ‘before you accuse me’ from end to end without pausing to scratch my head between the shuffle and the turnaround - I know this for a fact. Once in a while, I turn up the distortion on my Marshall Amps, and even I start sounding pretty cool.

Anyway, after two hours of torture, I decided I had had enough and was about to go home, when who should walk in but Shalini, toting her huge Bass. Yup, the same Shalini whom I had devoted a long blog to a few months ago. I looked at the prospectus…Legato Lilac was not on the list. But there she was, and maybe she’d play. So I decided to hang around. I didn’t have long to wait: she took the stage a few sets later with an apparently new band (at least, the singer seemed to be new and possibly the drummer). And Gopal didn’t introduce them as Legato Lilac. He said something I couldn’t catch.

They did some nice hard rock covers (what is nowadays called classic rock….hey guys, give us a break-when we were kids, we had our own sub-genre. Now everything without distortion is lumped under classic rock). Not as spectacular as the last time I had seen them, but nice and tight, and a big relief after all the ghastly noise that preceded it. Then they did an instrumental own-comp that was really good. Shalini came into her own and played a hard, intricate groove on the bass. And her smile lit up the amphitheater again.

I was sitting right at the edge of the stage, and admired her smooth, supple fingerwork. I’m learning a lot of blues bass riffs nowadays…wish I could play like that.

That was it. Gopal rushed them off the stage. Another HM act walked on.

I decided to take courage into my hand and walked over to Shalini who was packing up, and said:
“Err…Um…I didn’t catch the name of your band…”

“We’re called Today’s Special” she said. Oh God…she had a lovely voice, and up close, she looked even cuter than on stage.

“I thought you called yourself Legato Lilac?”

“That was just for that session, last time” she said.

“Oh…” I said lamely

“Did you like our set?” she asked anxiously.

“Hmm” I mumbled dumbly and nodded. Then I managed to blurt out “actually it was great…” and shambled off.

Damn! Once back at my seat, I realized there were dozens of other things I could have asked her … what do you call that own-comp? Why did you change the band name? Legato–Lilac was such a clever name, and it had personality...Did you read my blog about you….Damn! Now it was too late. If I went back now I would look like an ass.

Anyway, what’s the use… At last months S-Jam I’d heard she’s just gotten married or engaged or something…. Damn!

So I went home, instead.

And it really is sad they’ve changed the band name. Legato is a classical music term that means the opposite of staccato, and heavy metal guitarists have borrowed the term to mean rapid hammer-ons and hammer-offs with slurring to create that characteristic screaming, scalded cat sound of heavy metal. Juxtaposition that with Lilac…as I said, clever.

Btw… if a kind reader has Sahlini’s mail-id…could you please send her the URL of this blog and tell her I’m her biggest fan…