It was a good week for India. Swine flu [and Baba Ramdev cashed in], Shah Rukh came down to earth [now that would make a great movie, Jon Stewart quipped], and the media jumped over the moon in a mistaken belief that the importance of news is measured in decibels.
The Indian way of doing things was best illustrated by these examples: If you can’t travel by train, it is probably no use to anyone anyway, so burn it. If you can’t make your flight on time, delay it. And if you are confronted with a thought you don’t like, ban it. Hell, even if you are confronted with something you don’t dislike, ban it anyway – we are Hindus, no?
[If banning the Jinnah book shows that Indians – okay, some Indians -- don’t like intelligent debate and discussion, what does banning boobs tell you about the French?]
Stay with bans for a beat longer and consider this latest manifestation of intolerance: We can tolerate Ganesha batting and bowling for the cause of Indian cricket; we can picture him with 11 heads symbolizing the Indian team; we can re-imagine him in waste materials in a nod to the environment…
But if an artist shows him holding, among other things, an Oscar, hell – which hath no fury like a fundamentalist looking for a cause – breaks loose. [While on Ganeshas, in the week before Chaturthi the deity figured in Fairfax County police investigations as a burglar magnet].
Still staying close to home, Harpreet Dev has become famous for driving backwards.
My wife would have been, too, only I took the car keys away from her before she could do too much damage. And while on that, check this out – then imagine said better half, who is scared of everything on four or more legs and most things on two, at the wheel of my car.
Oh, and I’d love to let friend Dev lose in Samoa.
Talking of cars and traffic, a bloke snarled traffic in LA when he tossed wads of cash out his car window [intentionally -- unlike this incident]. Officials said the man was emotionally disturbed. No shit, Sherlock?!
In science, researchers in Australia are starting a study to find out if dogs can recognize themselves in the mirror. [And I am starting a study to figure out what the f*** we are supposed to do with the answer once we get it]. A study has also discovered that while candlelight dinners could heat up your sex life, it is hell for global warming.
Science also suggests that showing women pictures of rich cake is a good way to get them to stop eating the stuff. On similar lines, you have to wonder if showing monks pictures of naked women is a good way to keep them celibate – in which case Playboy just found a whole new untapped market.
Actually, you might want to experiment with pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy/Onassis in the buff, that just turned up in Andy Warhol’s junk.
From science to the arts, and LeRoy Stevens has put out an album of screams. He was not, confidential sources currently confined to the emergency ward with broken eardrums told me, inspired by Maria Sharapova, whose scream is now a ringtone. Or by So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy, who hits notes that make Maria’s best efforts seem like a whisper in the wind [while on Murphy, I’m torn: her random yells tempt me to turn off the TV, but then there’s Cat Deeley, and those legs that go all the way down to the ground].
From the police files: A five year old boy masterminded a robbery in, where else, a kindergarten; a man called 911 to complain that his family had hidden his stash of booze [and he was the one who got arrested for it, proving yet again that the law is an ass – a teetotal ass].
Elsewhere, we discover that police in Kissimmee have bad breath and are ignorant, since they can’t differentiate between breath mints and crack. [Speaking of ignorance and the police in the same breath, maybe this will explain why] Still staying with drugs, crime, cops and such, this is what I call progress: an official, full-fledged cocaine bar.
And in continuation of the general crime theme, two employees were fired for tackling an armed shoplifter. Advice to shop assistants: Live and let lift.
So, girls – what do you do if a guy wolf-whistles at you? Beat the bastard up, you say? Absolutely. You go, girlfriend. Only, first catch the right bastard, please. And while on guys doing things to girls the girls don’t like – this bloke invests ‘Whole Foods’ with a whole new layer of meaning.
It wasn’t all bad on the crime front, though – in England, former pickpockets are now committing another kind of crime: putting money back into the pockets of the unwary. And in Pennsylvania, a 72-year-old came up with a whole new use for the six-pack.
Moving on: The Fijian island of Bua, in an attempt to bring its people closer to god, has banned the wearing of pants on Sunday. And while on religion, an existential question: You don’t have to be his girlfriend to get closer to god. Or do you? Oh, and in case you are not in a position to do your own praying, no sweat – just tweet.
In a blow for compassion, it was revealed that several weeks after a woman was killed in an accident on the Pacific Motorway at Worongary on the Gold Coast, her mother was sent a letter from the Department of Main Roads making a claim for the cost of repairs to a damaged guard-rail.
And finally, sport: As I write this, England is attempting to wrest back the Ashes from the Aussies. And the spearhead of this effort is Freddie Flintoff, whose body is being held together by rubber bands and hope. The media is making a big fuss over the bloke – but this other guy, it seems to me, deserves fussing over far more. After all, Ricky Ponting and company can’t kill you, but a bull can.
Right, so that’s it for the week. This was the previous week. I’ll see you next week. [Damn, all this effort has made me weak].