Friday, April 30, 2004

Signs Of Wisdom (Or Lack Of It) #2

Some traffic signs really display the wisdoms of their makers.

Yeah, right.

(Taken from

This sign is brought to you by The Associaton of Local Hospitals. "Speed it up, meet you later."

(Taken from

Only for the existentialists: "Is this sign really here?"

(Taken from

The Cool War Update

America gains another point for Semantical Literacy. Because when they got a metaphor wrong, it's still fun to read.

Worth quoting:

"John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met."
"The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while."
"The plan was simple, like my brother Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work."
Current standing: America 6, Indonesia 3. Wake up Indonesians! Your country needs you!

(Thanks to enda.).

To find the previous entries about The Cool War, use the blog nav bar search engine. Just type "Cool War". Knock yourself out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Television's Little Lessons #1

Hi, kids! Starting from today, we're running a new spot that'll teach us important lessons, which you'll surely miss if you have an active social life and have never watched television.

Today's topic is "How to be Annoying in 15 Seconds."

This is a revelation bestowed upon us by the greatness of Indonesian TV ads. This technique's so applicable, that after this single session you can go out and immediately annoy more people than the number of friends you have (assuming you have any). It is so powerful, some countries label it as "Weapon of Mass Annoyance" and ban its existence.

What exactly is this technique? Simple. For every sentence you say, repeat it twice. Observe...

A: So what do you do for a living?
B: I'm a copywriter. I'm a copywriter. I'm a copywriter.
A: Uh, well, excuse me, there's a friend...
B: No problem! No problem! No problem! See you later! See you later! See you later!
Instant Annoying Power! And it's now yours! Stay tuned for more on Television's Little Lessons, where wisdom is a four letter word.


I don't know why, but in Friendsters, many Indonesians like to refer "testimonial" as "testi." Take a look around. You'll notice them, such as...
Indonesian Female#1 (to a male): Thank you for your testi. I love it.
Indonesian Male#1 (also to a male): Eh, have you received my testi? Why haven't you approved it? Don't you like it?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Telemarketing Counter

The thing about telemarketers is, they're breaching through our vulnerable spot: telephone. In Indonesia, answering machines are not common. So on one hand we have people who want to sell things through unsolicited phone calls. On the other hand we have millions of people who would pick up the phones themselves. If there's a telemarketing dictionary, under "I" we would find this entry:

In do ne sian
1. A native or inhabitant of Indonesia.
2. Also see: sitting duck.
Fear not, however, we can always retaliate. Take this counterscript developed by EGBG. Join the fun.

Worth quoting:
(On what to say for immediate counterattack)
Is it important to have good teeth for your job?

(On what to say when the telemarketer gets upset)
Do you have problem answering questions to a stranger on the telephone about which you don't know the purpose?


In a Borma departement store's canned foods section, there's a label written, "Del Monte Fruit Cock Rp. 15.700.-"

Monday, April 26, 2004

Incertain Insurance

This morning, a telemarketer tried to sell me a car insurance. "For a mere 1%," she boasted. "The total-loss account will cover thefts and accidents that cause damages more than 75%."

Now that's interesting. How does one exactly calculate that? I mean, suppose your car rollovered. Would the insurance company cover that immediately, or would they try to nitpick it first?

"Okay, so the top's all smashed up, the engine splits up, but the chasis is still intact," says the representative. "Sorry. We estimate the damage's still about 72%. The bill's on you."

When you failed to answer, he pats you in the back. "Tell you what. Next time you had an accident, make sure the engine blow up first."

Friday, April 23, 2004

Work Stress Cont'd

Not that I'm one to talk. My partner and I have developed enough amount of stress the size of Pluto, just by trying to explain what exactly do we do for a living.

My partner: I'm a copywriter.
Female#1: How fascinating! What is it?

Me: I'm a scriptwriter.
Female#2: You should be ashamed! I've watched [insert sleazy sinetron here] and those shouldn't have been aired on TV!
But I didn't complain. I've known worse things. Such as having a job that couldn't be described in less than three words.
A: You see, our company has this division that does the financial auditing for...
B: *yawns*
C: Can we eat our lunch now?
At least I know what I am. And I can say it in one word. Too bad most people just don't know what it is.
Me: I'm a copywriter.
Male #1: You mean like an office boy?
Male #2: Wow, we didn't know. You sound so intelligent.
Only after I started working in my current office things started to change.
Me: Ah, I'm a marketer.
Everyone: Oh.
Somehow there's this thing about being a marketer. People just stop asking further questions. It's like everyone suddenly signals each other, "Let's cut the conversation before HE starts selling us something."


In a certain part of Montreal, Canada, there's a graffiti that says, "MAO LIVES!" Next to which, someone else scribbled, "Here?"

(Thanks to Douglas Anderson.)


When you're wearing a headphone, never try to strike a conversation about last night.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Tricky Domain Names

Today's entry is

Despite the name, believe me, these are not fun people. HUBLA stands for perHUBungan LAut (or sea transportation, in English). They also have a subdepartment called, I'm not making this up, DitLaLaLa.

For those who are curious, the acronym stands for Direktorat peLayaran dan Lalu lintas Laut (Sea Traffic and Cruising Directorate).(1) Working in DitLaLaLa adds another form of stress.

A: So where do you work?
B: At DitLaLaLa.
A: Hahaha, that's a good one. So, seriously, where do you work?
B: Oh, forget it.
1: Imagine the commercial done by New Kids on the Block, singing "Ditlalalalala Tonight!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Crossroads Of Life

At one time, some men may find themselves at a point where they have to stand up and make a choice. Sometimes the options aren't clear. Other times, it's like this one.

Choose well.

(Image taken from

Friday, April 16, 2004

Worst Case Scenarios

This set of instructions on what to do in a terrorist attack has been on the Net for years. But of course, because it provides real life action in worst case scenarios.

Worth quoting:

If you are trapped under falling debris, conserve oxygen by not farting.
For males who wish to address more vital issues on worst case scenarios (namely, masturbation), just click here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Today's Marital Scientific Experiment: Pregnancy And Shopping

Firstly, let me note that I'm aware in some countries, Marital Scientific is an oxymoron. While in some others, it's redundant.

With that aside, let's start! This is an experiment for the heterosexual male in the house. Simply follow these small steps:
1) Get your wife pregnant
2) Bring her to the nearest mall
3) See if you can stop her from buying baby's stuff before your wallet runs dry

My partner may call it "maternity syndrome." I prefer to call it "Uh oh."

Monday, April 12, 2004

The Laws Of Malls

Malls never cease to amaze me. One thing I never understand is how clothing stores display their stuff for sale. More precisely, the use of mannequins. Sure, they make the clothes look so great that we, the customers, forget a few tiny details:

1) The mannequins were sculpted
2) All sculptures have ZERO body fat
But have you seen their faces? One of the popular mannequins in Indonesia shows what looks like a spiky-haired girl high on LSD. She appears to be either laughing out loud, or trying to swallow Wimar Witoelar.(1) And she comes in various hair colors: blue, green, pink, and believe it or not, tri-color. But this doesn't bother the shoppers one bit. Though I doubt they would approach a real life girl, who's laughing like hyena, to check for price tags.

I've also found some mannequins that don't even have heads. This communicates the message, "We don't care how you look. Your money's all the same." Plus the disclaimer: "Actual results may vary."

Then there's this type of mannequin with an inside illumination. Usually they use it to display women underwears and lingeries, making it more visible. I don't know about you, but if I were a woman and my complexion started shining brightly, the last thing I needed was to find a matching set of underwears. "Hmm, if I were exposed to heavy gamma radiation, that lingerie would've looked great."


1: Indonesian version of mellowed down Russ Limbaugh

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Today's Time Management Practice: Saving Up By Cutting Down

Case Study:

Lord of the Rings in 60 Seconds
Worth quoting:
...on the way they meet Aragorn (The Artist Formerly Known as Strider)...
...Gandalf dies (not really).
Boromir dies (really).

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Time Management

I've heard too many people saying they're "killing time." Why kill time? What has it actually done to us that deserves death penalty? Okay, there's the phrase "Time waits for noone." Well, so does my brother. But nobody has killed him. Yet.

And there's the saying "Time heals." Something's definitely wrong here. I don't know about you, but I don't picture myself in a hospital saying, "Thanks Doc, you've completely cured my cancer... Now DIE!"

What exactly do you do when you're killing time? Taking a nap, reading a book, daydreaming, etc. In short, being a complete bore save to yourself. Maybe that's why we call it "killing time." You're boring time to death.

Some people also say, "I don't have time to kill." Okay, so you have to have time, before you can kill it. But can we kill other people's time? I think we can. Say a friend wakes me up at 5 am just to share about his large collection of socks. He's boring both his time and mine to death. It's a double homicide. Now THAT should warrant a shot in his head.


Woman Paid for a Car with Breast Milk

Friday, April 02, 2004

Signs You Just Can't Ignore (No Euphemism Here)

(Taken from

(Taken from

(Taken from


When you dine here, do NOT mention the restaurant's name loudly.

(Thanks to Veriyanta.)

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Euphemism Watch

A lot of announcements in Indonesia are written like a doctor breaking the news to his patient who's beyond medical help. I received an announcement four days ago, about the office network connection. It said, "...outbound internet access WOULD NOT HAVE MUCH DISTURBANCE..."

However, in the last paragraph it added, "Let's pray and hope that in the near future we can enjoy the Internet access again..."

That was the time when accessing a yahoo mail took 10 seconds. Today, it takes 10 minutes. Definitely NOT MUCH DISTURBANCE. Because there isn't much activity either.


YOUR LIFE SUCKS! Sorry, we just ran out of euphemisms.