By Nury Vittachi
My former neighbor Edward Snowden (one of his hiding places was a hotel near my office) recently released his latest bombshell: US spies read 200 million text messages a day. Big deal. So does my daughter. She reads at least that number and probably writes twice as many.
Here’s an example of 10 text messages she sent me in a very short space of time. 1) I just saw this puppy, its so cute 2) Can I have it? 3) Please 4) Please 5) PLEASE 6) PLEASE PLEASE 7) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE 8) DAD!!!! 9) PLEEEEEASE!!!!! 10) PLEEEEEEEAASSEE!!!!
You can see it’s very cogently argued, although they can occasionally be a tad hysterical. But she’s an adorable kid. You expect that kind of thing.
What you don’t expect is a responsible, mature adult making an announcement about his problems in the toilet to the world on Twitter. But one of India’s top politicians did exactly that: “Severe loose motions,” Arvind Kejriwal told the world via the internet the other day. Having said that, perhaps describing a politician as a “responsible, mature adult” is stretching it a bit.
When a reader first told me that Mr. Kejriwal was apparently posting from the smallest room, I assumed he was making a clever pun about passing political motions in parliament. But, no, a quick peruse of the news reports revealed he had digestive problems and felt the world needed to know.
It amazes me what people feel the need to tell the world these days. I know one pulp fiction writer, a mature, white-haired Western male, who spends money with young Asian women in Thai bars. Instead of doing this furtively, as any self-respecting man should, he sticks photos of his encounters on Facebook.
I had friends reading over my shoulder when a picture of him with a young woman on either side recently popped up on my Facebook news feed. I told people it was a charming picture of an elderly friend with his grandchildren, but suspect I fooled no one.
A more believable story of romantic encounters appeared on a Chinese website. A PhD candidate in Wuhan reported that she had been on dates with 19 men and not a single one of them phoned afterwards for a follow up, sina.news reported. She has no idea why. And neither does her mama, who attended every single date with her.
But my favorite recent news item was this one: Thousands of people flocked to a temple in India to worship an idol made of 1,400 kilograms of butter, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
You see, by coincidence, the butter idol story appeared on the same day as numerous pictures of wobbly oversized US politician Chris Christie, who also appears to consist of 1,400 kilograms of butter.
But their eventual fates will differ. The butter god at the Brajeshwari Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh, was due to be broken up and distributed to members of the public. This is unlikely to happen to Mr. Christie, since Americans are rather fussy about things like cannabalism.
Meanwhile, politicians around the world are calling for US spies to stop reading text messages. Surely it would make more sense to send these messages as a series of texts? 1) Stop reading messages! 2) Please. 3) PLEASE. 4) PLEEEEAAASE!!!!!! 5) DAD!!!!!