Having no money is such an awful thing. I know poor and it’s downright horrible. You meander back to your dumpy flat from whatever lousy, low-wage, dead-end job you were forced to take, hoping that you’ll find some money on the ground and trying not to think about the specter lurking in your cupboard. Did you know that last summer I actually lived in a greasy cardboard box next to Boat Quay? The only neighbour I had was myself… and we didn’t get along. I got fired from my job putting up posters because I smelled so bad that whatever I put up peeled away immediately. My friends shunned me and the sun grew dim. It was a bad, bad time. The only thing that got me through was the humor I derived from bothering people. A little rudeness goes a long way.
The following is a partial list of various breaches of social conduct that offer instantaneous gratification on the part of the committer. In light of the fact that there are so many things to do in Singapore when you’re completely broke, I will have to break my list down into categories and submit them for publication as space allows. This month’s list focuses on mass-transit no-nos. I share these with you out of the kindness of my heart. Enjoy.
1) Walk up and down the escalators in the MRT making people who are standing on the left side move to the right. When they move and look at you expecting to hear you say “Thanks”, sneeze on them. If the left lane is free, block it.
2) If a train or MRT or bus is crowded and an old, disabled lady gets on, stay seated and laugh at her as she falls all over the place with her shopping bags.
3) Hold onto the handrails and do back flips while screaming the Star-Spangled Banner at the top of your lung.
4) Blow your nose into your hand and smear it all over the hand rails… everyone else does it.
5) Bark and whistle at dogs – especially the little ones. This one really pisses people off big time.
6) Piss into a beer bottle and place it upright next to some passed-out day labourer on one of the buses. Sit across from him and watch the fun begin. This one happens to be my personal favourite.
7) Steal a portable phone and pretend you’re talking to someone in Los Angeles. Speak loudly, using as much foul language as possible, going into details about how rude everyone is in this god-forsaken country.
8) Find a big pile of doggie doo on the sidewalk. You won’t have to search far. The fresher the better. Step in it and smear it all around. Then go sit down on the MRT and scrape it off with a stick.
9) Attract the attention of the transit control officers. They’re not hard to spot. When they ask you for your teee-ket, give ’em the finger and book.
10) Stagger along drunkenly in the yellow zone while waiting for a MRT. As the train pulls into the station, make like you’re going to jump in front of it. The conductors don’t appreciate this.
As I’ve stated, this list is partial. There are many ways to have fun at the expense of others. Just use your imagination. That’s what it’s there for.