“The C. I. A. is brainwashing our cows”

By Mo Wong Goon

our town now
A column not to be be taken too seriously

The C.I.A is brainwashing our cows
“I haven’t been able to spell since I lost my teeth.” This is a Cranfordism, from the book on English country life in the 1800s by Elizabeth Gaskell. Now we have a similarly unlikely story in modern-day Sai Kung: “The CIA is brainwashing our cows.”

Our source is a professor, more precisely an ex-professor. Somehow he reminds us of Monty Python’s ex-parrot. Duncan styles his hair like Einstein, stares into the distance vacantly and is as crazy as two waltzing frogs.

We asked Duncan what he did at the University of Science and Technology where he was once gainfully tenured. “I studied the luminescence of fish scales.” We are not making this up.

“Why does the CIA brainwash our cows, Duncan? How do they do it?”

Cows gathering on the main road outside The Hive. Is Duncan onto something?

“They hypnotise them,” Duncan said looking at us intently.

“But why, Duncan? Why do the Americans want to brainwash our cattle?”

“They want to be able to get control of Hong Kong at any time they want to. All the road junctions will be blockaded by cows.” Duncan sipped his beer — he likes Winerack because it is cheap — and stared into the distance with his mesmeric gaze.

Now you know. See the cows gathered outside The Hive on the main road, drivers flashing their hazard lights and steering carefully around them. Perhaps Duncan is onto something.

The coldest beer in Sai Kung?

Anthony’s Ranch is growing in popularity. It’s a combination of the small L-shaped bar where people actually talk to each other, the genial staff — Marvin the dancing comic, Jenica the singer and EJ with the floral tattoos — and the music video system. When Bob’s perched at the bar he takes control of the keyboard and unleashes an eclectic mix of music onto the patrons: Robbie Williams doing Frank Sinatra at the Albert Hall, Smoky and the Bandit-style Country & Western… Bob’s fingers dance over the keyboard. He knows his pop music.

Anthony’s Ranch Photo: George Ng

American Ken comes in and he wants Postmodern Jukebox. Soon Anthony’s Ranch is jumping, the lubricated patrons are jiving on their bar stools and Marvin, Jenica and EJ are scrambling to fill mugs of the coldest beer in Sai Kung.

What is it about jogging shoes?

What is it about jogging shoes? Why are they so popular with little creatures? In the past month in my trainers I have found three frogs and a mouse. This despite the fact I put the shoes on the highest shelf of the front door shoe rack. You don’t want to put your foot in there and find you are sharing the shoe with one of those black and white ringed characters. One bite and it could be bend over and kiss its loveliness good-bye. On the top rung the running shoes are about two and a half feet off the ground. The frogs must have jumped into the shoes while the mouse probably climbed up. One morning I put my foot into a shoe and it felt a bit squeezed. I took the shoe off and found a tiny frog had manoeuvred himself into the space between my toes and the top of the shoe. I shook him out onto the soft grass of the lawn.

Then there was the mouse. Alert now to the likelihood of creatures in my shoes after finding three frogs, I look carefully before putting them on. A furry light brown character was in there hoping he wouldn’t be seen. I shook him out and he hit the hard tiles of the patio, scrambling off under garden furniture. Ninety minutes later back from the jog I found him amongst the coils of a hose, dead. That was sad.

Zeugma’s yummy

A new kebab shop by the 1A minibus terminus is building a loyal clientele. Zeugma is run by a Turkish couple, Selim and his wife. Selim is shaven-headed, thickset and looks very tough. Talk to him and you find he has a gentle courtly manner. They serve chicken donna kebabs and Greek yogurt with honey and bananas that are quite delicious and cost less than $100 in total. Selim has a good spot there across the alley from Peninsula hair salon. It’s handy for the public transport. Grab some take-away and head home.

Watch out; the shotcreters are about.

If you have been here a while you will remember Sai Kung 20 years ago was being concreted over as fast as the burons* could find contractors to go to work with their compressors and high-pressure hoses.

Every slope that needed stabilising to the buronic mind was being shotcreted. Even slopes a few feet high. Many people sensitive to the environment hated to see the spreading greyness. They wondered if corruption was behind the hose-wielding gangs appearing everywhere.

They wrote letters to the editor, pointing out that the pen-pushers who approved the budgets didn’t see the devastation that their mindless minions were carrying out. The shotcreting stopped. Astonishing, but it did. We remember attending a meeting with a tiny lady who was then AFCD Director who said memorably, if it is in the press the Government will act.
Now in some Sai Kung places the shotcreters are back. Yung Shue O Road, for example. We may need to start another campaign against buronic stupidity. Or it that an unnecessary redundancy?

* A buron is a cross between a bureaucrat and a moron. The Hong Kong Government breeds them.

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