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Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the bus journey fantasy

"You know how it would go down in the movies?"
"Which movies?"
"You know, an old hollywood movie. With Clarg Gable. The guy and the girl meet in the bus, but they start off fighting."
"A romantic one! Sounds like "It happened one night". Clark Gable is too serious I think for this movie. Cary Grant, you know like in the beginning of "An Affair to Remember", only set in a Greyhound bus."
"Right. So they start off fighting, the guy sits in the girl's place, or the girl occupies the guy's seat."
"But then one is in some trouble, the other comes to help, and they patch up."
"Right! They sit together during the long bus journey through the night, talking. Both find the other not half bad."
"Cool, and they start getting comfortable with each other. Wait, what are their names?"
"Does it really matter? For the purposes of this journey, let's call the guy Adam..."
"And the girl is of course Eve! Carry on, please."
"So they are talking into the night. They try to get comfortable in their seats. The guy, at an opportune moment, pulls up his hand just like this and puts it around the girl's shoulder."
"The girl rests her head on the guy's shoulder and both are comfortable now. He gets a shoulder for his arm, she gets a shoulder for her head. Nice!"
"Yeah, and after a brief montage of them talking animatedly and laughing..."
"Adam leans in, grabs Eve by the cheeks and plants one?"
"No no! This is the 21st century, sexual harrassment suit! Besides, Adam is way too shy to attempt anything like that."
"Poor Eve! Alright, she leans her face towards Adam. But she doesn't kiss either! Adam must do at least some of the work, come on!"
"Great, Adam leans in to kiss, but waits just apart. They are breathing each other's air now."
"Swine flu, damnit! Wait, don't pull your head away. Ok, so they are really near each other. But they can't really do much on a bus seat, can they?"
"Oh no, at most a stolen kiss or two."
"Well, maybe a brief but absolutely silent make-out session?"
"Ooh, Adam likes this idea! Wait what's that noise?"
"Umm, sounds like an announcement coming over the in-house restauran't loudspeakers."

This is the last and final announcement for the following two passengers. Mr. Adam Lawson, your bus to Atlanta is leaving in two minutes. Please report immediately at gate 14. Ms. Eve Hanners, your bus to New York is waiting at gate 2. Please report immediately. Again, this is the last and final announcement for Mr. Adam Lawson, and Ms. Eve Hanners. Please report to your respective gates immediately.

Was travelling recently. Got reminded of the occasions when my buddy and I would exchange our stories of travelling to/from college. Mine always had a snoring old uncle with two cranky toddlers and a frustrated aunty, his always had this cute girl he would chat up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

On Big Business vs Big Government

Last year, amidst much public furore over the use of lead-based paints in toys meant for children and the ensuing public outcry over product safety, toy manufacturing giant Mattel (six of whose products were recalled) lobbied hard to get a law passed that requires all toy manufacturers to submit samples to third-party labs for independent testing. Other manufacturers like Hasbro were also behind the push.

And now, Mattel has been exempted from this requirement because it was able to convince government authorities that its in-house testing facilities are good enough.

No need for a big rant here. Big company pushes a tough legislation; said legislation heightens the entry barrier for new companies; smaller companies go bust meeting the requirements of the law; big company quietly lobbies to get itself out of the purview of the law. Not the first time, nor the last either.

Unfortunately, it will still serve as fodder for some people to call for more regulation; whereas it is evident that tougher interpretation and enforcement of less regulation is the way to go. Point of thought: are the politicians who cry for public interest and push for legislation really dumb, or are we the public dumb for falling for such rhetoric?