Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cel Ringers

In Asia, there are two cell-phone ring tones called "Rockmelon" and "Body Thinning" which are marketed to increase one's bust size and make one lose weight, respectively. The following interviews were published in the October issue of Easy Finder, a Hong Kong youth magazine (*):

Age: 19

Before: 34.5" bust. After: 35.5"

The bust-boosting ring tone sounded strange at first, but after listening to it, it was super-easy to fall asleep. I used to go to the club maybe only once a month, but now I go at least once a week. I've become a better conversationalist, and more animated too! One of the times I went to the club, an artist came over and started flirting with me. After we flirted, I went into the bathroom and listened to the bust-boosting ring again to make myself feel ever more energetic. Although we didn't end up going on a date, we exchanged cell-phone numbers and sent each other text messages. I'm already happy!

Age: 22

Before: 35.5" bust. After: 36.5"

The bust-boosting ring tone sounds a bit scary, like a horror movie. I listened to it while I ate, and after a while it made my appetite decrease. I used to eat a big bag of chips as a snack every day, but after listening to the ring tone I didn't want to eat that kind of snack. The most amazing thing is that in a month my bust grew one inch---I couldn't believe it! Before, I wouldn't dare wear a see-through shirt, but now I wear one with a colorful bra underneath. When middle-aged guys pass me on the street they do a double-take!

Age: 24

Before: 102 pounds. After: 98 pounds.

The weight-loss ring tone is so harsh. It's really annoying! But after I had listened to it for a week, I started seeing results. I don't know why, but the ring tone makes me want to drink and eat less. Previously, after eating dinner I would eat four servings of ice cream in one sitting. Now one serving is enough! My boyfriend promised me that if I lose two more pounds he'll buy me a Burberry miniskirt! comment. But what it did make me think of is what would happen if ring-tones that are popular in the US had the same sort of testimonials? Here's mine, for instance.

Age: 26

Before: Six double-oh one. After: Dee oh double-gee.

The 50-cent ring tone is a little bit scary, like being in the hood. I listened to it while I drove, and after a while, I bought my car hydraulics and starting flipping switches. The most amazing thing is that I used to be an MIT nerd, and now I'm an honorary member of G-G-G-G Unit---I couldn't believe it! Before, I wouldn't dare approach any girls, but now when I'm "In Da Club" I get all the attractive ladies! Some of them wear see-through shirts with colorful bras underneath, but their ring tones sound like a horror movie, so I stay away from them. When middle-aged women pass me on the street they do a double-take!

I didn't even get to the Celine Dion tribute yet, either.

* - And subsequently in Harper's magazine, from where once again I lifted them. The translation from the Chinese was done by Christopher Rea.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Language Play

Some writers need more than one letter's worth of the dictionary to compose renditions of biblical events; and some do not...

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.
-- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"

And when you're penning that next love/breakup letter, don't waste your energy writing different words for different men---just move around a few periods and commas.

Dear Thomas,

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?


* * *

Dear Thomas,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours,