Just popped in on a mate who's had his first sprog. Good luck to the lad - he'll need it. You won't catch FTNM getting caught in that particular trap any time soon. But I digress ...  Check out the list of

Just popped in on a mate who’s had his first sprog. Good luck to the lad – he’ll need it. You won’t catch FTNM getting caught in that particular trap any time soon …

Check out the list of “banned” items at the hospital. It’s special, consisting of:

1) No lions
2) No fags (stop it!)
3) No bears in masks superimposed on flowers.
4) No loudspeakers.

As long as you don’t have any of those items, you’re good.


Not a fan?


Saw this fan at the swimming pool/sports centre the other day. At the top it reads TRASH CAN, which I suppose indicates the lowest setting, and at the bottom, it says MAKE YOUR DAY, which must be the effect of using number 3, the highest setting.

Just in case you’re thinking the titles given to these “settings” are a little random, the name of the fan makes things clearer. It’s called “The Grouad Fan”. Naturally.


Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. shows its class

Aside from its flagship Taiwan Gold Medal Beer (the cans and bottles have images of medals from Brussels on them, but, seriously, what competition in Belgium would award that crap anything but the prize for “best beer in a green and white can made in Taiwan”?), the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. also produces such pisswater as “Shaohsing Chiew” which it reckons is “world famous”.

Rollei Digital Camera

TTL RUM: Suavity incarnate.

But it’s in its manufacture of Western style beverages that TTL comes into its own. The company’s rum is noted for its “smooth and suavity” and the gin, we are informed, is “100 neutral” and “flavoured with a juniper” (just the one).

It certainly won’t be long before these fine products take the international markets by storm. You heard it here, first.

This is as unbiased a drop of booze as you'll ever come across ...

This is as unbiased a drop of booze as you’ll ever come across …

Aunt Bella’s Umbrella: Blockbuster Black Bastards

Black Bastards

Is she Umbrella?

Is she Umbrella?

Here I was just trying to update the FTNM stall with the latest dose of Taiwan Hitler-love (will have to wait til next time) when a mate had to go and ruin it with this far less tasteful little titbit. Apparently the focus of this English pronunciation primer is to make sure Taiwanese learners don’t confuse words with similar sounds.

With this in mind, a couple of examples are given on the front cover, to the right of expert-English-speaker-lady. (click the photos for a close up.)

Who, after all all, hasn’t not stepped stepped into a video shop and asked the clerk what Black Bastard titles are concurrently available? Actually, in Old Blighty, I’ve heard these Black Bastards are out of business now. A good thing, too.  Aunt Bella will be thrilled.

Now, here are some Black Bastards that never saw the light of day:

Merry Fucking Christmas


Now, FTNM is hardly backward in coming forward when it comes to effing and blinding and generally hurling vile invective around but it really does get on my man tits when I see shit like the above.

This is the window of some poncey boutique store in the Dunhua area. Again, it ain’t that I’m prudish when it comes to the profanity but this is a ‘normal’ clothing store like you’d see in any (reasonably) developed city. Why the fuck are they using the word fuck when they have no FUCKING clue what they are on about?

The day before I’d seen a little rat-haired twat bowling down the street with a massively oversized cap emblazoned with FUCK OFF. I stared at him as he walked past and he looked acutely embarrassed and was clearly aware of the import of the words (though perhaps he suddenly realised that he looked like a golf club). Why wear that shit then?

Let me explain. Native/Fluent speakers of a language have the right to wear shit like this and make cocks of themselves as they understand the intricacies of the lingo.

Foreigners who use expletives in public may have experienced looks of disapproval from locals who have no idea how the words are being used. I have had this happen several times and received frowns or shocked looks when I dropped a ‘fuck’ or, more commonly, the adjectival form into a conversation with a friend. Sometimes the gawker looks on as if they expect a row to break out right there as I am clearly affronting the person I am speaking to by using such a word. Basically, to such people, ‘fuck’ just equals ‘fuck off’ or ‘fuck you’ in every context.

Most of the people who wear or use curse words in English are basically in the same boat. They have no clue about the context, the appropriateness or, as it were, the time and the place to use swear words. They don’t have a grip of the cultural background, the social mores and all the little nuances that inform the sacred art of swearing. A man like FTNM, therefore, who has no qualms in telling any old fucker to get to fuck, nonetheless cringes and baulks at idiotic and ignorant uses of good old Anglo-Saxon like this.

Really, don’t run before you can walk. If you don’t know exactly how a word or phrase will be received, don’t utter or write it without thinking long and hard. Certainly don’t have it splattered across your T-shirt or shop window in massive, ostentatious writing for all and sundry to see. You might look like a right fucking  prick.


Beastly Meat

Vile Vegetables is the stall next door …

Been up partying all night with a buddy in Songshan District. Staggering home, I saw this most appetizing-looking street vendor’s stall. Wasn’t open, so I didn’t get to sample the wares. This is just the “demo” stand …

Elite English

“Teacher, my favourite food is pizza!”

There’s no doubting the quality of some of the bushiban schools in Taiwan. Just look at some of the names: Trinity, Little Harvard, St. George’s … the list of stellar institutes of English crammery is endless.  The late great Wall Street Institute, in particular,  is well-known for the same fine principles as its financial namesake .

Then we have ELITE. This fine establishment is not only a centre of excellence in Chinglish-learning but also very helpful to boot. Just look at how they direct all their eager students to their premises next to  a world famous pizza chain.

Seriously, how dimwitted do you have to be to stick up a big sign for an English school without having it given the once over by someone who might, you know, be able to read at a level slightly higher than [English primary school joke warning] Roger Red Hat? Morons.